O. Rajagopal turns 80

published on September 21, 2009

When in 1962, responding to the call of Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhyaya to educated men to quit their jobs and strengthen Bharatiya Jan Sangh, leading lawyer of Palakkad O Rajagopal quit his profession and joined the BJS, citizens and fellow lawyers mocked at him. They asked, “Is this lawyer mad”? When O Rajagopal joined Vajpayee’s Cabinet in 1999, it was a sweet revenge on the mockers.

Cutting across party, social and religious barriers, O Rajagopal is the most respected socio-political personality today, thanks to his all-embracing personality and commitment to duty. During his five year ministership from 1999 to 2004 in Railways, Defence and Parliamentary Affairs, he did the nation and State proud. He was elected to the Rajya Sabha for two terms from Madhya Pradesh.

Kerala witnessed unheard massive development in the Railway sector in area of modernisation of railway stations, track doubling, construction of overbridges, introduction of 20 odd new trains connecting State capitals, etc. The Naval Academy at Ezhimala, Brahmos-missile development in Thiruvananthapuram and transparency in weapon equipment purchase were his imprints in the Defence sector. His diplomatic skills were exploited while dealing with conflicting personalities and parties during his tenure in the Parliamentary Affairs Ministry, earning all round appreciation, even from communists.

Born in 1929 his birthday fell on Onam day 2009 and he spent it quietly at Mata Amritanandamayi Asharam in Kollam, of whom he is a devotee for the past 15 years. A massive celebration is being organised by the BJP, the RSS, friends and well-wishers shortly.

His son Shyama Prasad, named after Dr Shyama Prasad Mookerjee, is a leading film director, who won, the National Best Director Award for the film ‘Ore Kadal’ (Same Sea) this year.

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