A TRIBUTES to Sri Ananth Kumar.UNION minister of Govt of India
BJP EXPANDED in South INDIA Due to ANANTH KUMAR with support of B.S.Yeddyurappa
By *S.A.HEMANTH KUMAR
Barring a few notable and honourable exceptions in world history, leaders are seldom born. Becoming a leader is a process; they evolve into leaders after trials and tribulations; efforts and attempts; after many failures and then succeed to become leaders. But in some people leadership qualities are in-born; it is intrinsic; they only wait for an opportunity to exhibit and demonstrate such qualities.
Two of such personalities who evolved into leaders and thereby towering personalities but bestowed with leadership qualities intrinsically are B.S. Yeddyurappa and Ananth Kumar, popularly called as the bull-couple of the Karnataka BJP. Both come from economically humble background from two culturally-distinct districts. While BSY was the son of an agricultural labour from Bhookanakere in Pandavapura taluk of Mandya district, Ananth Kumar was the son of a clerk in Railways at Hubli.
While BSY is 76 now, Ananth Kumar – who left this world all too suddenly was just 59, a big gap of 16 years. Age-gap notwithstanding, however, both worked as a team; proved that they are a perfect combination to take up any assignment and ensured that they succeed. Not that there were no differences between the two; these were perceptional differences due to their capacity to think differently but they were matured and sober enough to sink their differences in the larger interest of the party.
BJP as well as its erstwhile avatar as the Bharatiya Jana Sangh, was just a peripheral party in Karnataka. When the BJP won 18 seats in the 1983 Assembly elections, political pundits were flabbergasted; how can a peripheral party win so many seats. The fact was that of the total 18 seats, BJP had won eight seats in the then un-divided Dakshina Kannada district alone.
But even with these 18 seats, the BJP had remained as a cadre-based party. It was still considered as the party of the urbanites; upper class; upper caste and nothing to do with the dalits, OBCs and farmers.
It was the ascent of Yeddyurappa as the President of the BJP on 2nd February 1988 and appointment of Ananth Kumar as the State General Secretary of the party thereafter enabled the BJP to spread its wings –socially as well as geographically. Both burnt mid-night oil and evolved numerous campaigns pertaining to farmers, dalits and OBCs. The mammoth congregation of 50,000 farmers in September 1988 in Bangalore shocked BJP’s adversaries and surprised its admirers.
Due to tireless efforts of BSY –Ananth Kumar, the BJP won 40 Assembly seats in the 1994 election. But before that the BJP won four Lok Sabha seats by polling 29.87 per cent of votes in the 1991 elections. From then on there was no looking back. The BJP won 44 seats in 1999, 79 in 2004 (Ananth Kumar was the President at that time) and 110 in 2008 elections. While BSY emerged as mass leader pan Karnataka, Ananth Kumar worked as the brain and spine of the party. He was elected as MP from Bangalore South for six five consecutive terms starting 1996.
Ananth Kumar never discriminated anybody either on the basis of caste or creed or party. In his capacity as Union Minister he was instrumental in getting Metro Rail, International Airport to Bangalore City. Janaoushadhi scheme, neem-coated urea, reducing the prices of stents and knee-transplant. These pro-people measures will make him remain etched in the psyche of the common man for a long time to come.
By the dint of his conduct and behaviour as well as performance both as MP and Union Minister, Ananth Kumar proved to be the most authentic and effective voice of Karnataka at the Centre – irrespective of whether the party was in power or not. He made conscious attempt to learn Hindi and assiduously cultivated friends in the national capital so that his voice is heard in the corridors of power as well as in the media.
A delegation of dharmacharyas, NGOs, environmentalists from both Karnataka and Tamil Nadu led by Veda Brahma Dr Bhanu Prakash Sharma had visited Delhi. The purpose was to prevail upon the Central government to set up a task force for taking up Cleaning River Cauvery Mission. The delegation was in Delhi for three days, starting 9th December 2015.
First the delegation called upon Ananth Kumar at his office. He gave us a patient. Following the “aadesha” from Gurugalu Dr Bhanu Prakash Sharma, the presentation was done by S. A. Hemantha Kumar, senior journalist who was also part of the delegation. Ananth Kumar was extremely impressed by the cogent, convincing and logical manner in which the entire concept was presented in a crisp and precise way.
Ananth Kumar promised to take up the issue with the concerned ministers and also prepare a note to be presented to the cabinet for consideration. He also made arrangements for the delegtion to call on BJP President Amit Shah, Union Minister for Home Rajnath Singh, Union Minister of state for Food Processing Sadhvi Niranjan Jyothi, Union Minister for Water Resources Sadhvi UmaBharathi, Union Minister for Statistics D. V. Sadananda Gowda, Shimoga MP and former Karnataka chief minister B.S. Yeddyurappa and Udupi-Chickamagalur MP Kum Shobha Karandlaje.Senior journalist based in Delhi Sri Kumar Rakesh felicitated the meeting with Ananth Kumar and other leaders.
Ananth Kumar was very courteous to the delegation and took keen interest in making our visit comfortable. That he organised snacks, tea and coffee needs no mention. He personally enquired about our stay and transportation in Delhi and told us not to hesitate to ask any help.
The BJP and ABVP cadre in particular and Sangh Pariwar in general as well as his non-political friends will remember him for his affable character and his ever-smiling attitude because of which he never antagonised anybody and never spoke ill or negative of anybody. Given the deep impact Ananth Kumar has made on the psyche of millions of his friends and admirers, it is extremely difficult for us to believe that he is no more. For me, Ananth Kumar’s death is like wrenching away of some part of mine.
A leader with keen political acumen; abundant presence of mind; amazing common sense; inimitable sense of humour; impish innocence; tireless worker; meticulous in thoughts and action; workaholic to the core; marvelous clarity; indomitable courage of conviction – that sums up Ananth Kumar, whom I know since 1981.I was in the State BJP Office and he was the All India General Secretary of the ABVP. We used to meet Opposite Majestic Bus Stand at about 10.30 PM to eat hot idlies from one of the push-cart.
Ananth Kumar joined the BJP in September 1987 when I was the state office secretary. Both grew up together – he was three years elder to me – he in politics and I in the field of journalism. He always encouraged me and twisted my ears when he thought I have gone wrong. Ananth Kumar has been in my life for the last 37 years.He was surprised when I called his wife, Tejasvini as Vyni, means Attige, Sister-In-Law. Ananth was surprised to hear that from word from me. “How do you know that word. It is Marathi”? he asked. I just smiled at him.
I always touched the feet of Tejasvini Vyni and took her blessings. For me Attige means second mother. It was inexplicable for Ananth Kumar as to how comfortable I was and how natural it was for me to touch the feet of my Vyni – Tejasvini – in front of everybody and seek her blessings. He used to look at me with astonishment but never said anything.
Ananth Kumar will be in my memory for all times to come. I pray for his Sadgathi Sadgathi Sadgathi. Om Shanti Om Shanti Om Shanti…Ananth Kumar Amar Rahe; Amar Rahe; Amar Rahe.
*S.A Hemanth Kumar is Sr Journalist based in Bangaluru & known to Mr Ananth Kumar more than 35 Years.