Prof. P Jonathan Jegadish Gandhi
28 September 1941 – 7 October 2016
National Council of Churches in India mourns the demise of Prof. Dr. Jegadish Gandhi, a committed Church Person, Ecumenist, Development Economist and Columnist. Prof. Gandhi, who was hospitalised at CMC Vellore because of a massive cardiac arrest on 4th October, passed away on 7th Oct 2016.
Prof. Gandhi hailed from a rural place, Kamudhi in Ramnad District in Tamilnadu. He had his education at CSI Swartz School in Ramnad. In fact he and Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, the late former President of India, were school contemporaries in Ramnad. Prof. Gandhi pursued his Graduation and Post Graduation from the prestigious Thiyagaraja College of Art and Science, Tepakkulam, Madurai and moved to Vellore to teach at Voorhese College. He joined as a lecturer in the Economics Department, became a Senior Professor and eventually HOD. His expertise was in ‘Developmental Economy’. He authored numerous books and articles on Economics, Development, and social issues, and later on ecology and theology. He even wrote regularly in news papers as a columnist. Prof. Gandhi served as a member of the Planning Committee of the Government of Tamilnadu and held several honorary positions at State and Central Levels. He was also the President of the Association of Economists. Dr. Gandhi travelled widely as an Indian ‘alternate’ economist. He also organised several national and international conferences in India and in abroad.
The Vellore Institute of Developmental Study was his post retirement initiative; he served as its founder Director till his last breath. He made this institution global by relating, affiliating and accrediting with several international organisations and movements. He received several awards including the lifetime achievement award from Association of Economists.
Prof. Gandhi was committed to his Christian calling to promote Justice, Love and Peace. He contributed a significant contribution to the local CSI congregation as well as to Vellore diocese. As an ecumenist, he actively participated in the work of Ecumenical Christian Centre and Association of Christian Institutions of Social Concern in Asia (ACISCA), of which he was serving as General Secretary. In April 2016, he represented the ACISCA at the XXVIII Quadrennial Assembly of the NCCI. He served as a resource person at, and cosponsor of several NCCI’s programmes and also contributed articles to the NCC Review.
The funeral is scheduled for 9th Oct 2016 (Monday) in Vellore. Through this homage the Council offers its consolation to and prayers for Mrs. Sugirtham Gandhi, their three daughters and families. His family could be contacted at +91 9894051256.
Rev. Dr. Roger Gaikwad,
On behalf of the National Council of Churches in India