New Delhi, Jan 30 (PTI) George Fernandes in handcuffs raising his hand in defiance is one of the most enduring photographs of the Emergency era and a portrait of that iconic image adorns a corner of a room at his home where his body lies in a glass casket. Also Read - Over 15 Lakh Vaccinated, 11 Hospitalised Across India So Far, 6 Deaths Unrelated: Govt
The oil painting in black and white is surmounted by a board that bears the message — ‘A Leader for Every Indian – George Fernandes’ — while flower petals lay showered beneath that frame kept on a table. Also Read - FAU-G Mobile Game to be Launched on Republic Day | Here’s How to Download The Game
A host of leaders and admirers sat next to that image to pen their tribute in words in a journal kept next to bowls of flower petals. Also Read - BJP, TMC Lock Horns Over Jai Shri Ram Chants as Mamata Refuses to Address Netaji Event in Kolkata | Key Points
Padmanabh Shetty, who was one of the persons arrested, along with Fernandes, in what is known as the Baroda Dynamite case, was among the visitors, who streamed at his house in Panchsheel Park, to pay their tribute to the departed leader.
Pointing to the portrait, Shetty said, “George Fernandes in handcuffs raising his hand in defiance, while he was being produced at the Tees Hazari court in Delhi for the trial, is one of the most famous and enduring images of the Emergency era.” Emergency-era activists still recall the black and white photograph of him and the oil painting uses monochromatic hues to recreate that imagery in a new medium.
He was one of a kind, fearless leader and an avowed crusader for democratic rights. This portrait’s placement in the room is very apt, Shetty told PTI.
In the living room, the glass casket has got buried in a mountain of wreaths and flower petals as a string of senior leaders, veteran politicians and admirers have paid tribute to the departed leader in the past two days.
Fernandes died Tuesday aged 88 at his residence — Shanti Niwas – after prolonged illness.
Another portrait of Fernades is kept axially behind the casket with a flame next to it, where visitors also paid tribute to the former defence minister.
Multiple book shelves fill the room on both sides, with titles on subjects ranging from China, Afghanistan to Parliamentary debates, and multiple copies of a book on the Baroda Dynamite case.
Framed old photographs showing him with family, his swearing-in ceremony as a Union minster, playing with pet dogs, line up the decks of the book shelves.
His wife Leila Kabir points to a portrait gifted by someone from Japan.
“He loved his dogs. They all died one by one…There, he is holding a puppy in his hand in that portrait,” she told PTI.
Kabir, also recalled his simple sartorial style and said he was “very comfortable in that wear”.
She points to another portrait of Fernandes, in a coat and tie, adding that perhaps it is the only one of him in that avatar.
“Even in family functions, he preferred to wear kurta-pyjama, he was quite at ease in those clothes,” she said.
This is published unedited from the PTI feed.