Normally it used to be a good morning for me and my friends while on our morning walk. However, today it was not a good morning for me. The reason was the bad news that I received from my news editor about the passing away of former Chamarajanagar Congress MP R. Dhruvanarayan, who is also the Working President of Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC).
Though I did not know him very intimately, I had met him a couple of times and once even shared the stage. Among the politicians I have met in the last 45 years in Mysuru and Chamarajanagar districts, I found him the most ideal people’s representative, a person who is worthy of becoming an MLA, MP or a Minister. He was a person who conducted himself in a way even angels would say that he was worthy of God’s love. This is because, no matter to which party he belonged, it did not change his attitude. Once in 1999 he had contested from BJP and lost. He considered himself as a servant of the God — Janata Janardhan — and served the people irrespective of caste, creed, religion or wealth. Which was why Dhruvanarayan was a politician who made the difference. Whenever he contested there was no need for the voter to think before voting unless there was ideological reason to avoid Dhruvanarayan. He later joined the Congress. Understandably, he saw success thereafter twice as MP from Chamarajanagar and as MLA from Santemarahalli and from Kollegal.
Interestingly, in 2004 Assembly election in Santemarahalli Constituency, he won against his old political rival A.R. Krishnamurthy by just one vote. Whether as an MP, MLA or just a Congress party worker his service to the needy continued to be the same always. People of Chamarajanagar will remember the service he rendered on war-footing during those desperate days of COVID-19. At that time for many in situations of denial he was the great provider of food-kits. Education-wise he was academically well-qualified which might be the reason for being able to deliver effectively serving the community whether in power or not.
To illustrate the sublime humanitarian nature of Dhruvanarayan, let me recall an episode told to me by a friend some years ago. Dhruvanarayan was the MP of Chamarajanagar Constituency. At that time, Mysuru also had one MP. There was a young lady teacher with a child who was working in a city school. Unfortunately, her husband died. Circumstances made her to quit the job and she wanted to admit her child in the Kendriya Vidyalaya in city next to DFRL. She requested the Principal of the school to make a request to the Mysuru MP to get her child admitted to Kendriya Vidyalaya as MPs have their own quota. The Principal, knowing her predicament, went to the Mysuru MP and pleaded her case. The MP’s reaction was rather anti-social and anti-humanity. He chastised the Principal saying you have come late. ‘I have finished all my quota.’ Period. Crestfallen, the Principal conveyed the disappointing news to the lady.
When the Principal shared this incident with a friend of his, the friend suggested that he approach Dhruvanarayan and he might help. When the Principal said, “but Dhruvanarayan is an MP from Chamarajanagar and the Kendriya Vidyalaya is in Mysuru, which comes under Mysuru MP,” the friend said there was nothing wrong in trying and Dhruvanarayan was a very understanding and helpful person. Thus taking a chance, the Principal approached Dhruvanarayan who collected all the information about the lady and the child’s aptitude promising to help. Nearly 15 days passed, there was no news. So the Principal called Dhruvanarayan who was in Delhi at that time. He told the Principal that he had visited the concerned office and the child had been given admission.
Hearing this, I was convinced that this episode is a classic example of a good people’s representative who works for the public good rather than for private gain. It is also an example to show the difference between a corrupt MP and an honest MP. For Dhruvanarayan, not being the MP from Mysuru Constituency did not matter nor was there a need to tell a lie. He found a helpless widow and honestly reached out to help her. That in fact is the credo of democracy and the very purpose of electing a people’s representative.
Which is why it is said, ‘think before you vote.’ The voter may take money from all the contesting candidates, but, while voting, it is advisable to vote for the good candidate like Dhruvanarayan irrespective of the political party to which the candidate belongs.
The sudden passing away of Dhruvanarayan in Mysuru today is indeed an irreparable loss to the politics of Chamarajanagar district which he had served like the real servant of people. May his tribe increase. RIP.
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