Amritsar, May 15, 2013: Mathura Dass Arora (82), father of the vice chancellor of the Punjab Technical University (PTU) Rajneesh Arora, died after prolonged illness here on Wednesday.
He is survived by his wife Sumitra Devi and son Rajneesh Arora. He donated his eyes to the Government Medical College Amritsar.
Later, Mathura Dass Arora cremated at Amritsar’s Durgiana Cremation ground. Several social, regious, academic and political personalities including former BJP Ministers Laxmi Kanta Chawla & Baldev Raj Chawla, Former GNDU Vice-Chancellor Dr H S Soch, Vice Chairman of Lovely Group Naresh Mittal, Principal DAV Institute of Engg. & Tech. Dr. A.L.Sangal attended the cremation. The Staff members of Punjab Technical University & Guru Nanak Dev University were also present.
Born in Rajasthan’s Karanpur town in 1931, Arora’s family was subsequently shifted to Fazlika. He was a staunch Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS) activist since childhood. Arora was arrested at an age of 16 years for participating in countrywide “Satyagraha” agitation while opposing the ban imposed by the central government on RSS after death of Mahatama Gandhi. He remained in jail for nearly five months.
Arora completed his masters in Arts from Jalandhar’s DAV College. He completed bachelor in teachers training from Muradabad College. With an aim of producing qualified human resource for overall development of the country, Arora always aimed to pursue his career in teaching profession. He shifted his base to Amritsar in 1961 after being appointed as a teacher at DAV Senior Secondary School, Hathi Gate, Amritsar.
A humble personality, Arora was also assertive in his approach when it came to fight for the rights of the colleagues or common man. As secretary of the Punjab Government Aided School Teachers Union, he spearheaded an agitation against the state government in 1967. Though he remained underground to lead the agitation, but his wife Sumitra Devi, also a teacher by profession, was arrested and jailed. Arora’s approach of not succumbing to government’s pressure tactics yielded results as demand of higher pay scales for the teachers was finally accepted.
Four years later, Arora set up Vikram Vidyalaya at Lohgarh Gate to serve educational needs of the children of the poor families.
He was known for strongly opposing the emergency imposed in the country by the then Indira Gandhi government. He motivated his sons- Rajneesh, a first year B. Tech student at Indian Institute of Technology, New Delhi and Avnish, a class 10 student, to get themselves court arrested for opposing emergency. Rajneesh was lodged in Tihar jail while Avnish remained in Amritsar jail.
During the days of terrorism from 1984 to 1992, Arora not only promoted communal harmony amongst Hindu and Sikhs, but he also worked hard for arranging relief and rehabilitation measures for terror victims under the banner of Rashtriya Suraksha Samiti and Peerat Sahayata Samiti.
As soon as son Rajneesh completed engineering studies, Arora made him join as RSS “parcharak” in Delhi in 1979. Subsequnetly, Rajneesh along with his wife served tribal areas in Jharkhand for 10 years before joining back the family in Amritsar in 1992.
Arora also served as organising secretary of Sarva Hitkari Samiti, RSS education branch to run educational institutions in Punjab. He also actively participated in Ram Jana Bhoomi agitation. Arora took voluntary retirement in 1986 to commit himself to social service in rest of his life.
Wednesday, May 15, 2013