Issue :   
January 2018 Edition of Power Politics is updated.         January 2018 Edition of Power Politics is updated.
Issue:Jan' 2018


Living to social causes

Om Prakash Saraf Anoble politician is a rarity in modern India. Om Prakash Saraf, 96, belongs to a different class. He made a will in 2015, suggesting that his body was presented to the Jammu Government Medical College on November 25, 2017, for science and medical research. Some 'seniors' were keen on cremation but both sons, Subhash and Pushp, prevailed upon their relations, saying: "We are too small not to abide by his wish (will)".
Dr Farooq Abdullah of the National Conference patriarch, was among the first to reach Saraf's house in Jammu when he was conveyed the sad news. In mid-1970s, Dr Farooq was at B- 25, Press Enclave when discussion on state politics cropped up. He was full of Saraf and his subtle methods of political handling. Similar were his views on November 25. He also revealed that Saraf was second in the country to donate his body for wider causes. The first was West Bengal Chief Minister, Joyti Basu.
A Gandhian-style politician, Saraf was Jammu and Kashmir's 'bunyan' tree for decades. A soft spoken, he never raised his voice in any debate in the Assembly and outside. Respected for his principles, he was the best-known figure in the state. He did not think deeply or subtly about the state's politicians as his knowledge was intuitively profound and judgment accurate.
He was a kind of a politician who, by looking at envelop, could assess the content.
Om Prakash had made many firsts in Jammu and Kashmir.
Beholden to secularism from early youth, he played an active role to restore peace and tranquillity during the partition in 1947. He floated the first unit of a nationalist party, Praja Socialist in 1954. He was the last surviving founder of the party. His first election was from the Amjrajadal constituency in Kashmir in 1977.
According to reports, he was offered a Rajya Sabha seat and ministerial birth but he rejected the offers as he did not want to sacrifice his 'independence voice'.
Spreading the gospel of journalism in the state, he did not join as a staff member on any newspaper, saying: "I will be able to contribute more while being a non-staffer". But he was 16 when he began assisting his father, Mulk Raj, father-figure of journalism in the state. What was he to J&K, K. Rama Rau was to Lucknow's National Herald, floated by Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru. Involved in the service of social causes, Saraf was an all- India personality. The State Cabinet Minister and spokesman, Naeem Akhtar remarked: "The state acknowledges with grateful appreciation the undaunted spirit and invaluable contribution of the selfless man to people of J and K".
"OM" in his mind, Om had mastered an art of living. His habit were clean, living simple and walk twice-a-day a'must'.