RSS veteran Nanaji Deshmukh passed away

published on February 27, 2010

Sangh Parivar veteran and former Rajya Sabha member Nanaji Deshmukh passed away in Chitrakoot on Saturday. He was 94.

He breathed his last at the premises of the country’s first rural university he had established in this temple town bordering Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh ,his close associate Sharda Prasad Dwivedi said.

Deshmukh was unwell for some time due to age-related ailments and had refused to be taken to New Delhi for treatment.

A Padma Vibhushan awardee, he had donated his body for medical research. Born in Kadoli in Maharashtra’s Parbhani district on October 11, 1916, Deskmukh had founded Deendayal Research Institute here and was credited for exemplary work in the field of education, health and rural self-reliance.

He was also instrumental in carrying out social restructuring programme in over 500 villages of both the states.

Deshmukh had established the Chitarkoot Gramodya Vishwavidyalaya in Chitrakoot — the country’s first rural university — and was its Chancellor.

A deep personal loss: Vajpayee

Describing the late Nanaji Deshmukh as an expert in handling challenges, former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee [ Images ] on Saturday said he was a dedicated social worker, lifelong pracharak of the RSS, senior politician and a visionary.

In his condolence message, Vajpayee said he got the opportunity to work with Deshmukh and referred to the days in the Bhartiya Jan Sangh when they worked together.

“He was an expert in handling challenges. There was a magnetic attraction in his personality and whoever came in touch with him remained with him throughout,” Vajpayee said.

Recalling Deshmukh’s role, Vajpayee said he was a fighter and joined the movement of Jai Prakash Narayan.

During the emergency, the veteran RSS leader had fought for democracy after becoming an underground and then continued his struggle against social inequality and was active till his last breath, the former prime minister said.

“By voluntarily disassociating himself from politics, he became a role model,” Vajpayee said, adding that he created self-sufficient model towns like Gonda and Chitrakoot.
“His death is a loss to society and me personally,” Vajpayee said in the condolence message.

Body to be donated to AIIMS

The body will be flown to New Delhi from Chitrakoot on Sunday for his followers to pay their respects before it is donated to AIIMS — as per his wish.

NetIndian News Network

http://netindian.in/news/2010/02/27/0005561/veteran-jana-sangh-leader-nanaji-deshmukh-passes-away

Veteran Bharatiya Jana Sangh leader Nanaji Deshmukh, who was a respected party ideologue and had a long association with the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), passed away at the Sadguru Seva Sangh hospital at Chitrakoot in Uttar Pradesh this evening. He was 93.

Deshmukh, who had been keeping unwell for some time, had complained of chest pain this morning after he was taken to the hospital, where he breathed his last.

He was one of the rare Indian politicans who withdrew from active politics on attaining the age of 60, after which he devoted the rest of his life to constructive work. The present-day Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which is the successor organisation to the Jana Sangh, was formed after he had already quit the political scene.

Former Prime Minister and BJP leader Atal Bihari Vajpayee said that, in Deshmukh’s death, the country had lost a dedicated social worker and a senior political leader.

He said he had worked with Deshmukh in the Jana Sangh and found he had the rare ability to remain calm in the midst of opposition and adverse circumstances. He said Deshmukh was never afraid of challenges and had a magnetic personality which won the loyalty of all those who came to know him.

Mr Vajpayee said Deshmukh had also been associated with Jayaprakash Narayan’s movement and had gone underground to campaign against the Emergency imposed by then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.

BJP leader and former Deputy Prime Minister Lal Krishna Advani said the death of Deshmukh was a great loss for the Sangh Parivar. He said Deshmukh would always be remembered for his practice of value-based politics.

BJP President Nitin Gadkari described Deshmukh as one of the early architects of the Jana Sangh who stood for true value-based politics. He said India had lost one of her greatest sons

“When the younger generation experiences a dearth of ideals, the life and mission of Nanaji serves as a living embodiment of sacrifice and dedication. His work for rural resurgence firstly at Gonda and later at Chitrakoot is the testimony of his unflinching commitment to the cause,” he said.

Born on October 11, 1916 in Kadoli in the Parbhani district of Maharashtra, Deshmukh was deeply inspired by Lokmanya Tilak and was one of those who joined the RSS after the death of Dr Keshav Baliram Hedgewar, with whom he had come into contact in his early life. The RSS sent him to Uttar pradesh as a “pracharak”.

Later, he was associated with journals launched by the RSS in 1947, but after Mahatma Gandhi’s assassination, when the organisation was banned, the work had to move underground.

When the ban was lifted and the Jana Sangh was launched as a political party, Nanaji became its General Secretary in Uttar Pradesh. He went on to be associated with the Bhoodan movement of Vinobha Bhave and Jayaprakash Narayan’s Total Revolution.

Deshmukh was one of the main architects of the Janata Party, of which the Jana Sangh was a part, and he was elected to the Lok Sabha from the Balrampur constituency in Uttar Pradesh. But he declined a ministerial berth offered by then Prime Minister Morarji Desai and in fact announced his retirement from politics soon after.

He remained associated with the Deendayal Research Institute that he himself had established in 1969. He also set up the Chitarkoot Gramodya Vishwavidyalaya in Chitrakoot. In 1999, he was nominated to the Rajya Sabha.

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