On August 2, 2016, when Dada JP Vaswani celebrated his 98th birthday at the Pune-based Sadhu Vaswani Mission, senior BJP leader LK Advani, who was present on the occasion, spoke of his association with the mission over the decades. For years together, Advani was a frequent visitor to the Vaswani Mission in Pune.

“I am 89, Dada is 98,” Advani quipped. It was Advani who was instrumental in introducing Dada Vaswani’s work to then Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi, who first visited the Mission in July 2013. During that visit, Modi received generous praise from the Sindhi spiritual leader and there was open camaraderie between Modi and Dada. After the programme, Dada tweeted, openly praising Modi with the words: “You came, you saw, you conquered”.

Dada’s close association with BJP leaders originates from his guru, Sadhu TL Vaswani’s links with the RSS. Advani once mentioned that Sadhu Vaswani was present during the function organised by the RSS in Karachi in 1947, a few days before India got independence.

While sharing his memories during Dada’s 98th birthday, Advani had said, “Not many may be aware that on my last day in Karachi, which was perhaps August 8 or 9, just a few days before Partition in 1947), a massive RSS rally was held at the Idgah Maidan for which RSS members came from all over Sindh. The gathering at this rally exceeded over one lakh. The programme was presided over by Sadhu TL Vaswani.”

In his condolence tweet on Thursday, Prime Minister Modi shared a photograph of the two taken during his visit to the mission.

In another tweet, Modi said, “Dada JP Vaswani was a guiding light for me. About 28 years ago, I had the honour of being with him at a world religions conference in the USA. His clarity of thought stood out. In 2013 I had visited Pune to inaugurate a nursing college associated with him.”

The mission had planned to celebrate Dada’s centenary birthday in Mumbai on a grand scale and were expecting Modi to attend it. Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) chief Mohan Bhagwat had consented to attend the function in Pune.

The prime minister had addressed the spiritual leader’s 99th birthday celebrations last year through video link and had then said that Vaswani’s blessings will help in accomplishing goals for a new India.

In May this year, President Ram Nath Kovind had visited the mission to inaugurate the Sadhu Vaswani International School.

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