Bishwa Nath Singh:
Gulzari Lal Nanda is one name that is the replica of honesty and sincerity amongst Politicians of the last century who was the Prime Minister of India for a total of just twenty six days, two terms of thirteen days each that were from January 11,1966 to January 24, 1966 and May 27,1964 to June 9, 1964 firstly after the death of Jawaharlal Nehru and secondly after the death of Lal Bahadur Shastri.He was a recipient of the country ‘s highest civilian award Bharat Ratna award in 1997.
(Photo of Gulzari Lal Nanda,formerly Interim Prime Minister of India )
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Bishwa Nath Singh :
The unbelievable fact about Gulzarilal Nanda is that he has been the only Prime Minister of India not having a house of his own that reflects his honest living as a Politician, one that can rarely be found and matched! The other interesting... fact of Gulzari Lal Nanda is that he lived for ninety nine years just like another Prime Minister Morarji Desai! In our Indian Constitution, there is no position of acting Prime Minister although there is a provision for an acting President but since he was number two in the Union Cabinet during Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru and Lal Bahadur Shastri cabinet,there was no alternative for the President of India to invite him and sworn him as the Prime Minister during those mourning period.He was a freedom fighter, veteran Gandhian and interim Prime Minster. He was born on July 4, 1898 at Badhoki in Sialkot District of Punjab now in Pakistan.. into a Punjabi Hindu Khatri family He had received his education in Lahore, Amritsar, Agra, and Allahabad. He did his double Master of Arts from the Allahabad University. Where he had worked as a research scholar on labor problems at Allahabad University during 1920 to 1921 and later on , he joined as a Professor of Economics at National College in Bombay (Mumbai) in 1921 where he came in contact with Mahatma Gandhi in Mumbai, who instructed him to join the national movement and to organize the labour force in Ahmcdabad. In 1921, he had organised the Mazdoor Mahajan Sangh In 1922, he became secretary of the Ahmedabad Textile Labour Association where he worked until 1946. In Mumbai moved by the plight of industrial workers he took active part in trade union activities and was elected secretary of the national trade textile association in 1922. The civil disobedience movement launched by Gandhi in 1930 once again fired his imagination and he again became a political activism and was imprisoned in 1932. During the Quit India movement, he was jailed for two years. In 1946, following the installation of provincial governments in the states, he was appointed parliamentary secretary and also Chairman of the Bombay Housing Board and then called to Delhi as Deputy. Chairman of Nehru's Planing Commission. In Delhi he was inducted into the Union Cabinet. For the next 11 years, he looked after planning, labor, employment, irrigation and power. Known to be non-partisan, he was acceptable to a large section of the Congress party workers. In 1960 Nehru recalled him to the Planning Commission as its deputy chairman, a post he held till 1963. He was married to Lakshmi who had died in 1987.He had only one daughter Dr. Pushpa Naik He was imprisoned for Satyagraha in 1932, and again from 1942 to 1944.After Independence, he was honored to become the head of the first Planning Commission and authored the First Five Year Plan. In March 1950, he had joined the Indian Planning Commission as its vice-chairman. In September 1951, he was appointed Union Planning Minister in the Indian Government. He was also given charge of the portfolios of Irrigation and Power. He was elected to the Lok Sabha from Bombay in the general elections of 1952, and was reappointed Minister for Planning, Irrigation, and Power. He led the Indian Delegation to the Plan Consultative Committee held in Singapore in 1955, and the International Labor Conference held in Geneva in 1959.He was re-elected to the Lok Sabha in the 1962 elections from the Sabarkantha constituency in Gujarat. He initiated the Congress Forum for Socialist Action in 1962. He was Union Minister for Labor and Employment during 1962 - 1963, and Union Minister for Home Affairs during 1963 to 1966. After the death of Pt. Nehru, Nanda became an interim Prime Minister. He was once again made the acting Prime Minster after Lai Bahadur Shastri's death.he had served also as Union Minister of Railways. He retired from active politics in the early 1970s. A principled politician, he found himself ' misfit and out of tune with the changed circumstances. He did not owe any property. He had lived in a rented house in New Delhi's Defense Colony from which he was evicted since he could not pay its rent and moved to Ahmedabad where he lived with his daughter. What sets him apart from almost all the other freedom fighters that held high offices in independent India is his complete insulation from desire material. He had no source of income and would not accept funds from his children or from any well wisher. A friend, Sheel Bhadra Yajee, forced him to sign an to receive freedom fighter’s pension of Rupess five hundred per month and with that he managed his living in the latter part of his life. He was a very seasoned and principled politician He died of respiratory complications following a prolonged illness on January 15,1998 at New Delhi in India. The grateful nation mourned his passing away as he was one of the most distinguished son of our motherland who lived and died for welfare of our nation. Let us join to pay our humble obeisance to his lotus feet and pledge to carry on his legacy in our life! His life should be an eye-opener for all politicians of today especially to all those who are out and out living for power and money politics most of the time!
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