Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday remembered Nanaji Deshmukh on his birth anniversary. Deshmukh was a social reformer. “Remembering Nanaji Deshmukh on his birth anniversary. We are constantly motivated by his noble service and emphasis on rural development”, Modi said. At an event in Delhi, the Prime Minister also released a commemorative postage stamp on Nanaji Deshmukh.
Nanaji Deshmukh was born in small-town Kadoli in Maharashtra’s Parbhani district on October 11, 1916. He was a Sangh Parivar veteran, founder member of Janata Party and one of the seniormost members of BJP. Nanaji had actively participated in Bhoodan Movement of Acharya Vinoba Bhave. He had also supported Jayaprakash Narayan’s call for ‘Total Revolution’. Nanaji had represented Balrampur parliamentary constituency of Uttar Pradesh in the Lok Sabha.
Nanaji was also a social activist. According to Indianexpress.com, He had played an important role in carrying out social restructuring programme in over 500 villages of Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh. Nanaji established India’s first Saraswati Sishu Mandir at Gorakhpur in 1950. He was also the founder of Deendayal Research Institute at Chitrakoot.
Nanaji is credited with exemplary work in the field of education, health and rural self-reliance. He was nominated to Rajya Sabha in 1999 in recognition of his services to the nation. Nanaji was awarded Padma Vibhushan for his work. He has established India’s first rural university – Chitrakoot Gramodya Vishwavidyalaya -and served as its first Chancellor.
Nanaji passed away on February 27, 2010 in Chitrakoot, at the age of 93. After his demise, Nanaji’s body was donated to All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), as per his wishes.
Today is also the birth anniversary of Jai Prakash Narayan.
“Today, we pay tributes to the great Loknayak JP and Nanaji Deshmukh, who worked closely with JP. Both these individuals distinguished themselves and devoted their lives towards the betterment of our nation. Loknayak JP was deeply popular among youngsters. The likes of Loknayak JP and Dr. Lohia were active during the ‘Quit India’ movement, inspired by the clarion call of Mahatma Gandhi. JP was never interested in power politics,” Modi said at the event.
“Loknayak JP fought corruption in the nation. His leadership rattled those in power that time and during a march he was even attacked. At that time, standing shoulder to shoulder with him was Nanaji Deshmukh. When Janata Government was formed in 1977, Nanaji Deshmukh was requested to join the Government as a Minister but he did not do so. He followed JP and preferred to devote himself towards rural development and making our villages self-reliant, free from poverty,” he added.