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Rajiv Goswami's mother appeals to protesters

Teena Thacker

Posted: Jun 01, 2006 at 1023 hrs IST

Nandrani Goswami, 64, just could not contain herself and had to fly down from the US to speak to doctors and students protesting against the proposed quota.

Her son Rajeev had sent shock waves across India back in 1990 when he tried to immolate himself in protest against the V P Singh government’s decision to revive the recommendations of the Mandal Commission. The Mandal panel had suggested a 27 per cent quota for OBCs.

Speaking at the AIIMS campus, Nandrani said, “The students should not let the government implement it but at the same time I would request them not to take any stern action like my son did. We never expected that he would do this to himself. But I would request you people not to do anything of that sort. It’s only your near and dear ones who suffer but the whole world goes on.”

Rajeev, who was born to Nandrani after six daughters, died of jaundice-induced complications in February 2004 at the age of 33. His wife, a daughter and a son, who stay in Delhi, survive him.

In 1990, Rajeev, then a commerce student at the Deshbandhu College here, had poured oil and set himself ablaze.

Nandrani remembers Rajeev, who received 90 per cent burns and never recovered fully, as a “thoughtful” and “concerned” person. “He was a very sensitive person and would think about others, then himself. After he set himself ablaze, we kept asking him why he did so but he never answered,” she adds.

“I have specially come (to Delhi) to request them not to take any such action... I have seen what happened to my son. I would not want it to happen with any mother,” Nandrani said.

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