The “gentleman” President Venkataraman is no more


Former President Mr. R Venkataraman passed away on January 27, 2009 at the ripe age of 98.

He will be long remembered as the “gentleman President” for his affable nature, quite rare amongst leaders in the India politics particularly these days.

Not many youngsters knew that in the post Independent India, industrialization started in a big way in Tamil Nadu (and later in many other States) and Mr. Venkataraman was responsible for putting Tamil Nadu in the forefront. The Industrial Training Institutes and the concept of industrial townships / industrial areas are also credited to him. Along with Mr C Subramaniam who changed the agricultural landscape of Tamil Nadu (and later India), Mr Vekataraman has contributed a lot under the able Congress leader Mr K Kamaraj – something the current generation has ben forced to forget by the powers that be.

 

Mr. Venkataraman had a very distinguished career as Finance Minister and Defence Minister before becoming the Vice President, and later the President of India.

Many of us in IIT Kanpur in 80s and 90s had direct interaction with the former President. His daughter Mrs Vijaya Ramachandran used to live in IIT Kanpur campus (her husband Prof R Ramachandran was our distinguished colleagues in the Physics department); we had the former President as the Convocation Chief Guest once. The President along with the First Lady had visited IIT Kanpur campus more than once.

The grateful Nation will remember him long for his contribution much after he is gone in physical form from this world.

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