It’s no secret
Whenever politics and politicians are discussed in the country, the common man thinks of them with hatred. In the eyes of the people, politics has become a means of making money. The qualities of service, dedication, sacrifice and honesty that were present in the politicians of yesteryear are now completely gone. There were many leaders in India before and after independence who could have become the icons of today’s politicians, but that doesn’t happen. Although the facilities and amenities provided to the people’s representatives in a democratic system attract the people, winning the elections is not within the purview of the common man. Winning elections like MLA, MP, MLC and local bodies requires huge amount of money. This amount will only be with those who have its legitimate or illegitimate sources. We hear about selling tickets in elections. The steep rise in declared income before and after becoming a People’s Representative is also not hidden from anyone.
Refused to receive pension
Khanti Gandhian Gulsari Lal Nanda was the interim Prime Minister of India three times. He was also once the foreign minister. Nanda, who was one of Gandhi’s special supporters in the freedom struggle, had to spend his last life in a rented house. As a freedom fighter, he was granted a pension of Rs. He refused to buy saying that he did not struggle for pension. Later, the pension amount was accepted on the insistence of friends that if they were living in a rented house, where would they pay the rent.
Landlord evicted due to rent arrears
Once the landlord evicted him from the house for arrears of rent. Later, when news about this came in the newspapers, the government officials arrived and the house owner realized what a big mistake he had made. It would not be an exaggeration to call such a politician a political gem who, despite being the Prime Minister and Union Minister, could not build a house of his own and spent his life in a rented house.
Nanda was educated in Sialkot, Lahore Allahabad
Born in Sialkot on 4 July 1898, Gulzarilal Nanda received his primary education in Sialkot and Lahore (now part of Pakistan). Later came to Allahabad for higher education. Graduated from Faculty of Arts, Allahabad. He also obtained a law degree from there. He had two sons and a daughter. Father’s name is Bulaki Ram Nanda. Nanda did not allow his sons to enter politics even though the dynasty dominates politics today. He adopted teaching as a profession before entering politics. He became a lecturer in Economics at the National College, Mumbai. From 1922 to 1946 he was also the Secretary of the Labor Association of the Textiles Industry, Ahmedabad. He had to go to jail during Mahatma Gandhi’s Satyagraha in 1932 and during the Quit India movement in 1942-1944.
Called to Delhi after good performance
Gulzarilal Nanda was a member of the Mumbai Legislative Assembly for two terms. He was elected MLA for the first time from 1937 to 1939 and for the second time from 1947 to 1950. He was in charge of the Ministry of Labor and Housing. Then there was the Mumbai Legislative Assembly. In 1947, the Indian National Trade Union Congress was founded under Nanda’s leadership. While in the Mumbai government, Gulzarilal Nanda proved his mettle so much that the Congress high command called him to Delhi. He was the Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission of India (now NITI Aayog) in 1950-1951, 1952-1953 and 1960-1963. He is considered to have contributed a lot to India’s Five Year Plans. Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru was the Prime Minister at that time. He was also a Cabinet Minister in the Union Cabinet. He remained in the Ministry of Planning for about a year. He remained Union Minister till 1964.
Gulzarilal Nanda was the interim Prime Minister of India twice.
Nanda became interim prime minister twice. Both opportunities came due to tragic circumstances. For the first time after the death of Jawaharlal Nehru and for the second time after the death of Lal Bahadur Shastri, he was given the charge of caretaker prime minister as he was a senior cabinet minister. His first term lasted from 27 May 1964 to 9 June 1964. The second term lasted from 11 January 1966 to 24 January 1966. Nanda was elected to the Lok Sabha in the first 5 general elections. He was the embodiment of Gandhian ideology in body and mind. Despite his old age, he was associated with the Bharat Sevak Samaj. He was also its founder. Nanda practiced politics based on moral values.
Nanda said that the breakdown in politics is fatal for the country
Gulzarilal Nanda realized that politics was not what it used to be when he reached his last years. It has changed. He said it is dangerous for the country. He was concerned about the growing dominance of criminal elements in politics. He had said that criminal-level politics would prove as deadly as cancer to the country. People like Nanda are rare in politics now. The truth is that no one with criminal character in politics or amassing huge wealth from legal or illegal sources is forced to be treated as untouchable.
Along with politics, Nanda also excelled in writing
Gulzarilal Nanda was not only a good politician but also a good writer. He also played his role well as a writer. He wrote many books. Some of his books are Some Aspects of Khadi, Approach to Second Five Year Plan, Guru Tej Bahadur, Saint and Saviour, History of Arrangement in Ahmedabad Textiles, Some Fundamental Considerations for a Moral Revolution. He has received many awards as a good politician and writer. In 1997, he was awarded the country’s highest award, the Bharat Ratna, and the second highest civilian award, the Padma Vibhushan. He died on January 15, 1998 at the age of 100. He will be remembered as a Gandhian politician with a clean image.