It was in the fall of 1972,ie 18th March that Barry W Kay,Chairman of Manchester and Stockport 41 club brought a letter from UK empowering India to start the Ex-Tablers Movement in India. A meeting was held at the Delhi Gymkhana Club with three Past Presidents of Round Table India. Present were Viren Khare, Bharat Bhushan and Jiti Singh and Ex Tablers Slick Das Gupta and Kavi Singh. Indu Chandhok who had just left Round Table was appointed the Secretary / Treasurer. The news was welcomed in Madras where the first batch of Ex Tablers were trying to find a forum to continue the bonds of friendship developed through years of Round Tabling. There were three Round Tables in Madras at that time Nos 1,3 and 10. The following Ex Tablers from these three tables met at the residence of Speedy Jayendra Patel in September of the same year and the Minutes of the 24the June 1972 meeting have recorded for posterity the deliberations.
For the next eight years till 1980 the growth was very slow and formation of the next 4 clubs took considerable time. To be recognized as a National Association 5 Clubs were required. This finally happened in 1981 and Indu Chandhok the Secy-Treasurer took on the role of the President of the Association. In 1981 the first election in the Association of 41 Clubs of India was held at the Madras Gymkhana Club for the post of President. Nainu Sekharan of 41 Club No 1 was elected President by a majority vote at the AGM meeting held on 7th Feb 1981. In 1982 the National Association of 41 Clubs of India was affiliated to the International Association during the Presidency of Sagar Gulati.
Lal Tahilramani,the First National Secretary convinced all concerned that unless there were some rules, the organization would not grow. Thus his first rules were adopted and are reproduced with the history of the Association. It will be noted that except for the rule that only the Vice President will be elected and all the other officers are appointed, no major changes have been incorporated later except as required by law when registering the Association. The spirit of the original rules have been retained and the emphasis has been on continuing friendships established through the Round Table Years.
After Nainu Sekharan the attempt was to rotate the President ship to different parts of the country to keep the movement interesting to all Ex-Tablers in India. Thus Sagar Gulati from Coimbatore followed Nainu and then back to Madras, P.N. Ethiraj and then S. Raja, Bangalore and Viji Iyengar at Calcutta. Since there was no candidate to follow, ViJi had to keep the post for two years 86-88. Indu Chandhok was recalled to be President in 1988 and held on till 1990 when Ashok Das Gupta of Calcutta agreed to be President. He was followed by Shyam Murthy of Hyderabad and Alban E Scott Calcutta in 1993.
In 1991 Shyam as National President attended the 41 International meeting in U.K. and put up the name of Indu Chandok from India as International President. Indu thus became the first International President in 1991 and was followed by Sam Sampath 10 years later as International President.
During Indu’s stint as International President and Kishore Shahani as his International Secretary the YAP programme was launched.India hosted its first International AGM in April 92.The YAP programme and the International AGM resulted in a tremendous increase in the interest in the Movement and with the efforts put in by Vidya Prakash of Coimbatore, Pramod Jain of Delhi and Rajkumar of Coinibatore there was a big spurt in the growth of the movement. These younger 4l ers were in touch with the next generation of Tablers and the Association rapidly grew in Ten years from 1993 Vidya Prakash’s time to Mohan Rajes’s in 2003.
During the Ten years the change from being forced to be a President of the National Association to a keenness to take charge and help the growth was seen from the improved attendance at the following AGM’s, Nichani-Bangalore, Ghanshyam-Delhi, Kishore-Chennai, Rajan Mittal-Mumbai, Ramanna-Bangalore, Baldev Sidhu-Delhi, Mohan Rajes -Yercaud, Micky Oberoi – Calcutta.
Mohan Rajes not only helped the growth but put his best foot forward for the organization to grow on the right lines. He structured the movement, introduced demarcated areas, introduced a Hand Book, detailing the portfolios of work for the Secretariat and the National Office Bearers, and emphasized the need for effective Area Convenors. A Mid Term Meet was also introduced in all the Areas… Sridharan (Chettiar) aggressively managed and looked after the funds during these critical years and the Association can now boast of a strong foundation.
The setting up of the central secretariat at Bob Chandran Center, Chennai will make the task of Future Presidents easier. Use of E Mail, Website, etc. is something we can be proud of and is a show piece to other countries.