"Life at any time can become difficult:
life at any time can become easy. It all depends upon how one
adjusts oneself to life. " (Morarji Desai)
Morarji Desai , known for his quirky behaviour
was the first non-Congress Prime Minister of India.
Hailing from an orthodox Brahmin family from
Bhadeli, Gujarat, Morarji Desai is known as one the foremost freedom
fighters of India. In 1918, after graduation, he joined civil
service and started working as Deputy collector. Later in 1930,
he left the job and started to participate actively in independence
movement initiated by Indian National Congress. He was
imprisoned several times as part of Quit India Movement and
Mahatma Gandhi's Civil Disobedience Campaign. In 1946, he became
Bombay's Revenue Minister and later, Home Minister and Chief Minister
(1952). In the following years of his political tenure with the
Congress, Morarji Desai occupied several positions such as Union
Minister, Deputy Prime minister and Finance Minister.
In 1969, Congress Split and Morarji gave
his vote for Congress (O) and was re-elected into Parliament in 1971.
He was arrested in 1975 for his political activities by Indira
Gandhi government during Emergency rule and detained
in solitary confinement until 1977. During this period he joined
and became active in Janata Party. The same year Desai was selected as the parliamentary
leader of Janata Party and was elected in sixth Lok Sabha
election thereby becoming the fourth Prime Minister of India.
Desai is notable for his peace activism where
he took efforts to initiate peace between South Asian States,
Pakistan and India. Shri Desai holds the credible distinction
of being the only Indian to receive the highest civilian awards
from both India and Pakistan. He was Honored with Bharat Ratna
from India and Nishaan -e- Pakistan from Pakistan. In 1979, Desai
resigned from Janata Party and took retirement from Politics at
the age of 83. He was a naturalist and a strict follower of Mahatma
Gandhi's principles till his death in 1995 at the age of 99.
(Updated on 3/6/2014)