Charan Singh

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Charan Singh

Charan Singh (December 23, 1902May 29, 1987) was the sixth Prime Minister of the Republic of India, serving from 28 July 1979 until 14 January 1980. He holds the record of being the sole Prime Minister of India who did not face the Lok Sabha even for a single day during his short tenure of just a month.

Quotes[edit]

  • Our poverty has to be eliminated and the basic necessities of life made available to every single citizen. Political leadership of the country must remember that nothing mocks our values and our dreams more than the desperate struggle of our people for existence; nothing could therefore be more poignant than the look of despair in the eyes of a starving child. Nothing could therefore be a more patriotic objective for our political leaders than to ensure that no child will go to bed hungry, that no family will fear for its next day's bread and that the future and capacities of not a single Indian will be allowed to be stunted by malnutrition.
  • Non-Jats also vote for him. How many districts are there in UP and how many districts are there in which in which this animal of a Jat is found? Is there anything in my life to suggest that I am casteist? In 1954, I wrote a letter to Nehru, it is on record, in which I suggested that all candidates for gazette jobs must marry outside their own caste. And if a man married inside his caste while holding such a job, he would have to resign.
    • Stig Toft Madsen, et al, in: "Trysts with Democracy: Political Practice in South Asia}, P.80
  • The first thing our leadership in 1947 should have done was to delegalize all communal bodies. All organizations whose membership was confined to a particular caste or religion should have been disallowed from the political field.
    • Stig Toft Madsen, et al, in: "Trysts with Democracy: Political Practice in South Asia}, P.80-81

Profiles of Indian Prime Ministers[edit]

Manisha in:Profiles of Indian Prime Ministers, Mittal Publications, 2010

  • The name of the Congress is mud. There is utter lack of leaderdhip in the state.
    • In a letter to Nehru when he resigned from a minster's post from the Sampurnanand ministry in 1952 in UP, p.196
  • The Jat community votes for non-sectarian in lines far greater proportion than any other in Meerut. They are un-educated, live in villages, have no pull in the public, economic or administrative life of the country and yet would not reconcile themselves to an inferior position in society. They would not put with the taunt of being a Jat. Fifty percent of the Hindu Jats within a short period of 40 years (1891-1931) left their old faith to turn Sikhs or Muslims so that nobody could any longer treat them with contempt.
    • His negative reaction in a letter addressed to Nehru who had made a remark “jatpan’ [jat characteristics] in jest, in: p.197
  • I am a Jat, born in a Jat family. A Muslim I can become immediately, but I cannot become a Brahmin, I cannot become a Rajput. Nor can I become even a Vaishya. And If I want to become a Harijan, even that is impossible, because the constitution does not permit it. It is better if this sort of caste system is destroyed…
    • His resentment of being born a Jat which expressed in a speech in 1977 p.204
  • That abolition of the privy purse will strengthen and ensure success of democracy is pure bunkum. Advanced countries like Britain and Japan are not less democratic or less progressive for the maintenance of their kings and princes. Royalty was not abolished even by socialist parties when they came to power in these countries.
  • ...quite a number of Congressmen are disguised as communists. They will go with Mrs Gandhi to the ultimate end. They have always been enemies of democracy. Behind-them is the Right CPI and behind it is Soviet Russia.
    • His reaction to the closeness of communists to Mrs Gandhi

About Charan Singh[edit]

  • In 1977 he allied his peasant- and agricultural-based Indian Revolutionary Party with the Janata Party of Morarji Desai and subsequently served as minister of home affairs (1977–78) and deputy prime minister (1979) in Desai’s coalition government Factional quarreling broke apart the Janata coalition in 1979, and in July of that year he became prime minister with the support of his former political enemy, Indira Gandhi, who had imprisoned him during the state of emergency of 1975–77. Within a month Gandhi withdrew her support from him, who thenceforth headed a caretaker government until Gandhi was returned to power in the elections of January 1980. He never again held high office.
  • He withdrew his parliamentary support in the summer of 1979 with the aim of becoming prime minister himself, just as he had become Chief Minister of UP by depriving state governments of legislative majorities...He briefly became caretaker prime minister, supported by Congress (I) as part of his deal with Indira, betraying the millions of UP men and women who had voted to get rid of her and Sanjay.
    • David Van Praagh in: "The Greater Game: India's Race with Destiny and China"

Trysts with Democracy: Political Practice in South Asia[edit]

Stig Toft Madsen, et al, in: Trysts with Democracy: Political Practice in South Asia, Anthem Press, 2011

  • He studied law, but unlike many Indian leaders who rose to political power as practicing lawyers, he became known not as a lawyer but as a politician.
    • In: p.80
  • Advocating the rights and interests of the farmers against the landlords or zamindars, he rose to prominence ensuring that the Zamindari Abolition Act would contain no loop holes, which would permit the continued dominance of the zamindars in the [[w:Rural economy|rural economy of the state.
    • In: p.80
  • Contrast his uncompromising honesty and unquestionable abilities with his characterization as Jat leader, casteist, windbag, stubborn, opportunist and now obscurantist
    • In: p.80
  • Born into a culture of familism and casteism, yet critical of the same, Charan Singh lambasted all and sundry in a saintly language which aimed to bridge the chasm between modern aspirations and traditional roots.
    • In: P.81
  • Big leaders , said Niccolo Machiavelli, should inspire both love and fear. He [Chaudhry Charann Singh] had that ability. He was the ‘dictatot’ within the area of his political influence but he also enjoyed a ‘reputation for integrity
    • In: p.85
  • He could not check every conductor, but everybody from chaprasi [peon] to the Chief Secretary, from constable to IG [Inspector General of Police] knew that if he is caught he would not be spared. That is the kind of reputation he got.
  • The area [Bagpat Parliamentary constituencies and nearby areas where Jats dominate] is also known for the absence of landlordism. It was he who was instrumental in abolishing landlordism which concentrated economic and political power in a few families. Yet, he and his son Ajit Singh have succeeded in muster in sufficient support from Jats and others to be repeatedly elected.
    • In: P.73

Profiles of Indian Prime Ministers[edit]

Manisha in:Profiles of Indian Prime Ministers, Mittal Publications, 2010

  • There have been two most athletic figures in Indian politics, Gulzari Lal Nanda, the Prime-Minister-in-waiting or permanent prime minister pro-tem some times called the “stepney prime minister” and Charan Singh had set his sights on prime minisitership in 1974 and would have sold his soul to the devil for it.
    • In: p.193
  • He was different. He had little taste for the finer side of the politics no interest in political philosophy; and he had hardly any values. In any scheme of things, his one target was personal interest. He was anti-Nehru, anti-Indira, anti-Desai, anti-Ramon carrying it, ignoble. He was also given to anger.
    • In: p.195
  • He decided to appear in public a ‘socialist’ by professing to “nationalize” the sugar industry but, in private, he had gone into a deal with sugar barons...The man whom he had appointed as Receiver was cane inspector Man Singh, his own brother! No Chief Minister in UP had ever indulged in this sort of nepotism.
    • In: P.202
  • Basically a leader of peasant community in the north and had not tackled a broad vision. He cannot be called a true Gandhian because a true Gandhian cannot be for office only.
  • No national leader was identified so closely with the interests of the peasantry. He doggedly sought to protect the interests of peasant proprietors against the inexorable juggernaut, as he saw it of collectivism.

External links[edit]

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