The 25th Death Anniversary of Morarji Ranchhodji Desai was commemorated this year on April 10. Morarji was an Indian independence activist who served as the 4th Prime Minister of India between 1977 and 1979. In his long political career, he held many important government positions including the Chief Minister of Bombay State, Home Minister, Finance Minister and 2nd Deputy Prime Minister of India.

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Morarji Desai Biography

Morarji Desai was born on February 29, 1896, into a Gujarati family in the present-day Valsad district, Gujarat, India. He was the eldest of eight children. His father was a school teacher. Desai attended the University of Mumbai and joined the provincial civil service of Bombay as a minor functionary in 1918. He resigned the job in 1930 and joined Mahatma Gandhi’s civil disobedience movement. During the struggle for independence, he spent almost 10 years in British jails. On April 21, 1952, he was appointed as the second Chief Minister of Bombay State which he held till October 31, 1956.

Morarji Desai Political Career

Morarji became a member of All India Congress Committee in 1931 and served as the Secretary of the Gujarat Pradesh Congress Committee till 1937. In 1937, Morarji became the Minister for Revenue, Agriculture, Forest and Co-operatives in the first Congress Government under Chief Minister B.G. Kher in the then Bombay Province. In 1939, the Congress ministers left office in protest against India’s participation in the World War without the consent of the people.

Morarji served as the Member of Parliament in Lok Sabha from Surat constituency from 1957 to 1980. In 1956 he was appointed as the Minister of commerce and industry which he resigned in 1963. In March 1967 he was appointed as the Minister of Finance as well as the 2nd Deputy Prime Minister of India in the cabinet of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. He resigned in 1969 to become chairman of the opposition to Indira Gandhi and the Congress Party. On July 1, 1978, he was appointed as the Minister of Home Affairs which he served till January 24, 1979. Morarji was arrested in 1975 and detained in solitary confinement until 1977 for his political activities. He later became active in the Janata Party, which was a coalition of four smaller parties. The Janata party achieved a surprising and overwhelming victory in the unexpected election in June 1977 after the Emergency from June 25, 1975, to March 21, 1977. Morarji Desai was unanimously selected as the Prime Minister by Janata party leaders. As many differences arose within the Janata party after two years of political tension, Desai announced his resignation on July 15, 1979, to avoid a vote of no confidence.

Morarji Desai Achievements

Morarji was honoured with Pakistan’s highest civilian award, Nishan-e-Pakistan, for his extraordinary efforts in initiating peace between the two rival countries. He is the only Indian national to receive this honour. Morarji believed that socialism can be accomplished only when the poor and the underprivileged in the rural, urban or suburban sector enjoy a decent standard of life. He always stood with the peasants and tenants by enacting progressive legislations to improve their life. His tenure as the Chief Minister of the Bombay state was far better than many other states in the country. He service with unfaltering sincerity earned him a great reputation.

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During his tenure as the Prime Minister, of India, he implemented projects to make all the citizens fearless regardless of their backgrounds. He assured that no one has any special rights above the law of the land. He prioritised truth as an article of faith rather than expediency. He didn’t let his principles to be subordinated to the situations of exigency. He stood by his convictions even in times of adverse circumstances.

Morarji Desai Death Reason

After retiring from a Prime Minister in 1979, he lived in Mumbai till his death on 10 April 1995 at the age of 99. Desai was the world’s oldest living former head of government since the death of former French Prime Minister Antoine Pinay in December 1994. Desai was honoured in his last years as a freedom-fighter of his generation.

Morarji Desai Personal Life

Morarji Desai married Gujraben in 1911, at the age of 15. They have five children including Kanti Desai. Their grandsons are Jagdeep and Bharat Desai. One of his great-grandsons and son of Jagdeep Desai, Madhukeshwar Desai, an Indian lawyer and politician who belongs to the Bharatiya Janata Party. Madhukeshwar serves as the National Vice President of the Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha, the youth wing of the BJP, since 2013. Morarji’s other great-grandson Vishaal Desai, son of Bharat Desai, is a writer and filmmaker. Morarji Desai was a moralist and a strict follower of Mahatma Gandhi’s principles. He was a vegetarian both by birth and by conviction.

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Morarji Desai Images on India Content Website

The India Content website has a good stock of Morarji Desai images. The high-definition images on the website are available in three sizes – small, medium and large.

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