‘He has the credit of uniting Christian community against the British’

Sirsi: Joachim Alva sacrificed everything for the freedom struggle, Prithviraj Chavan, Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office, has said.

He was speaking after inaugurating Joachim Alva’s birth centenary celebrations at Sirsi Police Grounds on Monday.

From his student days, Joachim Alva used to motivate people against the British rule. He had the credit of uniting the Christian community against the British, he said. Violet Alva, his wife, accompanied him in his venture, he added.

They were a great model to those who fight against “factionism” and “casteism”, Mr. Chavan added.

Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee president Mallikarjun Kharge, who was the chief guest, said that politicians in the past emulated noble ideals. But today’s politicians were after power and full of avarice, he said and added that none of them think about safeguarding democratic values.

The role of the Alva couple was noteworthy because their works were directive to the present day politicians, he said.

Union Minster of State for Labour and Employment Oscar Fernandes, who released a souvenir, said that Joachim Alva was a great freedom fighter.

Veteran journalist M.V. Kamath said that farmers’ suicide had become an alarming factor in the country. Traditional agriculture and marginal land holdings had unnerved the farmers, he said. New technologies in farming and marketing should be introduced and farmers should be given proper guidance, he added.

Union Minister of State for Planning M.V. Rajasekharan and former Minister Jaffer Sharief spoke.

Congress leaders H.K. Patil, Kagodu Timmappa, Umesh Bhat, Niranjan Alva, Mohan Shetty, Blossom Fernandes and zilla panchayat president Gayatri Gowda were present.

Former Minister R.V. Deshpande welcomed the gathering. Congress general secretary Margaret Alva proposed a vote of thanks.