George Fernandes, a leader who start their journey as a labour union leader and one day become one of the top leader of the country, he was among the few leaders who received immense love and respect from the public. He started his journey with the trade union movement, he made his indelible identity in Indian politics. It is the same George Fernandes who started the movement by wearing cloths of fisherman, monk and Sikh during Emergency. Now, George Fernandes is no longer with us, he passed away around 1 year ago on January 29th, 2019. There was a time when whole mumbai was halted on his one phone call. But now he is only in hour memory.
These are one of the few things which we have to know about George Fernandes
- Flamboyant labour leader and socialist George Fernandes was one of the few politicians, who left an indelible mark on national politics. His thinking is above caste, religion and regional identity. He born in a Christian family in 1930 in Mangaluru, Fernandes was an anti-Congress leader.
- A picture of him with shattered hair and fetters in his hand is one of the most memorable photographs of that era. Fernandes made a strong entry into electoral politics as a candidate for ‘United Socialist Party’, He defeated a veteran Congress leader SK Patil from South Mumbai constituency in 1967.
- His alliance with the BJP in the mid 90s helped saffron ideology to expand. His underground struggle against the Emergency gave him recognition as a prominent opposition leader.
- As a skilled leader, Fernandes took part in the railway strike in 1974, which affected the rail services across the country and extensive action was taken by the government to crush it. He then proceeded to Muzaffarpur in Bihar, from where he won the election in 1977.
- In the Janata Party-led government, he was made the Minister of Industry and during his tenure, the multinational companies Coca-Cola and IBM had to shut down their Indian businesses as they had made the government regulations quite rigid.
- For a long-time Fernandes is a critic of the BJP and the RSS but after the rise of several regional leaders in national politics, including Lalu Prasad in Bihar his relation with BJP’s top leaders like LK Advani was improved.
- It is believed that he was the bridge in bringing Nitish Kumar into the BJP-led coalition after the 1995 Bihar assembly elections.
- When India fought the Kargil war against Pakistan in 1999, Fernandes was the defense minister in the NDA government headed by then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.During Fernandez’s tenure, India conducted a nuclear test in Pokhran in 1998.
- Fernandez was suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, due to that he was away from public life for many years and the family was taking care of him at home.
- Some people says that his party JD(U) did not give him a ticket for the 2009 Lok Sabha elections due to Alzheimer’s disease and after that he jumped in election as a independent candidate from Muzaffarpur but sadly he loose the election and that was the end of his political career.