The Late Dr. N. M. Ranka, Sr. Advocate, a legend in the tax profession who followed the principles of Mahatma Gandhiji, was not only a role model for tax professionals but also good human being who possessed the humble attributes of humility, patience and respect for others.
Dr. N. M. Ranka, Senior Advocate, one of the tallest figures in the Tax Bar has left for his Heavenly Abode on 30-5-2019. My first memory of interaction with Dr. N. M. Ranka was in the year 1994 when Shri P. C. Joshi was elected as the President of the All India Federation of Tax Practitioners (AIFTP). Since then I had been closely associated with the late Dr. N. M. Ranka in various spheres under the umbrella of the AIFTP such as the educational activities, the Journal and various other publications of the AIFTP.
When Dr. N. M. Ranka was elected as the National President of the AIFTP, he insisted upon my nomination as the Dy. President of the AIFTP. In three years of his tenure as the President of the AIFTP, I had the pleasure of interacting closely with him and got acquainted with many of his admirable qualities.
In the year 2000, the AIFTP had arranged a National Convention at Jaipur. When we reached Jaipur to attend the conference, Dr. N. M. Ranka was personally present early in the morning to receive the delegates at the Railway Station. This is a reflection upon his simplicity and his humble nature. Dr. N. M. Ranka was a firm believer in spreading knowledge by arranging seminars and publications. Out of the 35 or more educational books published by the AIFTP, a lion’s share of the contribution can be credited to his academic inputs as well as his unwavering administrative support. Dr. N. M. Ranka was also the first person to guide us whenever the AIFTP embarked upon any endeavour of public interest through litigation or otherwise and the Federation has gained greatly through his experience and guidance.
The office premises of the AIFTP was acquired in the year 2001 in his tenure as president. Having its head office in the commercial capital in the heart of Mumbai has helped the AIFTP to be a forerunner in disseminating knowledge and education and the Federation today has more than 7,500 members from across the Country. Dr. N. M. Ranka was one of founders who had initiated the ITAT Bar Association’s Co-ordination Committee and pursued the National Executive of the AIFTP to adopt the code of ethics which is an integral part of the Constitution of the AIFTP, which was subsequently adopted by many leading professional organisations in India including the illustrious ITAT Bar Association, Mumbai.
Dr. N. M. Ranka started the ‘Ranka Trust Memorial Moot Court Competition’ in association with the Rajasthan University. Even today his legacy is preserved and flourishing in the form of the participation of more than a hundred law colleges from across the country, which is undoubtly proving instrumental in the development of the legal profession. I have had the opportunity of attending one of the Moot Court competitions as a guest of honour and am proud to have contributed in that capacity to his vision.
Dr. N. M. Ranka has always persevered in his quest to spread knowledge and education. He always advised the members of AIFTP to arrange seminars and lectures in remote places of the Country so that even a tax practitioner who is practicing at taluka level can benefit and gain knowledge from the senior members of the tax profession and be well Equipped to deal with the complex situations. Dr. N. M. Ranka was actively involved with and connected to various educational institutions through which he actively participated in the process of grooming of the youth that will shape the destiny of this country. He was a person who not only preached simplicity but also followed the same. By donating his body to the hospital for the education of medical students, he has became immortal.
Dr. N. M. Ranka was a soft spoken person who could be very firm on his views when the issues related to values and ethics. His passion for propagation of learning is symbolised by his present to me of two marble idols of the goddess Saraswati, the goddess of learning. I have kept one at home and another one at the office and offer the goddess my prayers every day in the morning. He was so involved in the development of our profession that he used to call me on an almost fortnightly basis to discuss about the activities of AIFTP and of the ITAT and its bar, etc.
It is very difficult to believe that Dr. N. M. Ranka is no more with us. It is a great loss to the tax profession and a personal loss to me as well. He was like an elder brother to me and a steadfast anchor who used to support all the educational and knowledge spreading activities of the AIFTP. Tax professionals across the country have paid a rich tribute to late Dr. N. M. Ranka, showing him tremendous love and respect.
In his ‘Vision to AIFTP’ in ‘40 years of Milestones and Beyond’ published in the year 2016, he
wrote as under :—
Gandhian Values : There is need to reiterate Gandhian values. We must translate his ideals into real life. Let us have an “Inner Revolution” and transform ourselves. Let each one of us, evolve ways and means whereby to change the work culture and mindset for public good and in public interest. What is required is : Unity of thoughts, unity of understanding and unity of action to achieve the goal as envisaged in the Constitution with due regard of DUTIES, dignity, liberty and humanity. Future is bright. Maintain its dignity, honour and reputation. Serve Humanity. JOIN IN SACRED CAUSE, BE CLEAN HUMAN BEING – “ INSAAN”. (Pg. 83)
Last part of his vision was ‘Solemn Pledge’. “Life is a success. Not by prosperity, not by pleasure of the flesh, but by a clean soul, when death itself would be deliverance. Soul is immortal. Keep it pure. Let us pledge to be honourable members of the unique Federation. Spread it. Enhance its glory. Serve tax fraternity with Humanity. Service to distressed tax payers and tax practitioners is Service to Divinity. Be helpful to all members of the Federation and treat them as members of your expanded family. It would give you utmost satisfaction of life. Property may be destroyed and money may lose its purchasing power, but character, health, knowledge and good judgment will always be in demand under all conditions” (Pg. 90)
As a member of the AIFTP, a real Tribute to the Late Dr. N. M. Ranka, Sr. Advocate shall be to follow his vision and to continue his legacy of imparting both technical and ethical education.
“We, as the members of the Federation mourn the sad demise of Dr. N. M. Ranka and express our heartfelt condolences to the members of his family. May his soul eternally rest in peace“.
Dr. K. Shivaram
Chairman, Editorial Board