Morarji Desai

Here we listed out some interesting facts about The Able Administrator Morarji Desai , with his Biography, Profile, Facts, Timeline, Awards, Achievement, etc.,

Born: 29 February 1896
Birth Place: Valsad, India
Nationality: Indian
Died: 10 April 1995, New Delhi, India
Education: Wilson College, Mumbai
Political party: Janata Dal (1988–1995)
Spouse(s): Gujraben
Books: The story of my life, Nature Cure
Known as: The Able Administrator
Awards: Bharat Ratna

  • Morarji Desai was born at Bhadeli, a little village near Bulsar in Gujarat, on February 29, 1896. Since it was a leap year, his birthday came once in four years.
  • His father, Ranachhodji Desai, was a teacher in Bhavnagr Sate in Saurashtra. His mother, Vijayaben came from an Aravil Brahmin family from Konkan district.
  • Morarji Desai received his primary education at Bhadeli and after passing his matriculation from Bulsar, he went to Wilson College in Bombay and graduated in the year 1912.
  • Morarji was only 15 years old when his father, unable to face financial problems, committed suicide by jumping into the well. After the death of his father the responsibility of looking after the family  fell on Morarji’s young shoulders.
  • He married Sajaraben, who was only 11 years old at the time of marriage.
  • After graduation Morarji Desai appeared for the Indian Civil Services examination and was appointed Deputy Collector in the Bombay Presidency in 1918.
  • He never compromised on his principles and often had clashes with his seniors.
  • Due to his active involvement in the freedom struggle and his anti-Government activities, the Government appointed a bench for enquiry against Morarji Desai.
  • He resigned in response to Gandhiji’s call of “civil disobedience” and devoted his next forty years to the service of the nation.
  • Morarji Desai was elected a Member of the Bombay Provincial Congress Committee and became its Secretary in 1931.
  • In 1937 he was elected to the Bombay Legislative Assembly and was Minister for Forests in the first Congress Government and later served as the Revenue and Home Minister of Bombay.
  • He was imprisoned several times for his participation in the freedom movement.
  • Morarji Desai went to jail in 1932, 1934, 1940 and 1942 and again in 1943. According to Morarjibhai he days spent in jail were quite fruitful.  He met other eminent leaders like Mahatma Gandhi and had regular discourse with them.
  • He found time to read books on Socialism and Communism. Communism could not interest him but he was attracted towards Socialism and felt that the poverty in India could be removed through Socialism.
  • He was familier with the Bhagwad Gita since his childhood, and while in jail, read it once or twice every day. The teachings from this holy book helped him in giving his thoughts a clear perspective.
  • India attained freedom in 1947 and after the first general elections held in 1952; Morarji became the Chief Minister till the reorganization of the States in 1956.
  • He introduced several reforms in land revenue, administration and also in the Police and Jail administration.
  • Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru noticed his leadership qualities and invited him to Delhi to join the Union Cabinet Ministry.
  • On November 14, 1956, Morarji Desai was sworn in as a Cabinet Minister for Industry and Commerce. People started recognizing him as a close associate of Pandit Nehru.
  • In 1957 he handled the portfolio of Finance and led delegations to various countries abroad in connection with the IMF and International Bank for Reconstruction and Development.
  • The disputes in the Congress Party started growing and the Party was divided. Morarji Desai headed the Opposition Congress Party.
  • In 1975 Indira Gandhi declared ‘Emergency’ and Morarji Desai was put behind bars, along with some other national leaders. He was in prison from June 1975 to January 1977.
  • In the 1977 elections. the Janata Party came to power and Morarji Desai became the fourth Prime Minister of India, albeit for a very short while. He resigned from the post of Prime Ministership on July 28, 1978.
  • He was one of the last important followers of the Gandhian way of life.  He was religious but did not believe in rituals or idol worship.  He did not observe the cast-system.  He wore only ‘Khadi’.
  • Morarji Desai was closely associate with the Gujarat Vidyapeeth and also with several cultural, academic and social organizations. He also wrote three volumes on the ‘Mahabharat’ and the ‘Bhagwad Gita’.
  • During his short tenure as Prime Minister, he established friendly relations with Pakistan and it is interesting to note that in 1991, not only did the Indian Government honour him with ‘Bharat Ratna” the highest civilian award, but the Pakistan Government also honoured him with their highest award, “Nishan-e-Pakistan”.
  • However, due to ill health, he could not go to Pakistan personally to receive the honour.
  • After his long and outstanding service to the nation, Morarjibhai settled in Bombay and led a retired life.
  • He was a strict vegetarian and while in Office tried his best to ban liquor. He was a strict disciplinarian and this had earned him quite a few opponents.
  • He lived long and died on April 10, 1995, just a few months before completing his century. He attributed his long life to naturopathy.

Morarji Desai

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