Golden jubilee of a fruitful political career
RESPONDING to the call of Pundit Deen Dayal Upadyaya, O. Rajagopal, a leading lawyer of Palakkad, quit his thriving career to join as a full-time activist of Bharatiya Jan Sangh in 1962. A full time BJS-BJP activist for the past 50 years, he was twice Rajya Sabha M.P. from Madhya Pradesh from 1992 to 2004. As Union Minister of State from 1999 to 2004 in the Atalji Cabinet he handled portfolios of Parliamentary Affairs, Defence, Railways, Law, Justice and Company Affairs. His term in Railways proved a Bonanza for Kerala. Train services boosting within Kerala, development of Infrastructure like track doubling, stations sprucing, passenger amenities, building of railway overbridges were the hall marks. New trains were started from Kerala to almost 16 state capitals and number of trains were increased to Keralite living places like Chennai, Bengaluru, Delhi etc. He received all round appreciation even from opponents from CPI/CPM and A.K. Antony called him the ‘AMBASSADOR OF KERALA’in Delhi.
Addressing the first of the series of golden jubilee celebrations, organised in Rajagopal’s home town Palakkad, on 13th November, Defence Minister A.K. Antony said O. Rajagopal was a model worth emulating by follow politicians due to his simplicity, large-heartedness, integrity and unblemished commitment to the task entrusted. “As Union Minister he had done justice to Kerala. His developmental initiatives in the Railways can be matched only with that of veteran Congress leader and Railway Minister Panampilly Govinda Menon. He has given a humane face to political career and actions, which makes him a ‘stand out’ among politicians. My friendship with Rajettan (Rajagopal is popularly called as) started in 1964 when I was Congress Student’s Union President and he a leader of BJS in Palakkad. I used to have breakfast regularly in his house and our friendship has become stronger and stronger. There has been no change in his attitude despite reaching top heights”, Antony said.
BJP leader Venkiah Naidu said there should be no personal rivalries among politicians and participation of leaders of all political parties in this meet is a healthy sign.
Veteran politician and newspaper baron M.P. Veerendra Kumar, CPM MP M.B Rajesh, Muslim League MLA Abdul Samad Samadani, Congress MLAs C.P. Mohammed, K. Atchuthan, Municipal Chairman Abdul Khudoss and representatives of trade, commerce and professionals felicitated Rajettan. Justice Chettur Sankaran Nair presided over the function.
Replying to the reception, O. Rajagopal said he was overwhelmed by the all round love and affection. “For me, politics and service to the Samaj is part of spiritual activity as enshrined in our Bharateeya Sanskar. Spirituality is not something separate. It is part of everyday activity. Bharat’s problems can be solved, if we spiritualise politics,’’ he said. Thousands of activists of all political parties and public attended the function.