Monday, January 17, 2011

A homage to Morar ji Desai,the former Prime Minister of India as flashed on the f.b. on Jan.17,2011.

Bishw Nath Singh: 

One should always advocate for prohibition not only in our country but even far and wide Wine is the root cause of all evils prevalent in the society spread round the world. Many houses are being reduced to ashes on this count every now and then due to this bad habit. Hence, it would be in fitness of thing that such type of gimmick should not be encouraged. Instead of wine, one can go for cow's milk as pleaded by our great saga that makes his/her body and mind strong and fit. Truly speaking, I consider one of the greatest achievements of Morarji Desai when he was the Prime Minister of India that he had introduced prohibition in the country as whole and had saved many houses from being ruined during his brief tenure.


(Photo of Morar ji Desai)

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Bishwa Nath Singh::
 Morarji Desai was born on February 29, 1896 in Bhadeli village, now in the Bulsar district of Gujarat whose father Ranchhodji Desai was a school teacher whereas his mother Vajiaben,a very religious and pious woman.He was educated at St. High School and passed his matriculation examination. He was married with Gujraben in 1911. He graduated from Wilson College Mumbai and later qualified and joined Civil Service of the then Bombay Province in 1918. He served as a Deputy Collector for twelve years. In 1930, Desai resigned from Government service and participated in freedom struggle. Shri Desai was imprisoned thrice during the freedom struggle. He became a Member of the All India Congress Committee in 1931 and was Secretary of the Gujarat Pradesh Congress Committee until 1937. In 1937 Desai became Minister for Revenue, Agriculture, Forest and Co-operatives in the Ministry headed by B.G. Kher in the then Bombay Province. He was arrested in the individual Satyagraha launched by Mahatma Gandhi, released in October, 1941 and arrested again in August, 1942 at the time of the Quit India Movement. He was released in 1945. After the elections to the State Assemblies in 1946, he became the Minister for Home and Revenue in Bombay. In 1952, he became the Chief Minister of Bombay. He became the Union Cabinet Minister for Commerce and Industry on November 14, 1956. Later, he took the Finance portfolio in the Union Government on March 22, 1958. In 1963, he resigned from the Union Cabinet under the Kamraj Plan. Lal Bahadur Shastri, who had succeeded Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru as the Prime Minister of India after his death had persuaded him to take up Chairmanship of the Administrative Reforms Commission for restructuring the administrative system. His long and varied experienced of public life helped him to come out in this new assignment with flying colors.. After Shastri's death in 1966, he contested for Prime Minister and fought a closely-contested election with Indira Gandhi.while he had obtained one hundred sixty nine votes but lost to Indira Gandhi who garnered three hundred fifty one.In 1967, he had joined Indira Gandhi’s Union Cabinet as Deputy Prime Minister and Minister in charge of Finance. In July, 1969,Indira Gandhi had taken away the Union Finance Portfolio from him. While he had conceded that the Prime Minister has the prerogative to change the portfolios of his colleagues, he felt that his self-respect had been hurt as even the common courtesy of consulting him had not shown by Indira Gandhi, the then Prime Minister of India. He, therefore, felt he had no alternative but to resign as Deputy Prime Minister of India. When the Congress Party split in 1969, he remained with the Organization Congress. He continued to take a leading part the opposition. He was re-elected to Parliament in 1971. In 1975, he went on an indefinite fast on the question of holding elections to the Gujarat Assembly which had been dissolved. As a result of his fast, elections were held in June, 1975. The Janata Front formed by the four opposition parties and Independents supported by it, secured an absolute majority in the new House. After the verdict of the Allahabad High Court declaring Indira Gandhi’s election to the Lok Sabha null and void, he had felt that in keeping with democratic principles, Indira Gandhi should have submitted her resignation. He was arrested and detained on June 26, 1975, when the National Emergency was declared in the country. He was kept in solitary confinement and was released on January 18, 1977, a little before the decision to hold elections to the Lok Sabha was announced. He campaigned vigorously throughout the length and breadth of the country and was largely instrumental in achieving the re-sounding victory of the Janata Party in the General Elections held in March, 1977 .He was himself selected to the Lok Sabha from the Surat Constituency in Gujarat. He was later unanimously elected as Leader of the Janata Party in Parliament and was sworn in as the Prime Minister of India on March 24, 1977 and remained as the Prime Minister of India till July 28,1979 In July1979, Charan Singh and Raj Narain had pulled his support from Janata alliance, and Desai resigned from Prime Minister ship of and retired from politics at the age of eighty three. He died on April 10, 1995 in New Delhi at the age of Ninety nine. He had been honored much in his last years as the last great freedom-fighter of his generation alive. He was also well-known for his advocacy of unorthodox medical treatments like the consumption of one's own urine. He had worked to improve relations with neighbor and arch-rival Pakistan and restored normal relations with China, for the first time since the 1962 war. He communicated with Zia-ul-Haq and established friendly relations with Pakistan.He brought many amendments to undo what were made to the constitution during emergency and made it difficult for any future government to impose national emergency.Since India's first nuclear test in 1974, he kept India's nuclear reactors stating that they will never be used for atomic bombs, and he will see to it if he can help it. He was a true Gandhian follower, social worker, institution builder and a great reformer. He was the Chancellor of Gujarat Vidyapith – the university established by Mahatma Gandhi. Even during his term as the Prime Minister he used to visit and stay at Vidyapith during the month of October. He exemplified simplicity and used to write post cards himself even when he held the office of Prime Minister that proves his simplicity and benevolence in Public life. He was the first Indian Prime Minister who did not belong to the Indian National Congress. He is the only Indian to receive the highest civilian awards from both India and Pakistan, namely the Bharat Ratna and Nishaan-e-PakistanLet us pay our respectful homage and floral tribute to him and offer our humble obeisance to his lotus feet!



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