Tamil Nadu

‘Keshav Desiraju, a rare intellectual of great personal integrity’

Former Secretary of the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare Keshav Desiraju, who passed away earlier this month, was a rare intellectual of great personal integrity and moral independence, N. Ram, Director, The Hindu Group Publishing Private Limited, said on Friday.

Speaking at an event organised online by the Chennai Chapter of the Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH) to pay tributes to the late IAS officer, Mr. Ram said Desiraju left a deep imprint on everyone who knew him or encountered him.

Exemplary contributions

Desiraju achieved a great deal on the ground by standing by his values and well-considered views on what he believed was beneficial to society. He did this without drawing undue attention to his own exemplary contributions in the fields of health, education, consumer affairs, and even heritage, Mr. Ram noted.

The discussion was organised as a reminiscence of a talk that Desiraju delivered in 2017 as part of INTACH’s ‘Those were the days’ series on eminent historian Sarvepalli Gopal, son of former President Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan and Desiraju’s uncle.

Mr. Ram said the talk, which was instructive, elegant and easy flowing, was a little gem that could take Gopal and his works to the present generation.

Highlighting that Gopal could be considered the father of contemporary history in India without any exaggeration, he said the late historian was also a distinguished biographer.

Highlighting Gopal’s focus on fine, clear and evocative writing of history as opposed to the mundane, pedestrian and dense style of writing history, Mr. Ram stressed the need to take Desiraju’s talk to a wider audience.

Gopalkrishna Gandhi, former Governor of West Bengal, said the lecture of Desiraju, which was played at the event, was a revelation and lauded the professionalism with which he dealt with the subject.

Echoing Mr. Ram’s suggestion, he appealed to INTACH to bring out the lecture in text format.

Sujatha Shankar of INTACH’s Chennai Chapter recollected Desiraju’s association with the organisation and his contributions.

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Printable version | Nov 28, 2021 5:28:41 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/keshav-desiraju-a-rare-intellectual-of-great-personal-integrity/article36660701.ece

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