L. K. Advani
|Lal Krishna Advani
لعل ڪرشنا آڏواڻي
|Deputy Prime Minister of India|
5 February 2000 – 22 May 2004
|Prime Minister||Atal Bihari Vajpayee|
|Minister of Home Affairs|
19 March 1998 – 22 May 2004
|Prime Minister||Atal Bihari Vajpayee|
|Preceded by||Indrajit Gupta|
|Succeeded by||Shivraj Patil|
|Leader of Opposition (Lok Sabha)|
May 2004 – December 2009
|Preceded by||Sonia Gandhi|
|Succeeded by||Sushma Swaraj|
|Minister of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions|
29 January 2003 – 21 May 2004
|Prime Minister||Atal Bihari Vajpayee|
|Minister of Coal and Mines|
1 July 2002 – 25 August 2002
|Prime Minister||Atal Bihari Vajpayee|
|Leader of Opposition (Rajya Sabha)|
January 1980 – April 1980
8 November 1927 |
Karachi, British India
|Political party||Bharatiya Janata Party (1980–present)|
|Bharatiya Jana Sangh (Before 1977)
Janata Party (1977–1980)
|Alma mater||Saint Patrick's High School, Karachi, British India
D. G. National College, Hyderabad Sindh
Government Law College, Bombay University.
Lal Krishna Advani (Sindhi: لعل ڪرشنا آڏواڻي,Hindi:लालकृष्ण आडवाणी); born on 8 November 1927, in Karachi,in Sindh now Pakistan) is an Indian politician who was a senior leader of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the current opposition in the Indian Parliament. When the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance was in power from 1998–2004 under Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Advani served as Home Minister and Deputy Prime Minister (the latter in 2002–04). He was the Leader of the Opposition in the 10th Lok Sabha and 14th Lok Sabha (lower house of Parliament). Advani began his political career as a volunteer of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, a cultural organisation.
Early life and education
L.K Advani was born in Karachi, pre-partition British India, in a Hindu Sindhi family to Kishanchand D Advani and Gyani Devi. He completed his early schooling from Saint Patrick's High School, Karachi, and then enrolled at D G National College in Hyderabad Sindh. He graduated in Law from Government Law College, Bombay University.
L.K Advani's life as a social servant started in 1947 when he was elected as the Secretary, Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), Karachi. Advani was later sent to Matsya-Alwar in Rajasthan, which had witnessed communal violence following Partition, to oversee the affairs of the RSS there.
Jana Sangh to Janata Party
Advani became a member of the Bharatiya Jana Sangh, which was founded in 1951 by Syama Prasad Mookerjee. After serving various positions in the Jana Sangh, he became its President in 1973 at Kanpur session of Bhartiya Jan Sangh.His first act as president of BJS was to expell founder member and veteran leader Balraj Madhok from primary membership of the party for repeatedly violating the party directives and acting against the interests of the party. When Jai Prakash Narayan, who led the public movement against the Emergency refused to campaign for the opposition parties unless all of them joined together, the Jana Sangh and many other opposition parties merged into the Janata Party. With the dissolution of Jana Sangh, Advani and his colleague Atal Bihari Vajpayee joined the Janata Party to fight the Lok Sabha Elections of 1977.
Janata Party to Bharatiya Janata Party
The Janata Party was formed by political leaders and activists of various political parties who had been united in opposing the state of Emergency imposed in 1975 by then-Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. After elections were called in 1977, the Janata Party was formed from the union of the Congress (O), Swatantra Party, Socialist Party of India, Jana Sangh and the Lok Dal. Indian National Congress defector Jagjivan Ram formed the Congress for Democracy and joined the Janata alliance. The widespread unpopularity of Emergency rule gave Janata Party and its allied a landslide victory in the election. Morarji Desai became the Prime Minister of India, Advani became the Minister of Information and Broadcasting and Vajpayee became the Foreign Minister.Some quarters claim that the PM Morarji Desai was interested in inducting Dr.Subramanian Swamy as Finance Minister in his Govt but the proposal was scuttled at the behest of Vajpayeeji and Advani ji.Perhaps they feared that if a comparatively 'novice' like Dr.Swamy was made FM their own position would be dwarfed.
The nature of the birth of the Janata Party sowed the seeds of its destruction as well. Bitter animosity amongst its ranks ensured that the government remained on the brink. Finally, the issue of dual membership became the bone of contention as some members of the Janata Party insisted that the erstwhile members of the Jana Sangh dissociate themselves from the right-wing RSS.
The erstwhile members of the Jana Sangh, quit the Janata Party and they formed the new Bharatiya Janata Party. Advani became a prominent leader of the newly founded BJP and represented the party in the Rajya Sabha (upper house of the Indian Parliament).
The rise of the BJP
Advani became the president of the BJP in 1986. His rise coincided with a growing unease and disquiet with the ruling Congress party due to non-governance and corruption. Sensing an opportunity Advani embarked on a new aggressive communal phase of his politics, and by 1991 the BJP became a significant player in the political landscape.
He gradually brought in a shift in the party's policies by advocating Hindutva. Meanwhile, the finance minister V. P. Singh also defected. In the elections of 1989, the combined might of the Singh-led Janata Dal and the BJP managed to eat into the Congress's seats. Despite emerging as the single largest party, the Congress opted to sit in Opposition, and a coalition headed by Mr. Singh formed the government with outside support from the BJP.
In 1989, the BJP launched a movement led by Advani on the issue of the Ram Janmabhoomi (the birthplace of Rama). The BJP demanded that a temple dedicated to deity Rama be created at the disputed site of the Babri Masjid where, according to Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), a temple stood till Babur's invasion of India in 1528. Sunni Central Wakf Board rejected this claim. However, rather than a settling on a political solution to the dispute, the disputed structure was destroyed by a Hindu mob, sparking massive Hindu-Muslim riots.
Advani embarked on a "Rath Yatra" to mobilize "karsevaks" to converge upon the Babri Masjid to offer prayers. This "Rath Yatra", undertaken in an air-conditioned van decorated to look like a chariot, started from Somnath in Gujarat and had covered a large part of Northern India until it was brought to a halt by the Chief Minister of Bihar, Laloo Prasad Yadav.
This movement helped the BJP cross fresh boundaries, especially in North India. Advani succeeded in drawing away a large chunk of Hindu voters who were already mortified at the rise of Mandal politics, away from the Congress. In the 1991 general elections, the BJP came second after the Congress party in terms of seats.
In 1992, two years after Advani ended his yatra, despite assurances given by the Kalyan Singh led BJP Government to the Supreme Court, the Babri Masjid was demolished by the "karsevaks" with alleged complicity of the Kalyan Singh government. Advani is one of the main accused in the Babri Masjid case.
BJP, under Advani, sat in the opposition from 1991–1996 during the reign of P V Narasimha Rao. The Rao regime was repeatedly accused by the BJP of corruption and various scandals.
Home Minister in the NDA government
After the 1996 general elections, the BJP became the single largest party and was consequently invited by the President to form the Government. Atal Bihari Vajpayee was sworn in as Prime Minister in May 1996. However, the Government did not last long and Vajpayee resigned after thirteen days.
Second term 1998-1999 - Atal Bihari Vajpayee
After two years in the political wilderness, the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA), came to power with Vajpayee returning as Prime Minister in March 1998, when elections were called after India saw two unstable Governments headed by H. D. Deve Gowda and I. K. Gujral respectively.
After the drop of 2 U. s. Front side government authorities between year 1996 and year 1998, Lok Sabha, reduced home of India's Parliament was demolished and clean elections were organised. The 1998 common elections again put BJP before others. Now, a natural bloc of governmental events signed up with BJP to type the Nationwide Democratic Partnership (NDA), and also A.B. Vajpayee was sworn as the Primary Reverend. The NDA had shown its greater part in parliament. The govt survived 13 several weeks until mid-1999 when All Indian Munnetra Kazhagam Ould - Dravida (AIADMK) under the J. Jayalalitha withdrew its assistance to govt. The govt had missing the following elect of assurance movement in Lok Sabha by only 1 elect. As this Resistance was incapable to come up with figures to type the new govt, Lok Sabha, the reduced home of India's Parliament was again demolished and clean elections were organized. Vajpayee staying the Primary Reverend until elections were organized.
Advani assumed the office of Home Minister and was later elevated to the position of Deputy Prime Minister. As Union Minister, Advani had a tough time with India facing a string of internal disturbances in the form of rebel attacks allegedly supported by Pakistan. The NDA government lasted for its full term of five years till 2004, the only non-Congress government to do so.
Advani was charged in a scandal where he allegedly received payments through hawala brokers. He and others were later discharged by the Supreme Court of India, because there was no additional evidence which could be used to charge them. According to the judicial inquiry by Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) they could not find any substantive evidence; the Supreme Court ruling stated that no statement even mentioned Advani's name and that evidence against him was limited to the mention of his name on a few loose sheets of paper.
However, the failure of this prosecution by the CBI was widely criticized. While some believe the CBI probe catapulted his rise through the BJP on his newfound "moral authority", others have claimed the inquiry was a political stunt.
As elections approached in 2004, Advani was supremely confident and conducted an aggressive campaign where he claimed the Congress Party would not get even 100 seats. The BJP suffered a defeat in the general elections held in 2004, and was forced to sit in the opposition. Another coalition, the United Progressive Alliance led by the resurgent Congress came to power, with Manmohan Singh as Prime Minister. The NDA disintegrated with the Telugu Desam Party, which had supported the NDA government from the outside, deserting the alliance.
Vajpayee retired from active politics after the 2004 defeat, putting Advani to the forefront of the BJP. Advani became Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha from 2004 to 2009. During this period, Advani had to deal with rebellion from within the party. His two close associates, Uma Bharati, and Madan Lal Khurana, and longtime rival Murali Manohar Joshi publicly spoke out against him. In June 2005, he drew much criticism when he, while on a visit to the Jinnah Mausoleum at Karachi – his town of birth, endorsed Mohammad Ali Jinnah and described him a "secular" leader. This did not sit well with the RSS either and Advani was forced to relinquish his post as BJP president. However, he withdrew the resignation a few days later.
The relationship between Advani and the RSS reached a low point when the latter's chief K. S. Sudarshan opined that both Advani and Vajpayee give way to new leaders. At the Silver Jubilee celebrations of the BJP in Mumbai in December 2005, Advani stepped down as party president and Rajnath Singh, a relatively junior politician from the state of Uttar Pradesh was elected in his place. In March 2006, following a bomb blast at one of the holiest Hindu shrines at Varanasi, Advani undertook a "Bharat Suraksha Yatra" (Sojourn for National Security), to highlight the alleged failure of the ruling United Progressive Alliance in combating terrorism.
Prime Minister candidacy
In an interview with a news channel in December 2006, Advani stated that as the Leader of the Opposition in a parliamentary democracy, he considered himself as the Prime Ministerial candidate for the general elections, ending on 16 May 2009. Some of his colleagues were not supportive of his candidacy.
A major factor going in favor of Advani was that he had always been the most powerful leader in the BJP with the exception of Vajpayee, who endorsed Advani's candidacy. On 2 May 2007, BJP President Rajnath Singh stated that: "After Atal there is only Advani. Advani is the natural choice. It is he who should be PM". On 10 December 2007, the Parliamentary Board of BJP formally announced that L. K. Advani would be its prime ministerial candidate for the General Elections due in 2009.
However, Indian National Congress party and its allies won the 2009 General Elections, allowing incumbent Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to continue in office. Following the defeat in the elections, L. K. Advani paved way for Sushma Swaraj to become the Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha.
Advani surprisingly resigned from all his posts in the BJP on 10th June, 2013 following the elevation of Narendra Modi to other important posts of BJP on 09th June 2013. He rued that the BJP was no longer the "same idealistic party" created by Shyama Prasad Mookerjee, Deendayal Upadhyaya, Nanaji Deshmukh and A B Vajpayee. The BJP senior committee rejected his resignation on the 10th June, 2013, and ultimately Advani withdrew his resignation on 11th June 2013 after Rajnath Singh (BJP Party President) assured Advani that his concerns about the functioning of the Party would be properly addressed and the President will discuss the modalities of addressing these concerns with Shri Advani.
Popularly known in India as the Eternal yatri or Eternal Charioteer, L. K. Advani has so far, undertaken 6 yatras throughout India.
- Ram Rath Yatra: Advani started his first Rath Yatra from Somnath, Gujarat on 25 September 1990 to finally reach Ayodhya on 30 October 1990. The yatra has been linked to the Mandir-Masjid dispute centred around Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid site at Ayodhya. The BJP and Advani, however, focused the yatra on the secularism–communalism debate.The yatra was stopped in UP by Mulayam Singh Yadav when he ordered shooting of kar sewaks.
- Janadesh Yatra: Four Yatras named Janadesh Yatra started on 11 September 1993 from four corners of country. Advani led this yatra from Mysore. Travelling through 14 States and two Union Territories, the yatris congregated at Bhopal on 25 September in a massive rally. The purpose of Janadesh Yatrawas to seek the people's mandate against the two Bills, the Constitution 80th Amendment Bill and the Representation of People (Amendment) Bill.
- Swarna Jayanti Rath Yatra: The Swarna Jayanti Rath Yatra by Mr. Advani travelled across India between May and July 1997. According to Mr.Advani, the yatra was conducted in celebration of 50 years of Indian Independence and also to project the BJP as a party committed to good governance.
- Bharat Uday Yatra: The Bharat Uday Yatra took place in the run-up to the 2004 Lok Sabha Elections.
- Bharat Suraksha Yatra: The BJP launched a nationwide mass political campaign in the form of the Bharat Suraksha Yatra from 6 April to 10 May 2006. It consisted of two yatras – one led by Advani, Leader of the Opposition (Lok Sabha), from Dwaraka in Gujarat to Delhi; and the other led by Rajnath Singh, then the President of the BJP, from Jagannath Puri in Orissa to Delhi. The yatra was focused on left wing terrorism, minority politics, corruption, protection of democracy and price rise.
- Jan Chetna Yatra: The Jan Chetna Yatra was launched on 11 October 2011 from Sitab Diara, Bihar. The BJP states the purpose of Jan Chetna Yatra is to mobilise public opinion against corruption of the UPA government and put BJP agenda of good governance and clean politics before the people of India.
"My Country My Life" is an autobiographical book by L. K. Advani. The book was released on 19 March 2008 by Abdul Kalam, the eleventh President of India. The book has 1,040 pages and narrates autobiographical accounts and events in the life of Advani. The book became a best seller in the non-fiction category and Advani joined Archer as a bestseller author. The book website claims that more than 1,000,000 copies have been sold. The book includes mentions of events in Indian politics and India's history from 1900 till 2007.
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- L.K. Advani[dead link]
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- Advani has hit bull's eye each time Times of India – 30 March 2004
- Advani's influence in the BJP sprang from his moral authority The Telegraph, Calcutta – 30 December 2005
- Which Jain? What Hawala? Indian Express – 15 September 1998
- says hawala probe was manipulated[dead link] Times of India – 27 November 2006
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- Lal Krishna Advani. My Country My Life. (2008). ISBN 978-81-291-1363-4.
- Lal Krishna Advani. New Approaches to Security and Development (Paperback). (2003). ISBN 978-981-230-219-9.
- Lal Krishna Advani. A Prisoner's Scrap-Book (Hardcover). (2002). ISBN 978-81-88322-10-7.
- Atmaram Kulkarni. The Advent of Advani: An Authentic Critical Biography (Hardcover). (1995). ISBN 978-81-85345-22-2.
- Sudheendra Kulkarni. Swarna Jayanti Rath Yatra: The story of Lal Krishna Advani's patriotic pilgrimage. (1997). ASIN: B0000CPBO7.
- Pentagon Press. Lal Krishna Advani: Today's Patel (Paperback). (2002). ISBN 978-81-86830-57-4.
- G. Katyal. K. Bhushan. Lal Krishna Advani: Deputy Prime Minister (Hardcover). ASIN: B001G6MAZA
- Pentagon Press. Lala Krishna Advani (Paperback). (2007). ISBN 978-81-86830-59-8.
- Demolition by design[dead link] VENKITESH RAMAKRISHNAN -Frontline Volume 26 – Issue 25 :: 5–18 Dec. 2009
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Chaudhary Devi Lal
|Deputy Prime Minister of India