Monday, 9 July 2007
They took advantage of my weak moments: .....Continued...
My wife Shashi was seriously sick after she had to undergo three operations successively for Glycoma at Kanpur, Lucknow and New Delhi with treatment at Shankar Netralaya at Chennai. Last she was at AIIMS where too the operation could not be a success and her condition continued to deteriorate. This was the time I was under a tremendous tension but didn’t abandon sticking to my otherwise hectic schedules often leaving the hospital early in the morning attending talks at different stations and returning by midnight.In one instance I remember having left the hospital around 4.30am to catch flight for Bombay at 6am, attend a meeting at Central Office, leaving for Bhubaneshwar to deal with certain crucial matters locally after which there was no flight for Delhi. As an only alternative, I could get a delayed flight for Kolkata wherefrom I flew to Delhi by a late night International flight and by the time I reached the hospital it was past midnight -2.30 am to find that my wife was in too serious a condition due to post surgery complications.I had actually no dearth of sympathizers and well wishers to look after my wife but my presence by her side did count most which I couldn’t make despite best possible efforts on my part obviously due to my hectic schedules and this is some thing for which I can never pardon myself the whole life. My wife is no more. I do suffer from the pangs of seclusion, I do feel like languishing in her absence and much more I suffer from the guilt that I did default in giving her the amount of my presence she needed most when she was struggling for life. Besides V.K.Gupta and his wife alongwith Bhojraj Sharma who were all the time just a call away for any help and nursing taking care of my wife in most committed a manner, there were others too who felt much concerned with the turmoil I was undergoing. The one person who unfailingly called on her daily was Janki Ballabh, the then GMO, Delhi Circle and later the Chairman of State Bank of India. He meticulously monitored personally to ensure that all required facilities and attendance were all the time available to her without an iota of any lapse any where. I did make a note of it that whatever service he rendered or whatever care he took was not just because I was a top man in All India State Bank of India Staff Federation nor as I was a Director in Central Board of State Bank –it was because he was a close friend of mine –a friend indeed, a friend in need.
As against this there was a coterie too that was hell bent on using my plight to suit their connivance of ousting me from the scene at the apex altogether. The major tool used while hatching the plan being that I was to fall due for retirement from Bank’s service and that no retired person should be allowed to continue in the Union/Federation after he ceases to be in active service. A large scale lobbying on that count was done at a major scale throughout the country simultaneously applying pressure on the Bank’s management and equally the Government. Obviously my otherwise unblemished image was the target and it was hit hard with the coined publicity that I was too lusty a chap and that I was greedy enough to continue in the Organisation even after my retirement. Most conveniently they forgot that on numerous occasions in course of fighting with the management and on the face of the fact that there was always a potential danger of the management/Government taking stern action against me including dismissal from service, I kept my letter of resignation handy in my pocket for submission to Bank before they could remove me from service to demoralize the rank and file in the organization. Such a resignation letter was more particularly all the time in my pocket during Emergency when I had to release a circular to the membership in general that in the event of any drastic action against me they should not at all feel demoralized and take the action in a fighting spirit instead.
Fighting with the management/Government and several set backs caused to me in course of it never diminished my spirits the least, I rather felt more emboldened every time there was an attack on me, every time I was victimized, every time I was dragged into situations alarmingly full of graver consequences. Nothing dismayed me nor any thing could ever compel me to return to a normal life, a normal family life –the common normal choice of every body, compromising the cause I was fighting for my people. At times mainly during Emergency I was on loss of pay for several months as credit balance in my leave account was out of question due to organizational activities and the management was not prepared to give me leave for a day even. My convictions gave me confidence. But a Juleus Caeser in me fell down when attacked by my own friends –a Brutus, an Othello, a coterie.
Infact this was the stage when I really felt caught unawares paying heavily for the convictions I always held uppermost in my life and scheme of things. One of such convictions to which I always stuck was that only those be in the fray to manage a movement who possess necessary skill and capacity to work and not the invalids and that merely because some one ceases to be in active employment he should not be off organizationally. This was awefully twisted calling me names deliberately forgetting the fact that since several years back I was for it. The membership was heavily brainwashed to ignore a big number of senior office bearers who continued in the organization for quite a time after they were no more in active employment. I was hurt, felt shattered and took a decision to quit immediately which ofcourse I failed to do succumbing to stiff resistance from my supporters. (tobe continued)