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.