Unsung Heroes | History Corner | Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav, Ministry of Culture, Government of India

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Unsung Heroes Detail

Dr. M.D.D. Gilder


June 30, 2022

Dr. M.D.D. Gilder, the possessor of prestigious degrees such as L.M.S, M.D. (Bruse), L.R.C.P (London), L.R.C.S. (Ed), and F.R.I.P.H. (London) was born in Bombay on 5 November 1882. He completed his education at The New High school. He was the Health Minister of Bombay and an Independent liberal Member of the Bombay legislative council for about 10 years. After his academic pursuits in England, he returned to Bombay and started practicing as a Physician.

Dr. Gilder holds a unique position of being a highly educated physician who actively participated in the politics of Bombay city. He was inspired by his first meeting with Sir Chimanlal Setalvad and the standing mayor of Bombay Municipal Corporation, Dr. Collaco. Evolving with the need for time, Dr. Gilder went on to serve in the Bombay Legislative council for 10 years. His name features in the members’ list of the Bombay Legislative council (1926-29) as an independent-liberal leader.

After the Quit India Movement took flight in August 1942, Mahatma Gandhi along with many national leaders was arrested. According to the British correspondence, Mahatma Gandhi was to be detained in Yerwada without any political affiliation. Hence, the people who accompanied Gandhiji in the prison were mostly the followers of his cultural ideologies. The only exception was Dr. Gilder, who accompanied Gandhiji in Yerwada as a physician. He was under surveillance for being the only prominent political figure around Gandhi. It is noted in the British correspondence that, Gilder discussed politics and general affairs with Gandhiji in Yerwada. Later during his imprisonment, Gilder wrote a letter in response to the infamous ‘Congress Responsibility of Disturbances’ (a Statement published by the Government of India on the Congress Party’s responsibility for the disturbances in India, 1942-43). Dr. Gilder was also an excellent orator and a knowledgeable leader. Dr. Gilder a physician turned leader, worked in multi-dimensions and contributed significantly to the freedom struggle. He passed away in 1979.