The 12th Prime Minister of India, Inder Kumar Gujral served the country from April 1997 to March 1998. He was a person who was inclined towards politics from the very beginning and joined politics during his college days. He belongs to family of patriots, so, serving the nation was in his blood. His parents were actively involved in the freedom struggle. His siblings were also known as freedom fighters. He himself joined the Quit India movement and joined Communist Party of India during his college days. After the Indo-Pak war, he switched to Indian National Congress.
I.K. Gujral was born 4th December 1919 in Jhelum, which is presently located in Pakistan. He completed his education in at D.A.V. College, Hailey College of Commerce and Forman Christian College University, Lahore. He was a poetic person, his wife Sheila Gujral was also an acclaimed poet and died in 2011.
It was in 1958 that Gujral became the vice-president of New Delhi Municipal Committee and in 1964, joined INC. In the same year he became a member of Rajya Sabha. During the time of emergency in 1975, he was the Minister of Information and Broadcasting and was in charge of censoring media during that time. Gujral was the third PM from the Rajya Sabha. He served as the Ambassador of India to the U.S.S.R from 1976-1980. He later left INC and joined Janta Dal. It was during the rule of H.D. Deve Gowda that he became the Minister of External Affairs. In 1997, he became the Prime Minister of India but unluckily held the position only for eleven months. He introduced the “Gujral Doctrine”. Gujral, in his autobiography of the doctrine wrote, "The logic behind the Gujral Doctrine was that since we had to face two hostile neighbours in the north and the west, we had to be at ‘total peace’ with all other immediate neighbours in order to contain Pakistan’s and China’s influence in the region." It was hugely praised and he was respected highly for such work.
Illness and death
Gujral was diagnosed with lung infection in 2012. He suffered from serious chest infection soon after that. His health deteriorated, fell unconscious and soon was declared dead on 30th November, 2012. Seven-day period of state mourning was declared by the government of India.
Dr. Farooq Abdullah: "a politician, a diplomat and a humanist who would be remembered for his many accomplishments in the diplomatic and political arena;"
Sonia Gandhi: "...the late leader had the ability to win goodwill and friendship across the political spectrum. It is these qualities and the genuine warmth of his personality that made him such a widely admired and respected Prime Minister of India, MP and ambassador."
Brother: Satish Gujral
(FOLLOWER OF Mr. INDER KUMAR GUJRAL)
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