George Mathew Fernandes is an Indian politician, trade unionist, journalist, farmer and a member of the Bihar State Council. He was the defense minister in Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s cabinet.
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Jorge Fernandez was born on June 3, 1930 (Age 88; when dying) In Mangalore, British India. He attended Government School and Church School in Mangalore. While in 5th class, he joined St. Aloysius College, Mangalore. He dropped out of middle school. In 1946, at the age of 16, George was sent to St. Peter’s Seminary in Bangalore, where he fulfilled his family’s tradition of becoming a Roman Catholic priest. However, the pro-culture in the church led to depression and frustration, and he quit training within three years. Since then, he has worked in various hotels, transportation and restaurants to meet his needs.
In 1949, at the age of 19, George moved to Mumbai in search of work. He worked hard for several days until he was offered a job as a newspaper checker. His interest in journalism led him to become the editor of the Konkani Monthly newspaper Konkani Youth in 1949. He was also the author of the English monthly monthly edition of The Other Side. In addition to being an editor, George was also the head of the Hindi monthly edition of the Opposition.
Jorge Fernandez in his early days
Between the 1950s and 1960s, George was part of a socialist trade union responsible for fighting for the rights of small business workers and launching various strikes throughout Bombay. From 1961 to 1968, he was a member of the Bombay Corporation and advocated for the rights of exploited workers. His immense organizational skills made him a very powerful union leader. His involvement in public welfare issues earned him respect and admiration. In 1967, George was ousted from the South Bombay constituency by senior Congress leader S.K. He defeated Patil by a margin of 48.5% of the vote and became a national figure overnight. George was referred to as “George the Giant Killer” because his success was credited to SK. Brought an end to Patil’s political career.
In 1974, George, the president of the All India Railway Federation, launched a railway strike to end decades of workers’ complaints. More than 1.5 million workers took part in the strike, and thousands more were arrested.
Jorge Fernandez, during the 1974 railway strike
In 1975, George challenged the Emergency, imposed by then-Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, and went underground disguised as a Sikh with a turban and beard. On June 10, 1976, George and others were arrested and charged with smuggling dynamite to explode railway tracks and government buildings. Baroda dynamite case. In 1977, George contested the Lok Sabha elections from jail and won the Muzaffarpur constituency in Bihar.
Jorge Fernandez was arrested during the Emergency
Jorge Fernandez in an emergency
Family, Wife & Caste
George was born Mangalore Catholic family To John Joseph Fernandez (father) and Alice Martha Fernandez (mother). He is the eldest of six children. He had five brothers, Michael Fernandez (union leader), Aloisius Fernandez, Paul Fernandez, Lawrence Fernandez (Socialist political leader) and Richard Fernandez.
George, in 1975 with his brothers and parents
Michael Fernandez, brother of George Fernandez
In 1971, George met Leela Kabir, Daughter of former Union Minister Humayun Kabir, on a return flight from Calcutta to Delhi. The two fell in love with each other. After a long day of dating, they were married on July 21, 1971. The couple had a son, Sean Fernandez, an investment banker in New York.
George and Leila
Son, daughter-in-law and grandson of Jorge Fernandez
In the mid-1980s, problems arose between George and Leila, and they split up. According to reports, George was frequently seen with Leila after his separation Jaya Jaitley, Former leader of the Samata Party.
George Fernandes with Jaya Jaitley
However, after the news of George suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, Leila returned to her life to give him strength during his difficult times.
Jorge Fernandez and Leila
George and Leila with her grandson Ken
From 1969-1973, George Samyukta was the General Secretary of the Socialist Party. From 1973-77 he was the President and President of the All India Railway Federation. After the Emergency in 1977, the Janata Party led by Morarji Desai came to power and George became the party’s senior minister. He became the Union Minister of Industry and forced IBM and Coca-Cola to leave India, claiming that they had violated investment procedures. In 1989, when the Janata Party came back to power, he became the Railway Minister. In 1994, George founded the Samata Party.
George Fernandes with Morarji Desai and Biju Patnaik in 1977
Between 1998 and 2004, George was appointed Minister of Defense in the Second and Third National Democratic Alliance Governments. During his tenure as Defense Minister, he played a key role in strengthening India during the Kargil war against Pakistan and urged India to conduct nuclear weapons tests at Pokhran. In 1999, he became the leader of the Janata Dal-United Parliamentary Party in the Lok Sabha.
George Fernandez with US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld
In March 2001, George was forced to resign as Minister of Defense. Within months, however, he was re-appointed Minister of Defense by Atal Bihari Vajpayee. George has denied allegations of corruption against him in front of the media in the arms procurement scandal.
In 2004, George won the Lok Sabha election for the ninth time. In the 2009 general election, George was unable to run for office following the denial of a Janata Dal (United) ticket. He served as convener and was a capable spokesman for the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance. He is a close friend of the Dalai Lama.
The Dalai Lama congratulates George Fernandez on his 87th birthday
In addition to being an active member of politics, George wrote various books on politics, including “Socialists (1972),” The Kashmir Problem, “” Railway Strike (1974), “” Dignity for All: Essays and Democracy in Socialism (1991), and “George Fernandes Speaks Biography (1991).
Book of Jorge Fernandez
In 1997, George hosted a controversial public meeting of LTTE supporters in New Delhi. He was a supporter of the LTTE’s struggle for a separate state in northern Sri Lanka.
George became the center of the media when a sting operation was carried out by journalist-Matthew Samuel. According to reports, Samuel bribed the then BJP leader, senior Indian Army officer Bangaru Laxman and Samata Party general secretary Jaya Jaitley. Following the sting operation, George was forced to resign as defense minister.
As leader of the Socialist Party of India, George said US diplomatic cables were ready to accept money from the CIA when the French government refused to fund underground sabotage operations.
In 2002, George was convicted of the coffin scandal and accused of buying 500 substandard aluminum urns from the United States, 13 times more than the actual price, to transport the bodies of soldiers killed after the Kargil war.
On October 10, 2006, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) illegally acquired the $ 7 billion ($ 110 million) Barak 1 system from Israel in 2000 against George, Jaya Jaitley and Admiral Sushil Kumar (former Navy Commander). George said that former President of India Dr. ABJ Abdul Kalam had agreed to the missile deal.
As of 2009, Georges has a net worth of approximately .59.5 crores.
Jorge Fernandez suffered from Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. In 2010, at the request of his wife Leela Kabir, he was treated at Baba Ramdev’s Ashram in Haridwar. His brothers were granted visitation rights by the Delhi High Court and later allowed to meet Jaya Jaitley by the Supreme Court of India. George appeared in his last public appearance nine years ago after suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.
The Dalai Lama meets George Fernandez in his last days
Jorge Fernandez passed away on 29 January 2019 in New Delhi.
George won nine Lok Sabha elections from 1967 to 2004.
His father wanted him to be a lawyer.
At St. Peter’s Seminary, he observed various discriminations; In one of them, the rectors of the church ate the best food and sat at tables higher than the seminars. All of this plunged him into despair and depression.
He described his difficult days in Bombay, “When I came to Bombay, I was sleeping on the Sow Patti Sands benches. At midnight the police came and woke me up and told me to move.
George joined the trade union movement in his hometown of Mangalore and P.D’Mello became his mentor.
He is fluent in ten languages including Konkani, Tulu, Kannada, English, Hindi, Marathi, Tamil, Urdu, Malayalam and Latin.
On August 4, 2009, he became a member of the Rajya Sabha after being denied a Janata Dal (United) ticket to contest the Lok Sabha elections.
During his 80th birthday celebrations, he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease and could not even identify his own family members.