VETERAN Sangh Pracharak, former Rajya Sabha MP and founder of Deendayal Research Institute (DRI) Chandikadas Amritrao Deshmukh, popularly known as Nanaji Deshmukh, passed away at a private hospital in Chitrakoot on February 27. He was 94. He was unwell due to age-related ailments for some time.
As per his will, his body was donated to the All India Institute of Medical Sciences(AIIMS), New Delhi on February 28 in the presence of Shri LK Advani, BJP president Nitin Gadkari, former party president Rajnath Singh, Leader of Opposition Sushma Swaraj, BJP leaders Arun Jaitley, Ravi Shankar Prasad and many other distinguished personalities from RSS and DRI. Dean of AIIMS and head of Anatomy Department Prof. Rani Kumar received the body.
As the news of passing away of Nanaji spread, thousands of people from Chitrakoot and surrounding areas thronged the Udyamita Vidyapeeth in Chitrakoot to pay their last respect to the departed soul that transformed their life. Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, many of his cabinet colleagues and other distinguished personalities of the region paid their tribute to the departed soul. Shri Chouhan also announced one day State mourning. Madhya Pradesh Governor Rameshwar Thakur, PWD Minister of Madhya Pradesh Nagendra Singh, Energy and Mines Minister Rajendra Shukla, Rural Development Minister of Uttar Pradesh Daddu Prasad, MP from Satna Ganesh Singh, MP from Chitrakoot-Banda RK Patel, MLA Karvi Dinesh Mishra, chairman of Nagar Panchayat, Nayagaon Neelanshu Chaturvedi and many other leaders of Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh paid tribute at Udyamita Vidyapeeth.
Though, as per the wishes of Nanaji his body was donated to AIIMS, general secretary of DRI Dr Bharat Pathak performed the last rites including the pindadaan at Chitrakoot. After that, the body was taken to Satna by road and then it was flown to Delhi by a plane. Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan accompanied the body from Chitrakoot itself.
Prior to handing over the body to the AIIMS, hundreds of dignitaries reached DRI where the body of Nanaji was kept for some time. Prominent among those who visited DRI included former President of India Dr APJ Abdul Kalam who in his tribute said, “Nanaji Deshmukh is indeed a towering personality. He is the pioneer in rural development. Nanaji has transformed 80 villages and empowered the villages. I salute the pioneer of PURA (Providing Urban Amenities in Rural Areas) development of Chitrakoot.” Janata Party president Dr Surabamanian Swamy, senior Sangh Pracharak Shri Indresh Kumar, industrialist Shri Sanjay Dalmia, Deputy Chief Minister of Jharkhand Raghubar Das and former Union Minister Arif Mohammad Khan also paid tribute at DRI.
After this, the body was taken to Keshav Kunj where thousands of RSS, BJP leaders and people representing different sections of the society paid floral tribute to Nanaji. A wreath was laid on behalf of President of India Pratibha Patil and Vice President Dr Hamid Ansari. Tribute was also paid on behalf of the Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar and Secretary General of the Rajya Sabha. Speaker of Delhi Assembly Dr Yoganand Shastri personally visited Keshav Kunj to pay tribute. Prominent among those who paid tribute at Keshav Kunj included RSS Sarkaryavah Shri Bhaiyaji Joshi, Shri LK Advani, Deputy Speaker of Lok Sabha Karia Munda, Smt Sushma Swaraj, Shri Arun Jaitley, Shri Nitin Gadkari, Shri Rajnath Singh, Dr Murli Manohar Joshi, Chief Ministers Shri Narendra Modi (Gujarat), Shri Shivraj Singh Chouhan (Madhya Pradesh). Dr Raman Singh (Chhattisgarh) and Dr Ramesh Pokhariyal ‘Nishank’ (Uttarakhand).
RSS Sahsarkaryavahs Shri Madan Das and Shri Suresh Soni also paid tribute. VHP president Shri Ashok Singhal, veteran VHP leader Acharya Giriraj Kishore, Uttar Kshetra Sanghachalak Dr Bajrang Lal Gupt, Delhi Prant Sanghachalak Shri Ramesh Prakash, former Prant Sanghachalak Shri Satyanarayan Bansal, Leader of Opposition in Delhi Assembly Prof. VK Malhotra, former Leader of Opposition in Delhi Prof. Jagdish Mukhri, Delhi BJP president Prof. Om Prakash Kohli, former BJP leader Sanghpriya Gautam, former Chief Minister of Delhi Madan Lal Khurana, former Chief Minister of Uttarakhand Shri BC Khanduri, noted Swadeshi thinker and ideologue KN Govindacharya, senior BJP leader of Punjab Balramji Das Tadon, BJP leader Smriti Irani, Mayor of Delhi Dr Kanwar Sen, former Mayor Arti Mehra and many others also paid tribute to Nanaji.
In his condolence message RSS Sarsanghachalak Shri Mohan Bhagwat said the life of Nanaji would always inspire the young generation with patriotism, dedication and service. “He lived a kritartha jivan (grateful life). Therefore, his death is not a matter of mourning, but the time to take a resolve for following his ideals,” he said.
Former RSS Sarsanghachalak Shri KS Sudarshan said the extreme poverty that Nanaji faced in his childhood helped him to experience the fire of hunger and the sufferings of deprived. “After becoming a Sangh Pracharak he not only expanded the Sangh work but also encouraged many youth to become Sangh Pracharak. He realised the ineffectiveness and unfruitfulness of the western political system of the country by becoming Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha MP. That is why he left politics and dedicated himself to the task of holistic rural development. After working in many districts he created model of rural development in Chitrakoot. After living a satisfactory life this navadadhichi dedicated his body too,” Shri Sudarshan said in his message, released from Bhopal on March 1.
RSS Sarkaryavah Shri Bhaiyaji Joshi said Nanaji presented many ideals in his life. “He used politics not a medium of getting power but as a medium of serving the society. He also successfully established the belief that there could be successful experiments of social reconstruction. What should be the mentality, action and sprit of experiments among the workers was proved by Nanaji through his personal conduct,” Bhaiyaji said in his message.
Shri LK Advani described Nanaji as a dedicated worker who made an unparallel contribution in the formation of Bharatiya Jan Sangh. “It is more than a personal loss for me. We had been together for so many years. When there is so much attraction towards posts, he gave inspiration for idealism,” he said adding that his decades-long unblemished public life left an indelible impression on his head and heart.
Shri Madan Das said the work done by Nanaji in the villages of Chitrakoot, Gonda and Beed is unparallel. He set an example in agriculture, industry, education, health, women empowerment, social harmony as well as resolving the local disputes. He used to say that we should not live just for ourselves but for our people-those who are still deprived. He successfully materialised the concept of Integral Humanism in his life. He loved excellence in every activity. Conducting new experiments was his quality. He lived the life of a rishitulya Pracharak. His message for the young generation of the country is to live for deprived.
Shri Nitin Gadkari said, “Nanaji was a source of inspiration due to his sacrifice and service towards Antyodaya (rise of the poorest of the poor). Shri Rajnath Singh said the party workers should work hard to make the dreams of Nanaji true. Dr MM Joshi said Nanaji was elder of his family. “He proved through his conduct that how one could be one in saying and doing. He started many projects and when the project became viable he switched to new projects. His role in the formation of the first non-Congress government after Emergency was very prominent and he humbly refused the post of a minister in that government. He formulated the economic model of development that emphasised on society and not on the government,” he said. Shri Aun Jaitley described Nanaji as organiser par excellence, nationalist and patriot. He was a man committed to his ideals and is role model for lakhs of people. His death is a major loss for the nation.
In her condolence message Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati said during his long public life Nanaji Deshmukh served the people and played an important role to make weaker sections of the society self-reliant. He would be remembered for his contribution towards the development of villages, she said. RSP leader Abani Roy said, “He was a good, committed social worker.”
Shri Shivraj Singh Chouhan described Nanaji as a ‘karmayogi’ who dedicated his whole life to the country and the society. After retiring from politics at the age of 60, he remained active in conservation of Indian convention. Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yeddyurappa also recalled Nanajis’ contribution towards building the Bharatiya Jan Sangh and the Janata Party.
Shri Narendra Modi said he worked with Nanaji during the Emergency and enjoyed close relations since then. “He was expert in conceiving new projects and also successfully materialsing them. After Gandhiji, if somebody worked for the weaker sections, he was Nanaji. The model of rural development he developed is an ideal for the people working in this field. He set many ideals for the young generation.
Uttarakhand Chief Minister Dr Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ described the death of Nanaji as an unbearable loss not only for Bharat but also for the whole world. He would live for centuries in the form of the work he has done. The values he set in public life need to be emulated by all.
Dr Raman Singh said the experiments Nanaji has done for the uplift of villages in Chitrakoot, Gonda, etc. are role model for the whole nation. He set ideals not only in public life but also in social life. Veteran BJP leader of Punjab Shri Balramji Das Tandon described Nanaji as symbol of devotion. Former Chief Minister of Delhi Madanlal Khurana described him as ‘an ideal man who lived only for others.’
Shri Ashok Singhal described Nanaji as ‘modern rishi’. “He played a key role in expanding the Sangh work in Uttar Pradesh. By forming the first Saraswati Shishu Mandir in Gorakhpur he gave a new direction to the education system of the country. When he refused the ministerial berth in the Morarji Desai cabinet he said he did not become a RSS Pracharak for becoming a minister in the government but for serving the society. This ideal needs to be followed by today’s politicians. If it is followed the blind race for power can change into the feeling of service,” he said. Acharya Giriraj Kishore said Nanaji was one in principle and actions.
Former Governor of Goa and Sikkim Shri Kidarnath Sahani described Nanaji a karmayogi who set many ideals in public life. He brought happiness and prosperity in the lives of innumerable people. He transformed the life of millions of people. Pramukh Sanchalika of Rashtriya Sevika Samiti Pramitaltai Medhe said Nanaji lived his life as per the ideals of Ekatma Manavvad of Deendayalji. BJP leader and TV actress Smriti Irani said Nanaji is an example for those who are born after the Emergency. His life was inspiration for all. Even with the death he set an example by donating his body for the medical students.
Shri KN Govindacharya said what Nanaji thought tried to put into practice. He started Shishu Mandir when nobody thought of it. Nobody had thought that Jan Sangh and communists could share the cabinet he made it possible. Throughout his life he stood for values, principles and always remained sensitive to poorest of the poor. Veteran activist of Sanskar Bharati Shri Yogendra recalled his 60 years association with Nanaji and said his contribution in building the nation would always be remembered.