Modern Indian history from about the middle of the eighteenth century until the presentsignificant events, personalities, issues



PM remembers former PM Shri Morarjibhai Desai.

Important points:

  • Morarji Desai’s birth anniversary falls on 29 February.
  • Morarji Desai was born in Bulsar, District (now known as Valsad) in Gujarat.
  • After graduating from Wilson College, Bombay (now Mumbai),  he served as the Deputy collector of Godhra. He resigned from the post in 1930.
  • After that, he became part of the Indian freedom struggle and joined the Civil Disobedience Movement against British rule.
  • Shri Desai was imprisoned thrice during the freedom struggle.

Prime Minister Morarji Desai

  • The Janata Party won in the general elections held in March 1977 for the sixth Lok Sabha. Desai was elected to the Lok Sabha from the Surat constituency in Gujarat.
  • He was later unanimously elected as the leader of the Janata Party in Parliament and sworn in as the Prime Minister on March 24, 1977.
  • Shri Desai was India’s prime minister from March 24, 1977, till July 28, 1979.
  • He was the first Indian Prime Minister who did not belong to the Indian National Congress.
  • He was also the world’s oldest person to become the Prime Minister (aged 81), a record which he holds till date.
  • He condemned Indira Gandhi’s rule as dictatorial.
  • He tried to re-position India as a non-aligned state, countering what he saw as too close a relationship with the Soviet Union by improving links with the United States, hosting a visit from Jimmy Carter in 1978.
  • Visiting the Soviet Union in June 1979, he expressed India’s opposition to the occupation of Afghanistan.
  • He improved relations with China, frozen since a border dispute in 1962.
  • He worked to improve relations with the neighbour and arch-rival Pakistan.
  • His government undid many amendments made to the constitution during the emergency and made it difficult for any future government to impose a national emergency.



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