Veerendra Kumar was a social visionary: Bhattaraka Mahaswamiji of Jain Mutt, Shravanabelagola
Condolence message from Jagadguru Swastisri Charukirthi Bhattaraka Mahaswamiji, Sri Jain Mutt, Bhagavan Sri Bahubali Swami Srikshetra:
I am deeply pained and saddened by the demise of Shri M P Veerendra Kumar at the age of 83 on May 28, 2020. He was a social visionary, a political leader of great qualities and a social leader with a compassionate heart. He was one of the most influential men that the country saw in the last few decades.
He was a parliamentarian par excellence and was elected from Kozhikode Parliamentary constituency from Kerala for the 14th Lok Sabha. He served the country as a Union Minister of State for Union Labour and Finance ministries. He was also elected to the Kerala State Assembly. He was not only a coherent writer who distinguished himself through his works but also was the Chairman and managing director of the great Malayalam daily, Mathrubhumi. He was also an orator of outstanding caliber; people used to gather in huge numbers to hear his public speeches.
Veerendra Kumar was a long-standing devotee of Shravanabelagola Jain Mutt and had wholeheartedly supported the activities of the Mutt. I remember his extraordinary involvement in the Mahamastakabhisheka of Gommateshwara Bhagavan Shri Shri Shri Bahubali Swami in 1993 at Shravanabelagola. He served on the administrative board of the Shravanabelagola Kshetra and contributed to the development of the Kshetra. Though he belonged to the Jain community, he commanded respect and love from people from all communities.
He lived as a true ‘Shravaka’ and followed the traditions of piety, religious and social practices and tenets of Dharma throughout his life and practised the teachings of Jainism. He served many organisations in the country and enriched them with his resolute decisions and guidance. He was the recipient of ‘Samaja Rathna’ award and was a writer of the masterpiece “Haimavathabhuvil,” which was conferred the Kendra Sahitya Academy award, the Bharatiya Jnanpith committee-instituted Moortidevi Award and Dr. Shivaram Karanth award, among many other honours.
Veerendra Kumar had immersed himself in various religious and social activities and earned respect and love of the people of his constituency in particular and the nation in general. His work has been recognised by many organisations and it is personified in the various awards and honours he was showered with during his lifetime.
His demise has brought grief and sorrow to the society. I pray that his soul rest in peace and may Bahubali Swami give strength and courage to his family and his followers to bear the great loss.