Shri Morarji Ranchhodji Desai

 

Morarji Ranchhodji Desai (29 February 1896 – 10 April 1995) was an Indian independence activist and the fourth Prime Minister of India from 1977–79. He was the first Indian Prime Minister who did not belong to the Indian National Congress. After assuming the office, Desai promoted his policies and peace initiatives between Pakistan and India to avoid conflicts, such as Indo-Pakistani war of 1971. For this, he was conferred with Nishaan-e-Pakistan (Order of Pakistan). Desai is the only Indian national to receive the highest civilian award from Pakistan, the Nishaan-e-Pakistan.

Morarji Desai was born into an Anavil Brahmin family in Bhadeli, Valsad in Bombay Presidency (now in Gujarat). His schooling life of Primary section is in Saurashtra The Kundla School, Savarkundla. It's now actual name is J.V.Modi School.After he joined Bai Ava Bai High School, Valsad. After graduating from Wilson College, Mumbai, he join ed the civil service in Gujarat. Later, he left the service of the British in 1924 and joined the civil disobedience movement against British rule in India in 1930. He spent many years in jail during the freedom struggle and owing to his sharp leadership skills and tough spirit, he became a favourite amongst freedom-fighters and an important leader of the Indian National Congress in Gujarat. When provincial elections were held in 1934 and 1937, Desai was elected and served as the Revenue Minister and Home Minister of the Bombay Presidency.

Before the independence of India, he became Bombay's Home Minister and later was elected as Chief Minister of Bombay State in 1952. The state was home to Marathi linguistic movements, with calls for the creation of a separate linguistic state. Considered as a tough leader, Desai was also known for pioneering beliefs and enforcing strict discipline and authority. By Desai's orders in 1960, a demonstration by the Samyukta Maharashtra Samiti was fired upon by the police resulting in the deaths of 105 demonstrators. 105 demonstrators were killed in the incident leading to public outrage that shook the central government. The incident led to the formation of the present State of Maharashtra.

Morarji Desai became the prime minister after the landslide victory of the Janata coalition in 1977. The coalition, later the janata party, was full of personal and policy friction and thus failed to achieve much owing to continuous in-wrangling and much controversy. With no party in leadership of the coalition, rival groups vied to unseat Desai. Controversial trials of prominent Congress leaders, including Indira Gandhi over Emergency-era abuses worsened the fortunes of his administration. Desai worked to improve relations with neighbour 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. Diplomatic relations were also re-established with China. His government undid many amendments made to the constitution during emergency and made it difficult for any future government to impose national emergency.

 
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