How many leaders would say no to a tomb or a statue of themselves? Not many. The former President of India Neelam Sanjeev Reddy is one of them. He was a freedom fighter who was imprisoned during the Quit India Movement, a former Chief Minister who spearheaded many welfare schemes, a former Lok Sabha Speaker and a former President of India also the youngest President whose presidency was at a time of political turmoil in India during the Janata Party Revolution against the Indira Gandhi government.
Resigning from Congress to maintain neutrality of Speaker post
The post of a speaker is a very important one and is crucial in the functioning of Parliament and Democracy. The speaker is supposed to be independent of any party affiliations when in the chair. To set an example, Neelam Reddy quit from the Congress Party to emphasize on the independence of the post of speaker and the need to be independent despite the constitution does not mandate a speaker to do so. Such was the standards he set as the speaker.
When he said no to a tomb of him
A statue of him was unveiled by then Congress President and respected leader Kamaraj in Vijayawada. Neelam Reddy was quick to ask for its removal citing it as a not a good practice to erect statues of people holding public office. Neelam Reddy throughout his public life has set many such precedents which many of our present crop of leaders have abandoned.
Neelam Reddy was a member of the Madras Legislative Assembly, secretary of the Congress Legislative Party and also a member of the Indian Constituent Assembly. He was a union minister before he went on to become the Chief Minister. Neelam Reddy’s chief ministership is much known for the importance given by his government to Rural Development and agriculture.
The Logical Indian hopes the present leaders get inspired from the humility exhibited by Neelam Reddy in Public life, the high standards he set during his time in Parliament and the way he was pro-people during his tenure as Chief Minister.