New Delhi, Oct 11 (IANS) Prime Minister Narendra Modi Saturday paid tributes to social activist and Bharatiya Jan Sangh leader Nanaji Deshmukh, saying he always strove to do something beyond routine work and inspired everyone as an organiser, a political leader and a “sevak”.
Releasing the book, “Viraat Purush Nanaji Deshmukh”, on his birth anniversary, he said: “Deshmukh used to travel across India to expand the organisation. He was never in the papers or news, yet he made an impact all over.”
Modi recounted how old “Jan Sangh karyakartas would tell us — he would give us Rs.1,500 and tell us — ‘Jaan ki baazi laga lo’ (put your lives at stake). This inspired everyone,” according to tweets posted on the prime minister’s website.
“To do something beyond the routine work, this was Deshmukh’s speciality,” he said.
“As an organiser, as a political leader, as a sevak…he inspired us in many ways,” he said on Deshmukh’s 98th birth anniversary.
“Even in his final days we could see the sharpness of his thoughts in the letters that he wrote,” Modi recalled.
“Deshmukh also had a scientific temper. He believed in the power of science and technology. Even today, several people are working on the path shown by Deshmukh. His thought has carried on after him also. His dedication towards Gramodaya was inspiring,” he said.
“My interaction with Deshmukh happened during Emergency. I got to interact with him and George Fernandes who stayed in Gujarat in those days. Deshmukh had immense respect for Jai Prakash (Narain) ji. JP would trust Deshmukh a lot,” he said.
“Deshmukh from jail created an atmosphere and said that we have to fight together and that is when Janata Party was born. Deshmukh was proven right. That time many thought even if elections happened we would not win. Leaders were in jail.”
“Then, Deshmukh decided he wants to quit politics and devote himself to villages. He did not merely say it but he did it,” said Modi, adding he had come to the event as a “guest among my own” and was sure all could “imagine how I am feeling”.
Releasing the six-volume compilation of works, Modi said that Deshmukh was popularly called an able organiser, who created an organisation that functioned effectively even in his absence.
Describing Deshmukh as a man of scientific outlook, Modi said that he believed in applying scientific principles to locally available resources instead of banking on outside support.
The compilation of Deshmukh’s works deal with all the facets of political and social activists as his work has been brought out by Deen Dayal Upadhyay Shodh Sansthan after three years of research.