New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi Saturday paid tributes to social activist and Bharatiya Jan Sangh leader Nanaji Deshmukh, saying he always strove to do something beyond routine work and inspired everyone as an organiser, a political leader and a "sevak".
Releasing the book, "Viraat Purush Nanaji Deshmukh" on Deshmukh's 98th birth anniversary, he said: "Nanaji used to travel across India to expand the organisation. He was never in the papers or news yet he made an impact all over."
Prime Minister Narendra Modi
Old "Jan Sangh karyakartas would tell us - he would give us Rs.1,500 and tell us - 'Jaan ki baazi laga lo' (put your lives at stake). This inspired everyone," recounted Modi, according to tweets posted on the prime minister's website.
"To do something beyond the routine work, this was Nanaji's speciality. As an organiser, as a political leader, as a Sevak...he inspired us in many ways," he said.
"Nanaji also had a scientific temper. He believed in the power of science and technology. Even today several people are working on the path shown by Nanaji. His thought has carried on after him also. His dedication towards Gramodaya was inspiring," he said.
"My interaction with Nanaji happened during Emergency. I got to interact with him, George Fernandes who stayed in Gujarat in those days. Nanaji had immense respect for Jai Prakash (Narain) ji. JP would trust Nanaji a lot," he said.
"Nanaji from jail created an atmosphere and said that we have to fight together and that is when Janata Party was born. Nanaji was proven right. That time many thought even if elections happened we would not win. Leaders were in jail."
How a skillful organizer can changes the course of history can be learnt from the life of Nanaji," he said, citing the organisational exploits of veteran leader from behind bars during the Emergency.
"Then, Nanaji decided he wants to quit politics and devote himself to villages. He did not merely say it but he did it," said Modi.
Introducing the six volume compilation of Deshmukh's works, RSS joint general secretary Dattareya Hosable noted he was more known for the work for rural uplift to which he devoted last three decades of his life and not for political life that he was engaged with till the age of 60 years.
Deshmukh changed for better the lives of thousands of families living in and around Chitrakut where he was engaged in rural uplift, he said, adding his biggest achievement was translating his theoretical ideas into practical reality.
Modi said that by reading the works of veteran leader, people will not only know about him but also about the ideology of the Jan Sangh and positions it took from time to time and issues it focused on.