New Delhi: The Prime Minister Narendra Modi, today released the book “Chandra Shekhar – The Last Icon of Ideological Politics.” The book has been written by Harivansh, Deputy Chairman, Rajya Sabha; and Ravi Dutt Bajpai. The book release event was held at the Balayogi Auditorium, Parliament Library Building.
Speaking on the occasion, the Prime Minister said that in today’s political context, it is remarkable that even after about 12 years of his passing away, the thoughts of former Prime Minister Chandra Shekhar, continue to guide us, and are as vibrant as ever.
Congratulating Harivansh for writing the book, the Prime Minister shared some memories and anecdotes of his interactions with Chandra Shekhar.
He recalled that he had first met Chandra Shekhar in 1977. He said that he was travelling with former Vice President Bhairon Singh Shekhawat, and had met Chandra Shekhar at Delhi Airport. He said that the two leaders shared a close bond, despite their different political ideologies.
The Prime Minister also recalled that Chandra Shekhar addressed Atal Bihari Vajpayee as “Guru ji.” He described Chandra Shekhar as a man of remarkable culture and principles, who did not hesitate to oppose the dominant political party of his time, because he disagreed with certain aspects of it.
The Prime Minister mentioned political leaders such as Mohan Dharia and George Fernandes, both of whom, he said, spoke highly about Chandra Shekhar ji.
Narendra Modi recalled his last meeting with Chandra Shekhar ji. He said the ailing former Prime Minister had telephoned him and invited Modi to visit him whenever he was in Delhi. During that interaction, Chandra Shekhar had inquired about Gujarat’s development, and shared his perspective on many national issues.
The Prime Minister appreciated his clarity of thought, commitment to the people, and dedication to democratic principles.
The Prime Minister also recalled the historic Padyatra that Chandra Shekhar had undertaken, for the farmers, the poor, and the marginalized. The Prime Minister said that it is unfortunate that we failed give him the respect he deserved, at that time.
The Prime Minister said that there is a coterie of people who have sought to create adverse impressions of some great Indian leaders, including Dr. Ambedkar and Sardar Patel. He asserted that a museum for all former Prime Ministers will be established in Delhi. He urged the family members of former Prime Ministers to share aspects of the life and work of these Prime Ministers. He said the country needs a new political culture, beyond political untouchability.
Speaker, Lok Sabha, Om Birla; Deputy Chairman, Rajya Sabha, Harivansh; and Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha, Ghulam Nabi Azad, were present on the occasion, and also addressed the gathering.