C B Holkar is one of the oldest cooperators in the country. Past seventy though Holkar is still active and commutes between Nashika and New Delhi as frequently as a young cooperator would do.
Recently in Delhi to attend NCCF’s special AGM, Indian Cooperative.com caught up with him to know about the state of cooperative movement in India. It needs no repetition that he has seen the movement in different phases.
Holkar’s name is associated with Nafed-the largest agri-cooperative of the country. He has been its Director for more than three decades and unfortunately figures in the list against whom recovery orders are pending in the tie-up loss case haunting Nafed till date.
It was 1976 when Indira Gandhi came to attend the General Body Meeting of Nafed and after seeing a small crowd of 30-40 members she immediately asked for change in Nafed bye laws so that primary members are also eligible for Nafed membership, Holkar shared with Indian Cooperative.
Talking to Indian Cooperative Holar said “I was an entrepreneur since school age and joined cooperative movement way back in 1956. I took up an ailing marketing cooperative society which was beyond repair. My well-wishers felt it is risky and did not disapproved of my act but I turned around the cooperative society in 10 years of time. Today it boasts of an office in Laselgaon in Nashik district with profit in its books, he added.
In 1964 Holar was elected Chairman of district cooperative marketing society and has been getting elected from here ever since.
But Holkar could have proved saviour for Nafed. After the tie-up losses crippled Nafed it looked up to government for rescue. Sharad Pawar, the agriculture Minister, sources say, was ready to salvage Nafed only if Holkar is made the Chairman. Pawar was impressed by Holkar’s impeccable track record.
But those calling shots at Nafed Board were not inclined to accept Mr C V Holkar as the Chairman thereby extinguishing Nafed’s chance of revival.
Holkar, however finds Homi Rajvansh as the rotten apple who infected the then Chairman Ajit Singh and MD with a collective greed leading to present state of Nafed.
But he refused to go into history in detail and focused on the present lamenting that present generation of cooperators who are not steeped into cooperative values at all.