PANAJI: Veteran freedom fighter, litterateur and Gandhi-Nehru thinker Gurunath Kelekar passed away after a brief illness ealry Tuesday morning. He was 91.

Kelekar founded MARG (Movement for Amity towards Roads in Goa) so as to inculcate civic sense and educate people abour road discipline and road safety.

Kelekar was a staunch Knonkani acitivts and soon after Goa’s liberation started `Nave Goem,' a Konkani fortnightly and later Goencho Mog’, a weekly in Romi Konkani.

He was also the President of 10th All India Sahitya Sammelan held at Perne, in February 1990.

The last rites will be held at Hindu crematorium, Margao at 11:30 am on Wednesday, 20th January.

Chief Minister Pramod Sawant, Leader of the Opposition Digambar Kamat, Goa Forward Party president and MLA Vijai Sardesai, Goa Pradesh Congress Committee president Girish Chodankar and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) general secretary Damodar `Damu’ Naikhave condoled Kelekar’s death.

In his condolence message, Sawant said, “Deeply pained by the demise of veteran freedom fighter Gurunath Kelekar. His contribution to the liberation movement of Goa and public life will always be remembered. My thoughts and prayers are with his family in this hour of grief.”

Kamat said he was deeply pained by the passing away of freedom fighter, MARG founder and staunch follower of Gandhian principles and an ardent admirer of Nehruvian Philosophy, Konkani Mogi, thinker, writer and his guide Gurunathbab Kelekar.

Gurunathbab remained young at work till his last breath. His immense contribution to Goa freedom movement, Marg Abhiyaan, Nehru Centre, Konkani movement and spreading values of Gandhian Ideology will always be remembered and will keep inspiring and motivating generations to come, Kamat said and offered his condolences to his family and followers.

Vijai Sardesai praised Kelekar’s dedication to Goa and Konkani language and said that in Kelekar’s death, Goa has lost a great `Goemkar’ and prayed that his soul rest in peace.

 “I have lost my ideological Guru, guide and philosopher, I am shattered today”, said GPCC president Girish Chodankar while paying rich tributes to veteran freedom fighter, writer and social activist Gurunath Kelekar.

Recalling his very close association with Gurunathbab for the last 25 years, Chodankar said he had a significant role to play in shaping him up as a social activist and politician on the path of Gandhian and Nehruvian principles. Feel fortunate having got an opportunity to work with Kelekarbab very closely, Chodankar said.

BJP general secretary Damu Naik said that he was deeply hurt by the death of Kelekar when Goa was celebrating 60 years of Goa’s liberation and recalled his role in the freedom struggle. He prayed that the departed soul rest in peace and Almighty give strength to the bereaved family.