Ananth Kumar: Here's a look at the life and times of the staunch RSS ideologue
With Ananth Kumar’s demise, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has lost a staunch Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) ideologue. Known for being the first person to speak in Kannada in the United Nations, the “most-loved” parliamentarian from Bengaluru, Kumar died early on Monday morning at a private hospital in Bengaluru. He was suffering from cancer for a long time now and had come back from the US in October after treatment at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Centre, New York.
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Known for his political adroitness, Union Minister Kumar, a six-time member of Parliament with a strong political instinct, had managed to be in the inner circle of the central leadership of the BJP — be it under Atal Bihari Vajpayee or LK Advani and now Narendra Modi.
Ananth Kumar’s life at a glance:
- Born in a middle-class Brahmin family on July 22, 1959, in Bengaluru to Narayan Shastri, a railway employee, and Girija N Shastry.
- Graduate in Arts and Law.
- Kumar was associated with the Akhila Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), a student organisation of the RSS, which he served in various capacities, including the state secretary and the national secretary.
- Kumar had even demonstrated against the then Indira Gandhi government’s imposition of Emergency and had also got imprisoned for it for about 30 days.
- Kumar joined the BJP in 1987. He went on become the state secretary, the state president of the Yuva Morcha, general secretary and national secretary.
- Along with state BJP chief Yeddyurappa, Kumar is among a few party leaders who can be credited for the growth of BJP in Karnataka.
- Kumar got elected to Lok Sabha in 1996 from Bangalore South and won it for six consecutive times. It remained his bastion till his passing away.
- He was the “youngest” minister in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s cabinet in 1998. He served as the Civil Aviation Minister, also Minister for Tourism, Sports, Youth Affairs & Culture, Urban development & poverty alleviation.
- Kumar was serving as the Union Cabinet Minister for Parliamentary Affairs and Chemicals and Fertilizers in the Narendra Modi led government
- He is widely credited for implementing Neem Coated Urea and setting up of Jan Aushadhi Kendras with focus on affordable quality health care.
- Kumar was often regarded as the “Delhi face” of the Karnataka BJP
- Kumar is married to Tejaswini and they have two daughters Aishwarya and Vijetha.
- Kumar is the Chief Patron of Adamya Chetana, an NGO involved in social work which he runs along with his wife in the memory of his mother Girija Shastry.
(With agency inputs)
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First Published : 12 Nov 2018, 07:59:46 AM