Monday, 30 March 2020

“I am a victim of conspiracy”— ND Tiwari

Updated: February 6, 2010 5:27 pm

After the so-called sting operation which showed ND Tiwari, Governor of Andhra Pradesh, allegedly in a compromising position following which he had to resign on health grounds, Uttarakhand’s best-known politician is back in the state’s capital, Dehradun. While talking to Uday India, at his bungalow in the FRI Campus he said that he was a victim of conspiracy, as many of the groups of the Telengana agitation wanted him to declare the formation of the new state which he as a Governor did not had the power to do.

            However, much has been written about the episode, without caring to go into the other aspects of his innings in public life which deserve due mention.

            Mr Tiwari held forth on multifarious topics which brought out the level of his depth of knowledge political and otherwise. He has had a wellknown track record as far as development is concerned. He was a Minister in Uttar Pradesh as far back as 1969, was Chief Minister of that state four times, held a wide variety of porfolios like External Affairs, Finance, Planning and Industry at the Centre and was the first elected Chief Minister of Uttarakhand for five years.

            On the issue of development Mr Tiwari recalled the days he had the privilege of serving the people of this region before the creation of Uttarakhand State as Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh. His view then, as is now, was that the rural masses must get their fare share of the development package. Migration from rural areas to the cities can be curbed only if sufficient development of the far-flung areas as that is in Uttarakhand’s case, takes place. He cites NREGA and the Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme as catalysts to achieve this objective. He also lays emphasis on education with vocational training and adds with a chuckle that he had even sent computers on mules to the far-flung villages. He remembers the setting-up of SIDCUL Industrial estate Haridwar where many industries starting with Hindustan Lever were established. Then he recalls bringing more than forty industries in Selaquin. It was during his term that the chartered accountants university and the petroleum university were established.

            His role in establishing the Dehradun University is well known, the lay-out plan of which took four months to complete, he informed. Paying tribute to the role of the then Governor Mr Sudarshan Agarwal who had played an important role in planning this University, he says the University was proposed and set up as a full-fledged University. “I had taken this into view right at the time of conceiving the plan of the University”, he points out. Mr Tiwari recollects that during his various tenures he was at the helm of affairs during two Maha Kumbhs in Allahabad and one Ardh Kumbh in Haridwar.

Throwing light on the Quit India Movement, in which he actively participated, and went to jail for two and a half years, he remembers that he contracted typhoid in Bareilly jail which resulted in his loss of hearing in the left ear. He was also president of the Allahabad University Students Union which was banned by the then Governor of Uttar Pradesh Sir Mauruce Halett.

            Mr Tiwari also points out that during the Independence Movement Pt Jawahar Lal Nehru had been imprisoned at Dehradun jail and Pandit Nehru’s cell is still maintained as a heritage sight. Talking about Nehru’s magnum opus ‘The Glimpses of World History’, he reveals that it was written in Dehradun. He further says the book brings back to mind what Nehru had written, “Beyond the trees there lie the montains not many miles away, and perched on top of them sits Mussorie. I cannot see the mountains for the trees hide them, but it is good to be near them and to imagine at night the lights of Mussorie twinkling in the far distance.” Pt Nehru was indeed a master of the written word, Mr Tiwari comments, as if going back to an era long past.

            On the India of the future he maintains that Indian democracy has become a “living legend” from the municipality and panchayat to the Parliament. No wonder, he avers, that Barack Obama referred to India in his inaugural address last year. A person well-versed in the realm of public life for 68 years, he laments that not many freedom fighters are around now. This answers itself in many divergent ways the future of India.

By Arvindar Singh from Dehradun

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