Oscar Fernandes: A Rare Commodity

September 22, 2021

Oscar Fernandes was perhaps the most loyal, Low-Profile, Non-Controversial and behind the scenes politician in the last several decades. After the Fiasco of the Congress party in the last decade, several high-profile leaders deserted it during crisis hours, but Oscar was a true Loyalist, glued and devoted. Despite being at the helm of the affairs at the Top of Congress Party decision making team, Oscar always operated under the Radar. Many Parliamentarians and media personalities have opined Oscar being an honest, unassumingly brilliant and a workaholic Leader. Jairam Ramesh Tweeted a Tribute saying Oscar was one of the Sharpest Minds that he came across. This could have prompted Rajiv Gandhi, the then Prime Minister to elevate him as the one of the Three Parliamentary Secretaries alongside stalwarts like Ahmed Patel and Arun Singh. Rajeev Gandhi had very early noticed Oscar’s Organisational skills and his Astute Wit. The Trio was labelled Amar Akbar Anthony.

Hailing from Udupi, Oscar Fernades was born in 1941 to a reputed and influential Catholic Family. His Father Roque Fernandes was a renowned Academician. Roque Fernandes was the head of the Government Composite PU College and the First President of the Manipal Instituted of Technology. Oscar’s mother Leonissa M Fernandes was the first female magistrate in India. Oscar was part of the Youth Congress at an early age, worked at the grass root level and groomed himself to higher levels. Even During his advancing age, Oscar travelled across the country, largey accompanied by his Wife Blossom, headed Party meetings, debriefed Party Workers and held Public Grivane Forums. Unlike many, Social media centric politicians, who have resorted to the easy world of “Couch-Twitter Wars”, Oscar was a Old-fashioned 24/7 politician and a leader who was there for his people and loyal to his party at all hours and at all cost.

Oscar’s achievements have been in shadows for a long time. The Young and the Millennial Generation, may be less aware of his Captivating Achievements in the 1980’s and the 1990’s as a Five Time Lok Sabha MP from Udupi Constituency, a feat unlikely to be matched by a Congress Politician for ages to come. Throughout his career as a union minister, Oscar held a number of portfolios such as Statistics and Programme Implementation, NRI Affairs, Youth and Sports Affairs and Labour and Employment, in addition to being Cabinet Minister for Transport, Roads and Highways under UPA 1. Aftermath of the Congress’s debacle in 1977 General Elections, Indira Gandhi was reluctant to sport a young and relatively diffident Candidate like Oscar Fernandes. However, it was due to the insistence from Verrappa Moily, that Indira Gandhi acceded to offer him the Ticket, which eventually proved a defining success. Soft Spoken and Gentle in his demeanour, Oscar had canny panache of bonding with the masses. The Udupi Seat had a special affection towards Oscar, as he had risen from the bottom as a Party Youth Worker in the Sixties. Later he contested the Municipal Polls in 1972 and contested and won the Lok Sabha Seat in the 1980 General Elections from the Udupi Constituency. Thus, began the long enroute to Delhi and grew as a congress Strategist, groomed young leaders and remained one of the Closest and the Trusted Aids of the Gandhi Family. Its always the Financer (Builder) of a Tower or Sky Scrapper seizes the credit, the Architects, the Engineers and the designers are often lost from the limelight. Oscar Fernandes was the Architect, the Engineer and the designer of tons of drafts, blue prints, plans and Strategies that benefitted Congress Party for decades, but with modest credit.

Oscar was a Man of Arts, he had adored and internalised several Tulu Traditions like the Yakshgaana and was also a trained Kuchupudi dancer. Along with fellow Parliamentarian and Coastal Kannadiga Verappa Moily, Oscar performed on stage at the Kannada Sanga Club Delhi on Numerous Occasions, throughout his tenure as MP for over three decades. Another Academic Congress Rajya Sabha MP Jairam Ramesh, who also shared good rapport with Oscar, had encouraged him to recite Tulu Songs during the Parliament sessions. On One Occasion Oscar had Sung the Famous Tulu Folk Song “ Oh Maga Koraga Ormbarayana” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gez-TYrSgzo. Such was his proclivity towards heritage.

In an Age governed by Flamboyant and Loud-Mouthed Public and Political Figures, who tend to grab attention more for their Scandalous Activities, distasteful Remarks and hate, a backroom Political figure like Oscar Fernandes is a rare commodity. Legacy of Leaders cannot only be judged by the style of the oratory, their ability to aggravate the mass or their larger-than-life Clout. At times, the Void left by Restrained and Tender Leaders like Oscar Fernandes is hard to fill.




By Chris Emmanuel D’Souza
To submit your article / poem / short story to Daijiworld, please email it to news@daijiworld.com mentioning 'Article/poem submission for daijiworld' in the subject line. Please note the following:

  • The article / poem / short story should be original and previously unpublished in other websites except in the personal blog of the author. We will cross-check the originality of the article, and if found to be copied from another source in whole or in parts without appropriate acknowledgment, the submission will be rejected.
  • The author of the poem / article / short story should include a brief self-introduction limited to 500 characters and his/her recent picture (optional). Pictures relevant to the article may also be sent (optional), provided they are not bound by copyright. Travelogues should be sent along with relevant pictures not sourced from the Internet. Travelogues without relevant pictures will be rejected.
  • In case of a short story / article, the write-up should be at least one-and-a-half pages in word document in Times New Roman font 12 (or, about 700-800 words). Contributors are requested to keep their write-ups limited to a maximum of four pages. Longer write-ups may be sent in parts to publish in installments. Each installment should be sent within a week of the previous installment. A single poem sent for publication should be at least 3/4th of a page in length. Multiple short poems may be submitted for single publication.
  • All submissions should be in Microsoft Word format or text file. Pictures should not be larger than 1000 pixels in width, and of good resolution. Pictures should be attached separately in the mail and may be numbered if the author wants them to be placed in order.
  • Submission of the article / poem / short story does not automatically entail that it would be published. Daijiworld editors will examine each submission and decide on its acceptance/rejection purely based on merit.
  • Daijiworld reserves the right to edit the submission if necessary for grammar and spelling, without compromising on the author's tone and message.
  • Daijiworld reserves the right to reject submissions without prior notice. Mails/calls on the status of the submission will not be entertained. Contributors are requested to be patient.
  • The article / poem / short story should not be targeted directly or indirectly at any individual/group/community. Daijiworld will not assume responsibility for factual errors in the submission.
  • Once accepted, the article / poem / short story will be published as and when we have space. Publication may take up to four weeks from the date of submission of the write-up, depending on the number of submissions we receive. No author will be published twice in succession or twice within a fortnight.
  • Time-bound articles (example, on Mother's Day) should be sent at least a week in advance. Please specify the occasion as well as the date on which you would like it published while sending the write-up.

Comment on this article

  • Dr.sharmila dsilva, Mangalore

    Tue, Sep 28 2021

    Good Article Chris 👍

  • John dsouza, Mangalore

    Tue, Sep 28 2021

    A very thought out legacy article in honour of late Oscar Fernades.🙏🏻

  • John dsouza, Mangalore

    Tue, Sep 28 2021

    A very thought out legacy article in honour of late Oscar Fernades.🙏🏻

  • David, Mangalore

    Thu, Sep 23 2021

    RIP Oscar.

  • Ben D'Souza Prabhu, Mangalore, Bombay Bandra now in Canada

    Thu, Sep 23 2021

    Well done my friend, you dear Chris Emmanuel, you have brought out some more "Rare Commodity" pleasant loving points of our dear Oscar. As stated earlier, he was a person of great choice, well loved and liked by common person. We should thank God for giving us one of his kind, may be when we should be needed in our era. In any case, we are left to sing his praises as and when we like to remember him. Surely, he will live with us immortal and always with a simle on his face. !!! THANK YOU EVER SO MUCH - MAY OUR GRACEFUL LORD BLESS YOU !!!

Leave a Comment

Title: Oscar Fernandes: A Rare Commodity

You have 2000 characters left.


Please write your correct name and email address. Kindly do not post any personal, abusive, defamatory, infringing, obscene, indecent, discriminatory or unlawful or similar comments. Daijiworld.com will not be responsible for any defamatory message posted under this article.

Please note that sending false messages to insult, defame, intimidate, mislead or deceive people or to intentionally cause public disorder is punishable under law. It is obligatory on Daijiworld to provide the IP address and other details of senders of such comments, to the authority concerned upon request.

Hence, sending offensive comments using daijiworld will be purely at your own risk, and in no way will Daijiworld.com be held responsible.