Prevention of Stress

The bad news is that the world is filled with things that cause us stress. The good news is that we can learn to deal with it effectively. Here are some strategies to help handle stress Successfully.

1. Develop a proper Perspective :

One Common Characteristics of people who are able to avoid much of the stress that others experience  is that they are able to maintain a proper perspective regardless of life's circumstances. Earle Wilson called perspective. the ability to see the present moment and immediate events against the background of larger reference.

2. Stop Running From Risks:

Fear of risk remains a major cause of stress and potential obstacle to success. Here is what charles swindoll has to say about risk.
""There are no absolute guarantees. No Fall safe plans. No perfectly reliable designs. No completely risk free arrangements. Life refuses to be that near and clear ""
Running Scared invariably blows up in one's face. All who fly risk crashing. All who walk risk stumbling. In short, all who live risk something. To laugh is to risk appearing the fool. To weep is to risk appearing sentimentals. To reach out for another is to risk involvement. To expose feelings is to risk exposing your true self. To love is to risk not being loved in return. To hope is to risk despair. To Try is to risk failure. Want to know the shortest route to ineffectiveness ? Give in to stress and start running scared. Take no chances. Say no to courage and yes to caution. Expect the worst.

Worrying about risk truly is the shortest route to ineffectiveness. Since life is risk, we need to learn to stop running away from risk and face it optimistically. Expect the worst, and that is what you will get every time. Expect the best, and that is what you will most often get.

3. Work in your areas of strength :

People who work in their areas of strength are less likely to become victims of stress, even when they make mistakes. To see a good examples of this, look at former American football quarterback Roger Staubach. When he was still playing for a Dallas Cowboys, he was asked what his reaction was when he threw a pass and it was intercepted by someone on the other team. He replied "When I throw one I can not wait to get my hands on that football. I can not wait to throw another Pass"

What if there is a second interception ? He was asked.
"It makes it even worse; then I really want to throw that ball, " Staubach answered.
If you are not sure where your areas of strength  are, here is something that will help you to identify them. If you make mistakes, and they challenge you instead of causing your to experience stress, them you are probably working in an area of strength. If you mistakes make you feel threatened and tense, you are working in the area of weakness. As you get older, try to work more and more in your areas of strength. IF you do, you are more likely to avoid Stress and achieve Success.

4. Avoid the Rat Race:

In recent years, some people have called the competitive business world in the US the rat race. What they are describing is an intense.. Almost irrational competitive Struggle between people in an industry. It is an environment where people complete fiercely against one another, with them often " Keeping Score" in terms of the amount of personal gain and wealth they acquire. Concerning the rat race, comedian Lily Tomlin said, " The trouble with the rat race is that even if you win, you are still a rat".

When are person enters the rate race of competition instead of working towards his goals in order to achieve his vision, he is subjecting himself to unnecessary stress. No matter how hard that person works, he will not be able to receive a sense of satisfaction, because he is competing in too many areas.

And he will never "Win" because anyone who is driven solely by the desire for personal gain will never acquire enough to be satisfied. A Writer for the Herkimer Citizen suggested that we could learn wisdom from the animals. He Wrote.

So far as is known, no bird ever tried to build more nests than its neighbour, no fox ever fretted because he had only one hole in which to hide; no squirrel ever died of anxiety last he should not lay by enough nuts for two winters instead of one, and no dog ever lost any sleep over the fact that he did not have enough bones laid aside for his declining years.

Word hard, Strive to achieve your goals, But do not do it to the detriment of your family, your health, or your fellow man. Nothing is worth that kind of sacrifice or the stress that comes with it.

5. Get off the Road Overload :

Many of us are like the farmer who stood in the middle of his field and said, "I do not got to work; I am surrounded by it" We keep taking on more and more responsibilities until we can not possibly fulfill them all competently. And that causes stress. Sometimes we need to stop taking on more work and get off the road overload. If you are one of those people who love to try new things and keep taking on more, stop periodically and remind your self that you can not do everything and still do what is importantly more effective. Sometimes you have to give up what is merely good in order to do what is best.

6. Develop Strong Convictions :
Dr Harold Dodds Said, "It is not the fast tempo of life that kills, but the boredom. It is the feeling that nothing is worthwhile that makes men ill and unhappy" . Lack of purpose and direction seems to be epidemic in twentieth century. People no longer know what they believe. Many have replaced values with doubts - conviction with apathy.
German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche recognized people's need for convictions when he said, " If we have a why we shall get along with almost any how" Convictions enable a person to face nearly any situation in life with courage and dignity. The deeper the convictions, the stronger a person is. And the less likely he or she is to experience stress in the face of adversity.

Even truly successful person has strong personal conviction. I credit my success in life to my convictions - to my belief in God and the plan he has for my life. That belief has been my motivation and the source of my strength. It has also made it possible for me to remain positive and relatively stress free in the midst of life's circumstances.

If you are like many people, you may be having a hard time identifying your convictions. If that is the case, talk to some one you know who has strong convictions. He or She may be able to help you work things out.

7. Give up your Rights : 


One of the concepts that was a part of the founding of United States was the belief that all people have certain inalienable rights. It is a wonderful idea, but unfortunately, many Americans have become obsessed with fighting for their rights rather than accepting their responsibility.

One of the problems with fighting for your rights, with attempting to get everything that you are entitled to, 'is that is causes a great amount of stress and emotional fatigue. You won't be always be able to get everything want , no matter how hard you try, to help avoid or minimize interruptions.

Everyone has probably heard the statement. "It is better to give than to receive". Anyone who has every given a gift to child knows that statement is true. The same can be true when it comes to your rights. It is possible to find peace in not always demanding to have you way, in giving up your rights. Giving can bring great joy and it can greatly reduce stress.

7. Reprogam your Mind :


Most  of what we experience emotionally is a result of the way we think. Stress is no exception. The amount of stress we experience is directly related to our way of thinking. And our way of thinking is the direct result of what we put into our minds.

Computer experts know that the output you receive from a computer is the result of the inputs it gets. The same is true with our brains. Our outputs - what we say, think and do is generated by our input. what we read , watch, hear and see.

Each of us chooses our input, and basically we have two choices; thnigs that add either static or stability of our lives. I know a log of people who are fearful. They fear other people.They wont walk in their own neighbourhood after dark. They put bars on their windows and extra locks on their doors. Yet most of them have never had any traumatic problems with people themselves. They are afraid because of all negative things they see on television. It causes them to live stressfilled lives.

Be aware that your mind is constantly undergoing programming. And you are the only person who can choose what your mind will receive. Stay away from things that are negative and that build stress. Instead, follow the advice of Paul the apostle who said in Phillippians 4:8 "Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable - if anything is excellent or praiseworthy - think about such thing."

Go back to Handle Stress 

Handle Stress

One of the greatest problems faced by people today is stress. Even successful people who seem to have their lives in order are afflicted by stress related problems. To show you are great a problem it have become in the US in last 10 years, all you need to know is the at the turn of the century, the top ten killers of people in the US were all infectious diseases. In the 1990s , the top ten killer are all stress related diseases.

Observation on Stress: 

We can not deal with something we do not understand, so any discussion of how to handle stress must begin with a few observations about stress. When it comes to stress, the question is not, "Do you experience stress? "We all feel it in some or another form. The question is "What do yo let affect you, and how does it affect you?" 

Some kinds of stress can be avoided altogether as a result of your mental attitude. Other forms are unavoidable, and you need to learn how to deal with team.

Some Kind of stress can be positive : 

It has been said that necessary is the mother of invention. In a similar way, stress can be called the mother of achievement. Sometime stress brings out the best in people. It can prompt a person to find a better, smarter way of doing things. May be the word pressure or tension would better describe that kind of positive impetus.

You can see the positive effect of pressure particularly well in the lives of some entertainers and athletes. Some actors, for instance, give their best performance when the pressure is on, when people important to them are in the audience. The same is true to some athletes. There are the big game players whose level of play goes up during the championship game or the olympic finals. Different people react differently to that kind of pressure. Stress causes some people to break, and others to break records.

Much Stress is Unnecessary : 

Most people worry unnecessary about too many things. It is almost as though they search for things to give themselves stress. You may find that hard to believe, but if you have doubts look at these figures about worry:

  1. 40 % of all things that people worry that will happen, never comes to pass.
  2. 30 % of all worries involve pas decisions that can not be changed.
  3. 12 % focuses on criticism from others who spoke, because they inferior. 
  4. 10 % is related to health, which worsens when a person worries.
  5. 8 % could be described as legitimate cause of concern.
Is not remarkable?  Fewer than one problem in ten that cause stress is real concern. All the other are things that can be eliminate.

When stress becomes strain it is harmful :

As Mentioned earlier, sometimes stress can be positive prompter and motivator. But stress can also be destructive. In a study performed by Dr G Canby Robinson of the Johns Hopkins Hospital in the US, he discovered that out of 174 hospital patients, 140 of them were worriers. And he also discovered that for over hald of them stress was cuase of symptoms they were experiencing.
Stress becomes strain when it is continous. Dr Selye Explains that the human body reacts to stress in three stages.
  • Alarm
  • Resistance
  • Exhaustion
Also Read : Prevention of Stress ,   De-stress for Life , Finance Stress 

Chandrasekhar Azad


Born: July 23, 1906 
Passed Away: February 27, 1931

Contributions
A contemporary of Bhagat Singh, Chandrasekhar Azad was a born firebrand revolutionary. He engaged in a heroic battle against the British. His role was crucial in inspiring the others of his generation to participate in the national movement for freedom.

Life
Chandrasekhar Azad was born to Pandit Sita Ram Tiwari and Jagrani Devi on July 23, 1906 in Badarka (Unnao). His original name was Chandrasekhar Tiwari.

He received his early schooling in Bhavra District in Jhabua, Madhya Pradesh. For higher studies he went to the Sanskrit Pathashala at Varanasi. Chandrashekhar was deeply troubled by the Jalianwalabagh massacre in Amritsar in 1919. Azad, at an age of 15, got involved in the revolutionary activities. He was caught by the British police while participating in the non-cooperation movement and sentenced to. whiplashes as punishment. When the magistrate asked him his name, he said "Azad" (independence). From that point onwards, Chandrashekhar assumed the title of Azad and came to be known as Chandrashekhar Azad. 

Following the Chauri-Chaura incident, in which police stations were vandalized and burnt by the activists, Mahatma Gandhi called for the suspension of the non-cooperation movement. Azad, along with Bhagat Singh distanced themselves from the paths of Gandhi. They were more attracted by the aggressive and violent revolutionary ideals and means. Towards this end, they formed the Hindustan Socialist Republican Association and trained the revolutionaries like Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev, Batukeshwar Dutt, and Rajguru. Azad was instrumental in carrying out numerous acts of violence. This includes the Kakori Train Robbery in 1926, assassination of John Poyantz Saunders in 1928 at Lahore to avenge the killing of Lala Lajpat Rai.

How important his role was in the freedom struggle of India can be understood by the fact that the British police badly wanted to nab him dead or alive. On February 27, 1931 Chandrashekhar Azad while meeting with friends at Alfred Park, Allahabad, and the police surrounded the park and asked Chandrashekhar Azad to surrender. Azad fought alone and valiantly and killed three policemen but after nearly exhausting his ammunition and foreseeing no means of escape, he shot himself in the head with his last bullet. He was reportedly betrayed by an informer.

After the independence, to commemorate Chandrashekhar Azad, Alfred Park was renamed Chandrashekhar Azad Park. The patriotism of Azad, Rajguru, Pandit Ram Prasad Basil and Ashfaqula Khan was depicted in Rang De Besant, a contemporary Bollywood film starring Aimer Khan that was released in February 2006.

Go Back to : Know Our Leaders

Hitler


Adolf Hitler:20 April 1889 – 30 April 1945  was an Austrian-born German politician and the leader of the National Socialist German Workers Party (German: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei (NSDAP), commonly referred to as the Nazi Party). He was chancellor of Germany from 1933 to 1945, and dictator of Nazi Germany (as Führer und Reichskanzler) from 1934 to 1945. Hitler is commonly associated with the rise of fascism in Europe, World War II, and the Holocaust.

A decorated veteran of World War I, Hitler joined the German Workers' Party, precursor of the Nazi Party, in 1919, and became leader of the NSDAP in 1921. In 1923 Hitler attempted a coup d'état, known as the Beer Hall Putsch, in Munich. The failed coup resulted in Hitler's imprisonment, during which time he wrote his memoir, Mein Kampf (My Struggle). After his release in 1924, Hitler gained support by promoting Pan-Germanism, antisemitism, and anticommunism with charismatic oratory and Nazi propaganda. 

He was appointed chancellor in 1933 and transformed the Weimar Republic into the Third Reich, a single-party dictatorship based on the totalitarian and autocratic ideology of Nazism. His avowed aim was to establish a New Order of absolute Nazi German hegemony in continental Europe.

Hitler's foreign and domestic policies had the goal of seizing Lebensraum ("living space") for the Germanic people. He oversaw the rearmament of Germany and the invasion of Poland by the Wehrmacht in September 1939, which led to the outbreak of World War II in Europe. Under Hitler's direction, in 1941 German forces and their European allies occupied most of Europe and North Africa. These gains were gradually reversed after 1941, and in 1945 the Allied armies defeated the German army. Hitler's supremacist and racially motivated policies resulted in the deaths of eleven to fourteen million people, including an estimated six million Jews.
In the final days of the war, during the Battle of Berlin in 1945, Hitler married his long-time mistress, Eva Braun. On 30 April 1945—less than two days later—the two committed suicide to avoid capture by the Red Army, and their corpses were burned.

Sarojini Naidu


Born: 13 February, 1879
Passed Away: 2 March, 1949

Contributions
Sarojini Naidu was truly one of the gems of the 20th century India. She was known by the sobriquet "The Nightingale of India". Her contribution was not confined to the fields of politics only but she was also a renowned poet. The play "Maher Muneer", written by Naidu at an early age, fetched a scholarship to study abroad. She briefed the struggles of freedom for independence to the political stalwarts of European nations, she had visited. She married Dr. Muthyala Govindarajulu Naidu, a South India. The marriage took place at a time when inter-caste marriage was not acceptable in the society. Her acts helped in raising many eyebrows. In 1905, a collection of poems, she had composed, was published under the title of "Golden Threshold".

Life
Sarojini Naidu was born on February 13, 1879 in Hyderabad. Her father, Dr. Aghornath Chattopadhyaya was a scientist, philosopher, and educator. He founded the Nizam College of Hyderabad. Her mother, Varada Sundari Devi was a Bengali poetess. Dr. Aghornath Chattopadhyaya was the first member of the Indian National Congress in Hyderabad. For his socio-political activities, Aghornath was dismissed from his position as Principal.

Since childhood, Sarojini was a very bright and intelligent child. Though Aghornath wanted his daughter to become a mathematician or scientist, young Sarojini was fond of poetry. At an early age, she wrote a "thirteen-hundred-lines" long poem "The Lady of the Lake". Impressed with her skills of expressing things with appropriate words, Aghornath Chattopadhyaya encouraged her works. Few months later, Sarojini, with assistance from her father, wrote the play "Maher Muneer" in the Persian language.

Sarojini's father Dr. Aghornath Chattopadhyaya distributed some copies of the play among his friends and relatives. He also sent a copy to the Nizam of Hyderabad. Impressed with the works of the little child, the Nizam granted her a scholarship to study overseas. At the age of 16, she got admission in the King's College of England. There, she had the opportunity to meet prominent English authors like Arthur Simon and Edmond Gausse. It was Gausse who asked Sarojini Naidu to write on the Indian themes like great mountains, rivers, temples, social milieu etc.

After returning to India, at the age of 19, Sarojini Naidu married Muthyala Govindarajulu Naidu. He was a noted doctor from South India. They were married by the Brahmo Marriage Act (1872), in Madras in 1898. The marriage took place at a time when inter-caste marriages were not allowed and tolerated in the Indian society. Her marriage was a very happy one. They had four children.

National Movement
Sarojini Naidu was moved by the partition of Bengal in 1905 and decided to join the Indian freedom struggle. She met regularly with Gopal Krishna Gokhale, who later introduced her to the stalwarts of the Indian freedom movement. She met Mahatma Gandhi, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, C. P. Ramaswami Iyer and Muhammad Ali Jinnah. With such an encouraging environment, Sarojini later moved on to become leader of the Indian National Congress Party. She traveled extensively to the United States of America and many European countries as the flag-bearer of the Indian Nationalist struggle.

During 1915, Sarojini Naidu traveled all over India and delivered speeches on welfare of youth, dignity of labor, women's emancipation and nationalism. In 1916, she took up the cause of the indigo workers of Champaran in the western district of Bihar.

In March 1919, the British government passed the Rowlatt Act by which the possession of seditious documents was deemed illegal. Mahatma Gandhi organized the Non-Cooperation Movement to protest and Naidu was the first to join the movement. Besides, Sarojini Naidu also actively campaigned for the Montagu-Chelmsford Reforms, the Khilafat issue, the Sabarmati Pact, the Satyagraha Pledge and the Civil Disobedience Movement.

In 1919, she went to England as a member of the all-India Home Rule Deputation. In January 1924, she was one of the two delegates of the Indian National Congress Party to attend the East African Indian Congress. In 1925, she was elected as the President of the Indian National Congress Party.

Poet
Besides her role and sacrifices in the Indian Nationalist Movement, Sarojini Naidu is also commended for her contribution in the field of poetry. Her works were so beautiful that many were transformed into songs. In 1905, her collection of poems was published under the title "Golden Threshold". Later, she also published two other collections called "The Bird of Time", and "The Broken Wings".

Death
Sarojini Naidu was the first woman Governor of Uttar Pradesh. Her chairmanship of the Asian Relations Conference in 1947 was highly-appraised. Two years later, on 02 March 1949, Sarojini Naidu died at Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh.

Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel


Born: 31 October 1875
Passed Away: 15 December 1950 
Contributions
Vallabhbhai Patel was one of the great social leaders of India. He played a crucial role during the freedom struggle of India and was instrumental in the integration of over 500 princely states into the Indian Union. Despite the choice of the people, on the request of Mahatma Gandhi, Sardar Patel stepped down from the candidacy of Congress president. The election on that occasion eventually meant for the election of the first Prime Minister of independent India.

Life
Vallabhbhai Patel was born on October 31, 1875 in Gujarat to Zaverbhai and Ladbai. Vallabhbhai, His father had served in the army of the Queen of Jhansi while his mother was a very spiritual man. 

Starting his academic career in a Gujarati medium school Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel and shifted to an English medium school. In 1897, Vallabhbhai passed his high school examination and started preparing for law examination. 1910, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel went to England to study law. He completed his law studies in 1913 and came back to India and started his law practice. For his Excellencies in Law, Vallabhbhai was offered many lucrative posts by the British Government but he rejected all. He was a staunch opponent of the British government and its laws and therefore decided not to work for the British.

He later started practicing at Ahmedabad. After a meeting with Mahatma Gandhi, at the Gujarat Club, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel got influenced by Gandhi's words. Later, inspired by Gandhi's work and philosophy Patel became a staunch follower of him.

Indian National Movement
In 1917, Sardar Vallabhbhai was elected as the Secretary of the Gujarat Sabha. The next year, when there was a flood in Kaira, the British insisted on collecting tax from the farmers. Sardar Vallabhbhai led a massive "No Tax campaign" that urged the farmers not to pay their land. The peaceful movement forced the British authority to return then land taken away from the farmers His effort to bring together the farmers of his area brought him the title of 'Sardar' to his name. 

In 1928, the farmers of Bardoli faced a similar problem of "tax-hike". After prolonged summons, when the farmers refused to pay the extra tax, the government in retaliation seized their lands. Vallabhbhai Patel. The agitation took on for more than six months and after a deal struck between the government and farmer's representatives, the lands were returned.

In 1930 Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel was imprisoned for participating in the famous Salt Satyagraha called by Mahatma Gandhi. His inspiring speeches during the "Salt Movement" transformed the lives of numerous people, who later played a major role in making the movement successful.

Sardar Patel was freed in 1931 following an agreement signed between Mahatma Gandhi and Lord Irwin, the then Viceroy of India. The treaty was popularly known as the Gandhi-Irwin pact. The same year, Patel was elected as the president of Indian National Congress Party for its Karachi session.

In the Karachi session, the Indian National Congress Party committed itself to the defence of fundamental rights and human rights and a dream of a secular nation. An agreement regarding this was also sanctioned. 

In 1934, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel led the all-India election campaign for the Indian National Congress. Though he did not contest a seat for himself, Sardar Patel helped his fellow party mates during the election. 

Sardar Patel was annoyed at Jawaharlal Nehru for the latter's declarations of the adoption of socialism in 1936. Patel also considered Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose a "keen of more power within the party.

Influence of Gandhi
While senior leaders including Jawaharlal Nehru, Chakravarthi Rajagopalachari and Maulana Azad criticized Mahatma Gandhi's concept that the civil disobedience movement would compel the British to leave the nation, Patel extended his support to Gandhi. Despite the unwillingness of the Congress High Command, Mahatma Gandhi and Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel strongly forced the All India Congress Committee to ratify the civil disobedience movement and launch it without delaying further. Acting under the pressure, the All India Congress Committee sanctioned the drive on 7 August 1942.

One important episode that could change the political lines of the country had shaped up just a year of attaining independence. During the election for the Congress presidency in 1946, thirteen of the sixteen states proposed Sardar Patel's name for the post. It was a very crucial election, as the elected president of the congress party would be later considered as the first Prime Minister of independent India. Just a few days, before the all important election, Mahatma Gandhi request Sardar Patel to leave the candidacy and support Jawaharlal Nehru. Sardar Patel, without pondering twice, stepped down. 

Integration of princely states
At the time of independence, Indian territory was divided into three parts. First, the territories under the direct control of the British government, second were the territories over which the hereditary rulers had suzerainty. The regions, which had been colonized by France and Portugal, formed the last. India, without the integration of these different territories under one roof, could not be considered as a unified and total country. It was a stupendous task for the ruling party, to persuade the rulers of these states to join. According to British government, the province rulers had the liberty to choose how they wanted to be ruled. They were given two choices. They could join either of India and Pakistan or stay independently. The stance of the British government had made the task much difficult for India. At this point many leaders of the congress approached the rulers but they failed to convince. At last, they all made a request Vallabhbhai Patel to think some other options to bring the princely rulers under Indian control. Sardar Patel eventually dealt with the tough-situation and came out successfully. He had made secured their accession. Therefore, the state of India we see today was a result of the efforts put in by Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel.

Death
Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel's health declined in 1950. He, himself realized that he was not going to live much longer. On 2 November his health deteriorated further and was confined to bed. After suffering a massive heart attack, on 15 December 1950, the great soul left the world.

Rajiv Gandhi


Born: 20 August 1944
Passed Away: 21 May 1991

Contribution
Rajiv Gandhi was one of the popular Prime Ministers of India. The developmental projects launched by him include the national education policy and expansion of telecom sector. Besides his achievement and subsequent popularity, Rajiv Gandhi also emerged as one of India's controversial Prime Ministers. He was allegedly involved in the "Bofors scandal" worth Rs 640 million.

Early Life
Rajiv Gandhi was born on 20 August 1944, into the country's eminent political dynasty - the Nehru-Gandhi family. His mother Indira Gandhi was the first and the only woman Prime Minister of India. Feroze, a key member of the Indian National Congress became the editor of The National Herald newspaper founded by Motilal Nehru in Allahabad.

Rajiv Gandhi initially attended the Welham Boys' School and subsequently sent to the elite Doon School in Dehradun. Later, he went to the United Kingdom to study at the Cambridge University. It was here in Cambridge University, young Rajiv met Sonia Maino (later Sonia Gandhi) from Italy. After his return from the United Kingdom, Rajiv Gandhi exhibited least interest in the politics and focused onto becoming a professional pilot. He, later, worked for Indian Airlines, as a pilot.

His Brother
Unlike Rajiv, his younger brother had developed an interest and knowledge in the subjects of public administration and political developments. Although he had not been elected, Sanjay began exercising his influence with police officers, high-level government officers and even the Cabinet Ministers. Many senior ministers, as a protest against Sanjay Gandhi, resigned from office. Sanjay, gradually promoted as a close political advisor to Indira Gandhi. On June 23, 1980, Sanjay Gandhi died in an air crash in Delhi.

Entry into politics
After the death of his brother Sanjay, the senior members of the Indian National Congress party approached Rajiv Gandhi, in order to persuade him joining politics. But, Rajiv was reluctant about joining and said "no" to them. His wife, Sonia Gandhi, also stood by Rajiv's stand of not entering into politics. But after constant request from his mother Indira Gandhi, he decided to contest. His entry was criticized by many in the press, public and opposition political parties. They saw the entry of Nehru-Gandhi scion into politics as a forced-hereditary-participation. Within a few months of his election as a Member of Parliament, Rajiv Gandhi acquired significant party influence and became an important political advisor to his mother. He was also elected as the general secretary of the All-India Congress Committee and subsequently became the president of the Youth Congress.

Assassination
Following the assassination of his mother, on 31 October 1984, the Congress leaders and partisans favored Rajiv as the immediate successor to the coveted throne. The decision was also supported by Zail Singh, the then President of India.

Achievements
As Prime Minister, Rajiv Gandhi endeavored to eliminate the corrupt and criminal faces within the Indian National Congress party. To deal with the anti-Sikh agitation, that followed the death of his mother, Rajiv Gandhi signed an accord with Akali Dal president Sant Harchand Singh Longowal, on 24 July, 1985. The key points of the pact were:

Along with ex-gratia payment to those innocent killed in agitation or any action after 1- 8-1982, compensation for property damaged will also be paid.
All citizens of the country have the right to enroll in the Army and merit will remain the criterion for selection.
For all those discharged, efforts will be made to rehabilitate and provide gainful employment.
Revived Policies
The economic policies adopted by Rajiv Gandhi were different from his precursors like Indira Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru. Going, against the traditional socialism, Rajiv Gandhi decided to improve the bilateral relationships with the United States of America and subsequently expanded the economic and scientific cooperation with it. A revived foreign policy, emphasizing on the economic liberalization and information and technology moved India closer to the West.

His introductory measures to reduce the "Red Tapism" and allow business house to set up their establishments was remarkable. In 1986, Rajiv Gandhi announced a "national education policy" to modernize and expand higher education programs across India. Rajiv Gandhi brought a revolution in the field of information technology and telecom. The idea helped in originating the Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited, popularly known as MTNL. Rajiv Gandhi was the man to transcend telecom services to the rural India or "India in true sense".

Controversies
While commenting on the anti-Sikh riots, that followed the assassination of India Gandhi in Delhi, Rajiv Gandhi said, "' When a giant tree falls, the earth below shakes". The statement was widely criticized both within and outside the Congress Party. Many viewed the statement as "provocative" and demanded an apology from him. Beside, Rajiv Gandhi's name had also surfaced in the major controversies like Bofors and the formation of Indian Peace Keeping Force.

Bofors Case
The infamous Bofors scandal that still haunts the political walls of the country was exposed during Rajiv Gandhi's reign. A strong corruption racket involving many stalwarts of the Congress Party was unearthed in the 1980s. Rajiv Gandhi, the then Prime Minister of India and several others prominent leaders were accused of receiving kickbacks from Bofors for winning a bid to supply India's 155 mm field howitzer (a type of artillery piece).

IPKF
In 1987, the Indian Peace Keeping Force was formed to end the Sri Lankan Civil War between the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) and the Sri Lankan military. The acts of the military contingent was opposed by the Opposition parties of Sri Lanka and as well as LTTE. But, Rajiv Gandhi refused to withdraw the IPKF. The idea also turned out to be unpopular in India, particularly in Tamil Nadu. The IPKF operation cost over 1100 Indian soldiers lives and cost over 2000 crores.

Death
On 21 May, 1991, on his way towards the dais, Rajiv Gandhi was garlanded by many Congress supporters and well wishers. At around 10 pm, the assassin greeted him and bent down to touch his feet. She then exploded an RDX explosive laden belt attached to her waist-belt. The act of violence was reportedly carried out by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, expressing their resentment over the formation Indian Peace-keeping Force.

Dr. Rajendra Prasad


Born: December 3, 1884 
Passed Away: February 28, 1963 

Contributions
Rajendra Prasad was a great leader of the Indian Nationalist Movement and also one of the architects of the Indian Constitution. He was elected as the first President of Republic of India. Rajendra Prasad was a crucial leader of the Indian Independence Movement, who left his lucrative profession to participate in the nationalist movement of India. He was also awarded with Bharat Ratna, India's highest civilian award. on 28 February, 1963, following a brief illness, the great soul passed away.

Life
Dr. Rajendra Prasad was born into a big joint family of Mahadev Sahay in the Siwan district of Bihar, near Chhapra. His father, Mahadev Sahay was a scholar of Persian and Sanskrit language while his mother Kamleshwari Devi was a religious lady.

When Rajendra Prasad was five years old, his parents put him under a Maulavi learn Persian language followed by Hindi and arithmetic. After the completion of traditional elementary education, Rajendra Prasad was sent to the Chhapra District School. At the age of 12, Rajendra Prasad was married to Rajavanshi Devi. He, along with his elder brother Mahendra Prasad, then went on to study at R.K. Ghosh's Academy in Patna. Mahendra was eight years older than him.

Since childhood, Rajendra Prasad was a brilliant student. He stood first in the entrance examination to the University of Calcutta and was awarded Rs.30 per month as scholarship. In 1902, Rajendra Prasad joined the Presidency College. He was initially a student of science and his teachers included J.C.Bose and Prafulla Chandra Roy. Later he decided to switch his focus to the arts. Prasad lived with his brother in the Eden Hindu Hostel. A plaque still commemorates his stay in that room. Dr. Rajendra Prasad was instrumental in the formation of the Bihari Students' Conference in 1908. It was the first organization of its kind in the whole of India. The move produced the entire political leadership of the twenties in Bihar

In 1915, Rajendra Prasad passed with a Gold medal in Masters in Law examination with honors. He then went on to complete his Doctorate in Law. Rajendra Prasad used to practice his Law & studies at Bhagalpur in Bihar and eventually emerged as a popular and eminent figure of the entire region. In 1916, Rajendra Prasad joined the High Court of Bihar and Orissa. Such was his intellect and his integrity, that often when his adversary failed to cite a precedent, the judges asked Rajendra Prasad to cite a precedent against himself.

Nationalist Movement
In 1911, during his stay in Calcutta (now Kolkata) as a legal practitioner, Rajendra Prasad joined the Indian National Congress Party and was subsequently elected to the AICC. During the Champaran movement, Mahatma Gandhi asked Rajendra Prasad to visit Champaran along with the other volunteers and partisans of the Indian National Congress. Initially Rajendra Prasad was not impressed with Gandhiji's appearance and conversation but deeply moved by the dedication, conviction and courage of Gandhi.

Rajendra Prasad also responded to the call of Mahatma Gandhi to boycott Western education. He asked his son Mrityunjaya Prasad, a brilliant student to leave the University and enroll himself in Bihar Vidyapeeth. He would write articles for magazines like "Searchlight" and "Desh". When the earthquake of Bihar occurred on January 15, 1934, Rajendra Prasad was in jail. He was released two days later. He set himself for the task of raising funds and collected over Rs 38 Lakhs. Nationalist India expressed its admiration by electing Rajendra Prasad as the President of the Bombay session of the Indian National Congress Party in October 1934. 

In July 1946, when the Constituent Assembly was established to frame the Constitution of India, Dr. Rajendra Prasad was elected its President. And, eventually he was also elected as the first President of Republic of India. Unfortunately, on the night of 25 January 1950, a day before the Republic Day of India, his sister Bhagwati Devi passed away. He set about the cremation but only after his return from the parade ground. 

Death
In September 1962, Rajendra Prasad's wife Rajavanshi Devi passed away. The incident helped in the deterioration of his health and after suffering from brief illness for around six months on February 28, 1963, Dr. Prasad expired. Rajendra Prasad spent the last few months of his life in retirement at the Sadaqat Ashram in Patna. Rajendra Prasad was awarded with "Bharat Ratna", the nation's highest civilian award.

Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose


Born: January 23, 1897
Death: Not known

Contributions
Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose was a freedom fighter of India. He was the founder of the Indian National Army. During pre-independence period Netaji had visited London to discuss the future of India, with the members of the Labor party. His sudden disappearance from Taiwan, led to surfacing of various theories, concerning the possibilities of his survival. 

Life
Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose was born on 23 January, 1897 in Cuttack (Orissa) to Janakinath Bose and Prabhavati Devi. Subhash was the ninth child among eight brothers and six sisters. His father, Janakinath Bose, was an affluent and successful lawyer in Cuttack and received the title of "Rai Bahadur". He, later became a member of the Bengal Legislative Council.

Subhash Chandra Bose was a very intelligent and sincere student but never had much interest in sports. He passed his B.A. in Philosophy from the Presidency College in Calcutta. He was strongly influenced by Swami Vivekananda's teachings and was known for his patriotic zeal as a student. He also adored Vivekananda as his spiritual Guru. 

British Professor Thrashed
After reading so many incidents about the exploitation of the fellow Indians by the British, Subhash decided to take revenge. In 1916, Subhash reportedly beat and thrashed one of his British teachers E F Otten. The professor made a racist remark against the Indian students. As a result, Bose was expelled from the Presidency College and banished from Calcutta University. The incident brought Subhash in the list of rebel-Indians. In December 1921, Bose was arrested and imprisoned for organizing a boycott of the celebrations to mark the Prince of Wales's visit to India.

Indian Civil Service
His father wanted Netaji to become a civil servant and therefore, sent him to England to appear for the Indian Civil Service Examination. Bose was placed fourth with highest marks in English. But his urge for participating in the freedom movement was intense that in April 1921, Bose resigned from the coveted Indian Civil Service and came back to India. Soon, he left home to become an active member of India's independence movement. He, later joined the Indian National Congress, and also elected as the president of the party.

Subhash with Congress
Initially, Subhash Chandra Bose worked under the leadership of Chittaranjan Das, an active member of Congress in Calcutta. It was Chittaranjan Das, who along with Motilal Nehru, left Congress and founded the Swaraj Party in 1922. Subhash would regard Chittaranjan Das as his political guru.

While Chittaranjan Das was busy in developing the national strategy, Subhash Chandra Bose played a major role in enlightening the students, youths and labors of Calcutta. He was eagerly waiting to see India, as an independent, federal and republic nation.

Dispute in the Congress
People began to recognize Bose by his name and associated him with the freedom movement. Bose had emerged as a popular youth leader. He was admired for his great skills in organization development. 

In 1928, during the Guwahati Session of the Congress, a difference in the opinion between the old and new members surfaced. The young leaders, as against the traditional leadership, wanted a "complete self-rule and without any compromise". The senior leaders were in favor of the "dominion status for India within the British rule". 

The differences were between moderate Gandhi and aggressive Subhash Chandra Bose was swelling. The state was so intense that Subhash Chandra Bose had to defeat Pattabhi Sitaramayya, a presidential candidate, nominated by Gandhiji himself. Bose had won the election but without any second thought he resigned from the party. He, then formed the Forward Bloc in 1939.

Formation of INA
During the Second World War in September, 1939, Subhash Chandra Bose decided to initiate a mass movement. He started uniting people from all over the country. There was a tremendous response to his call and the British promptly imprisoned him. In jail, he refused to accept food for around two weeks. When his health condition deteriorated, fearing violent reactions across the country, the authority put him under house-arrest. 

During his house-arrest, in January, 1941, Subhash made a planned escape. He first went to Gomoh in Bihar and from there he went on to Peshawar (now, Pakistan). He finally reached Germany and met Hitler. Bose had been living together with his wife Emilie Schenkl in Berlin. In 1943, Bose left for south-east Asia and raised the army. The group was later named by Bose, as the Indian National Army (INA).

Visit to England
During his sojourn to England, he met with the leaders of British Labor Party and political thinkers including Clement Attlee, Arthur Greenwood, Harold Laski, G.D.H. Cole, and Sir Stafford Cripps. Bose also discuss with them about the future of India. It must also be noted that it was during the regime of the Labor Party (1945-1951), with Attlee as the Prime Minister, that India gained independence.

Disappearance
Although it was believed that Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose died in a plane crash, his body was never recovered. There have so many theories been put forward regarding his abrupt desertion. The government of India set up a number of committees to investigate the case and come out with truth. 

In May 1956, the Shah Nawaz Committee visited Japan to look into the situation of Bose's assumed death. Citing their lack of political relations with Taiwan, the Centre, did not seek for the assistance from their government. The reports of Justice Mukherjee Commission, tabled in Parliament on 17 May, 2006 said, "Bose did not die in the plane crash and the ashes at Renkoji temple are not his". However, the findings were rejected by the government of India.

Maulana Abul Kalam Azad


Born: November 11, 1888
Died: February 22, 1958

Contributions
Maulana Abul Kalam Azad was a renowned journalist of his time. Disturbed by his provocative articles, the British Government decided to deport him off Calcutta. Despite of his house-arrest and imprisonment, Maulana Abul Kalam Azad continued to write against the anti-people policies of the British Government. He was elected as Congress President in 1923 and 1940. Despite being a Muslim, Azad often stood against the policies of the prominent Muslims leaders like Muhammad Ali Jinnah. Azad was the first education minister of independent India. On February 22, 1958 Maulana Abul Kalam Azad passed away. Maulana Abul Kalam Azad was posthumously awarded, Bharat Ratna, India's highest civilian honor, in 1992.

Life
Maulana Abul Kalam Azad was born on November 11, 1888 in Mecca, Islam's main center of pilgrimage. His forefather's came to India during the reign of Mughal Emperor Babar, from Heart, Afghanistan. Azads were the descendent of eminent Ulama or scholars of Islam religion. His mother was the daughter of a rich Arabian Sheikh and his father, Maulana Khairuddin, was a Bengali Muslim of Afghan origins. Khairuddin left India during the 1857 Sepoy Mutiny (Indian rebellion of 1857) and settled in Mecca, where he met his wife. In 1890, He, along with family, returned to Calcutta (now Kolkata).

Maulana Abul Kalam Azad's real name was Abul Kalam Ghulam Muhiyuddin. Maulana Azad had his initial formal education in Arabic, Persian and Urdu with theological orientation and then philosophy, geometry, mathematics and algebra. He also learnt English language, world history, and politics on his own. Maulana Azad had a natural inclination towards writing and this resulted in the great start of the monthly magazine "Nairang-e-Alam" in 1899. He was eleven years old when his mother passed away. Two years later, at the age of thirteen, Azad was married to young Zuleikha Begum. 

After his return to India from an extensive visit of Egypt, Turkey, Syria and France Azad met prominent Hindu revolutionaries Sri Aurobindo Ghosh and Shyam Sundar Chakraborty. They helped in developing radical political views and he began to participate in the Indian nationalist movement. Azad fiercely criticized the Muslim politicians who were more inclined towards the communal issues without focusing on the national interest. He also rejected the theories of communal separatism advocated by the All India Muslim League. 

In Egypt, Azad came into contact with the followers of Mustafa Kemal Pasha who were publishing a weekly from Cairo. In Turkey, Maulana Azad met the leaders of the Young Turks Movement. Azad, inspired by the works and commitment foreign leaders, published a weekly, called "Al-Hilal" in 1912. The weekly was taken as a platform to attack the policies of British Government and highlight the problems faced by the common Indians. The paper became so popular that its circulation figures went up to 26,000 copies. The unique message of patriotism and nationalism blended with religious commitment gained its acceptance among the masses. But these developments disturbed the British Government and in 1914, the British Government put a ban on the weekly. Unfazed by the move, Maulana Azad, few months later, launched a new weekly, called "Al-Balagh". Failed to put a prohibition on the writings of Maulana Azad, the British Government then, finally decided to deport him off Calcutta in 1916. When Maulana Azad reached Bihar, he was arrested and put under house arrest. This detention continued till December 31, 1919. After his release on January 1, 1920, Azad returned to the political atmosphere and actively participated in the movement. In fact, he continued to write provocative articles against the British Government.

The implementation of the Rowlatt Act in 1919 added fuel to the fire and raised the intensity of the participation of common people in the nationalist movement. Consequently, thousands of political activists had been arrested and many publications were banned. 

In the Congress
While extending his support to Mahatma Gandhi and non-cooperation movement, Maulana Azad joined the Indian National Congress in January 1920. He presided over the special session of Congress in September 1923 and was said to be the youngest man elected as the President of the Congress.

Maulana Azad emerged as an important national leader of the Indian National Congress Party. He also served as the member of Congress Working Committee (CWC) and in the offices of general secretary and president for numerous occasions. In 1928, Maulana Azad endorsed the Nehru Report, formulated by Motilal Nehru. Interestingly, the Motilal Nehru Report was severely criticized by number of Muslim personalities involved with the freedom movement. As opposed to Muhammad Ali Jinnah, Azad also advocated for the ending of separate electorates based on religion and called for a single nation committed to secularism. In 1930, Maulana Azad was arrested for violation of the salt laws as part of Gandhiji's Salt Satyagraha. He was put in Meerut jail for a year and a half.

Post Independence
During the violence that erupted following partition of India, Maulana Azad assured to take up the responsibility for the security of Muslims in India. Towards this, Azad toured the violence-affected regions of borders of Bengal, Assam, Punjab. He helped in establishing the refugee camps and ensured uninterrupted supply of food and other basic materials. It was reported that in the crucial Cabinet meetings both Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel and Maulana Azad clashed over the security measures in Delhi and Punjab.

The role and contribution of Maulana Abul Kalam Azad could not be overlooked. He was appointed as India's first Minister for Education and inducted in the Constituent Assembly to draft India's constitution. Under Maulana Azad's tenure, a number of measures were undertaken to promote primary and secondary education, scientific education, establishment of universities and promotion of avenues of research and higher studies.

Death
On February 22, 1958 Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, one of the foremost leaders of Indian freedom struggle passed away. For his invaluable contribution to the nation, Maulana Abul Kalam Azad was posthumously awarded India's highest civilian honor, Bharat Ratna in 1992.

Lal Bahadur Shashtri


Born: 2 October 1904
Passed Away: 11 January 1966

Contributions
He devoted his life for the pride and honor of the country. Shastri was regarded as man of principles. Lal Bahadur Shastri offered his resignation as Union Railway Minister; hours after he was made aware of a train accident that killed around 150 people. He laid the foundation stones of the well-productive schemes like Green Revolutions and White Revolutions. He was the first person to be posthumously awarded the "Bharat Ratna".

Life
Lal Bahadur Shastri was born on October 2, 1904, to Ramdulari Devi and Sharada Prasad Shrivastava, in Moghalsarai, United Province (Uttar Pradesh). He shares his birthday with Mahatma Gandhi, the father of the nation. Lal Bahadur was against the prevailing caste system and therefore decided to drop his surname. The title "Shastri" was given after the completion of his graduation at Kashi Vidyapeeth, Varanasi in 1925. The title "Shastri" refers to a "scholar" or a person, adept in the "Holy Scriptures".

His father Sharada Prasad, a schoolteacher by profession, passed away when Lal Bahadur was barely two years old. His mother Ramdulari Devi took him and his two sisters to their maternal grandfather Hazari Lal's house. Lal Bahadur acquired virtues like boldness, love of adventure, patience, self-control, courtesy, and selflessness in his childhood. After completing his primary education at Mirzapur, Lal Bahadur was sent to Varanasi, where he stayed with his maternal uncle. 

Young Lal Bahadur, inspired with the stories and speeches of national leaders, developed a desire to participate in the Indian nationalist movement. He would also spend time by reading foreign authors like Marx, Russell and Lenin. In 1915, a speech of Mahatma Gandhi changed the course of his life and decided to jump into the fire of Indian freedom struggle. 

In order to participate actively in the freedom movement, Lal Bahadur neglected his studies. In 1921, during the non-cooperation movement, called by Mahatma Gandhi, Lal Bahadur was arrested for demonstrating in defiance of the prohibitory order. Sine he was a minor then, the authority had to release him. In 1928, Lal Bahadur Shastri married Lalita Devi, the youngest daughter of Ganesh Prasad. He was against the prevailing "dowry system" and so refused to accept dowry. However, on the repeated urging of his father-in-law, he agreed to accept only five yards of khadi (cotton, usually handspun) cloth as dowry. 

Active Nationalist
In 1930, Lal Bahadur Shastri became the secretary of the Congress party and later the president of the Allahabad Congress Committee. He played a crucial role during the "Salt Movement". Lal Bahadur lead a door-to-door campaign, urging people not to pay land revenue and taxes to the British authority. The leader was also sent to jail for the campaign. During the long span of nine years he spent in jails, Lal Bahadur utilized the time in reading the social reformers and western philosophers. He was one of the leading and prominent faces that continued the Quit India movement, called by Mahatma Gandhi. Lal Bahadur, in 1937, was elected to the UP Legislative Assembly.

Post Independence
Lal Bahadur Shastri had served in various positions before being elected as the Prime Minister. After Independence, he became the Minister of police in the Ministry of Govind Vallabh Panth in Uttar Pradesh. His recommendations included the introduction of "water-jets" instead of sticks to disperse the unruly mob. Impressed with his efforts in reforming the state police department, Jawaharlal Nehru, invited Shastri to join the Union cabinet as a Minister for railways. He was a responsible man and known for his ethics and morality. In 1956, Lal Bahadur Shastri resigned from his post, following a train accident that killed around 150 passengers near Ariyalur in Tamil Nadu. Nehru, had once said, "No one could wish for a better comrade than Lal Bahadur, a man of the highest integrity and devoted to ideas".

Lal Bahadur Shastri returned to the Cabinet in 1957, first as the Minister for Transport and Communications, and then as the Minister of Commerce and Industry. In 1961, he became Minister for Home and formed the "Committee on Prevention of Corruption" headed by of K. Santhanam.

Prime Minister
Jawaharlal Nehru was succeeded by a mild-mannered and soft-spoken Lal Bahadur Shastri on 9 June, 1964. He was a follower of Nehruvian socialism. Despite the strong influence and desire of becoming the Prime Minister, of some party stalwarts Shastri emerged as the consensus candidate. 

Shastri tackled many elementary problems like food shortage, unemployment and poverty. To overcome the acute food shortage, Shastri asked the experts to devise a long-term strategy. This was the beginning of famous "Green Revolution". Apart from the Green Revolution, he was also instrumental in promoting the White Revolution. The National Dairy Development Board was formed in 1965 during Shastri as Prime Minister.

After the Chinese aggression, the major cross-border-problems Shastri faced was caused by Pakistan. It sent her forces across the eastern border into the Rann of Kuch in Gujarat. Shastri showing his mettle, made it very clear that India would not sit and watch. While granting liberty to the Security Forces to retaliate He said, "Force will be met with force".

The Indo-Pak war ended on 23 September 1965 after the United Nations passed a resolution demanding a ceasefire. The Russian Prime Minister, Kosygin, offered to mediate and on 10 January 1966, Lal Bahadur Shastri and his Pakistan counterpart Ayub Khan signed the Tashkent Declaration.

Death
Lal Bahadur Shastri, who had earlier suffered two heart attacks, died of the third cardiac arrest on 11 January, 1966. He is the only Indian Prime Minister, to have died in office, overseas. Lal Bahadur Shastri was the first person to be posthumously awarded the Bharat Ratna, (India's highest civilian award).

Lalalajpat Rai


Born: January 28, 1865
Died: October 30, 1928 

Contributions
Lala Lajpat Rai immensely contributed in attaining independence the nation. He helped in establishing few schools in the country. He also initiated the foundation of Punjab National Bank. In 1897, he founded the Hindu Orphan Relief Movement to keep the Christian missions from securing custody of these children. He died after the police lathi-charged on the activists, protesting the arrival of Simon Commission. 

Life
Lala Lajpat Rai was born on January 28, 1865 to Munshi Radha Krishna Azad and Gulab Devi at Dhudike village in Ferozpur District. His father was a great scholar of Persian and Urdu while his mother was a strict religious lady and inculcated in her children strong morals values. His family values allowed Lajpat Rai, the freedom of having different faiths and beliefs.

Lajpatrai received his elementary education in the school where his father was posted as teacher. Lajpat Rai joined the Government College at Lahore in 1880 to study Law. While in college he came in contact with patriots and future freedom fighters like Lala Hans Raj and Pandit Guru Dutt. He studied law from Government College in Lahore and thereafter started his legal practice in Hissar, Haryana. Since childhood he had a desire to serve his country and therefore took a pledge to free it from foreign rule. In 1884 his father was transferred to Rohtak and Lala Lajpat Rai came along.

In 1886 the family shifted to Hissar, where he practiced law. There, Lajpat Rai helped to establish the nationalistic Dayanand Anglo-Vedic School and became a follower of Dayanand Saraswati. In 1888 and 1889 he was a delegate to the annual sessions of the National Congress. He moved to Lahore to practice before the High Court in 1892.

In 1895 Rai helped found the Punjab National Bank, demonstrating his concern for self-help and enterprise. In 1897 he founded the Hindu Orphan Relief Movement to keep the Christian missions from securing custody of these children. In the National Congress in 1900 he stressed the importance of constructive, nation-building activity and programs for self-reliance.

Gradually, Lajpat Rai had curtailed his legal practice and was concentrating all his efforts to free the nation from British. In October 1917, he founded the Indian Home Rule League of America in New York.

In 1920, after his return from America, Lajpat Rai was invited to preside over the special session of the Congress in Calcutta, (now Kolkata). He plunged into the non-cooperation movement, which was being launched in response to the Rowlatt Act, in principle. The movement was led by Lajpat Rai's in Punjab and he soon came to be known as "Punjab Kesri" (The Lion of Punjab).

Author
Besides, a great freedom fighter and leader, Lala Lajpat Rai was also a noted writer. The United States of America: A Hindu's impressions and a study, History of the Arya Samaj, Swaraj and social change, England's Debt to India: India, The Problems Of National Education In India were among the books, he had written.

Death
On October 30, 1928 to boycott the arrival of the members of the Simon Commission in Lahore, a peaceful procession, headed by Lajpat Rai was launched. Intercepting the march, Superintendent of Police, Scott ordered his police force to 'lathi-charge' at the activists. The police targeted Lajpat Rai, in particular, and hit him on the chest. The confrontation left Lala Lajpat Rai with severe injuries and also led to his death. To take avenge to the death of Lala Lajpat Rai, Bhagat Singh and his associates plotted the assassination of Scott. But, the revolutionaries, mistaking J.P. Saunders, an Assistant Superintendent of Police, as Scott, killed him instead.

Jawaharlal Nehru


Born: 14 November 1889 
Passed Away: 27 May 1964

Contributions
Jawaharlal Nehru was the first Prime Minister of independent India. He was a member the Congress Party that led the freedom movement against British Empire. Nehru was one of the architects who had the opportunity to steer the newly freed-nation. He was also the chief framer of domestic and international policies between 1947 and 1964. It was under Nehru's supervision that India launched its first Five-Year Plan in 1951. Nehru's predominant roles in substantiating India's role in the foundation of institutions like NAM had surprised the then stalwarts of international politics. He advocated the policy of Non-Alignment during the cold war and India, subsequently, kept itself aloof from being in the process of "global bifurcation". 

Life
Jawaharlal Nehru was born on 14 November 1889, to a wealthy Kashmiri Brahmin family in Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh. His father Motilal Nehru was a renowned advocate and also an influential politician. 

The atmosphere in the Nehru family was different from that of other prominent families of that society. English was spoken and encouraged. His father, Motilal Nehru had appointed some English and Scottish teachers at home.

For higher education, young Nehru was sent to Harrow school and then later to Cambridge University in England. After spending two years at the Inner Temple, London, he qualified as a barrister. During his stay in London, Nehru was attracted by the ideas of liberalism, socialism and nationalism. In 1912, he had returned to India and joined the Allahabad High Court Bar.

Kamala, his wife
Upon his return to India, Nehru's marriage was arranged with Kamala on 8 February, 1916. Brought up in a traditional Hindu Brahmin family, Kamala felt alienated amongst the progressive Nehrus. During the Non Cooperation movement of 1921, Kamala played a vital role. In Allahabad, she organized groups of women and picketed shops selling foreign cloth and liquor. On19 November, 1917 she gave birth to Indira Priyadarshini, popularly known as Indira Gandhi. Kamala died from tuberculosis in Switzerland while Jawaharlal Nehru was languishing in Indian prison.

Freedom Struggle
In 1916, Nehru participated in the Lucknow Session of the Congress. There, after a very long time, member of both the extremist and moderate factions of the Congress party had come. All the members equivocally agreed to the demand for "swaraj" (self rule). Although the means of the two sections were different, the motive was "common" - freedom. 

In 1921 Nehru was imprisoned for participating in the first civil disobedience campaign as general secretary of the United Provinces Congress Committee. The life in the jail helped him in understanding the philosophy followed by Gandhi and others associated with the movement. He was moved by Gandhi's approach of dealing with caste and "untouchablity". With the passing of every minute, Nehru was emerging as a popular leader, particularly in Northern India.

In 1922, some of the prominent members including his father Motilal Nehru had left the congress and launched the "Swaraj Party". The decision, no doubt upset Jawahar but he rejected the possibility of leaving the Congress party. He was also elected as the president of the Allahabad municipal corporation in 1920. 

European Tour
In 1926, he along with his wife Kamala and daughter India, traveled to the flourished European nations like Germany, France and the Soviet Union. Here, Nehru got an opportunity to meet various Communists, Socialists, and radical leaders from Asia and Africa. Nehru was also impressed with the economic system of the communist Soviet Union and wished to apply the same in his own country. In 1927, he became a member of the League against Imperialism created in Brussels, the capital city of Belgium.

During the Guwahati Session in 1928, Mahatma Gandhi announced that the Congress would launch a massive movement if the British authority did not grant dominion status of India within next two years. It was believed that under the pressure of Nehru and Subhash Chandra Bose, the deadline was reduced to one year. Jawaharlal Nehru criticized the famous "Nehru Report" prepared by his father Motilal Nehru in 1928 that favored the concept of a "dominion status for India within the British rule". 

In 1930 Mahatma Gandhi advocated Nehru as the next president of the Congress. The decision was also an attempt to abate the intensity of "communism" in the Congress. The same year, Nehru was arrested for the violation of the Salt Law. 

In 1936, Nehru was re-elected as the president of the Indian National Congress. Sources suggest that a heated argument between the classical and young leaders had taken place in the Lucknow Session of the party. The young and "new-gen" leaders of the party had advocated for an ideology, based on the concepts of Socialism. 

Nehru as PM
Fifteen years after the Guwahati Session, on 15 August, 1947, the congress succeeded to overthrow the influential British Empire. Nehru was recognized as the first Prime Minister of independent India. He was the first PM to hoist the national flag and make a speech from the ramparts of Lal Quila (Red Fort). The time had come to implement his ideas and construct a healthy nation. 

Following Gandhi's assassination in 1948, Jawaharlal Nehru felt very much alone. All the time he would contemplate over the issues pertaining to the economic sector of the country. In the year 1949, Jawaharlal Nehru made his first visit to the United States, seeking a solution to India's urgent food shortage. In 1951, Jawaharlal Nehru launched the country's "First Five-Year Plan" emphasizing on the increase in the agricultural output. 

Nehru's Foreign Policy
Jawaharlal Nehru was supporter of the anti-imperialist policy. He extended his support for the liberation of small and colonized nations of the world. He was also one of the prominent architects of the Non-Aligment Movement. Following the policies of NAM, India decided stay away from being a part of the global bifurcation. 

Controvery
In 1957, despite of the major victory attained the elections, the Nehru led central government faced rising problems and criticism. The election of his daughter Indira as Congress President in 1959 was viewed by many, as Nepotism.

Death
In 1964, Jawaharlal Nehru suffered a stroke and a heart attack. On 27 May 1964, Nehru passed away. Nehru was cremated at the Shantivana on the banks of the Yamuna River, Delhi

Indira Gandhi


Born: 19 November 1917 
Passed Away: 31 October 1984

Contributions
Indira Gandhi was, undoubtedly, one of the greatest political leaders of India. She was the first and only woman to be elected as the Prime Minister. She is also regarded as the most controversial political leader of the country for her unprecedented decision of imposing "a state of emergency". She was also criticized for carrying out the Operation Blue-Star in Punjab that eventually scripted her assassination on 31 October 1984.

Life
Indira 'Priyadarshini' Gandhi was born on 19 November, 1917, in Allahabad to Kamala and Jawaharlal Nehru. Indira's father was a well-educated lawyer and an active member of the Indian Independence Movement. Since the Nehru family was the centre of national political activity, Indira Gandhi was exposed to politics when she was a little child. A leader like Mahatma Gandhi was among the frequent visitors of the Nehru house in Allahabad. She passed her Metric from Pune University and went to Shantiniketan in West Bengal. Here, the students were made to lead a very strict and disciplined life. She later went on to study in Switzerland and Oxford University in London. Indira, then stayed few months in Switzerland with her ailing mother. In 1936, after Kamala Nehru finally succumbed to tuberculosis, she returned to India. At the time of Kamala's death, Jawaharlal Nehru, was languishing in the Indian jails.

After his return to the country, Indira showed an active participation in the national movement. She also became a member of the Indian National Congress. Here, she met Feroze Gandhi, a journalist and key member of the Youth Congress - the youth wing of the Congress Party. In 1941, despite his father's objections, she married Feroze Gandhi. In 1944, Indira gave birth to Rajiv Gandhi followed two years later by Sanjay Gandhi.

Post Independence
After the independence, Indira Gandhi's father Jawaharlal Nehru became the first Prime Minister of India. Indira Gandhi decided to shift to Delhi to assist his father. Her two sons remained with her but Feroze decided to stay back in Allahabad. He was working as an editor of The National Herald newspaper founded by Motilal Nehru.

During the 1951-52 Parliamentary Elections, Indira Gandhi handled the campaigns of her husband, Feroze, who was contesting from Rae Bareli, Uttar Pradesh. After being elected as MP, Feroze opted to live in a separate house in Delhi.

Feroze soon became a prominent force against the corruption in the Nehru led government. He exposed a major scandal involving prominent insurance companies and the Finance Minister T.T. Krishnamachari. The Finance Minister was considered to be a close aide of Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru. Feroze had developed as a noted figure in the country's political circle. He, with a small coterie of supporters and advisors continued to challenge the Central government. On 8 September 1960, Feroze died after a major cardiac arrest.

India as Congress President
In 1959, Indira Gandhi was elected as the President of the Indian National Congress Party. She was one of the political advisors of Jawaharlal Nehru. After the death of Jawaharlal Nehru on 27 May 1964, Indira Gandhi decided to contest elections and eventually elected. She was appointed as the in-charge of the Information and Broadcasting Ministry under Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri

It was believed that Indira Gandhi was an adept at the art of politics and image-making. This is corroborated by an event happened during the Indo-Pakistani War of 1965. While the war was going, Indira Gandhi went on a holiday trip to Srinagar. Despite repeated warnings by the security forces that Pakistani insurgents had entered very close to the hotel, she was staying, Gandhi refused to move. The incident fetched her huge national and international media attention. 

As Prime Minister
Following the death of Lal Bahadur Shastri on 11 January 1966, in Tashkent, the race to the coveted throne of Prime Minister began. The party faced a serious trouble, as, all the senior leaders of the Congress party desired to contest. Unable to reach at a consensus, the high-command picked Indira as their contender. The virtual reason behind Indira's selection was the thought that "Indira would, indirectly be run by the top leadership." But Indira Gandhi, showing extraordinary political skills elbowed the Congress stalwarts out of power. 

In 1971, in order to stop the Bangladeshi refugees from flowing in into the country, Indira Gandhi supported the East Pakistan's struggle for freedom against West Pakistan. India provided logistical support and also sent troops to fight against West Pakistan. India's triumph in the war of 1971 against Pakistan enhanced the popularity of Indira Gandhi as a shrewd political leader.

Imposition of Emergency
In 1975, the Opposition parties and social activists staged regular demonstrations against the Indira Gandhi-led Central government over rising inflation, the poor state of economy and unchecked corruption. The same year, a ruling of Allahabad High Court that Indira Gandhi had used illegal practices during the last election helped in adding fuel to the existing political fire. The verdict ordered her to vacate her seat, immediately. The agitation and anger of the people intensified. Realizing the consequences, on 26 June, 1975, Indira Gandhi declared "an emergency, due to the turbulent political situation in the country".

During the state of emergency, her political foes were imprisoned, constitutional rights of the citizens were abrogated, and the press placed under strict censorship. The Gandhian socialist Jaya Prakash Narayan and his supporters sought to unify students, peasants and labor organizations in a 'Total non-violent Revolution' to transform Indian society. Narayan was later arrested and jailed.

Meanwhile, her younger son, Sanjay Gandhi, began to run the country with full-authority. Sanjay Gandhi had ordered the removal of slum dwellings, and in an attempt to curb India's growing population, initiated a highly resented program of forced sterilization. 

In 1977, fearing military coup if the emergency continued further, Indira Gandhi called for elections. She was brutally thrashed by the emerging Janata Dal, led by Morarji Desai and Jai Prakash Narayan. Congress managed to win only 153 Lok Sabha seats, as compared to 350 seats it grabbed in the previous Lok Sabha. 

With so little in common among the allies of the Janata Party, the members were busy in internal strife. In an effort to expel Indira Gandhi from the Parliament, the Janata government ordered to arrest her. However, the strategy failed disastrously and gained Indira Gandhi, a great sympathy from the people who had considered her as an autocrat just two years back.

In the next elections, Congress returned to power with a landslide majority. Experts viewed the victory of the Congress as a result of inefficient and ineffective "Janata Dal".

Operation Blue Star and her assassination
In September 1981, a Sikh militant group demanding "Khalistan" entered into the premises of the Golden Temple, Amritsar. Despite the presence of thousands of civilians in the Temple complex, Indira Gandhi ordered the Army to barge into the holy shrine. The operation was carried out with tanks and armored vehicles. The act was viewed as an unparalleled tragedy in the Indian political history. The impact of the onslaught increased the communal tensions in the country. Many Sikhs resigned from the armed and civil administrative office and also returned their government awards. On 31 October 1984, Indira Gandhi's bodyguards Satwant Singh and Beant Singh, as a revenge of the Golden Temple assault, assassinated the Prime Minister at her Safdarjung Road residence.

Gopal Krishna Gokhale

Born: May 9, 1866 
February: 19, 1915 

Contributions
Gopal Krishna Gokhale was one of the pioneers of the Indian Independence Movement. Gokhale was a senior leader of the Indian National Congress. He was one of the most learned men in the country, a leader of social and political reformists and one of the earliest and founding leaders of the Indian Independence Movement. Being one of the first generations of Indians to receive college education, Gokhale was respected widely in the Indian intellectual community.

Life
Gopal Krishna Gokhale was born in Kothluk in Ratnagiri District, Maharastra. His parents, Krishna Rao and Valubai. Gokhale received his early education at Rajaram High School in Kothapur and later, in 1884 moved to Bombay to receive higher education. 

Gokhale was reportedly, one of the first Indians to complete graduation. In 1884, after the completion of his graduation in arts at the Elphinstone College, Bombay, Gokhale joined as professor of history and political economy at the Fergusson College, Poona. He remained on the staff, finally as principal, until 1902. Becoming actively identified with the National Congress movement, he was for some years the joint secretary and in 1905 president at the Benares session. The higher education made Gokhale understand the importance of liberty, democracy and parliamentary system of the government.

In 1985-86, Gopal Krishna Gokhale met a great scholar and a social reformer Mahadev Govind Ranade. Ranade was a great leader, judge, scholar and above all social reformer. He regarded Mahadev Govinda Ranade as his "Guru". Ranade helped Gokhale in establishing the "Servants of India Society" in 1905. The main objective of this society was to train Indians to raise their voices and serve their country. Gokhale also worked with Ranade in a quarterly Journal, called "Sarvajanik". The Journal wrote about the public questions of the day in frank and fearless manner. 

Gokhale was the secretary of the "Reception Committee" of the 1895 Poona session of Indian National Congress. From this session, Gokhale became a prominent face of the Indian National Congress. For a while Gokhale was a member of the Bombay Legislative Council where he spoke strongly against the then Government. 

Gokhale dedicated his life to the advancement of the nation's welfare. In 1905, Gokhale was sent by the Congress on a special mission to England to spread India's constitutional demands among the British leaders. 

Gokhale was instrumental in the formation of the Minto-Morley Reforms of 1909, which was tabled and eventually transformed into law. But unfortunately, the Reforms Act became law in 1909 and it was disappointing to see that despite Gokhale's efforts, the people were not given a proper democratic system. However, Gokhale's efforts were clearly not in vain. Indians now had access to seats of the highest authority within the government, and their voices were more audible in matters of public interest.

Gokhale, during his visit to South Africa in 1912, met Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, popularly known as Mahatma Gandhi. Gokhale made him aware of the issues confronting common people back in India. In his autobiography, Gandhi calls Gokhale his "mentor and guide". Not only Gandhi, Gokhale also guide Muhammad Ali Jinnah, the founder of Pakistan. Jinnah later aspired to become the "Muslim Gokhale". 

Death
The years of hard work and devotion of Gopal Krishna Gokhale did immense contribution for the country. But, unfortunately, excessive exertion and the resulting exhaustion only aggravated his diabetes and cardiac asthma. The end came peacefully, on February 19, 1915, the great leader passed away

Go Back to : Know Your Leaders

Bhagat Singh


Born: September 27, 1907
Passed Away: March 23, 1931

Contributions
Bhagat Singh was among the prominent revolutionaries who shaped the base of a grand national movement. Following his execution, on March 23, 1931, the supporters and followers of Bhagat Singh regarded him as a "Shaheed", "martyr".

Life
Bhagat Singh was born on 27 September 1907 at Banga in Lyallpur district (now Pakistan) to Kishan Singh and Vidya Vati. From his early childhood, Bhagat Singh was imbued with the family's spirit of patriotism. At the time of his birth, his father Kishan Singh was in jail. His uncle, Sardar Ajit Singh, was a great freedom fighter and established the Indian Patriots' Association. He was well-supported by his friend Syed Haidar Raza, in organizing the peasants against the Chenab Canal Colony Bill. Ajit Singh had 22 cases against him and was forced to flee to Iran. Bhagat Singh was considered to be one of the most influential revolutionaries of Indian Nationalist Movement. He became involved with numerous revolutionary organizations.

Kishan Singh enrolled Bhagat Singh in Dayanand Anglo Vedic High School. At a very young age, Bhagat Singh started following Non-Cooperation Movement called by Mahatma Gandhi. Bhagat Singh had openly defied the British and had followed Gandhi's wishes by burning the government-sponsored books. Following the violent incidents of "Chauri Chaura", Gandhi called for the withdrawal of the Non-Cooperation movement. Unhappy with the decision, Bhagat Singh, isolated himself from Gandhi's nonviolent action and joined the Young Revolutionary Movement.

He was pursuing B.A. examination when his parents planned to have him married. He vehemently rejected the suggestion and said that, if his marriage was to take place in Slave-India, my bride shall be only death." Singh later joined the Hindustan Republican Association, a radical group, later known as the Hindustan Socialist Republican Association. He returned to his home in Lahore after assurances from his parents that he would not be compelled to get married. He established contact with the members of the Kirti Kisan Party and started contributing regularly to its magazine, the "Kirti". In March 1926, the Naujawan Bharat Sabha was formed with Bhagat Singh, as its secretary.

On 30 October 1928, an all-parties procession, led by Lala Lajpat Rai, marched towards the Lahore railway station to protest against the arrival of the Simon Commission. Stopping the procession, police made a lathi charge at the activists. The confrontation left Lala Lajpat Rai with severe injuries and also led to his death. As an avenge to the death of Lala Lajpat Rai, Bhagat Singh and his associates plotted the assassination of Scott, the Superintendent of Police, believed to have ordered the lathi charge. The revolutionaries, mistaking J.P. Saunders, an Assistant Superintendent of Police, as Scott, killed him instead. Bhagat Singh quickly left Lahore to escape his arrest. To avoid recognition, he shaved his beard and cut his hair, a violation of the sacred tenets of Sikhism.

In response to the formulation of Defence of India Act, the Hindustan Socialist Republican Association planned to explode a bomb inside the assembly premises, where the ordinance was going to be passed. On April 8 1929 Bhagat Singh and Batukeshwar Dutt threw a bomb onto the corridors of the assembly and shouted 'Inquilab Zindabad!' The bomb was not meant to kill or injure anyone and therefore it was thrown away from the crowded place. Following the blasts both Bhagat Singh and Batukeshwar Dutt courted arrest

Trial and Death
The British authority, while interrogating them, came to know about their involvement in the murder of J. P. Saunders. Bhagat Singh, Rajguru, and Sukhdev were charged with the murder. Singh admitted to the murder and made statements against the British rule during the trial.

While in jail, Bhagat Singh found that the authorities were following a dual policy in treating the prisoners. The criminals of foreign origin were treated better than Indian political prisoners. As a protest, he along with some fellow prisoners declared to "go on hunger strike". The strike continued for over a month and finally the British had to accept before their conditions.

Bhagat Singh along with other revolutionaries found responsible for the Assembly bombing and murder of Saunders. On March 23, 1931, Bhagat Singh was hanged in Lahore with his fellow comrades Rajguru and Sukhdev. Singh was cremated at Hussainiwala on banks of Sutlej river.

Go Back to : Know Our Leaders