First Prime Minister of Nation

... Morarji Desai Valsad

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More about Morarji Desai

Education

Wilson College

Story of Life

Morarji Desai married Gujraben in 1911, at the age of 15. Gujraben lived to see her husband becoming Prime Minister, but she predeceased him. He is survived by his son Kanti Desai, and grandsons Jagdeep and Bharat Desai. Madhukeshwar Desai, one of his great-grandsons, son of Jagdeep Desai, took it upon himself to revive the legacy of his illustrious great grandfather. Madhukeshwar Desai is currently the National Vice-President of the Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha, the youth wing of the BJP.

Vishaal Desai, son of Bharat Desai, is a writer and filmmaker

Famous for

Morarji Desai NPk (29 February 1896 – 10 April 1995) was an Indian independence activist and the Prime Minister of India from 1977 to 1979. He was also the first Prime Minister to head India’s first non-Congress Government. He held many important posts in the Government of India such as: Chief Minister of Bombay State, Home Minister, Finance Minister and Deputy Prime Minister of India. On the international scene, Desai holds international fame for his peace activism and made efforts to initiate peace between two rival South Asian states, Pakistan and India. After India’s first nuclear explosion in 1974, Desai helped restore friendly relations with China and Pakistan, and vowed to avoid armed conflict such as Indo-Pakistani war of 1971. Domestically, he played a crucial role in the Indian nuclear program after it was targeted by major nuclear powers after conducting a surprise test in 1974.

Achievement

Before the independence of India, he became Bombay’s Home Minister and later was elected as Chief Minister of Bombay State in 1952. The state was a bi-lingual state, home to Gujarati-speaking and Marathi-speaking people. Since 1956, activist organization Samyukta Maharashtra Samiti led a movement for a Marathi-only speaking state of Maharashtra.

As Home Minister, Desai outlawed any portrayals of indecency (which included “kissing” scenes) in films and theatrical productions. Being a staunch Gandhian, Desai was socially conservative, pro-business, and in favour of free enterprise reforms, as opposed to Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru’s socialistic policies.

Award

Nishan-e-Pakistan