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Episode 637

George Fernandes
Wed, 2019-Jan-30 01:57 UTC
Length - 3:23

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Welcome to popular Wiki of the Day where we read the summary of a popular Wikipedia page every day.

With 174,091 views on Tuesday, 29 January 2019 our article of the day is George Fernandes.

George Mathew Fernandes (3 June 1930 – 29 January 2019) was an Indian trade unionist, politician, journalist, freethinker, and member of Rajya Sabha from Bihar. He was a key member of the Janata Dal and the founder of the Samata Party. He held several ministerial portfolios including communications, industry, railways, and defence.A native of Mangalore, Fernandes was sent to Bangalore in 1946 to be trained as a priest. In 1949, he moved to Bombay, where he joined the socialist trade union movement. Becoming a trade union leader, Fernandes organised many strikes and bandhs in Bombay in the 1950s and 1960s while working with the Indian Railways. He defeated S K Patil of Indian National Congress in the 1967 parliamentary elections from the South Bombay (now south Mumbai) constituency. He organised the 1974 Railway strike, when he was President of the All India Railwaymen's Federation. Fernandes went underground during the Emergency era of 1975, while challenging Prime Minister Indira Gandhi for imposing a state of emergency, but in 1976 he was arrested and tried in the infamous Baroda dynamite case.

In 1977, after the Emergency had been lifted, Fernandes won the Muzaffarpur seat in Bihar in absentia and was appointed as Union Minister for Industries. During his tenure as union minister, he ordered American multinationals IBM and Coca-Cola to leave the country, due to investment violations. He was the driving force behind the Konkan Railway project during his tenure as railway minister from 1989 to 1990. He was a defence minister in the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) Government (1998–2004), when the Kargil War broke out between India and Pakistan, and India conducted its nuclear tests at Pokhran. A veteran socialist, Fernandes has been dogged by various controversies, including the Barak Missile scandal and the Tehelka affair. George Fernandes won nine Lok Sabha elections from 1967 to 2004. He died on 29 January 2019 at the age of 88.

This recording reflects the Wikipedia text as of 01:57 UTC on Wednesday, 30 January 2019.

For the full current version of the article, see George Fernandes on Wikipedia.

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