Arun Jaitley! The man who lived a vibrant life with utmost humility

“Ayur vittam griha chidram

Mantra maithuna bheshajam !

Tapo dAnAmapamAnam ca

Nava gopyAni yatnatah !!”

A famous Sanskrit subhashita says-

one should always keep nine things secret(to oneself) ,

Ayu(age or health), vitta(financial condition), griha chidram(family matters), mantra(his siddhi), maithuna(love and relations), tapo(his efforts to achieve), danam(charity) and apamana(humiliation).

There is always a chance of getting ridiculed by the society if any of these are presented in a wrong way. Hence it is always advised to keep these efforts personal.

There is a famous kannada saying which translates as-

Our left hand shouldn’t get to know the charity we gave through our right hand. Charity is done with an intention of helping a certain cause, we are always advised to have humility and not to boast about it.

Late Shri Arun Jaitley was one such policing with at most humility, who never intentionally disclosed any of his good will or charity works.

Chanakya says ‘the true test for the loyalty of a servant or staff is your absence’. Today the tribute that poured in for the former finance minister is a true display of his humility and loyalty of his followers.

Some of the personal staffs of Jaitley ji are associated with him since three decades that itself speaks of his character and his relationship with them. He always tried to give them a better working environment and helped them to improve their living. He had always referred to the staffs with their family as his own extended family.

There was unstated rule in his family, according to which the children if the staff members study in the same school which his own children will attend. They all went to Carmel convent school in Chanakya Puri.

Jaitleyji had a system, he used to pay even the pocket money of his children in cheques. He had a welfare fund established, and the salary of his staffs, the academic fees of their children and other payments or financial help was all carried out through that fund, that too in cheques.

Jaitleyji had made sure that, the kids get good education and exposure. He would sponsor their education if they wished to pursue it in any foreign country.

His driver Jagan and a caretaker Padma are all working for his family since three decades. Among their children, three are studying abroad now.

His associate Gopal Bhandari’s son is a doctor and another one is an accomplished engineer today. Daughters of Jogendraji who looks after Jaitleyji’s diet and health, are studying in London.

And Surendraji was very close Arun Jaitley. Surendraji was with him from the time when Jaitley was a practicing lawyer. Surendraji managed all his office works. When his kids wished to pursue a professional course it was Jaitley ji who took up the responsibility of their tuition.

In 2005, when his assistant Opi Sharma’s son Chethan became a lawyer Jaitley had gifted him his favourite accent car of 6666 registration number.

in the early 1990s, someone in a chat session had asked him: “Mr Jaitley, how can a so-called educated man like you be a member of an obscurantist, fascist organisation like the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)?”

He had a classic reply: “I reject your understanding of the BJP. Nehruvian thought, which regarded everything that was Indian, ethnic, traditional and cultural, as obscurantist and fundamentalist has damaged the Indian ethos. We are criticised because it is said we are pro-Hindu. The threat to global secularism doesn’t come from either Indian nationalism or Hinduism, it comes from elsewhere — you know where. I think you and I need to re-discuss political definitions.”

His idea of politics was always clear.

He was one of the highest tax payers in Delhi, Jaitley had also got a block of flats built for the secretarial staff of his legal practice. The daughter of one of them is now a dentist, practicing in England; her education was funded by Jaitley.

Bureaucrats also found in him a reasonable boss, whose knowledge of business and law was astounding.

Jaitley was a fan of two things — a good meal and what regarded as his second love-Cricket.

Cricket fraternity mourned his death, and cricketers walked into stadium wearing black on their sleeve.

Former cricketer and BJP member of Parliament, Gautam Gambhir, who was close to Jaitley, said a part of him was gone with his demise.

“A father teaches u to speak but a father figure teaches u to talk. A father teaches u to walk but a father figure teaches u to march on. A father gives u a name but a father figure gives u an identity. A part of me is gone with my Father Figure Shri Arun Jaitley Ji. RIP Sir,” Gambhir tweeted.

With his death, Jaitley has taken with him a slice of the hearts of everyone who knew him, especially, his personal staff.

Dr Sindhu Prashanth