New Delhi [India], October 11 (ANI): Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Monday paid respect to Nanaji Deshmukh on his 105th birth anniversary, calling him "true worshiper of Gramodaya and Antyodaya".
Taking to Twitter, the Home Minister said "Nanaji fought a lifelong struggle to empower the village, poor and farmer by awakening the spirit of self-reliance across the country".
"By establishing high ideals of service and chastity in politics, he (Nanaji) worked to connect power with service," Shah said.
Born on October 11, 1916, in the small town of Hingoli in Maharashtra, Deshmukh represented Uttar Pradesh's Balrampur constituency in the Lok Sabha from 1977 to 1979. From 1999 to 2005, he also served as a nominated member of the Rajya Sabha.
One of the founding members of Bharatiya Jan Sangh, Deshmukh established a chain of RSS-inspired schools throughout India.
He was associated with the RSS till his death at the age of 94 in 2010.
When the Janata Party government was formed in 1977, Nanaji was requested to join the government as a minister but he did not do so.
Nanaji followed Jaiprakash Narayan and preferred to devote himself to rural development and making villages self-reliant, free from poverty.
After quitting politics in 1980, Nanaji, through the Deendayal Research Institute (DRI), set up alternative rural development models based on traditional knowledge in the remote areas of Gonda and Chitrakoot in Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh respectively. Some were established in Maharashtra's Beed too.
In 2019, Nanaji was awarded the 'Bharat Ratna' posthumously.
His contributions in the field of rural development and social transformation were carried forward by the DRI, which has now expanded its work to many more states.
The veteran also played a key role in the Jai Prakash (JP) movement against Emergency in 1974 and was instrumental in the formation of the Janata Party government in 1977. (ANI)