Remembering son of soil

THE HANS INDIA |   Jun 28,2015 , 01:24 AM IST

Warangal: The history has not been kind to P V Narasimha Rao, the architect of new India, who ushered in economic reforms and transformed the face of the nation at a time when the country was facing utmost difficult years. Popularly known as PV, he was born into a Telugu Brahmin family in 1921 at Lakinepally village in Warangal district in Telangana. 

At the age of 3 years, he was adopted by P Ranga Rao and Rukminamma, a couple of Vangara village in Karimnagar. PV is a man of many interests and dimensions. His special interest lies in Indian philosophy and culture, writing fiction and political commentary, learning languages, writing poems in Telugu and Hindi and keeping abreast of literature in general.

An active freedom fighter, who joined full-time politics after Independence, rose to national prominence by aptly holding several diverse portfolios in the Cabinets of both Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi. He also made his mark as the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh for his land reforms and strict implementation of land ceiling acts in the Telangana region.

Said to be an accidental prime minister, PV gave the country a modern face of economy defining the dividing line between the old India and the new. He became prime minister when he was all set to retire from politics and return to Hyderabad following the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi in 1991. PV, who wanted a non-political reformer at the centre of decision-making, scored a master stroke by appointing Manmohan Singh as finance minister to execute his vision.

The mastermind of the economic reforms PV never got his due even in his death. He was the PM who told the President to be ready for the conduct of nuclear tests in 1996. However, the tests were carried out by his successor AB Vajpayee two years later.

Notwithstanding the fact that PV was one of the most successful Indian prime ministers from a non-Nehru-Gandhi dynasty, the Congress-wallahs never gave him the due respect holding him responsible for the Ayodhya fiasco even after the Liberhan Commission exonerated him.

AICC president Sonia Gandhi, who recalled the achievements of every Congress prime minister barring PV’s contribution to the party and the nation during the 125th Foundation Day ceremony of the Indian National Congress, tells the story. The Congress, which disowned him for obvious reasons, never had a thought of dedicating a single national monument to him or setting up of a memorial for him. 

Even the Congress official website did not mention his name in the list of people who inspired the party, while incorporating the names of Rajiv, Sonia, Rahul Gandhis and Manmohan Singh. It was Narendra Modi government which has moved a proposal to erect a memorial for him to honour his services to the nation.

The Telangana Government, which declared PV’s birth anniversary to be celebrated as an official function last year, urged the Centre to confer Bharat Ratna, India’s highest civilian award, on PV. On the occasion of PV’s 94th birth anniversary on Sunday, the Telangana government is organising prayers, bhajans and blood donation camps.

By:Adepu Mahendar