Manmohan Singh: Jaipal Reddy was a treasure of “knowledge and wisdom”

Speaking at the memorial meeting to pay homage to Jaipal Reddy who passed away on July 28, senior Congress leader and former prime minister Manmohan Singh became very emotional

Former prime minister Manmohan Singh (Social media)
Former prime minister Manmohan Singh (Social media)

NH Web Desk

Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh regarded late politician Jaipal Reddy as a treasure of "knowledge and wisdom" and said he always stood for "righteousness" and always opposed anything he thought was incorrect or unjust.

The senior Congress leader was speaking at the memorial meeting held at India International Centre, Delhi to pay homage to Jaipal Reddy who passed away on July 28.

“I am truly overwhelmed with various feelings when we gather here to pay homage to the memory of my dear friend, colleague and a mass leader Shri Jaipal Reddy ji. I feel saddened to think that my dear friend Shri Jaipal Reddy ji is not among us today, at this time of great difficulty. Shri Jaipal Reddy ji was a treasure of wisdom and knowledge. He was my colleague in my Cabinet for ten years and a law-maker for forty five years. In his death, it would be no exaggeration to say that Indian politics has lost a brilliant Parliamentarian, who packed his speeches with wit, criticism and in-depth information. Although he has been a professional politician he has proved to be an intellectual as well. A politician with a difference he was an eloquent orator, a writer, a scholar and a witty speaker. He described himself as a proud Nehruvian Socialist.”

Speaking about how Jaipal Reddy started his career and his journey in politics, Mr. Manmohan Singh reminisced the legacy of the late Minister. “He started as a student activist, rose to become president of the Indian Youth Congress from Andhra Pradesh, and then plunged into national politics braving polio among a host of other challenges. He went on to survive in the national arena for over four decades. He won four Assembly polls, five Lok Sabha elections, two Rajya Sabha terms and served in the Cabinet of four Union Governments. And he bid farewell as a spotless leader who never faced any charge of corruption or impropriety.”

“In a political career spanning over 50 years Jaipal ji always stood for righteousness and always opposed anything which he felt injustice or wrong. Despite hailing from a backward village in Mahbubnagar and notwithstanding his physical disability affected by polio, his journey was of grit and determination. With this determination and strong feeling of ideology he grew from a student leader in Osmania University to become a Legislature in combined Andhra Pradesh and then a Parliamentarian and a Central Cabinet Minister. Jaipal ji was always known for standing by his principles and his ideology. He was somebody that people looked up to, both in the public and also within the Congress leadership, and never minced words in expressing his opinion. As we all know, Jaipal ji was also a very articulate Parliamentarian, who always stuck by whatever decisions he took as a Minister. Whether it pleased somebody or not, he always went according to his beliefs. As a Parliamentarian, he always expressed himself without compromising on whatever he believed in and he chose very specific words in his speeches. He was very encouraging and supportive to other Parliamentarians.”

He was a staunch supporter of separate Statehood for Telangana and he played a silent yet crucial role in convincing the leaders towards taking the historic decision of dividing Andhra Pradesh and granting separate Statehood for Telangana in 2014.

Jaipal Reddy ji was a great orator and an extraordinary leader who could attract the people from all walks of life and that is why he was elected four times to the State Legislature and five times to the Lok Sabha. Two times he was elected to Rajya Sabha. For his overall contribution in the Indian Parliament he was awarded the Outstanding Parliamentarian Award. His fluency and vigour in both English and Telugu amazed the listeners, both his admirers as well as his critics.

“He was a very good administrator. He served as Minister in various Ministries like Information and Broadcasting, Urban Development, Petroleum and Natural Gas, Ministry of Earth Sciences and Ministry of Science and Technology. It was his farsightedness which was instrumental in bringing forth the Prasar Bharati Bill. As Minister of Information & Broadcasting Minister, he piloted the Prasar Bharati Bill to give autonomy to Doordarshan and All India Radio.”

“He also authored some books, including "Ten Ideologies: The Great Asymmetry between Agrarianism and Industrialism”. I had the privilege of launching this book. The book has many firsts to its credit. They include dealing with almost all the influential ideologies of our times within the compass of a short book. Another distinctive feature is that it offers a perspective on entire human history, based not only on traditional materials but also on latest scientific findings. While so doing, he presents a view that the homo sapiens are genetically interconnected. In the process, he also brings out that the divisions based on race, religion, caste or colour are products of the historical periods, but cannot be accepted by holistic reading of history. The great teachers of either religious or moral stature have been laying stress on the oneness of humanity. This message of great sages has been reinforced by scientific evidence as well. I compliment Sri Jaipal Reddy for having given a new dimension to the efforts for highlighting the many-sided interrelations of people on the planet.”

Getting extremely emotional, the former prime minister concluded his speech with a tribute to Jaipal Reddy, calling him as one of the most important advisors and guides to him. “I take this opportunity to pay my tribute and respect to my dear friend, Shri Jaipal Reddy ji, who is no more among us to give us his invaluable advice and guidance during this time of adversities.”

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