Prime Minister Numero 15

Today Narendra Modi, India’s PM elect is all set to be appointed India’s 15th Prime Minister (15th if you combine the two terms of Indira Gandhi, Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Manmohan Singh). That makes this the perfect time to take a look at all those leaders who preceded him. What they did after they became Prime Ministers has been recorded many times over in the nation’s history books. What I found interesting was their background before they became the supreme leader of India. Sure they were all members of their respective political parties, but you will note that some were ‘born into’ the top echelons of the party and therefore ‘inherited’ the top positions, while others soldiered on as foot soldiers before reaching the top position.

Image

PANDIT JAWAHARLAL NEHRU – Barrister, Freedom Fighter

Image

GULZARILAL NANDA – Scholar, Professor, Freedom Fighter

(He was the acting Prime Minister after the deaths of Jawaharlal Nehru and Lal Bahadur Shastri)

Image

LAL BAHADUR SHASTRI – Scholar and Freedom Fighter

Image

INDIRA GANDHI – Assisted her father before becoming a minister

Image

MORARJI DESAI – Civil Service and Freedom Fighter

(Incidentally, Desai resigned as deputy collector of Godhra in May 1930 after being found guilty of going soft on Hindus during the riots of 1927-28 there! You draw the parallels… however I don’t see Mr Modi having to resign as he has a majority.)

Image

CHARAN SINGH – Civil Lawyer and Freedom Fighter

Image

INDIRA GANDHI (2nd Term) – Ex-PM

Image

RAJIV GANDHI – Pilot

Image

V P SINGH – Politician

(Not much information available about his beginnings except that he was born in the Rajput Zamindar family ruling the Kingdom of Manda. If you have some information about his background other than his zamindar beginnings please drop me a note. I will update this information.)

Image

CHANDRA SHEKHAR – Student Politician and activist for farmer’s rights

Image

P V NARASIMHA RAO – Writer, Editor and Freedom Fighter

(Random fact – PV could speak in Telugu, Hindi, Urdu, Oriya, Marathi, Bengali, Gujarati, Tamil, English, French, Arabic, Spanish, German and Persian!)

Image

ATAL BIHARI VAJPAYEE – Journalist, Editor and Freedom Fighter

Image

H D DEVE GOWDA – Activist and Politician

Image

I K GUJRAL – Freedom Fighter, Poet and Politician

Image

ATAL BIHARI VAJPAYEE (2nd Term) – Ex-PM

Image

MANMOHAN SINGH – Professor, Economist, RBI Governor and senior roles in   Planning Commission and Public Services Commission, Advisor to PM and Finance Minister

(Manmohan Singh was the Prime Minister for two consecutive terms.)

Image

NARENDRA MODI – Tea seller, RSS volunteer, anti-emergency activist and politician

(He is the first Indian PM born after India gained independence. On a lighter note… in a nation of chai drinkers his beginnings counts for something. )

If you have any other interesting facts to add about these stalwarts please do drop me a note and I will add the information to the post.

My Himalayan Odyssey Part 6 – BRO On The Hilly Highways

A road trip in the Himalayan foothills involves many things – adventure, fun, great views and most uniquely to India – road signs from our BRO. That is the Border Roads Organization and not Big Brother. So what is so special about these signs you may well ask? Is it the Indian penchant for misspelling or malapropism on our signage?  Well… the BRO signs are relatively free from misspellings (though there are a few exceptions)… but what makes them unique is the humorous and appealing manner in which drivers on the mountainous roads are reminded about road safety rules and principles. Take a gander at a few… (Images courtesy http://www.peeppeepdon’tsleep.com, http://www.fabsn.com and http://www.myvisionmyway.com). There are a few that warn one against drunk driving and try their hand at rhyming while they are at it… Image Image

Then there are the ones about daydreaming that will appeal to the creative ones amid us..

. Image Image

My favourites are the ones devoted to curves… of the roads and not the sort that you may occassionally find walking on the roads… the adventurous spellings just adds to their charm!

 

Image Image Image Image

Then there are those which don’t make any bones about the dangers ahead. The warning is loud and clear. Proceed but beware … Image Image Image Image Image

This was obviously written by a male chauvinist at the BRO. But then… on second thought, maybe he is addressing it to the second man sitting in the car and not to the driver’s wife who is quietly fuming cause the men are refusing to ask for directions. Image

Then these ones which keep your family in mind even if you are willing to forget about them or more specifically, are up in the mountains in order to forget about them. Well, tough luck, the BRO is not going to let you forget your loved ones back home. Image Image Image

Then there are the random ones! Like an apologetic BRO – Image

The mysterious and profound ones that can cause you to drive off the road in to a ravine, while you try to decipher them – Image Image Image

The ones that touch on luuurrvve –

Image

The ones boasting the ubiquitous ‘cheeky’ misspelling –

Image

The ones with good advice that can be kept in mind even if you are not driving on a mountain road –

Image Image

The self-pat-in-the-back one

Image

And finally my favourite one –

Image

Happy Driving Darling! 🙂