Pro-Democracy Burmese must not forget George Fernandes
Posted on September 22nd, 2010

Nava Thakuria

 It was a grand Burma Convention held in New Delhi six years back and the prime mover of the event was a dynamic Indian political leader with socialist background, George Fernandes. The convention received wide coverage in the media and made a significant impact on the Indian civil society groups and its outlook towards the pro-democracy movement of Burma under the leadership of Aung San Suu Kyi.

 I met the great trade unionist turned politician George Fernandes for the first time in the convention. I remember the former Indian Defense minister signed each and every invitation card to the convention. And during the meeting, almost all speakers, including a number of parliamentarians from our neighbouring countries addressed him as “ƒ”¹…”Uncle George’.

 Seasoned politicians, representatives of civil society groups, eminent editor-journalists of India and a large number of Burmese exiles from around the word attended the convention. The former Indian President R Venkatraman also addressed the gathering. Amazingly, every one paid their heartiest respect to Uncle George and expressed their solidarity to his relentless mission for restoring democracy in Burma.

 But recently I got a shock when i had the opportunity to see George Fernandes. Stricken with Alzheimer’s disease, expressionless and much enfeebled, the eighty crossed politician is but a shadow of his former firebrand self.

 Once a powerful trade unionist and political leader, tremendously popular among the working class, and even smong the soldiers, George Fernandes has been dragged into an unwanted controversy for his custody. His wife, who was otherwise not with him for a decade suddenly emerged as his sole caretaker and started preventing his brothers and long time politician friend Jaya Jaitely to meet the leader.

 “George Fernandes was born on June 3, 1930 at Mangalore in Karnataka. After completing his early education in Mangalore, he came to a seminary near Bangalore. Of course, George did not prefer the preaching and even rebelled against the authorities. Then, he moved to Bombay (Mumbai) and finally emerged as a winning candidate (Samyukta Socialist party) in the 1967 election. Later he come out as the Union minister for Industries, Railways and Defence time to time,” stated in a leaflet.

 Another important feature of his personality was his commitment to the democratic movement in our neighbouring Burma. A New Delhi based Burmese exile declared, “George Fernandes was an absolute supporter of the pro-democracy movement of Burma and his official residence gave shelter to many Burmese democracy activists including underground exile leaders. A huge picture of 1991 Nobel peace laureate Suu Kyi was put in the wall of his residence and nobody could miss a glimpse of it.”

 No way I am judgmental, who should get the authority to look after the great leader during his last days, but of course would like to appeal to all the relative and well wishers of George Fernandes, to pay utmost respect to him in last days. I am however convinced that the pro-democracy Burmese community would not forget the great personality, who toiled for all the initiatives for restoration of democracy in their land.

3 Responses to “Pro-Democracy Burmese must not forget George Fernandes”

  1. Sri Rohana Says:

    George Fernandes was a supporter of racist tamil terrorists LTTE. As a minister of defence he ordered Indian navy not to intercepting tamil terrorists boats carrying arms and ammunutions to tamil terrorists. He supported openly for the tamil terrorists suspects who killed their god father Rajiv Gandhi. As a socialist on what basis he supported Pro-Western capitalists, neo nazi ultra racist tamil terrorists muderers.
    He is a typical Indian, he without any shame changed his policies according to his personal benifit. Being a minister in a country who agreed to “Pancha Seela” in 1955 Bandung summit(non agression and peaceful friendship plus 8 other principals). He as a Minister of Defence openly endorsed nuclear tests but as a trade unionist he was for nuclear desarmants.
    Though he was a socialist trade unionist on what principals he joined to form the BJP government with Hindu (shive sena)fundamentalist A.B Vajpayee and Lal Advani. That it self shows he was a typical opportunist another Indian corrupted politician and not even worth to write a coloum on him.

  2. Gangdhi Says:

    Three quarters of the cultivated land in Burma was owned by the Indians when British Raj was the absentee land lord.

    Burmese kicked out these Indiane colonial parasites as soon as they were free.

    Burma under the British and Icndians provided rice to the colonial parasites in Fiji, Ceylon, Malasia, Kenya, South Africa, ……
    Samayukta party (Indian Socialists)are tame as the Samasamajists of Ceylon.

    They all support the Indian colonial parasites.

  3. Sri Rohana Says:

    Nava Thakuria, George Fernadez interfered to internal matters of other countries. Being a minister of defense he openly supported tamil racist terrorists in Sri Lanka, Tibet anti Chinese movement and in Myanmar’s western backed Sui Kyi. In all three scenarios one single factor is obvious. The western capitalists are the godfathers of every situation and Indians backed them. How come a so-called socialist minister approved western capitalists? As a Trade unionists he appealed to “Unite workers of the world against the capitalists” but when he became a minister in Hindu fundamentalist “shiva sena” BJP capitalists government he openly supported capitalist cat’s paw LTTE and Sui Kyi. What a crap double agent? Is he a CIA agent?
    He involved in several financial scandals. Therefore he is not suited to consider as a socialists at all. If he involved in rackets punishment shall be a death penalty. Better to consider George Fernandez as a capitalist’s racketeer or a death person.

    When he was the minister of defense he was searched twice at the USA airports on suspicions. May be drugs or smuggling? What a shame diplomacy of US toward a foreign VIP. If so what action he took against USA? So-called revolutionary trade unionist behaved like a slave in front of his slave master. Typical Indian slave mentality!

    Was he for democracy in Myanmar? Why not he for the democracy in India? More than 25% (200million) Indians living below the poverty line. 50% Indians don’t have drinking water and toilets. Best example is “Slum dog millionaire”. What was the action he took to upgrade Mumbai shanties? Rather than criticized others he should clean his back yard first. Typical Indian politician!

    We Sri Lankans don’t have any respect to tamil terrorists supporter George Fernandez. Nava Thakuria, it is a shame to use Lanka Web to inflate a Sri Lanka’s enemy who supported the racist tamil tiger terrorists openly.

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