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Address at the release of the Book ‘Gram Sabha Se Rajya Sabha Tak’, on the life of Chowdhary Harmohan Singh Yadav, Kanpur, UP, 25 October 2008.

Respected Chowdhary Harmohan Singh Yadav ji, Respected Mulayam Singh ji, Chowdhury Sukhram Singh Yadav ji; Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen:

It is indeed a matter of privilege and an honour for me to have the opportunity to associate myself with this function to release the book compiled in honour of Chowdhary Harmohan Singh Yadav ji, one of the illustrious social and political figures of Uttar Pradesh. At the outset, I would like to congratulate his worthy son, Chowdhury Sukhram Singh Yadav ji, Hon’ble Chairman, the Uttar Pradesh Vidhan Parishad, and his Secretariat for taking the initiative to bring out this publication, Gram Sabha Se Rajya Sabha Tak, as a mark of respect to one of not only UP’s but of our country’s distinguished sons.

I convey my hearty felicitations and respectful regards to Harmohanji on his birthday, which fell on 18 October and I wish him many more happy returns of the day. An embodiment of great human qualities, Chowdhary Saheb is among the rare band of leaders who have always followed and encouraged the principles of value-based public life. Through his long years of public life, both within Uttar Pradesh and outside, particularly as an Hon’ble Member of the Rajya Sabha, he has carved out a niche for himself as a leader committed to democracy and other larger national values and socialist thinking. Throughout his long years in public life he is known for his simple habits and high thinking. His journey from Gram Sabha to the Rajya Sabha, which is reflected in this book, presented from the perspective of many who intimately knows him, has indeed, symbolized the best traditions of democracy, always driven by the interest of the people as opposed to the pursuits of narrow personal agenda.

Harmohanji’s public life has been remarkable for his commitment to the highest values and his moral uprightness and intellectual integrity and the fearless and honest pursuit of public causes. He began his public career in the prime of his youth itself through his espousal of the cause of the farmers in the pre-independence years, when he took active interests in the Kisan Movements in UP. He envisioned that our people, who have earned freedom after a long struggle, should be free from all types of exploitation and oppression. His ideas and thoughts, reflected a synthesis of the ideas of visionary leaders like Acharya Narendra Devji, Jayaprakash Narayanji, Dr. Ram Manohar Lohiaji and Ashok Mehtaji who championed the ideology of an egalitarian society based on socialist principles and democratic ideals, in which there is not expected to have any discrimination on the grounds of religion, caste, creed or sex.

Right from being the Village Pradhan to Chairman/Deputy Chairman of Zila Sahkari Bank and Uttar Pradesh Land Development Bank to his membership of the Kanpur Municipal Corporation, Uttar Pradesh Vidhan Parishad and the Rajya Sabha, he has excelled himself, always giving his best to the institution he chose to associate himself with. A face of rural India, his contributions towards consolidating the socialist, secular and democratic fabric of the nation are considerable. It has been his constant endeavour to strengthen the democratic roots through development and transformation at the grassroot level. When he was a member of the Rajya Sabha for 12 long years, our Parliament also had the opportunity to benefit from his deep insight into the problems and challenges before rural India. He also showed great interest in understanding the farming practices and the problems and achievements of farmers in other countries to use the positive ideas for the benefit of Indian farmers.

A true Swadeshi in his attitude and pursuits, Chowdharyji showed keen interest in using the Indian Culture and the Hindi language as instruments for infusing a spirit of patriotism among the people during our struggle for freedom. Considering Hindi as a link language among the people of all walks, his contributions in promoting Hindi for upholding and strengthening the unity and integrity of the country while serving the Raj Bhasha Samiti of the Government of India, is particularly noteworthy.

A staunch votary of secularism and national integration, Shri Harmohan Singhji considered all religions and castes at par and recognized the due space for our diversities to co-exist. He demonstrated exceptional courage in trying to protect the innocent human lives of minority community from frenzied communal mob in 1984. The'Shaurya Chakra' bestowed on him by the President of India in 1991, was, no doubt, a befitting recognition for his bravery and fearlessness.

Chaudhary Saheb has contributed significantly towards the socio-economic development of Uttar Pradesh. The Colleges, Hostels, parks, temples, bridges, roads, public buildings and other civic amenities, that he has been patronizing over the years and the large number of social organizations with which he is associated stand as a testimony to this. I am told that he is keen to set up a hospital in his village now. I hope this noble objective also will become a reality in the near future.

It is not an easy task to present the life and multifarious contributions of a committed leader, with long years of public service, like Chowdhary Harmohan Singh Yadavji in a single volume. But the Uttar Pradesh Vidhan Parishad, under the able guidance of Chowdhary Sukhram Singh Yadavji, has made this possible. Each of the contributions, from a long list of distinguished personalities, who have long years of association with Chowdhary Saheb, throws light on the distinctive aspects of his personality to the benefit of the readers.

Friends, our country, into the seventh decade of freedom, is still confronted with various challenges of serious dimensions. Faced with the problems like poverty, oppression, injustices, unemployment, illiteracy and social tensions, created by divisive and communal forces and accentuated by the grossly confrontational politics, our people are losing faith in the efficacy of democratic institutions. The visible decline in moral values and the total lack of commitment to any principles and ideas among the leaders and the growing intrusion of money and muscle power into the political domain, are leaving the common people totally disenchanted with politics and democratic processes as such. The country as a whole is groping for leaders with idealism and commitment to national values. At such a critical juncture the life and ideals of leaders with proven commitment to public causes, like Harmohanji will, no doubt, inspire younger generation.

I once again appreciate the efforts of the Uttar Pradesh Vidhan Parishad for initiating a publication like this. I also wish Shri Harmohanji a happy, healthy and long years of life in the service of the nation.

With these words, I have great pleasure in releasing this Book and I commend it to all.

Thank you.




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