Govind Ballabh Pant

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Pandit
Govind Ballabh Pant
2nd Chief Minister of United Provinces
In office
17 Jul 1937 – 27 Dec 1954
Preceded by Nawab Sir Muhammad Ahmad Said Khan Chhatari
Succeeded by Vacant
In office
1 Apr 1946 – 26 Jan 1950
Preceded by Vacant
Succeeded by Post abolished
1st Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh
In office
26 Jan 1950 – 27 Dec 1954
Preceded by New creation
Succeeded by Sampurnanand
Personal details
Born 30 August 1887
Khoont-Dhaamas village, Almora,
North-Western Provinces
Died 7 March 1961
Uttar Pradesh
Political party Indian National Congress
Children K. C. Pant, Lakshmi and Pushpa

Pandit Govind Ballabh Pant (30 August 1887 – 7 March 1961) was an Indian politician and independence activist. He was one of the foremost political leaders from Uttarakhand (then in United Provinces) and of the movement to establish Hindi as the official language of India.

Early life[edit]

Govind Ballabh Pant was born on 30 August 1887 in Khoont village on the slopes of Shyahi Devi hill near Almora. His mother's name was Govindi. His father, Manorath Pant, being a government official, was constantly on the move. Govind was brought up by his maternal grandfather, Badri Dutt Joshi, who played a significant part in moulding his personality and political views.[1] He was honored with "Proud Past Alumni" in the list of 42 members, from "Allahabad University Alumni Association", Allahabad University registered under society act 1860 with registration no. 407/2000.[2][3][4]

As a lawyer in Kashipur, Pant began his active work against the British Raj in 1914, when he helped a local parishad, or village council, in their successful challenge of a law requiring locals to provide free transportation of the luggage of travelling British officials. In 1921, he entered politics and was elected to the Legislative Assembly of the United Provinces of Agra and Oudh.

In the freedom struggle[edit]

Statue of Govindballabh Pant, at Mall Road, Nainital

In 1930, he was arrested and imprisoned for several weeks for organizing a Salt March inspired by Gandhi's earlier actions. In 1933, he was arrested along with Harsh Dev Bahuguna (Gandhi of Choukot)and imprisoned for seven months for attending a session of the then-banned provincial Congress. In 1935, the ban was rescinded, and Pant joined the new Legislative Council. During the Second World War, Pant acted as the tiebreaker between Gandhi's faction, which advocated supporting the British Crown in their war effort, and Subhas Chandra Bose's faction, which advocated taking advantage of the situation to expel the British Raj by any means necessary.

In 1934, the Congress ended its boycott of the legislatures and put up candidates, and Pant was elected to the Central Legislative Assembly. His political skills won the admiration of the leaders of the Congress, and he became deputy leader of the Congress party in the Assembly.[5]

In 1940, Pant was arrested and imprisoned for helping organize the Satyagraha movement. In 1942 he was arrested again, this time for signing the Quit India resolution, and spent three years in Ahmednagar Fort along with other members of the Congress working committee until March 1945, at which point Jawaharlal Nehru pleaded successfully for Pant's release, on grounds of failing health.[5]

Chief Minister[edit]

Govind Ballabh Pant statue near Parliament of India, Delhi

He was made the Chief Minister on 17 July 1937 and was in power till 1939 when all Congress ministries in India resigned.

In 1945, the new British Labour government ordered new elections to the Provincial legislatures.[5] The Congress won a majority in the 1946 elections in the United Provinces and Pant was again made the Chief Minister, continuing even after India's independence in 1947.He was the first Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh in Independent India. Among his achievements in that position was the abolition of the zamindari system.

Union Home Minister of india[edit]

He served as Union Home Minister from 1955-1961.[6] In 1955, he was awarded the Bharat Ratna.[7] As Home minister, his chief achievement was the re-organisation of States along linguistic lines. He was also responsible for the establishment of Hindi as an official language of the central government and a few states.[8]

Controversies and criticisms[edit]

As Union Minister, Ballabh Pant and the then Government of Indian National Congress announced on 30 September 1957 that the Jeep scandal case was closed for judicial inquiry ignoring suggestion by the Inquiry Committee led by Ananthsayanam Ayyangar. He declared that "as far as Government was concerned it has made up its mind to close the matter. If the opposition was not satisfied they can make it an election issue."[9][10]

Death[edit]

In 1960, he had a heart attack. After this his health started deteriorating and he later died on 7 March 1961 from a cerebral stroke, which had led to several days in a coma, when he was treated by top doctors in India, including his friend Dr Bidhan Chandra Roy, then the Chief Minister of West Bengal.

Family[edit]

Pant's son, Krishna Chandra Pant, was likewise a capable administrator and politician, whose initiative as the Minister in charge, propelled India in to the nuclear club in 1974. Pant's daughters Lakshmi and Pushpa did not enter politics and led quiet married lives with their respective families, away from the limelight.

Timeline[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Nawab Sir Muhammad Ahmad Said Khan Chhatari
Chief Minister of United Provinces
17 July 1937 – 2 November 1939
Succeeded by
Vacant
Preceded by
Vacant
Chief Minister of United Provinces
1 April 1946 – 26 January 1950
Succeeded by
Post abolished
United Provinces renamed to Uttar Pradesh
Preceded by
New Creation
Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh
26 January 1950 – 27 December 1954
Succeeded by
Sampurnanand
Preceded by
Kailash Nath Katju
Minister for Home Affairs
1955 - 1961
Succeeded by
Lal Bahadur Sastri

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Govind Ballabh Pant
  2. ^ " Proud Past Alumni Allahabad University"[dead link]
  3. ^ " Internet Archive of Proud Past Alumni"
  4. ^ "" Internet Archive of Proud Past Alumni"
  5. ^ a b c B. R. Nanda, Pant, Govind Ballabh (1887–1961), politician in India (2004)
  6. ^ "Nation pays homage to Govind Ballabh Pant". The Times of India. 10 September 2006. 
  7. ^ "Padma Awards Directory (1954-2007)" (PDF). Ministry of Home Affairs. Retrieved 26 November 2010. 
  8. ^ "Govind Ballabh Pant Engineering College, Pauri Garhwal, Uttarakhand". Gbpec.net. Retrieved 1 January 2013. 
  9. ^ Dipankar Paul, India Syndicate (30 April 2011). "Jeep purchase (1948) - The Republic of Scams". News.in.msn.com. Retrieved 1 January 2013. 
  10. ^ [1][dead link]

External links[edit]