GEORGE FRENANDES Biography - Royalty, Rulers & leaders


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India’s Defence Minister, George Fernandes, was born in 1930 in Karnataka. Throughout his political life he has been in the news either as a member of the ruling party or criticiser of the ruling party.


As the leader of Mumbai labourers, Fernandes had been imprisoned several times. In 1967, Fernandes entered Parliament as a member of the Lok Sabha. As President of the All India Railway men’s Federation, he led the Railway strike involving 1.5 million workers in 1974, which led to the imposition of the Emergency in 1975 by Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.


As a minister of 1970s, Fernandes tangled with the multinationals, kicking Coca-Cola and IBM out of India. As a Railway Minister during 1989-90, his most illustrious work was the Konkan Railway. In 1994, he joined the non-Congress government headed by Atal Bihari Vajpayee. Since then he has held several ministerial portfolios including communications, industry, railways and defence.