Sushma Swaraj, VG Siddhartha: Remembering noted politicians, personalities who died in 2019

Updated: Dec 19, 2019, 13:34 | Sunny Rodricks
  • Sushma Swaraj

    Sushma Swaraj:

    Former Minister of External Affairs and veteran BJP leader Sushma Swaraj passed away on August 6, 2019, after suffering a cardiac arrest. Swaraj was 67 years old. A lawyer by profession, Swaraj became the country's youngest Cabinet minister in the Haryana government at 25. Swaraj, who was the first woman Chief Minister of Delhi was elected seven times as a Member of Parliament and three times as a Member of the Legislative Assembly. She also served as the Minister of External Affairs in the Narendra Modi-led government.

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  • Manohar Parrikar

    Manohar Parrikar:

    Former CM of Goa and former Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, who was battling a pancreatic ailment for a year, breathed his last at his residence on March 17, 2019. A four-time Chief Minister of Goa, Parrikar took charge as CM on March 14, 2017, and held the office till the end. He had previously served as the Chief Minister of the state from 2000 to 2002, 2002 to 2005 and from 2012 to 2014. He also served as the Defence Minister under the Narendra Modi government for a short period of time.

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  • Sheila Dikshit

    Sheila Dikshit:

    Senior Congress leader and former Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit passed away on July 20, 2019, following a cardiac arrest. Dixit was 81-years-old at the time of her death. Dikshit served as the Chief Minister of Delhi for 15 years and was the longest-serving Chief Minister of Delhi. She was first elected in 1998. She was appointed as the president of Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee before the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

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  • Arun Jaitley

    Arun Jaitley:

    BJP veteran leader and former Finance Minister Arun Jaitley passed away on August 24, 2019, due to prolonged illness at AIIMS in New Delhi. Jaitley, who was regarded as the Chanakya of politics was 66-years-old at the time of his death. A lawyer by profession, Jaitley held the post of Finance Ministry in Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Cabinet during his first tenure. He had opted out of contesting the 2019 Lok Sabha elections due to health reasons. Jaitley also served as Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha from 2009-2014. Besides being a politician, Jaitley was also a senior advocate at the Supreme Court.

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  • George Fernandes

    George Fernandes:

    Former defence minister George Fernandes passed away on January 29, 2019, due to prolonged illness. He was 88-years-old. He had been diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease for a long time. Fernandes served as the Defence Minister of India, during the Atul Bihari Vajpayee government. A politician, journalist, trade unionist, agriculturist and member of the Rajya Sabha, Fernandes was an important member of the Janata Dal, He had also founded the Samata Party. After being arrested during the 1975 emergency, he contested the 1977 elections from jail and won the Muzaffarpur constituency in Bihar. He also served as Railways Minister in the VP Singh government from 1989 to 1990. He was also instrumental in setting up the Konkan Railway project, connecting Mangalore and Bombay.

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  • Ram Jethmalani

    Ram Jethmalani:

    Veteran lawyer Ram Jethmalani passed away at his residence in Delhi on September 8, 2019. He was 95-years-old. Jethmalani, who was born on September 14, 1923, was a noted politician and lawyer. He served as chairman of the Bar Council of India and India's Union Law Minister. He was also elected a member of parliament in the 6th and 7th Lok Sabha. He also served as Law Minister of India and Minister of Urban Development during the prime ministership of Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

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  • V G Siddhartha

    V G Siddhartha:

    Cafe Coffee Day and managing director V G Siddhartha was found dead on the morning of July 31, 2019. His body was recovered from the Netravati river after 36 hours of an intense search operation. He was cremated on the same day. The coffee baron, who had gone missing since the night of July 29, 2019, was suspected to have committed suicide by jumping off the bridge into the Netravathi river near Karnataka's Mangaluru coast. He was also the son-in-law of senior BJP leader, S.M. Krishna, who previously served as the Chief Minister of Karnataka and was Minister of External Affairs in the UPA-2 government.

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  • Basant Kumar Birla

    Basant Kumar Birla:

    Basant Kumar Birla who is also known as BK Birla, the nonagenarian industrialist and chairman of the BK Birla Group of companies passed away on July 3, 2019, after suffering from age-related ailments. He was 98-years-old at the time of his death. Born on January 12, 1921, BK Birla was the youngest son of legendary Ghanshyam Das, father of Aditya Vikram and grandfather of business magnate Kumar Mangalam Birla. He was considered as the grand old man of the old economy who could confound the best of McKinsey's. In his memory, the seat of the Birla brothers in the city - Birla Building was closed as a mark of respect to B K Birla. Pic/Twitter Nikkhhil Jethwa.

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  • Boman Kohinoor

    Boman Kohinoor:

    Mumbai's Iconic Restaurant Britannia & Co's partner Boman Kohinoor passed away on September 25, 2019, at the age of 97. Kohinoor, who was the senior partner at the legendary Parsi eatery would walk up to every table to confirm if his patrons were enjoying their food or no. He is best remembered from the iconic scene from the film Tezaab (1988) that featured Kohinoor and his equally famous pet rooster at the counter. Kohinoor also had noted celebrities as his guests. One among them was Prince William and Duchess of Cambridge Catherine Middleton who visited Kohinoor during their 2016 visit to the city as part of their India tour.

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  • S Kulwant Singhji Kohli

    S Kulwant Singhji Kohli:

    Former sheriff of Mumbai and Owner of Dadar's landmark restaurant, Pritam Restaurant, and Bar, S Kulwant Singhji Kohli passed away on July 17, 2019, due to a heart ailment. He was 85-years-old at the time of his death. Kohli's restaurant Pritam’s unique cuisine was such a hit that Bollywood actors such as Dharmendra, Sanjeev Kumar, Manoj Kumar, and Rajendra Kumar would visit Pritam for North Indian fare. Later, Kohli went on to open several other restaurants including Toran and later, Grandmama's Cafe, MRP, Grandpa's Den and House of Lloyd.

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  • Jiggs Kalra

    Jiggs Kalra:

    Culinary role model, author, and a top restaurateur, Mumbai chef Jiggs Kalra passed away on June 4, 2019, in Mumbai after he was unwell for quite some time. He was 72-years-old. Kalra had a massive influence on not just the city's, but the country's Food and Beverage industry. Kalra, who was also known as 'Czar of Indian Cuisine' was also a food columnist, author, gastronome and a food consultant besides being a renowned chef and restaurateur. He was the first Asian to be inducted into the International Food and Beverage Gourmet Hall of Fame. In his career spanning over 50 years, he won numerous awards nationally and internationally. Pic/Twitter

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  • Kiran Nagarkar

    Kiran Nagarkar:

    Sahitya Akademi award-winning writer and noted author Kiran Nagarkar passed away on September 5, 2019, after suffering a brain hemorrhage. Nagarkar was 77-years-old at the time of his death. Nagarkar, who was one of the country's most prolific writers worked as a journalist, screenplay writer, and a copywriter along with noted poet Arun Kolatkar. His first book Saat Sakkam Trechalis (1974) was written in Marathi and translated into Seven Sixes are Forty-Three by Shubha Slee in 1980. He received the Sahitya Akademi Award for the best novel in English for Cuckold in 2001

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  • Sadashiv Gorakshkar

    Sadashiv Gorakshkar:

    Sadashiv Gorakshkar, former director of Chhatrapati Shivaji Vastu Sangrahalaya, and one of the earliest and strongest voices of Mumbai's heritage movement passed away on July 13, 2019. He was 86-years-old at the time of his death. He was an author of several books such as Animal in Indian Art and Karle Caves of Western India among others. The author, art critic and museologist was also conferred with the Padma Shri in 2003. Pic courtesy/Wikimedia commons

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  • Darryl D'Monte

    Darryl D'Monte:

    Veteran journalist Darryl D'Monte passed away on March 16, 2019, after he had been treated for cancer a couple of years. He was 75-years-old at the time of his death, D'Monte was well known as a journalist and environmentalist who always voiced for the betterment of the city. From covering the 1992-93 Mumbai Bomb Blasts to raising his voice for environmental issues, Darryl understood the city as an authentic Mumbaikar. He worked with many with leading English dailies and is believed to have mentored many youngsters in the field of environmental journalism

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  • Nana Branche

    Nana Branche:

    Bandra's beloved kindergarten teacher, 99-year-old Nana Branche, who was known for her indomitable spirit passed away on 16 February 2019 after her health started to deteriorate. Branche, who taught at a balwadi (kindergarten school) in Santa Cruz for several decades had suffered a stroke during her trip to the US and another one after returning to India last year

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  • Chandrashekhar Shankar Dharmadhikari

    Chandrashekhar Shankar Dharmadhikari:

    Former Justice of the Bombay High Court Chandrashekhar Shankar Dharmadhikari passed away on January 3, 2019, following a cardiac arrest. He was 91-years-old at the time of his death. Born on November 20, 1927, at Raipur, Dharmadhikari was awarded the Padma Bhushan in 2003. He was appointed as a judge of the Bombay High Court in 1972. He had retired on November 20, 1989.

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  • Vashishth Narayan Singh

    Vashishth Narayan Singh:

    Famous mathematician Vashishth Narayan Singh passed away on November 14, 2019. He was 77-years-old. Born on April 2, 1942, Singh had been suffering from schizophrenia for 40 years. Singh, who is a resident of Basantpur in Bhojpur district is said to have challenged Einstein's theory of relativity

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  • Narayan Reddy

    Narayana Reddy:

    Youtuber Narayana Reddy, who was well-known for his channel 'Grandpa Chef', passed away on October 27, 2019. Reddy had as many as 6.11 million followers on his YouTube channel. He used to cook delicious food items in bulk quantities and donate it to charity. Be it a traditional chicken biryani or an American lasagna, Reddy would cook them with equal panache. Some of his videos like the ones featuring french fries and 100 Maggi noodles garnered millions of views over time. Pic courtesy/Screenshot of Grandpa Chef's YouTube account

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  • Kanchan Chaudhary Bhattacharya

    Kanchan Chaudhary Bhattacharya:

    Kanchan Chaudhary who was the first woman Director General of Police (DGP) passed away on Augst 26, 2019 following an illness in Mumbai. Bhattacharya, who was a 1973 batch IPS officer made history when she was appointed as the DGP of Uttarakhand in the year 2004. She retired as the DGP on October 31, 2007. Post-retirement, Kanchan entered politics and fought the 2014 Lok Sabha election on an Aam Aadmi Party's ticket from Haridwar constituency. Unfortunately, she could not make it to the lower house of Parliament

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  • Gurudas Dasgupta

    Gurudas Dasgupta:

    Veteran CPI leader and former MP Gurudas Dasgupta passed away on October 31, 2019, due to prolonged illness. He was 83-years-old at the time of his death. A fiery orator, Dasgupta never shied away from raising issues concerning the masses and the working class both inside and outside parliament. Dasgupta, who entered politics as a student became a member of the Rajya Sabha in 1985. He was also elected to the Lok Sabha from Panskura and Ghatal constituencies of West Bengal in 2004 and 2009 respectively. Picture Courtesy/ CPI(M) Twitter page.

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  • Babulal Gaur

    Babulal Gaur:

    Former Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh and senior BJP leader Babulal Gaur passed away due to cardiac arrest on August 21, 2019. He was 89-years-old at the time of his death. Gaur, who was suffering from various old-age related ailments was hospitalised for quite some time. From being a Union Trade leader to being an MLA, Gaur emerged as a powerful leader in Madhya Pradesh. The veteran BJP leader served as Madhya Pradesh chief minister from 2004-2005 and represented his traditional Govindpura Vidhan Sabha seat 10 times.

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  • Jagannath Mishra

    Jagannath Mishra:

    Former Congress leader and former Chief Minister of Bihar Jagannath Mishra breathed his last in New Delhi on August 19, 2019, after a prolonged illness. He was 82-years-old at the time of his death. Mishra had been a minister in the Union cabinet and was also a former Chief Minister of Bihar. He represented the Indian National Congress and was elected as the Chief Minister of Bihar three times

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  • Ranjit Guru

    Ranjit Guru:

    Noted journalist and columnist Ranjit Guru passed away on August 18, 2019, following a brief illness. He was 61-years-old at the time of his death. Guru Guru had carved a special identity for himself by highlighting important issues through his writings and columns. He had worked for over three decades in the field of journalism. In 2005, Ranjit had undergone kidney transplant surgery. Ranjit Guru in a pic sourced from YouTube

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  • Mohan Ranade

    Mohan Ranade:

    Veteran freedom fighter and Padmashri Mohan Ranade passed away on June 25, 2019, in Pune following a prolonged illness. He was 89-years-old at the time of his death. Ranade had participated in Goa's independence struggle against the Portuguese rule. He was also a member of the Azad Gomantak Dal, a group of freedom fighters who believed in the doctrine of armed attacks against colonial rule. He served 14 years in prison on account of his struggle for Goa's independence

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  • Robert Mugabe

    Robert Mugabe:

    Zimbabwe's revolutionary leader and long-time dictator Robert Mugabe passed away on September 6, 2019, in Singapore. He was 95-years-old at the time of his death. Mugabe, who served as Prime Minister of Zimbabwe from 1980 to 1987, was dethroned in a military coup in November 2017. The former political prisoner turned guerrilla leader stormed to power in the 1980 elections after a mounting rebellion and economic sanctions forced the Rhodesian government to the negotiating table

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About The Gallery

In 2019, we bid adieu to some of the most celebrated names across politics, business, and various other fields. From noted politicians such as Manohar Parrikar, Arun Jaitley, Sushma Swaraj to celebrated industrialists BK Birla, VG Siddharth and famous Mumbai personalities Ram Jethmalani, Darryl D'Monte, Kiran Nagarkar, here are some of the most respected people we lost this year. 

(All photos: Mid-day photographers, AFP, ANI, PTI, and IANS)