He covered the last mile
- IPL spot-fixing case: Net widens, police watching 3 more players, other bookies
- IPL 2013: Imperious Brad Hodge powers Rajasthan Royals to qualifier
- Sonia Gandhi, PM Manmohan Singh slam BJP for disrupting Parliament, stalling bills
- IPL spot-fixing: 'Bookie' Vindoo was close to BCCI chief's son-in-law, say cops
- Jessica Lall case: Shayan Munshi to face perjury trial
Eras, like the one Verghese Kurien inaugurated, never come to an end
The passing of Verghese Kurien on September 9 marks the end of an era. He was, of course, a man with a vision. As John Maynard Keynes said, however, even mad men have visions. But Kurien was one of those rare men who not only have a vision, but fashion mighty edifices to achieve them. He changed the discourse. When I went to the Food and Agriculture Organisation to build their first model for world agriculture, the orthodoxy was that dairying could be done only on a large scale, not by the unemployed farmer who, being without any resources, presented a problem. Kurien refused to accept that dogma and argued that if those farmers could access technology and markets on their farms, they could instead become an asset. Despite criticism, he had the conviction of his beliefs and would not budge from his vision. He was vindicated when first India, and then the world, recognised his achievements by showering him with awards and glory.
Kurien covered the last mile. During my early days at the Planning Commission, he had a project that dealt with shrikhands for the Sugam Dairy. The guys at the project division wouldn't bite, because his ideas would leave halwais unemployed and the technology was unproven. He asked me to help and I arranged a meeting, at which he listened to their objections. Then, looking them straight in the eye, he said, "You fellows can't milk a cow and are giving me lectures". Kurien would reverse engineer cheese and construct machines to dispense milk if necessary. And soon enough, the culmination of his ideas, Amul, came to symbolise all that is India.
Kurien hated crooks and charlatans. He insisted that co-operatives have regular elections and have their accounts audited annually. The Institute of Rural Management, Anand, asked me to succeed him as its head, an invitation I refused out of respect for Kurien. On their insistence, I agreed to discuss the matter with him. On a hot summer's day in the Kurien enclave in Anand, he told me: "If you are doing it, Yoginder, I am happy". Then, he gave me a set of papers that he said were charges that had been framed against him. I threw the papers away, as I haboured no doubts about Kurien's integrity, but I wondered why we felt the need to constantly run down our icons.
- Fixing probe now reaches Bollywood, son of Dara Singh held
- BCCI cashes Pune Warriors guarantee, 'disgusted' Sahara walks out of IPL
- Sreesanth spent Rs 1.95L on clothes, bought friend BlackBerry, paid in cash: Police
- Delhi firm with MoD as client is linked to Pak cyberattacks
- After Infosys, iGATE sacks Phaneesh Murthy for sexual misconduct
- 2 weeks after harassment, Haryana schoolgirls return, cops in tow