|Member of Parliament|
9 March 1931 |
|Political party||Indian National Congress|
|Spouse(s)||Yasho Rajya Lakshmi|
|Residence||New Delhi, India|
Karan Singh (born 9 March 1931, age 83) is a member of India's Upper House of Parliament, the Rajya Sabha. He is a senior member of the Indian National Congress Party who served successively as Sadr-i-Riyasat and Governor of Jammu and Kashmir. Singh is the son of the last ruler of the erstwhile princely state of Kashmir and Jammu, Maharaja Hari Singh. In the 26th amendment to the Constitution of India promulgated in 1971, the Government of India abolished all official symbols of princely India, including titles, privileges, and remuneration (privy purses). Singh received the Padma Vibhushan in 2005.
The first Maharaja was his great great grandfather Gulab Singh. "On March 15, 1846 Gulab Singh was formally invested with the title of Maharaja at Amritsar. On this occasion 'Maharaja' Gulab Singh stood up, and, with joined hands, expressed his gratitude to the British viceroy^—adding, without however any ironical meaning, that he was indeed his 'Zurkharid', or gold-boughten slave."  Gulab Singh's treasonous information regarding the Sikh army assured victory for the East India Company in the Anglo Sikh war. But, "after the war he felt his inability to support himself without the countenance of the English; but they had offered no assurance of support as minister, and he suddenly perplexed the Governor-General by asking what he was to get for all he had done to bring about a speedy peace, and to render the (Sikh) army an easy prey".
Early life and education
Singh was born on 9 March 1931, in Cannes, France, to Hari Singh, the last ruler of the princely state of Kashmir and Jammu, and his wife Tara Devi. He was educated at the Doon School, Dehra Dun, and received a B.A. from Sri Pratap College Srinagar, and both an M.A. in Political Science and a PhD from Delhi University.
In 1949, at age of eighteen, Singh was appointed as the regent of Jammu and Kashmir state after his father stepped down as the ruler, following the state's accession to India. He served successively as regent, the first and last Sadr-i-Riyasat, and governor of the state of Jammu and Kashmir from 1965 to 1967.
In 1967, he resigned as Governor of Jammu and Kashmir, and became the youngest-ever member of the Union Cabinet, holding the portfolios of Tourism and Civil Aviation. Two years later, he voluntarily surrendered his privy purse, which he had been entitled to since the death of his father in 1961. He placed the entire sum into a charitable trust named after his parents. In 1971, he was sent as an envoy to the Eastern Bloc nations to explain India's position with regard to East Pakistan, then engaged in civil war with West Pakistan. He attempted to resign following an aircraft crash in 1973, but the resignation was not accepted. The same year, he became the Minister for Health and Family planning, serving in this post until 1977.
Following the Emergency, Karan Singh was elected to the Lok Sabha from Udhampur in 1977 on a Congress ticket [the party had not split into Congress(I) and Congress(U) factions till then], and became Minister of Education and Culture in 1979 as part of Charan Singh's cabinet, representing Congress(U), which had split from Indira's Congress. He contested the 1980 Lok Sabha election on a Congress(U) ticket and won. In 1989–1990, he served as Indian Ambassador to the US, and this experience became the subject of a book he wrote, "Brief Sojourn."
From 1967 to 1984 Karan Singh was a member of the Lok Sabha. In 1984, he contested the Lok Sabha polls as an independent candidate from Jammu but lost the election. He was a member of the Rajya Sabha first representing J&K National Conference – a Muslim dominated state party active in northern Indian state of Jammu & Kashmir – from 30 November 1996 to 12 August 1999 and currently is a Rajya Sabha member from 28 January 2000 representing INC. He has served as Chancellor of Banaras Hindu University, Jammu and Kashmir University, Jawaharlal Nehru University, and NIIT University
“In 1974, I led the Indian delegation to the World Population Conference in Bucharest, where my statement that ‘development is the best contraceptive’ became widely known and oft quoted. I must admit that 20 years later I am inclined to reverse this, and my position now is that ‘contraception is the best development’.”
- "Towards A New India"(1974)
- Population, Poverty and the Future of India (1975)
- "One Man's World" (1986)
- Essays on Hinduism. Ratna Sagar. 1987. ISBN 81-7070-173-2.
- Humanity at the Crossroads . with Daisaku Ikeda. Oxford University Press, 1988.
- "Autobiography" (2 vols.)(1989)
- "Brief Sojourn" (1991)
- Hymn to Shiva and Other Poems (1991)
- The Transition to a Global Society (1991)
- Mountain of Shiva (1994)
- Autobiography. Oxford University Press, 1994. ISBN 0-19-563636-8.
- Prophet of Indian Nationalism
- Hinduism. Sterling Publishers Pvt. Ltd, 2005. ISBN 1-84557-425-7
- Mundaka Upanishad: The Bridge to Immortality.
- Ten Gurus of the Sikhs Their Life Story, Tr. into English Pramila Naniwadekar & Moreshwar Naniwadekar.
- Nehru's Kashmir. Wisdom Tree. ISBN 978-81-8328-160-7.
- A Treasury of Indian Wisdom. Penguin Ananda, 2010. ISBN 978-0-670-08450-0.
- Instrument of Accession (Jammu and Kashmir) to the Country / Dominion of India
- List of topics on the land and the people of Jammu and Kashmir
- "The Constitution (26 Amendment) Act, 1971", indiacode.nic.in (Government of India), 1971, retrieved 9 November 2011
- 1. Ramusack, Barbara N. (2004). The Indian princes and their states. Cambridge University Press. p. 278. ISBN 978-0-521-26727-4. Retrieved 6 November 2011., "Through a constitutional amendment passed in 1971, Indira Gandhi stripped the princes of the titles, privy purses and regal privileges which her father's government had granted." (p 278). 2. Naipaul, V. S. (8 April 2003), India: A Wounded Civilization, Random House Digital, Inc., pp. 37–, ISBN 978-1-4000-3075-0, retrieved 6 November 2011 Quote: "The princes of India – their number and variety reflecting to a large extent the chaos that had come to the country with the break up of the Mughal empire – had lost real power in the British time. Through generations of idle servitude they had grown to specialize only in style. A bogus, extinguishable glamour: in 1947, with Independence, they had lost their state, and Mrs. Gandhi in 1971 had, without much public outcry, abolished their privy purses and titles." (pp 37–38). 3. Schmidt, Karl J. (1995), An atlas and survey of South Asian history, M.E. Sharpe, p. 78, ISBN 978-1-56324-334-9, retrieved 6 November 2011 Quote: "Although the Indian states were alternately requested or forced into union with either India or Pakistan, the real death of princely India came when the Twenty-sixth Amendment Act (1971) abolished the princes' titles, privileges, and privy purses." (page 78). 4. Breckenridge, Carol Appadurai (1995), Consuming modernity: public culture in a South Asian world, U of Minnesota Press, pp. 84–, ISBN 978-0-8166-2306-8, retrieved 6 November 2011 Quote: "The third stage in the political evolution of the princes from rulers to citizens occurred in 1971, when the constitution ceased to recognize them as princes and their privy purses, titles, and special privileges were abolished." (page 84). 5. Guha, Ramachandra (5 August 2008), India After Gandhi: The History of the World's Largest Democracy, HarperCollins, pp. 441–, ISBN 978-0-06-095858-9, retrieved 6 November 2011 Quote: "Her success at the polls emboldened Mrs. Gandhi to act decisively against the princes. Through 1971, the two sides tried and failed to find a settlement. The princes were willing to forgo their privy purses, but hoped at least to save their titles. But with her overwhelming majority in Parliament, the prime minister had no need to compromise. On 2 December she introduced a bill to amend the constitution and abolish all princely privileges. It was passed in the Lok Sabha by 381 votes to six, and in the Rajya Sabha by 167 votes to seven. In her own speech, the prime minister invited 'the princes to join the elite of the modern age, the elite which earns respect by its talent, energy and contribution to human progress, all of which can only be done when we work together as equals without regarding anybody as of special status.' " (page 441). 6. Cheesman, David (1997). Landlord power and rural indebtedness in colonial Sind, 1865–1901. London: Routledge. pp. 10–. ISBN 978-0-7007-0470-5. Retrieved 6 November 2011. Quote: "The Indian princes survived the British Raj by only a few years. The Indian republic stripped them of their powers and then their titles." (page 10). 7. Merriam-Webster, Inc (1997), Merriam-Webster's geographical dictionary, Merriam-Webster, pp. 520–, ISBN 978-0-87779-546-9, retrieved 6 November 2011 Quote: "Indian States: "Various (formerly) semi-independent areas in India ruled by native princes .... Under British rule ... administered by residents assisted by political agents. Titles and remaining privileges of princes abolished by Indian government 1971." (page 520). 8. Ward, Philip (September 1989), Northern India, Rajasthan, Agra, Delhi: a travel guide, Pelican Publishing, pp. 91–, ISBN 978-0-88289-753-0, retrieved 6 November 2011 Quote: "A monarchy is only as good as the reigning monarch: thus it is with the princely states. Once they seemed immutable, invincible. In 1971 they were "derecognized," their privileges, privy purses and titles all abolished at a stroke" (page 91)
- History of the Sikhs, JD Cunningham pg. 289
- History of the Sikhs, JD Cunningham pg. 287
- Dr. Karan Singh Raj Bhawan, Jammu and Kashmir official website.
- Official website-chronology
- Karan echoes Omar, but ‘J&K part of India’, Arun Sharma, Jammu, Sat 23 October 2010, The Indian Express Limited
- "Quotations". populationmatters.org. Retrieved 3 July 2014.
- Jammu and Kashmir: 1949–1964: Selected Correspondence between Jawaharlal Nehru and Karan Singh. Edited by Jamaid Alam. Penguin 2006. 
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Karan Singh.|
- Dr. Karan Singh's Official Website
- Dr. Karan Singh's Official Facebook Page
- Film: I Believe: Universal Values for a Global Society with Dr. Singh and by Raja Choudhury.
- Genealogy of the ruling chiefs of Jammu and Kashmir
- Proclamation of May 1, 1951 on Jammu & Kashmir Constituent Assembly by Yuvraj (Crown Prince) Karan Singh from the Official website of Government of Jammu and Kashmir, India
Post created following abdication of Hari Singh
|Regent of Jammu and Kashmir
President of Jammu and Kashmir (Sadr-i-Riyasat)
Regent of Jammu and Kashmir
|President of Jammu and Kashmir (Sadr-i-Riyasat)
Succeeded by that of Governor of Jammu and Kashmir
President of Jammu and Kashmir (Sadr-i-Riyasat)
|Governor of Jammu and Kashmir
||Minister of Tourism and Civil Aviation
||Minister of Health and Family Planning
||Minister of Education and Culture
|Indian Ambassador to the United States