In the year 2000, I had the opportunity rather feel lucky to meet, listen and interact with a great personality, successful leader, able administrator and wonderful human being, who is popularly known as P. V. Narasimha Rao, as full nameShri Pamulaparti Venkata Narasimha Rao, (born on 28 June, 1921, Karimnagar district of present Telangana— passed away on 23 December, 2004, New Delhi). He served as the 9th Prime Minister of India from 1991 to 1996, but even after that he was active in educational, social and other activities. When he visited in 2000 the National Institute of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj (NIRD&PR) that time (it was NIRD), Hyderabad, I could meet him as I was working as faculty. It is pertinent to mention that NIRD&PR is an autonomous organisation under the Union Ministry of Rural Development, a premier national centre of excellence in Rural Development and Panchayati Raj located in Hyderabad. In addition to the main campus in Hyderabad, this Institute has North-Eastern Regional Centre in Guwahati, Assam.
Son of Shri P. Ranga Rao, Shri P.V. Narasimha Rao ji studied in Osmania University, Hyderabad, Bombay University and the Nagpur University. A widower, Shri P.V. Narasimha Rao garu had three sons and five daughters.
Shri Narasimha Rao ji was actively in freedom movement and after independence joined Indian National Congress. He was elected in Andhra Pradesh assembly from 1957 to 1977 and also served in various ministerial positions in Andhra Government from 1962 to 1973 including Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh from 1971 and implemented land reforms and land ceiling acts in letter spirit. During his tenure as Chief Minister he also secured reservation for marginalised caste in politics. For the benefit of readers I wish to mention that Telangana was created on 2 June 2014 so prior to that it was Andhra Pradesh.
He was Member of Lok Sabha from 1977-84. As Chairman, Public Accounts Committee, 1978-79 he participated in a Conference on South Asia convened by the School of Asian and African Studies, London University. He was Minister for External Affairs from January 14, 1980 to July 18, 1984; Minister of Home Affairs from July 19, 1984 to December 31, 1984 and Minister of Defence from December 31, 1984 to September 25, 1985. He then took charge as Minister of Human Resource Development in September 25, 1985.
About his activities, performance etc., volumes can be written but few points I am highlighting as birthday tribute to him as this is a news portal.
A man of many interests, he liked music and his special interest was in Indian philosophy and culture, writing fiction and political commentary, learning languages, writing poems in Telugu and Hindi. He had published ‘SahasraPhan’, a Hindi translation of late Shri Viswanatha Satyanarayana’s famous Telegu Novel ‘Veyi Padagalu’ published by Jnanpith; ‘Abala Jeevitam’, Telugu translation of late Shri Hari Narayan Apte’s famous Marathi Novel, “Pan Lakshat Kon gheto”, published by Central Sahitya Academy. He translated other famous works from Marathi to Telugu and from Telugu to Hindi, and published many articles in different magazines mostly under a pen name. He delivered lecture in different Universities in U.S.A. and West Germany on political matters and allied subjects.
Economic liberalisation in India was initiated in 1991 by Shri P. V. Narasimha Rao and then-Finance Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh. In general it inter alia includes reduction in import tariffs, deregulation of markets, reduction of taxes, and greater foreign investment. Liberalisation can be felt because of high economic growth recorded in the 1990s and 2000s. As India is a huge country with pluralistic society and diverse culture Shri Narshima garu proved that his economic policy was successful.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on26 June 2020 while paying birthday tribute said “former Prime Minister PV Narasimha Rao remained on the forefront of raising his voice against injustice”. He further mentioned “Narasimha Rao understood history very well. His rise from a very simple background, his emphasis on education, his tendency to learn, and, with all this, his leadership ability – everything is memorable.”
Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao Sunday (26 June 2020) launched the year-long celebrations to commemorate the birth centenary of Shri P V Narasimha Rao garu.
Although he left for heavenly abode on 23 December, 2004, he will in heart, memory and mind of all Indians for his enormous contribution for the development and prosperity of the country.
The following websites have been consulted while writing the article:
Dr. Shankar Chatterjee
Former Professor& Head (CPME)
NIRD &PR (Govt. of India),