Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Personal: Mummy and the Kota bye-election

To be perfectly honest, the idea that anyone from my family would contest the bye-election to the Kota assembly constituency in Chhattisgarh did not cross our minds. Needless to say, it came as a surprise when the three Block Congress Committees- all of which were appointed by the PCC President, Shri Charandas Mahant- unanimously passed resolutions recommending my mother's name for the party ticket. Several others from the constituency felt similarly. While driving through this area to go to my paternal village Jogi-Saar to attend 'Nava Khayi'- a traditional festival where the first harvest is offered to the family deity, Jogi Baba- I was even more surprised to see that walls of mud-houses had already been painted with her name. I've also been told that 31 of the 34 Congress MLAs from the state- i.e., everyone except the LoP, Shri Mahendra Karma, his deputy, Shri Bhupesh Baghel and the incapacitated, Dr. Chetan Verma- have written to the Hon'ble Congress President, Smt. Sonia Gandhi, requesting Mummy's nomination.

My mother, Dr. (Mrs.) Renu Jogi, has never been in public life. Until my father's accident in April 2004, she worked as an ophthalmic surgeon and a professor at the Government Medical Colleges at Indore and Raipur, having graduated from CMC, Vellore. In fact, most, if not all, pre-final MBBS students have read her text-book 'Basic Ophthalmology' (Jaypee Publishers, New Delhi): like her, the book is simple and to-the-point. She has also co-authored a collection of short stories, Phoolkunwar (Raj Publication, Delhi) with my father besides contributing regularly to the popular Hindi monthly, 'Sarita'. Her book on 'Paediatric Nursing', published by the National Book Trust, was awarded a prize by the Union Ministry of Health and Family Planning.

Mummy is not new to Kota. When my father first fell in love with her in 1973-4, she was already quite popular as a beautiful young 'doctorni' working at the Mission Hospital in our native village, Pendra Road. Even after their marriage, she has remained very active in the area. There isn't a village in the entire region where she hasn't personally conducted an eye-camp. She was instrumental in organizing the 'Rajiv Gandhi Life Line Express'- a hospital-train- at Pendra Road and Kota, where thousands of villagers received life-saving on-the-spot medical treatment. In memory of my late sister, Mummy started the 'Anusha Self-help Group for Women': during the past five years, more than 10,000 women, many of them from Kota, Marwahi, Raigarh and the various Central Jails of the state, have received vocational training in traditional kantha (embroidery) work, bringing about the revival of 'Marwahi Art'. The 'Anusha Ashram' at Gaurella (also in Kota Vidhan Sabha) houses an old people's home, training-centre for girls and has undertaken massive afforestation drives in the township. She also opened the 'Muktidham', so that those abandoned by Fate may be cremated with dignity. Very recently, Mr. Nimrania, who supervises the daily working of the Anusha Ashray, was conferred the most respected citizen award by the township's mayor-in-council: his selection has been unanimous, cutting across party-lines.

As a doctor working at Raipur's Government Medical College and Hospital, she persuaded certain prominent citizens to contribute towards providing hot meals to the several attendants of outstation patients at a nominal sum of Rs. 2 per meal. The Rajiv Smriti Van, in which thousands of 'memorial trees' have been planted by the loved-ones of those departed on what used to be barren land, too was her brainchild: not surprisingly, it is a favorite haunt with the capital city's lovers and young couples (incidentally, whenever she visits, she makes it a point not to disturb them!). She also prevailed on our state's top industrial houses- Monnet, BALCO and Jindal, to name a few- to 'adopt' public parks, not just in Raipur but also elsewhere: consequently a lot of goodwill, not to mention good publicity, was generated for them in return for beautifying these derelict spaces. It is obvious to me that she believes that governments can be effective only if they involve active private participation. Although I tend to attribute the shaping of my own belief-system on governance to the writings of the Austrian political economist, Friedrich August von Hayek, the fact is that Mummy has proved time and again that what he has written actually works.

Personally, she is the most courageous person I know. Twice- once after his accident in April 2004 and again when he suffered a stroke in November 2005- she has fought for Papa's life and snatched him from the jaws of death. Not once have I seen her lose her composure, even when Papa and I broke down. When I was in jail, she was my strength: "you are not alone, beta," she would tell me everytime she visited. I wrote a poem for her on her birthday, describing the way I feel about her. For her, it is the best gift I've given her. She is the silent pillar- the anchor- that has held my family together. Even my father's worst opponents hold her in the highest esteem. Everytime I've met Shri Dilip Singh Judeo, he has told me how much he admires her. To me, that speaks a lot about the kind of person she is.

Now, when her name is on the front pages of all the state newspapers, she can't imagine what all this fuss is about. Before leaving for Delhi with my father two days ago, I took her aside, and asked her what she wants: 'your father (Papa),' she said, 'is my number one priority'.


POST-SCRIPT: November 17, 2006. 1:34 a.m.

While the Congress Party is yet to declare its candidate for the Kota bye-election, it has become clear that my mother is not to get the nomination. The reason is the forthcoming elections to the Uttar Pradesh assembly.

The Kota assembly seat has been represented by two Brahmins- Pandit Mathura Prasad Dubey followed by his nephew Pandit Rajendra Prasad Shukla- since Independence. It would therefore send 'a very wrong message' to the electorate of U.P. if a non-Brahmin- i.e., my mother- were given the party ticket from a 'Brahmin seat'. For the record, the Brahmin population in Kota constituency is no more than 2.7% while tribals constitute over 43%.

The choice is now between two candidates: the son of Pandit Rajendra Prasad Shukla, Pandit Sunil Shukla and the city Youth Congress president, who is also called Pandit Rajendra Shukla. The former has already communicated his unwillingness to contest this election; he has also said that in his opinion (shared by the 3 Block Congress Committees of the Kota assembly) my mother is 'the only candidate likely to win'. The latter's greatest asset is his name, which he has in common with the former MLA of this constituency.

As loyal partypersons, we will of course do everything to ensure that the offically declared Congress candidate wins this election.


Post- Post Script

At 12:50 PM today, my mother, Dr. Renu Jogi, was officially declared as the Congress candidate. She filed her nomination papers before the Returning Officer at 2:40 PM, less than twenty minutes before closing time.

She has begun campaigning in earnest.



9 comments (टिप्पणी):

Anonymous said...


Do me a favour.....Have my message read by ur mother(Mrs. Jogi).

Dear Mrs Jogi
First of all congratulations for having received the nomination for the bye-election for Kota.
Have read so much about you through AJ;s Blog,that couldnt resist but to convey my wishes here.
Have never met you personally but you surely sound like someone i would love to meet whenever get an opportunity.
I shall pray that all the "trouble clouds" which have come over your family from past few years should give way to the ray of light soon.

Warm Regards

AJ: Dont forget it to pass on to Mrs. Jogi....Ok?:)

amit tiwari said...

Renu aunty, no doubt, apart from being a very courageous lady, is also very sweet & charming. I never had any problem in conversing with her frankly just becuase of a simple reason that she surrounds herself with an aura of simplicity & grace. Beyond any doubt she is one of the best human beings I have ever come across in my short but fulfilling life-span. Her motherly charm has always been a source for me to get attached to her whenever possible. Although Amit bhaiya is very dear to me but I must mention that these words for aunty are not affected by the love for Amit bhaiya. Infact, aunty will win over within me if a comparison is made.
If her nomination is sealed by congress's official stamp, I am sure that she will not only win but also will serve the people of Kota with all the love & immense grace.
I wish her all the best wishes with all the love & respect I have for her.

Ujjwal said...

Congrates Renu Aunt.

gag said...

last time when i met amit mother it was at their talkatora residence.The first thing i noticed was how much similarity exists between amit and aunty .... The calmness and maintaining right composure at all times...
amit has got tremendous intelligence and discipline from his father and beautiful eyes and great smile from his mother...
Dr.renu has significant contribution for the medical field as a renowned specialist along with social service for the masses.
I am sure she will prove to be great leader for the people of kota...
with all the very best wishes for her success


Anonymous said...

"The past leads us
Only when we force it to
Otherwise it shuts us
In its asylum with no gates
We make history
Or it makes us."
-Marge Piercy
so its time to create history.wishing Mrs.Jogi best of luck.

Anonymous said...


Please accept my heartiest Congratulations for Mrs. Jogi's victory in the elections.


Atul said...

Heartiest congratulations to Renu Aunty, Jogi uncle and Amit Bhaiya for securing a landslide victory...

Anonymous said...

Another Good news...

Congratulations to Renu aunty & 3 cheers to Jogi Family...

Ms. Jogi..

संजीव तिवारी said...

आज बरसों बाद

मुझको सबसे पुरानी याद

अचानक याद आई -

इक्‍कीस गरस पहले वो पहली जुदाई :

नीलगिरी पर मेरा आपसे बिछडना

बिछडकर सुबक-सुबक के रोना

और 'गीता मैम' का हम दोनों को चुप कराना

मुझे स्‍कूल छोड आपका अकेले घर वापस चले जाना ।

सदी का फासला तय करके

न जाने कैसे
मैं उस पल वापस लौट आया हूं ?
फिर वहीं उंन उंची इमारतों के नीचे खडा

एक अजीब सा एहसास दुबारा महसूस कर रहा हूं -
बदन पे कोई चोट नहीं हैं

फिर वे दर्द कैसा ?
आपको रोते देख मैं क्‍यों रो रहा हूं ?
बस आंसू -

नहीं बरसते
शायद गुजरे वक्‍त की तडकती धप

में सब सूख सा गया

दिलों में दरारें पड गई -

मैं बडा हो गया ।

न जाने अब वो बचपन का सावन कब आयेगा ?
कब रेगिस्‍तान में फिर फूल खिलेंगें ?
जुदाई के उस पल के बाद

न जाने दुबारा हम कब मिलेंगें ?

हमारे बीच बढती

ये दीवारों की दूरियां

कब पिघलेंगी ?


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CONTACT ME. मुझसे संपर्क करें

Amit Aishwarya Jogi
Anugrah, Civil Lines
Raipur- 492001
Chhattisgarh, INDIA
Telephone/ Fascimile: +91 771 4068703
Mobile: +91 942420 2648 (AMIT)
Skype: jogi.amit
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