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Mainstream, VOL LIX No 31, New Delhi, July 17, 2021

Obituary: Vir K. Chopra | Ranbir Singh

Friday 16 July 2021, by Ranbir Singh


by Prof. Ranbir Singh

Remembering a Multifaceted Personality

The demise of Vir K. Chopra is a great loss for the academic fraternity and Bollywood. After getting a first class first masters degree in Economics from Kashmir University Srinagar he had joined the prestigious Tata Consultation Service and has served on very important positions in hotel management. Thereafter he had obtained PhD degree in Political Science from London School of Economics & Political Science under the supervision of Prof. Tom Nossitor. His PhD thesis, Marginal Men in Marginal Assemblies was published by Orient Longman in 1993. It is considered to be an indispensable reading for the students of Political Sociology in various Indian and foreign Universities. It had covered MLAs elected to West Bengal, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Utter Pradesh and Haryana legislative assemblies in 1987 and 1991 elections. Owing to the problems being faced by his younger brother Vidhu Vinod Chopra he had to become a film producer and promoter. He and his brother had produced classical movies like ‘1942 a Love Story, Munna Bhai MBBS, Lage Raho Munna Bhai and Three Idiots’. It is also an irreparable loss to me because he had been my friend since 1990. Vir had accepted my request for presenting papers in Kurukshetra University and Haryana Institute of Rural Development Nilokheri, Haryana. Last but not the least; he was deeply devoted in reforming Indian Political System. He had collaborated with well known constitutional experts Dr. Subash C. Kashyap for this purpose and set-up the Institute for National Awakening New Delhi which had organized a national seminar, An Agenda for the Nation at India International Centre in 1996. The seminar had been inaugurated by the then speaker of Lok sabha Mr. Shivraj Patil. Dr. Karan Singh had delivered the Key-note Address. This event had been attended by distinguished persons from all walks of life. He had also set-up a Resort in Maldives and wanted- the author of this piece should accompany him to that place. But alas this did not happen because of his sudden death on July 5, 2021 due to Covid. May his soul rest in peace and his wife and two daughters as well as other Chopras get strength to bear this irreparable loss.

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

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