without a sound base and he toiled towards establishing that sound foundation for our democracy. He believed deeply in our socialism, nat perhaps the socialism of the well-known text-books, but a socialism based upon compassion for the common man, a socialism based upon using the gifts of knowledge of science and technology for the advancement of the humblest and the poorest.
His was a profound belief in secularism. The secularism as he saw it, was a celebration of all that was great in India and what he saw as great in India was not simply the political entity which we today call the Union of India, but an idea, a concept of celebration of diversity. That is why he gloried in all the different fruits of India, in all the different languages of India, in all the different cultures of India, in all the different religions of India. in all the different trends of thought and schools of opinion that existed in this country. And it was this celebration of diversity, this belief that India could not be India unless every part of India, however minor it might be in numbers. was celebrated as an integral part of this great country that he saw it as absolutely necessary for every minority, religious, linguistic, cultural or even in terms of opinion and schools of thought to belong to this larger entity. At the moment when fate decreed that he was to die. he saw in some ways the vision of Mahatma Gandhi. Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru being fulfilled with the two great Super Powers coming to an understanding among themselves.
But he recognised as perhaps no other Indian did that the period of detente made non-alignment more relevant than it has ever been because the ultimate purpose of non-alignment is to put an end to the quest for dominance and that quest for dominance has not ended merely because there is a detente between the two Super Powers. When he integrated all these into the vision of India. it was a holistic vision which did not merely look to see what
58 Res. re. Demise of Rajiv Gandhi and Obituary References
India's place was in today's contemporary world, but was sought to see what was India's place in the history of world civilisation and when we look back to the beginnings of time to eight thousand. nine thousand or Ten thousand years ago when human civilisation first came upon our planet. he saw that India's civilisation was not perhaps the oldest in the world, not perhaps would it be the only one that was continuous: it was certainly the only civilisation in the world that had learnt to come to terms with heterogeneity and in this if the world is to survive it is necessary that the whole world imbibe the essential values of the Indian civilisation which has the capacity to live with diversity, which has the capacity to tolerate diversity, which has, above all, the capacity to celebrate diversity and if we are able to live up to that vision of India, then it is only the body of Shri Rajiv Gandhi that would have died. the soul of Shri Rajiv Gandhi which was the soul of India, the soul of India which has animated human civilisation everywhere upon this planet will continue to live.
I had the privilege of interacting perhaps more closely with him than any other human being at the intellectual level because we would spend hours discussing his speeches, writings and articles and in the course of this, I came to see a human being whose inspiration, particularly his dedication to non-violence came straight out of Mahatma's school of thought, whose idiom was that of Jawaharlal Nehru and whose glory in the spiritual legacy of India came straight out of Swami Vivekananda. That great soul is no more with us: he has gone.
The last gift that he have me was the seat upon which I sit. I approached this seat in the same spirit in which Bharata approached his seat when Rama went into vanvas. But Rama, we knew. had gone into vanvas only for 14 years. I approached this seat knowing that Shri Rajiv Gandhi will not return from the vanvas into which terrorism and violence have crept in.
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THE MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE (SHRI BALRAM JAKHAR): Honourable Speaker, Sir. l remember a couplet:--
"Taarikh ne dekhi hain chand aisi
Lamhon ne khata ki thi sadiyon
ne saza payi."
And the same applies to the passing away of Rajivji. People die.
everybody has to quit this world, but the principles and deeds of the departed are always remembered.
On the night of 21st. we were plunged into pitch darkness--the consequence would have been the same even if it was daytime. This darkness engulped the humanity because Rajivji was symbol of humanity, compassion and endurance. He was an embodiment of love and virtue. He was such a patriot about whom we Call say that he was not only a patriot but also fearless. He was a man who could fight for his principles and in fact died for those. He lived for his principles and did not hesitate to sacrifice his life. He belonged to a family which has a history of sacrifices. Motilalji, Jawaharji, Kamlaji, Indiraji and now Rajivji were o f the same feather, whatever they inherited fro their kin, they passed it on to others. They would share all their love with one and all. I have seen his ever smiling face. which is still fresh in my heart, from the chair, which you are now occupying.
l observed that he was such a noble man that he would radiate light into the House. Any person who would once meet him would be his fan and would never shed his image from his mind. There could be differences of opinion while exchanging ideas but he never allowed conflict between the souls. He wanted to live for his country. He wanted to live for this world; because at times he would refer to our culture
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during the course of a talk and he would quote something and say that we believe in:
"udaar charitanam tu vasudhaiv kutumbakam''
The whole universe is one for a noble minded and open-hearted person. Not only this, he further used to say:
"Yatra vishwaiyak needam"
Where the whole universe is reduced to a nest, human being does not remain human being. He believed in this high ideals. He never acted under compulsion, but with a sense of service. Quite often we exchanged views, and I would tell him that his proposed line of action would harm our interest, but he would say, Balramji, country is important not the Government, nor the power. self-interest is not supreme and anything can be sacrificed for the country. Punjab problem was there. l knew that we will be out of power, and it happened. Then there was Assam Accord and I knew what was going to happen and the same fate awaited us in regard to the Mizoram problem. But he had no regrets. He would say that we had read Ramayana, its every chapter but what have we learnt from it. In Ramayana, the father lost his life in the process of keeping his word and the son went into exile for 14 years without a whimper to uphold the word of his father, and in turn his younger brother did not accept the kingdom offered to him on a plotter. another brother went into exile with his elder brother because he loved his brother. they were the idols of renunciation.
Renunciation has got some meaning but now-a-days the spirit of renunciation is dead. If the feeling of sacrifice is there the country can rise. Today also if we follow the path shown by Rajivji, the country can make progress. I am quite sure about it, T have seen it closely. This I have not seen only in India but outside also 61 Res. re. Demise of Rajiv Gandhi and Obituary References
because when I was the Speaker of the House I travelled abroad. My colleagues also used to go with me.
On our trips abroad, we came to know the image, reputation and status enjoyed by our country in foreign countries.We got to know all this while talking to people there. They could see that there was a political leader who had committed himself to the upliftment of this country. He used to work hard, upto 2.00 a.m. I was at a loss as to when he got the time to sleep. Perhaps his days were of 25 hours. He was a patriot who believed in selfless service. Not only this, he had warm feelings for everyone and wanted to take the country into the 21st century. He was a man of farsightedness. As someone has said that if the heart lacks passion and the eyes are devoid of benevolence, relationship among humans is not possible. He had the qualities of openness, passion, love and was considerate towards others. He was like the sacred Ganges because everyone who came in contact with him realised the importance of humaneness. Such was the personality of Rajiv Gandhi. Parties may have different ideologies, their own dreams but he never considered the opposition an opposing force. To him they were just people with a different viewpoint.
He firmly believed that democracy is something that needs to be preserved. He recognised the fact that this country became independent due to the sacrifices of the freedom fighters. Democracy is their gift to the people of India and this gift has to be preserved and protected. We have to continue the work initiated by the late Rajiv Gandhi to whom we shall remain indebted forever.
"Hazaron baras apni benuri pe
chaman mein paida hota hai
SHRI EBRAHIM SULAIMAN SAIT: Sir,
62 Res. re. Demise of Rajiv Gandhi and Obituary References
"Hazaron baras Naris apni benuri
pe roti hai
Bad mushkil se hota hai chaman
mein deedawar paida"
SHRI BALRAM JAKHAR: Rightly said. Being an elderly person he has rightly corrected the verse. I was quite right in saying that such a flower is rarely found in a garden. People may pass away but their ideas remain forever. Friends of Rajiv Gandhi whichever party they may belong to always remember him. The untimely demise of Rajiv Gandhi made everyone feel that a patriot and a bright star had passed away.
THE MINISTER OF HUMAN RESOURCE DEVELOPMENT (SHRI ARJUN SINGH): Sir, I appreciate and respect the sentiments of love and grief expressed by the hon. Prime Minister, yourself and other hon. Members.
This is not the time for long speeches, rather it is time for self- introspection. This is the time to understand some fundamental issues and make some firm resolutions. Shri Rajiv Gandhi left his impression on each one of us. This is our legacy and it is our sacred duty to preserve it. But this legacy belongs to the entire nation and not to any particular individual. There is a need to know more about and protect this legacy. On 15th August when India emerged as a new independent nation. the entire world realized that the event signified emergence of new forces on the international scene. These forces help in removing the obstacles which come in the way of progress and establishing self-respect. Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru symbolised these forces and Mahatma Gandhi supported them. It is no secret that there have always been efforts to resist these forces. After remaining in the shackles of imperialism for hundreds of years India under the stewardship of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, Shastriji, Smt. Indira Gandhi and Shri Rajiv Gandhi tried to set high standards of personal freedom, social awareness, political awareness and
63 Res. re. Demise of Rajiv Gandhi and Obituary References
[Sh. Arjun Singh]
economic awareness. Shri Rajiv Gandhi has left behind the same legacy and it is the sacred duty of all the hon. Member of this august House to protect and preserve this legacy least it is forgotton. History is testimony that if we are not watchful, if we are not vigilant and if we tend to overlook the historical fact of preserving this legacy and involve ourselves in petty squabbles and disputes. then we are not worthy of inheriting such legacies. Destiny has played a cruel joke on all of us. Will we remain silent spectators to all this? If so, we forefeit the right of paying homage to Shri Rajiv Gandhi. We have to accomplish the goals that he set not only for the crores of people of the country but also for the future generations and these goals have now in fact be-come national goals.
Mr. Speaker. Sir, we are all small men, but as Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru had once said that howsoever small a man may be, no sooner does he associate himself with great tasks. he also acquires one or the other qulality of greatness. Today all of us can definitely claim of possessing one or the other quality of greatness only by virtue of being associated with Shri Rajiv Gandhi. All I would like to submit today is that Shrimati Sonia Gandhi. Ms. Priyanka Gandhi and Mr. Rahul Gandhi are not just the kin of Shri Rajiv Gandhi but are the national assets and so their security and well-being is the duty of all of us.
It is the time to take inspiration from the greatness and to resolve once again to lay down our lives and make sacrifices even in the face of umpteen grave challenges and threats to the nation by the reactionary and imperialistic forces. This would be the best tribute to the great man who today is not amongst us. Even though Shri Rajiv Gandhi is not amongst us mortally but his reminiscences are there in every nook and corner of the country he visited. So all of us must resolve to tread along the path shown by Shri Rajiv Gandhi.
64 Res. re. Demise of Rajiv Gandhi and Obituary References
To my mind there is no need to highlight the achievements of Shri Rajiv Gandhi, as the future will itself glorify his accomplishments.
With these words I would like to pay my tributes to the departed sou].
We would also like to pay homage to other departed leaders S/Shri Dange, Nagina Rai, Uma Shankar Dikshit and Chitta Mahata figuring in the list.
Through this august House we would also like to convey condolences to the bereaved families of the departed leaders figuring in the list.
MR. SPEAKER: We are passing a Resolution on the sad demise of Shri Rajiv Gandhi as well as we are making an Obituary Reference to his death. I would request the hon. Members to stand up in silence for a short while and then sit and then indicate that the Resolution is passed. We will make Obituary Reference to the other Members also.
The Members then stood in silence for a short while
MR. SPEAKER: I take it that the Resolution is passed unanimously.
The copy of the Resolution will be sent to the members of the bereaved family.
(The Resolution was then adopted)
MR. SPEAKER: We are making obituary reference to other Members also. I have also to inform the House with a deep sense of sorrow to the passing away of several of our
65 Res. re. Demise of Rajiv Gandhi and Obituary References
esteemed friends during the past few months--Sarvashri Chitta Mahata, C.K. Chakrapani. Nagina Rai, Shrimati B.Radhabai Ananda Rao, Sarvashri Gauri Shankar Rai, Jageswar Yadav. Ishwar Chaudhary, S. A. Dange, Uma Shankar Dikshit, Dinesh Goswami. Prabhu Dayal Himitsangka and Bhai Shaminder Singh.
Shri Chitta Mahata was elected to Lok Sabha from Purulia constituency of West Bengal for five successive terms since J 977.
Earlier he had been a Member of the West Bengal Legislative Assembly during 1967-68.
Shri Chitta Mahata began his political career as a trusted follower of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose and actively participated in several peasant movements in Purulia district since his student days.
A well known educationist, he was associated with various social and cultural organisations.
He took keen interest in the proceeding of the House.
Shri Mahata passed away on 7th July, l991 at Ranchi Hospital at young age of 54 years.
Shri C.K. Chakrapani was a Member of the Fourth Lok Sabha during 1967-70 representing Ponnani constituency of Kerala.
A well known journalist he served on the editorial boards of "Navayugom", "Communist" and "Deshabhimani".
An able parliamentarian, Shri Chakrapani never missed any opportunity to focus the attention of the House to the problems faced by the working class.
He expired on 1st March, 1991 at Trichur at the young age of 57.
66 Res. re. Demise of Rajiv Gandhi and Obituary References
Shri Nagina Rai was a Member of the Seventh Lok Sabha during 1980-84 representing Gopalganj constituency of Bihar. Earlier he had been a member of the Bihar Legislative Assembly during 1967-80 and also a Minister in the State Government for several years.
A widely travelled person and an able parliamentarian. Shri Nagina Rai lost no opportunity to focus the attention of the House to the problems faced by farmers. He had also served on the Committee o n Petitions of the House.
An active political and social worker. he took leading, role in the spread of education. He was associated with several educational, social, political and sports organisations in various capacities.
Shri Nagina Rai lost his life in tragic circumstances on 10th April, 1991 at the age of 67 years. His death at the hands of some criminal elements deserves strongest condemnation.
Shrimati B. Radhabai Ananda Rao represented Bhadrachalam constituency of the State of Andhra Pradesh continuously for four terms during Fourth, Fifth, Sixth and Seventh Lok Sabha between l967 and l984.
An able parliamentarian, Shrimati Rao rose from panchayat level to the highest parliamentary forum and successfully drew the attention of the House to the problems faced by women and tribal people. She served as a Member of the Committee on Government Assurances.
Shrimati Rao took active part in propagating family planning schemes in Singareni Collieries and other tribal areas and worked tirelessly for welfare of tribal people. Besides
67 Res. re. Demise of Rajiv Gandhi and Obituary References
being associated with various social and sports organisations, she was a member of Indian National Trade Union Congress during 1962-64.
A widely travelled person, she was a member of several parliamentary delegations to various countries abroad.
Shrimati B. Radhabai Ananda Rao passed away on 17th April, 1991 at Hyderabad at the age of 61.
Shri Gauri Shankar Rai was a member of the Sixth Lok Sabha during 1977-79 representing Ghazipur constituency of Uttar Pradesh. Earlier he had been member of the Uttar Pradesh Legislative Assembly (1957-62) and Legislative Council (1967-76). He served as the Leader of Opposition in Uttar Pradesh Legislative Council.