'George’s biography to be published soon'

Former Bishop of Mangaluru Dr Aloysius Paul D'Souza, Alva's Education Foundation Chairman Mohan Alva, Nitte Education Trust chairman N Vinay Hegde, MP Nalin Kumar Kateel and MLA D Vedavyas Kamath offer floral tribute to the portrait of former defence mini

Former defence minister George Fernandes’ younger brother, former MLA Michael Fernandes said that the biography of George Fernandes would be published.

Speaking at a condolence meet by Citizen’s Council Mangaluru chapter at T V Raman Pai Convention Centre in Mangaluru on Saturday, he said that veteran historian and Jamia Millia Islamia Central University’s Centre for the Study of Social Exclusion and Inclusive Policy Officiating Director Dr Rahul Ramagundam was working on the biography and had visited Mangaluru to speak to the close relatives of Fernandes, Michael said.

He lamented that the corruption charges against George Fernandes were unfortunate.

“It was very painful to face the allegations as four of the six brothers, including George, Lawrence, Paul and I, who were active in politics, had never misused a single penny in our entire life. It was false that we brothers had fought over property,” he said.

Michael said that George’s brothers had fewer chances to meet him at his residence in Delhi, after he fell into a vegetative state. As there were restrictions from George’s estranged spouse Laila Kabir, a court procedure followed. The court allowed George’s brothers to meet him for one hour in a month.

He further stated that the New India Cooperative Bank, instituted by George Fernandes, which had transactions worth Rs 1,600 crore, had 30 branches across India. There were plans to open more branches in the days to come.

Former Bishop Dr Aloysius Paul D’Souza described George Fernandes as the leader of masses.

“His concern for poor and underprivileged made him raise his voice for their rights. His contributions to the nation are immense, the former Bishop said.

Nitte Education Trust Chairman N Vinay Hegde recalled that he had a chance to see George Fernandes from close quarters as the latter would come to meet former Lok Sabha speaker Justice K S Hegde, Vinay Hegde’s father.

During the emergency period, George had come in the guise of a priest to meet Justice K S Hegde, Vinay Hegde said.

Alva’s Education Foundation chairman Mohan Alva said George traversed a thorny and rocky path before adoring major portfolios in the Central government including that of the defence minister of the country. While he was still a student at St Aloysius College in Mangaluru, he actively took part in Quit India movement.

MP Nalin Kumar Kateel said that George Fernandes was a true patriot. He lived for the nationalist ideologies he believed in. His flawless political career, simple and ideal life were examples to all politicians.

‘Name Konkan rly stretch after George’

On MCC’s proposal to name Bejai New Road after George Fernandes, Michael said that it wouldn’t be a nice idea to name the particular road after George as the road is a narrow stretch and is not one of the prominent roads of Mangaluru.

Moreover, buildings which reflect George’s memory, including his grandmother’s house at Bejai New Road, cease to exist. There is a demand to name Konkan Railway stretch after George Fernandes, Michael said.

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