Nehru admitted he owed a great deal to AU

Published on Nov 26, 2006 12:04 AM IST

HIS ENGAGEMENTS in social and religious activities keep him agile, even at the age of 67. He feels neither tired nor retired, his prime concern being the welfare of the people and development of Allahabad. Nothing pains him more than the neglect of the city of Sangam.

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None | ByPrem Kant Tiwari, Allahabad

HIS ENGAGEMENTS in social and religious activities keep him agile, even at the age of 67. He feels neither tired nor retired, his prime concern being the welfare of the people and development of Allahabad. Nothing pains him more than the neglect of the city of Sangam.

Er Vijayanand Sinha retired as senior executive engineer of the UP State Electricity Board (now Uttar Pradesh Power Corporation Limited) in 1999. Before retirement, he held several significant positions at Obra, Panki and Unchahar thermal power stations. During his service period, he was popular among his colleagues, who preferred to be led by him.

Besides, he was on the panel for selection of principals of the UP Madhyamik Shiksha Sewa Chayan Board. He was also the former advisor (electrical) to the Indian Institute of Information Technology, Allahabad. Motilal Nehru National Institute of Technology too utilised his services in the same capacity.

At present, Vijayanand Sinha is president of Gram Vikas Samiti, Saraswatipur and is in the management committee of the Saraswati Devi Parmanand Sinha Inter College. He is also the president of the UP Lok Hitkari Parishad, Allahabad and auditor of the Arya Samaj, Katra, Allahabad.

Son of Late Devanand Sinha, who was a prominent lawyer, Vijayanand is greatly influenced by his uncle Late Parmanand Sinha, who was a close associate of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru and Lal Bahadur Shastri.

Parmanand Sinha represented Nawabganj constituency in Vidhan Sabha for 10 years and was elected MLC (local bodies) in 1966. Besides, he also headed the Allahabad District Congress Committee for many years. Whenever Nehru addressed meetings in Allahabad during his prime ministership, Parmanand Sinha used to preside. Parmanand Sinha was a very honest, hard-working and dedicated freedom fighter and Vijayanand imbibed his uncle's qualities.

Vijayanand writes articles on various issues in several leading newspapers and even extends his suggestions to the authorities concerned.

Excerpts from the interview:

Even during his primeministership, Pandit Jawahalal Nehru used to visit Allahabad three-four times every year and stayed at Anand Bhawan for a couple of days.
Besides, he also addressed DCC meeting every time he came here. Nehru was very popular and a crowd-puller and people in large numbers attended his meetings. I was a fan of Nehru and was always interested in listening to his speeches.

In 1958, Nehru addressed a meeting at Allahabad University's Senate Hall when BN Jha was the Vice-Chancellor. Though I was an intermediate student at CAV Inter College, I bunked my classes and went to listen to him.

Addressing the meeting, the vice-chancellor pointed out that out of eight IAS selected from UP seven were from AU and out of 25 PCS officers 21 were from this varsity. Indiraji too was sitting on the dais.

During his address Nehruji said: "Though I have not studied in this university, I have been brought up and grown under the shadow of this university." This statement of Nehru drew a tremendous applause from students and teachers alike. I remember that as the meeting dispersed and the audience rushed out of the hall I lost my books and copies. 

In 1965, Lal Bahadur Shastri became a hero after India won the war with Pakistan. Through newspapers the people of Allahabad used to get news about the war.

A news which became the talk of the town was that when chiefs of all three wings of the armed forces went to call on Shastriji and sought his advice Shastriji asked them to take firm steps to frustrate the enemy's designs. This enthused the army personnel to such an extent that they trounced the enemy and succeeded in reaching near Lahore. Shastriji's determination and courage generated a lot of respect and honour for him.

On the call of Shastriji the people of Allahabad had given up one meal on Mondays to meet the food crisis and his 'Jai Jawan Jai Kisan' slogan became so popular that even today it is raised by the people on various occasions.

I feel that the people should unite and work for the development of the nation. I am against the caste and creed system prevailing in our country and am a votary of inter-caste marriages.

I feel that intellectuals should have deeper insight and better vision to lead the society in a better manner. I wish that the young generation should be given lessons in patriotism and character building.

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