It was the auspicious day of Pongal, a popular harvest festival of South India when we received the sad news of the passing away of Dr. R. Srinivasan, Associate Editor of Freedom First. He was 90, had been ailing for some time and breathed his last in the early hours of that beautiful morning of January 15 with his family by his side. The liberal fraternity has lost one more of its stalwarts.
“He was a perceptive and congenial person, soft spoken and intellectual. We miss people like him who lend a quiet dignity to any office they hold.” These words of Jehangir Patel, publisher of Freedom First sums up the persona of Dr. Srinivasan.
“A gentleman par excellence, a humble human being whom I held in high reverence” says Narendra Kotak who managed the journal’s typesetting and shows his gratitude thus “He had been a training institution in himself who, together with the late Shri S. V. Raju, guided all of us in making every issue of Freedom First, a reading pleasure and a magazine to treasure. We shall always miss his ever smiling face.”
Dr. Srinivasan had a very distinguished career since his earlier days. He always wanted to be a teacher. He taught Political Science at the University of Mumbai for more than three decades. His students remember him as a soft-spoken person, an excellent teacher, guiding and inspiring them to think independently. He edited a number of books on Indian politics.
Dr. Srinivasan’s interest in public administration and the social sciences brought him in close contact with Mr. S. V. Raju who invited him to be his co-editor at Freedom First. Saturday afternoons were reserved for the two friends to have hours of conversation over their favourite idli and coffee. I am privy to their interactions on Indian politics and it became a lesson for a novice like me.
Mr. Raju’s sudden passing away was a severe blow to him, he was depressed and had once shared with me that there is no point in living without friends. They were an inspiration to each other and he felt he lost his inspiration.
Freedom First conveys its deepest sympathies to his wife, Padma, his two sons and their families. We share with them our sense of loss on their sad bereavement. We will certainly miss him!