MINISTRY OF HOME AFFAIRS NOTIFICATION

New Delhi,

the 25th October 1954

No. 44/2/54-Public.

—The President has heard with the deepest regret of the death on the evening of October the 24th of Shri Rafi Ahmed Kidwai, Minister Incharge of Food and Agriculture in the Union Cabinet! By his passing the Government and the Nation have lost a great patriot,administrator and statesman whose outstanding abilities and brilliant achievements had won universal acclaim.

Shri Rafi Ahmed Kidwai was amongst the first to respond to the call of Mahatma Gandhi and to join in the fight for National Freedom. His exceptional powers of organisation soon established for him a position among the leaders of the political struggle. He was arrested several times and spent over ten years in prison—an indication not only of the intensity of his devotion to the cause of Freedom but also of the fear which he inspired among those who opposed that Freedom.

To the tasks of administration Shri Rafi Ahmed Kidwai brought to bear his rare and exceptional qualities of clearsightedness, realistic outlook, boldness and originality of approach, organising ability and a wide and human sympathy and understanding. His work as Minister in charge of Revenue, Home and Jails in the United Provinces was so successful that his appointment as a Union Minister in the first Government of Free India followed as a natural course. As Union Minister for Communications, he confounded sceptics and critics alike by successfully launching a number of bold and beneficent schemes. His unswerving faith in the essential soundness of the food position of the country enabled him again to confound the sceptics. He successfully accomplished his policy of removing all irksome controls on food and his boldness in a sense helped the country to turn a situation of scarcity into one of sufficiency. His interests were many and various and his judgment and grasp so sound that instinctively his colleagues as well as the public turned to him for his guidance and advice in the solution of difficult problems.

Shri Rafi Ahmed Kidwai used every ounce of his strength and vigour in the service of his country and like a true soldier died at his post in the discharge of his duty. Indifferent health and the advice of his friends and doctors could not dissuade him from pursuing without fiinching what he regarded as his duty. A true representative of the broad humanitarian culture which has been evolved in India through the contribution of peoples of many races, many religions and many traditions, Shri Rafi Ahmed Kidwai had a profound faith in the future of the nation. A combination of exceptional qualities of intellect, emotion and imagination made him truly a leader of men whom his grateful countrymen will not easily forget.

 

A. V. PAI, Secy.