Louis Lobo: A Banker who took up social and political activism after retirement

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By Dr Eugene DSouza, Moodubelle
Bellevision Media Network

Udupi, 31 Jan 2012: Usually, after a long stint of service, that too in a reputed bank, with handsome salary and retirement benefits, a person would like to spend the remaining part of his life in leisure and ease. However, Louis Lobo did not think so and after retiring from banking service decided to devote his time and energy in social work and political activism. With post graduate education, clear political ideas and  with an intention of doing something positive for the community to which he belonged, Louis Lobo  joined the political party of his choice and later became the president of the Udupi Branch of the International  Federation of Karnataka Christian Association (IFKCA), participated in many agitation on issues concerning the Christian community and eventually was instrumental in the establishment of the Christian Chamber of Commerce in the Udupi District.



Though presently he has made his home at Kalmady, Louis Lobo was born at Kuriyala, Loretto in the Bantwal Taluka as the fifth among nine children, four boys and five girls of late Lawrence Lobo and late Magdalene D’Souza.


Louis had his educational stint at different places. He went to the primary school at Sornad, continued higher primary schooling at Agrar and high school at Shirthady. He completed the SSLC course in 1966. Louis pursued higher education in the SVS College, Bantwal where completed the graduation studies in 1972. Louis recalls with pride that his was the first batch to be graduated from the SVS College. His thirst for knowledge and further education was fulfilled when Louis acquired MA degree from the Mysore University in 1974 with economics as the major subject. 


When asked about his interests and activities while studying in different educational institutions, Louis said that he was an average student. While in school, he used to play cricket as any other student. However, his talents began to manifest while he was in the SVS College. He did participate in various inter-collegiate elocution and debating competitions and won prizes. He was also good in essay writing and bagged prizes in the competitions organised by the Rotary Club of Bantwal. Acting in dramas was another hobby that Louis cultivated while in college. Louis did not lag behind in offering his service to the church. He was an active member  of  the  Yong Christian Movement (YCM).


After completing the post graduate course, though Louis had an offer  as a lecturer in the Government Junior College at Bantwal, Louis had other plans in his mind and joined the Vijaya Bank, Light House Hill Road, Mangalore as an officer trainee in December 1974.


Following confirmation in service, Louis was transferred to  Birur in Chikmagalur district where he worked for  four years and later to Gonikoppala in Madikeri district for two years.


Under the ‘North-South Transfer Policy’, Louis was transferred to Muzaffarpur in Bihar where he worked as the Assistant Branch Manager for four years. After four years, he was brought back to Karnataka and was posted at Kambada Kone in Kundapur  as Assistant Branch Manager and after one year was elevated to the position of Branch Manager and was sent  to Badanidiyur in Kemmannu where he served the bank for two years.



Having a post graduate degree and sufficient experience in banking sector, the Vijaya Bank management decided to utilise the knowledge and experience of Louis to train the newly recruited clerical staff and was included as a faculty member in the Staff Training Centre at Mulki  for two years. Thereafter, Louis was transferred to Javagal in Hassan District as Branch Manager for five years followed by a three years term at Chikmagalur. The final posting of Louis was as Senior Manager in the Investment Division of Vijaya Bank at Nariman Point, Mumbai  from where he retired in 2000.


After retirement, Louis decided to spend his time and energy in social and political activities. Louis had developed an awareness and interest in political affairs right from his college days. Regarding his present political affiliation, Louis said that the emergency imposed by the then Prime Minister of India, Mrs. Indira Gandhi  in 1975 in its consequences led to the development of anti-Congress feelings within him.


Louis further said that the movement led by Jaya Prakash Narayan greatly influenced his thinking and he was sympathetic to the Janata Party led by late Ramakrishna Hegde in Karnataka. As the Janata Party got itself divided into several regional outfits, after his retirement, Louis eventually joined the Janata Dal Secular (JDS) led by HD Devegowda, in 2001.



The ability and leadership qualities of Louis were recognised by the party bosses as he was appointed as the President of the Udupi District Minority Wing in 2002, a post that was held by him till 2008. Presently, he is the Vice President of the JDS in Udupi District. 


Louis is quite aware that the JDS does not have effective presence in the Dakshina Kannada and Udupi Districts. Thus, the party could not make much difference in the political set up in these two coastal districts. Louis says that he has not yet participated in the electoral process as a candidate f the party either for local or state level elections.  However, he had campaigned for the JDS candidates in the elections for the local bodies such as taluk and zilla panchyat,  municipality as well as to assembly and Lok Sabha.


Being the resident of Kalmady, Louis has been an active member of the parish community of the Stella Maris Church and has been a member of some of the important parish associations. Presently, he is the Vice President of the Parish Pastoral Council, a post that he is holding for second time.



As he belonged to the Christian minority community, Louis has been a member and  Vice President of the Forum for Communal Harmony of Udupi District (Zilla Komu Sauhardha Vedike). He is also the advisor to the Zilla Alpa Sankyata Vedike (Minority Forum).


When asked about his association with the International Federation of Karnataka Christian Association  (IFKCA) founded by Ronald Colaco, Louis said that he had been working  earlier with the Bharatiya Christa Okkuta that included various Christian denominations. This association was involved in providing protection to Christians and their interests in the Coastal Karnataka. Whenever and wherever any Christians  faced troubles, the association would  come to their rescue and help them out.



Meanwhile, Ronald Colaco launched the IFKCA in Bangalore and gradually its branches came to be established in 15 districts of Karnataka. However, there were no branches of IFKCA either in Mangalore  or Udupi. The Bharatiya Christa Okkuta felt it necessary to have an association with state-wide representation. The members of the Okkuta met Ronald Colaco and put forward their views before him  and asked him to open branches of IFKCA in Mangalore and Udupi for which he agreed.


Louis said that since five to six years, Ronald Colaco has been providing monetary support to  the Christian candidates, no matter to which political parties they belonged, to contest elections.  His chief aim in doing so is to ensure that as many  Christian representatives as possible should be members of local self government.



With the attacks on Christian places of worship in 2008, the IFKCA came to the  forefront in Mangalore and other  parts of Karnataka. With the aim of including other denominations within the fold, additional branches of IFKCA were established in 2010 in different parts of Krnataka including Udupi and Kundapura. Louis Lobo was elected as the President of the   Udupi Branch of the IFKCA with an executive Committee comprising of 30 members. Dr. Neri Cornelio, Principal of Milagres College, Kallianpur is the Secretary of the Udupi Branch of IFKCA.



Highlighting the objectives of the IFKCA, Louis Lobo said that the association was founded with the basic aim f uniting all Christian denominations under one umbrella; rendering legal and other help to Christians as and when they face any problems;  working with likeminded organisations;  to endeavour to give more representation to women in church management;  to  educate and  spread awareness among Christians regarding their constitutional rights; to help the community with regard to the various beneficial schemes brought forth by the central and state governments; to bring pressure on the government to provide proper representation to the Christian community in various cooperative and government-run  institutions;  to bring awareness among the Christian community regarding the need for political representation and encourage Christians to join any political party, contest elections, not only for local self governments but also at the state and national level.



According to Luis Lobo, IFKCA has done quite good work in the Udupi District. It has given financial assistance too practically all Christian candidates who had contested elections in the last local self governments such as grama, taluk and district panchayat elections. IFKCA had also felicitated not only the candidates who had won the elections but also those who had contested and lost.


Louis has been participating in various agitations organised on important issues concerning  the Christian community, the prominent one being  the protest in Udupi against  Justice Soma Shekara Report on the attack on Churches  that was considered to be unjust towards the Christians. Around 7000 people participated in this agitation.



One of the important achievements of Louis Lobo was his attempt to bring the Christian businessmen and entrepreneurs under the Christian Chamber of Commerce. For this purpose, under the banner of IFKCA , Louis Lobo convened a meeting  of the Christian entrepreneurs n August 28, 2011 in the Kidiyur Hotel which had overwhelming response.  This meeting led t the foundation of the Christian Chamber of Commerce with Jerry Dias, President of the Builders Association as the President and Alwyn Quadors as the Secretary.



Louis Lob married Matilda D’Cunha of Hosabettu near Modubidri in 1978. Mrs. Matilda had been a teacher in St. Cecily’s High School, Udupi and retired in 2009. They were blessed with three children-Lolita Deepika, married to Roshan (Bangalore), Lavita Divya married to Marsh Lloyd D’Souza and presently are in England, and Lyret Deena married to Norman Castelino  of Moodubelle who are presently in Texas (USA).



Comments on this Article
Congratulation Mr. Louis Lobo. we from Kalmady parish are really proud of u. we need people like you with fighting sprit. I and my family wish u all the best for your future.
Benedict Noronha, Udupi Wed, February-8-2012, 5:47
Mr Louis Lobo, to me is Devegowda of Udupi Catholic community. When ever we met I used to addes him like that and he used to enjoy it. I am not able to catch him up in his activities and hence I only envy him. His fighting spirit is exemplary and it indeed opportune to read about him in the annals of Belle vision a multifacited personality, worth emulating. Good luck Mr Lobo, in your endeavours.
A D’cunha, Hosabettu Sun, February-5-2012, 8:17

Dear Bhavoji, Keep up the good work for the community at-large and may God bless you and your family always. Nice to see you all on the net.

Arun, Kalmady Sat, February-4-2012, 11:33

Congratulations and all the best.

Philip Mudartha, Qatar Sat, February-4-2012, 9:23
Thirty years ago, while touring villages where Louis Lobo spent his early days, I stayed overnight as a guest in a Lobo household. I carry pleasant memories of their rustic generosity and hospitality. Anyone born and brought up in a terrain of those villages, would not retire quietly tend to kitchen gardens. May Lobo greater success in his mission.
Wilfred M, Mangalore/USA Wed, February-1-2012, 12:21
Congratulations and wish you all the best!
Zita, New Delhi Wed, February-1-2012, 3:43
Congratulations..May The Good Lord Bless you always. We are very proud of you.., Keep up the good work.
Ronald Sabi, Moodubelle Wed, February-1-2012, 12:01
Thank you Dr. Eugene for introducing such a person serving the community and society! Long live Mr. Louis Lobo
Beulah J Mathias, New Hampshire (USA) Tue, January-31-2012, 1:51
Congratulations Mr Louis Lobo. You have made the entire Christian community especially Kalmady very proud. We need people like u. Wish you all the very best n lots of success in all your future endeavors.
veronica.alick, New Delhi/ Belle Tue, January-31-2012, 7:08
Congrats.He is really very active and always there to help the needy.Our Best Wishes to him and his family
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