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.

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PANDIT JAWAHARLAL NEHRU – Barrister, Freedom Fighter

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GULZARILAL NANDA – Scholar, Professor, Freedom Fighter

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

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LAL BAHADUR SHASTRI – Scholar and Freedom Fighter

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INDIRA GANDHI – Assisted her father before becoming a minister

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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.)

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CHARAN SINGH – Civil Lawyer and Freedom Fighter

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INDIRA GANDHI (2nd Term) – Ex-PM

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RAJIV GANDHI – Pilot

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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.)

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

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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!)

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ATAL BIHARI VAJPAYEE – Journalist, Editor and Freedom Fighter

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H D DEVE GOWDA – Activist and Politician

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I K GUJRAL – Freedom Fighter, Poet and Politician

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

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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.)

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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.

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5 thoughts on “Prime Minister Numero 15

  1. I am thrilled at Mr. Modi’s start.., he is so confident and taking all the right decisions.!! I don’t think he will entertain any chamcha-giri. I have no politics, but I feel finally we got a person who is capable of taking this nation forward. Waiting eagerly for more and more right decisions from our new Prime Minister. 🙂 NaMo namaha..

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  2. Pingback: Timeline: Indian Prime Minister Visits to the U.S. – India Real Time – WSJ | CHINDIA ALERT: You'll be living in their world, very soon

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