New Delhi, Feb.16 (ANI): Concerned over the ongoing developments in the personal life of former Defense Minister and Rajya Sabha member George Fernandes and his health, his distinguished friends and old colleagues have come forward with a public appeal through a joint statement.
Fernandes' friends are deeply distressed at the events of the last few weeks which diminish the image of a great man who, due to a debilitating illness, is unable to defend himself or express himself publicly.
They have appealed for the constitution of a panel of suitable people comprising of his familiar doctors at AIIMS and his long time colleagues and care givers, including the immediate and extended family, through a legal process to ensure a stable atmosphere for him to feel comfortable and at ease.
In their statement, George Fernandes' friends have said that he is one of the most influential of India's political leaders of the last four decades. His entire life has been dedicated to fight tyranny, oppression, corruption, and for the upliftment of deprived sections of our society. His battles for equality, democracy, a free media, human rights and against all forms of injustice are well-known.
"We are also making this public statement to convey our deep concern for the well being, health and care of our friend George. We understand he is being moved from place to place and decisions on his well-being are being suddenly and arbitrarily taken by people who are not familiar with the particular aspects, past progress and treatment of his ailments. This is bound to have a severe adverse impact on his state of mind and body," it adds.
"All unseemly speculation and discussion being carried out in public view about his assets and relationships undermine the values that our friend George stands for. It is our duty as his friends and admirers to ensure him his dignity and to demand respect for what he has done and the choices he has made over so many years," the statement further adds.
The appeal has been issued by Former Union Minister and Ambassador Ajay Singh on behalf of distinguished persons that include Former Chief Justice Supreme Court of India Justice MN Venkatachaliah, Union Minister of New and Renewable Energy and former Chief Minister Jammu and Kashmir Farooq Abdullah, former Finance Minister and Defence Minister Jaswant Singh, Former Governor West Bengal Viren J. Shah, former Member of Parliament Kamal Morarka, Kannada writer U.R. Ananthamurthy, Film producer RV Pandit, Chairman Bajaj Group and Member of Parliament Rahul Bajaj, Vice-Chairman and Managing Director of Kotak Mahindra Bank Uday Kotak, Vice Chairman Essar Group Ravi Ruia, Editor and Publisher of The Pioneer and former Member of Parliament Chandan Mitra, Member of the House of Commons Lord Meghnad Desai, Writer Kishwar Desai, Social activist, Scientist, and Writer Vandana Shiva, and Former President C.I.I Rajesh V. Shah, Eminent dancer, writer Leela Samson, Educationist , former Member of Parliament Dr Beatrix D'Souza, Eminent dancer Dr. Sonal Mansingh. (ANI)