‘Name KADRI PARK to LALBAGH as ‘GEORGE FERNANDES ROAD’- the Great Visionary”  

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Name KADRI PARK to LALBAGH as ‘GEORGE FERNANDES ROAD’- the Great Visionary urged Konkan Lekhak Sangh and his Admirers

Mangaluru: Addressing the media persons during a press meet held at Mangaluru Press Club, Richard Moras, convener of Konkan Lekhak Sangh, Karnataka said, “We are urging the state government and the Mangaluru City Corporation (MCC) to name the main road from Kadri Park to Lalbagh after George Fernandes. On the outset, we are thankful to the central government and the Prime Minister for conferring ‘Padma Vibhushan’ on him posthumously for his monolithic achievements as a national leader”.

He further said, “There is a saying that great leaders are not rightly honoured in their native place. But let it not happen in the case of George Fernandes who was born in Bejai, Mangaluru and extended his scope of work to the whole of India. In the coming days, a delegation will visit the MCC urging the city corporation to do the needful as per our request”.

Also present on the dais were Titus Noronha, Konkani poet and activist; Ln Ronald Gomes, former Lions Club International District Governor 317 D; William Pais, author and columnist; and Divakar K, former Mayor of MCC.

ABOUT GEORGE FERNANDES:

George Fernandes was born on June 3rd, 1930 in Bejai, Mangalore as the eldest son of six children of John Joseph Fernandes & Alice Martha Fernandes. He rose to prominence as a household name in India for his dedicated and committed service to downtrodden poor & weaker sections of society. Influenced by socialist ideology he moved to Mumbai and emerged as a trade union leader. His mission to organize unions for workers, and to address their problems & grievances as a leader and mentor are exemplary. He served as a member of the Bombay Municipal Corporation from 1961 to 1968.

George was a hero for the poor masses, he vehemently fought for their rights, leading protests and shutdowns for which he was jailed many times. In 1974, he called the strike of 1.4 million railway workers & brought the service to a halt in the whole of India which no other union leader has done. Social welfare of all was the criterion and he consistently fought for it with unwavering credibility.

From 1967 to 2004 he has won 9 Lok Sabha elections which depict his immense popularity as a national leader of repute. He despised corruption & nepotism, dynasty, dictatorial acts & communalism of any kind. He fought against the draconian emergency reflecting dictatorship which has left indelible stains on the walls of the Indian parliament.
George Fernandes held prominent positions in the Union cabinet as Minister of communications, Industry, Railways & Defence and Judiciously handled the responsibilities with integrity. As Industry Minister in Prime Minister Morarji Desai’s cabinet, he forced Coca Cola & IBM out of India which is characteristic of his nationalism and patriotism.

He is the architect of Konkan Railway which is the second-largest railway network in Asia. The grit, determination and visionary zeal in planning and executing the project are commendable. As defence minister, he deftly handled the Kargil War. The Pokhran II Nuclear test during his tenure as Defence Minister is yet another feather in his cap of credentials.

House where George Fernandes Lived on Bejai New Road

Late George Fernandes Tomb at St Francis Church-Bejai, Mangaluru

He often used to visit the defence forces and used to spend time with them listening to their necessities and grievances. He paid a record 32 visits to the world’s highest battlefield at Siachen glacier. He also directed bureaucrats to visit desert posts when the temperature is very high and freezing cold in winter to understand the genuine problems which soldiers face. George provided the soldiers with snow scooters for the first time when he was defence minister. George was a powerful orator who could convert the parliament into pin-drop silence with his prolific speeches on various subjects.

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Welcome to George Fernandes International Airport-Mangaluru?


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3 Comments

  1. Thanks for this article. I am a big fan of George Fernandes. He beat S K Patil from Bombay South Lok Sabha seat in 1967 and was called the giant killer. S K Patil was the Congress candidate.

    He campaigned against Indira Gandhi in the 1978 Chikamangalore by-elections where Indira defeated Veerendra Patil by a mere 77000 votes. But for George Veerendra would have lost with a much bigger margin. His ability to appeal to the labour class was unparalleled. A simple person by lifestyle, he eluded Indira during the emergency and was arrested finally in Calcutta when apparently a ‘ friend ‘ tipped the police.

    George is the tallest leader from Mangalore and I think his name should be immortalised in more than one way. Naming a road is a good idea. Maybe naming the Mangalore junction railway station as George Fernandes would also be appropriate.

    Salute to his great soul.

  2. For such a tall leader, naming a road is not enough. Like Drona suggests above, name the mangalore railway junction or the airport. Of course railway junction would be more appropriate as his contribution as a leader to the konkan railway is unparalleled. Stalwart Srinivas Mallya has contributed immensely to the district. But he was rooted here. In the care of George Frenandes, he was all over the country, even winning from jail with highest margin in a land almost three thousand km away off from his birthplace and yet did not forget to make immense contribution to Managalore. The sum contribution of all other MPs, ministers and MLAs from this region (Except Mallya as stated above) is not equivalent to what George did. I would be happy if I am proved wrong.

  3. Shri George Fernandes served the nation with dedication and distinction.

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