Thursday, September 29, 2022
I K Gujral

I K Gujral, the 12th Prime Minister of India, was an intellectual who propounded the 'Gujral Doctrine' of five principles for maintaining good neighbourly relations. The circumstances of his early life made him a freedom fighter and even then he showed innate traits of a politician.

Gujral was born in 1919 at Jhelum, Punjab in present Pakistan, but later migrated to India after partition. He was born in a family of freedom fighters and his parents actively took part in the fight for independence in the state of Punjab. In 1931, at the age of 11, he along with his siblings took part in freedom movement. In 1942, he was jailed during Quit India Movement. He finished his graduation at the Hailey College of Commerce, Lahore,

Gujral was initiated into politics during his college days, and joined the Communist Party of India. He served as president of the Lahore Studentsí Union as well as the General Secretary of the Punjab Studentsí Federation. But after Indo Pak war, he left Communist party and joined the Congress Party. In 1964, he entered  Rajya Sabha and continued to serve until 1976. Then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, realised his administrative abilities and gave him the authority over different governmental sectors. He was member of Union Cabinet from 1967 - 76 and became the Ambassador to USSR (1976 - 80).

In 1980, he left Congress Party and joined Janata Dal. He headed ministry of External Affairs during 1989-90 and again in 1996-97, during reign of V P Singh and H.D. Devegowda respectively. In 1997, I K Gujral took oath as the twelth Prime Minister of India. During his brief ministry he developed Gujral Doctrine, a set of five principles to emphasize relationships with neighboring countries of India. But his ministry lasted for only 11 months. He was not nominated for the 1999 elections and hence retired from active politics.

Apart from Political activities, he was a socialist, writer and also the head of various sports clubs. He has written many poetic pieces in Urdu, and books such as 'The Foreign Policies for India'

Inder Kumar Gujral passed away on November 30th, 2012 in Medanta Hospital, Gurgaon (Haryana) of multiple organ failure.

(Last updadated on 4/6/2014)