Shri AnanthKumar, a 6-time Member of Parliament from the prestigious Bengaluru South was a true multi-faceted personality. The best way to understand him would be to understand what he stood for and causes that he championed. Both his public life and personal life over 3 decades bears testimony to the same.
His key focus areas as a public personality were –
- Keen focus on delivering good Governance, with both social and economic objectives in mind
- Youth and women empowerment, as a step towards a strong society
- Passion for protecting environment and propagating a Green Lifestyle
- Pride in Indian and Kannada culture (art, heritage, religion, language)
Good Governance for Shri AnanthKumar meant taking care of the last person in the line and that any initiative must be effective & helpful to the common man. Getting Bangalore International Airport, setting the ball rolling for Metro for Bengaluru, 100% Neem coating of Urea, reviving 6 closed fertilizer plants, transformation of Jan Aushadhi scheme, price reduction for essential medical devises like cardiac stents and knee implants are just some of his transformative initiatives in various ministries he handled. His concern for youth was evident in the massive skill development program in both plastic and pharma domains (CIPET & NIPER), helping thousands of youth gain useful employment. A fast learner, starting as the youngest minister in Sri Vajapayee ji’s cabinet in 1998, he handled multiple ministries in PM Shri Modi ji’s cabinet.
His passion for nature moved him to launch a massive ground-level campaign, “Green Bharat 1:1 to increase green cover of our cities. He also launched multiple other “Green LifeStyle” programs under the umbrella of Sasyagraha to promote awareness increase adoption of a Green Life.
Keeping the well-being of the society and its future – the children of today, Adamya Chetana, the NGO he founded in 1998 has been delivering hot, tasty, nutritious mid-day meals to around 1.5 lakh children each day. And this noble cause becomes doubly praiseworthy as the food is cooked in a “Green Kitchen” (no fossil fuel and zero garbage)!
His pride in our culture & nation can be seen from his launch of innovative ideas like Sindhu Darshan as a minister of Culture, leveraging technology to make museums and places of archaeological importance become more informative, renovating multiple tourist places to make them more accessible.
His mother Smt. Girija Sastry was the guiding spirit behind his values in his life. She, despite suffering from cancer, continued to work for the poor till the very end. She also instilled him the values of putting the society above self. He carried these values and believed in “Nation first, party next self last”. She also gave a copy of Bhagavadgita at an early age, which he carried till the end and would read from it every day.
Shri AnanthKumar, a young student, rose to fight against the dark days of the Emergency and was jailed for weeks. He continued for fight for justice – first for students and then for the society as he emerged as a young student leader. He was an active ABVP member and took on increasingly higher responsibilities in ABVP – at state and national levels. He later joined BJP and rose to become its national general secretary and the youngest cabinet minister in Vajapayee ji’s givernmant and held several ministries which he transformed. Then, he held ministries like Chemicals & Fertilisers and Parliamentary Affairs in Modi ji’s government where he again delivered break-thru innovation and results.
He continued working across the aisles in the interest of the nation even when he was seriously ill. Even to the very end, he chose to keep his health issues private while he prioritised the country over his own well-being. His dedication to the country – serving the society for decades, his easy accessibility to everyone, his ever smiling personality makes him a role model for the next generation of leaders.