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Mainstream, VOL LIX No 26, New Delhi, June 12, 2021

An Organic Intellectual of Haryana is No More | Ranbir Singh

Saturday 12 June 2021

OBITUARY

Born on 11 June 1935, at Chautala (Sirsa) in a land owning Jat family, Prof. D.R. Chaudhry is no more. He breathed his last on June 2, 2021 at Rohtak owing to old age complications.

After getting Master’s Degree in English from Delhi University, he taught in Dyal Singh College, New Delhi for about two decades and remained active in Delhi University Teachers’ Union before joining Haryana Public Service Commission as its Member in 1977 owing to his proximity to the then Chief Minister of Haryana, Ch. Devi Lal and retired as its Chairman.

His aversion to Om Parkash Chautala made him to join hands with the builder of Modern Haryana, Ch. Bansi Lal on the eve of 1991 parliamentary and assembly elections. But his authoritarian style made DR, as he was popularly known among his friends, to part company with him.

Thereafter, he had been appointed as a Member of Haryana Administrative Reforms Commission by the then Chief Minister of Haryana, Bhupinder Singh Hooda in 2006 as he wanted to make use of the deep understanding of DR on the administrative problems of the state. He fulfilled the hopes of Hooda by contributing in a big way in the preparation of the drafts of the reports of the Commission on various facets of administration in Haryana.

Later on, DR served as the Chairman of Jan Chetna Manch, Rohtak, a NGO working for the empowerment of Panchayati Raj Institutions and welfare of women in the state.
Chaudhary had also launched a Hindi weekly, Peengh, for highlighting the social, culture, economic and political problems of Haryana. He also regularly contributed articles in ‘The Tribune’ on the above issues and authored the book Haryana at Crossroads for the National Book Trust of India.

DR was indeed an organic intellectual in the sense in which Grainer has used this term. He always gave priority to social issues over his personal interests. His death has caused a vacuum which can not be easily filled.

(Author: Ranbir Singh, Senior Fellow, Institute of Social Sciences, New Delhi)

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