Satyendra Narayan Sinha

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Satyendra Narayan Sinha
सत्येन्द्र नारायण सिन्हा
Satyendra Narayan Sinha Veteran Indian Statesman.jpg
Ex Chief Minister of Bihar
Preceded by Bhagwat Jha Azad
Succeeded by Dr. Jagannath Mishra
Constituency Aurangabad
Education Minister of Bihar[1]
In office
18 February 1961 – 1 October 1963
In office
1 October 1963 – 5 March 1967
Preceded by Acharya Badrinath Verma
Succeeded by Karpoori Thakur
Ex President International Committee on Violations of Human Rights of Parliamentarians[2]
In office
Member Of Provisional Parliament[3]
In office
Preceded by Post Created
Succeeded by None
Member of the Lok Sabha for Aurangabad (Bihar) (Lok Sabha constituency)
In office
Preceded by Post Created
Succeeded by Ramesh Prasad Singh
In office
Preceded by Mudrika Singh
Succeeded by Ram Naresh Singh
Personal details
Born (1917-07-12)12 July 1917
Poinwaa, Gaya, Bihar, British India (now India)
Died 4 September 2006(2006-09-04) (89 years)
Political party Indian National Congress (1940–1969,1984–2006)
Indian National Congress-Organisation (1969–1977)
Janata Party (1977–1984)
Spouse(s) Smt. Kishori Sinha
Children Nikhil Kumar
Residence Sopan, Patna, Bihar

Satyendra Narayan Sinha (Hindi: सत्येन्द्र नारायण सिन्हा) (also transliterated as Satyendra Narayan Singh) (12 July 1917 – 4 September 2006) was an Indian statesman, participant in the Indian independence movement, and a former Chief Minister of Bihar.[4] Affectionately called Chhote Saheb (Hindi: छोटे साहब ), he was also a seven-time Member of Parliament from the Aurangabad constituency, a three-term Member of the Bihar Legislative Assembly, and a Member of the Bihar Legislative Council once.


Satyendra Narayan Sinha was born in an aristocratic political family in Poiwan, Gaya district, Bihar. His father and eminent nationalist leader Bihar Vibhuti Dr. Anugrah Narayan Sinha worked with Dr.Rajendra Prasad in the Gandhian Satyagraha movement in Bihar[5] and also served as the[6] first Deputy Chief Minister cum Finance Minister of the Indian state of Bihar.[7]

He spent his student years under the[8] tutelage of Lal Bahadur Shastri at Allahabad. Brought up in a political environment, S. N. Sinha completed his Bachelor's degree from Allahabad University and earned a degree in law from Lucknow University. He practised law at the Patna High Court, but left his job to join the Indian Independence movement and participated in the Quit India Movement in 1942. He organised Legal Aid Programmes for political prisoners during pre-Independence days.

Political career[edit]

Provisional Parliament[edit]

After Independence he was elected to the provisional Parliament from Bihar in 1950. He was part of the young Turk brigade of the Indian National Congress party during the time of the first Prime Minister of India[8] Jawaharlal Nehru.

Bihar state politics[edit]

Satyendra Babu was a prominent educationist, and served as the Education Minister of unified Bihar in the government headed by Chief Minister Pandit Binodanand Jha from 1961–1963, and again for two consecutive terms in the Cabinet of K. B. Sahay from 1963–1967.[1] He also a held a range of portfolios including Local Self Government and Agriculture. He is credited with streamlining the entire education system of the Bihar state. As the state education minister, he played an instrumental role in the establishment of Magadh University in Bodh Gaya, in the year 1962. He occupied the second position[8] (second-in-command) in the Cabinet and played the role of a de facto Chief Minister during the period 1961–1967 under the Governments headed by K. B. Sahay and Pandit Binodanand Jha. He had[8] a unique political acumen to determine the electoral prospects of candidates in assembly election by just sitting at home in Patna.

The Kingmaker[edit]

S. N. Sinha also played a key role in the installations of Governments headed by chief ministers Krishana Ballabh Sahay,Satish Prasad Singh, B.P. Mandal, Sardar Harihar Singh, Bhola Paswan Shastri and Ram Sundar Das. He never[8] hankered after power even when it was well within his reach. When Indira Gandhi became Prime Minister of India in 1966, she [9] wanted him to become the next Chief Minister of Bihar and sent then External Affairs Minister Dinesh Singh to convey the proposal but he refused, since he did [10] not wished to unseat incumbent CM K B Sahay but wanted to be elected by the people of state.

Emergency era[edit]

Chief Minister of Rajasthan Bhairon Singh Shekhawat (future Vice-President of India) with former Bihar CM Satyendra Babu during the formers visit to Bihar

The reigning Prime Minister of India, Indira Gandhi, declared a state of emergency on 25 June 1975 due to internal political disturbances. Accordingly, all fundamental rights enjoyed in the Indian Constitution were suspended. Political dissidents, newspaper reporters, opposition leaders who opposed emergency were jailed. Chhote Saheb, along with other prominent leaders, opposed this blatant misuse of state machinery. In 1977, during the emergency in India, he was made president of Bihar Janata Party and Chairman of State Election Committee.

"Chhote Saheb, as he was popularly called, was an important political leader of Bihar, a distinguished Parliamentarian, and someone who had the interests of his state and people uppermost in his mind.During his long public life of over six decades, Sinha Ji made significant contributions in streamlining the education system of Bihar."

Vice President of India Hamid Ansari[11]

He[12] worked together with premier colleagues of Janata Party like Morarji Desai, Chandra Shekhar Singh, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Lal Krishna Advani, Charan Singh, Jagjivan Ram, Bhairon Singh Shekhawat, Madhu Limaye, H. D. Deve Gowda, Inder Kumar Gujral, Raj Narain, George Fernandes and Karpuri Thakur and the movement was a grand success in Bihar. He motivated the[13] youth and students to take an active role in politics, and ensured their representation in political affairs. Satyendra Narayan Sinha's political[12] encouragement to the youths led to the emergence of then youth leaders of Janata Party like Raghuvansh Prasad Singh, Nitish Kumar, Ram Vilas Paswan, Subodh Kant Sahay, Kripanath Pathak, Ram Jatan Sinha, Jagdish Sharma, Thakur Muneshwar Nath Singh, Raghupati Singh and Narendra Singh. After the emergency was lifted on 21 March 1977, fresh general elections were held in India.

Vice-President of India Shri Hamid Ansari delivers inaugural Satyendra Narayan Sinha Memorial Lecture at Patna (Bihar). Also present on the occasion were Governor of Bihar, Nagaland Governor & Chief Minister Nitish Kumar

The Congress Party, led by Indira Gandhi suffered a defeat at the hands of the Janata Party coalition of several small parties created in 1977[14][15] and the alliance came to power, headed by Morarji Desai, who became the first non-Congress Prime Minister of India.[16] In Bihar, the Janata Party won all[12] the fifty-four Lok Sabha seats in 1977 general elections under the mentorship of Jayaprakash Narayan and rose to power in Bihar assembly too. He[8] struck by the Janata Party and preferred to be in opposition although he would have been considered a prize catch by the Congress party.

Return to Congress[edit]

A portrait of Satyendra Narayan Sinha

He quit the party following differences with former[17] Prime Minister Chandra Shekhar Singh and returned to the Congress fold in 1984. The[18] then Prime Minister of India Indira Gandhi came down to Patna to formally admit him back to the Congress party.

Chief Ministership[edit]

As the Chief Minister of Bihar, Chhote Saheb also held the portfolio of Education for the fourth term in his later years 1989–1990.In the same year, he conceived,[19] the proposal to set up a NTPC's super thermal power project at Nabinagar in Bihar's Aurangabad district to then Prime Minister of India and Congress leader Rajiv Gandhi; but the project went into limbo as the following state governments failed to follow it. In 2007, Manmohan Singh's[20] government finally put a stamp of approval on it.

"I believe in participative democracy and not dictatorial attitudes"

— Satyendra Narayan Sinha[21]

He is also credited for the[22] establishment of the Indira Gandhi Planetarium cum Science Centre in Patna. Under his regime, Panchayati Raj system of governance was introduced in Bihar.

In his autobiography Meri Yaadein, Meri Bhoolein, released by the then Bihar Governor Buta Singh in the presence of Defence Minister Pranab Mukherjee (now President of India), He accused his Congress colleagues of "fanning" the 1989 Bhagalpur violence to malign him, specifically mentioning his predecessor and former chief minister Bhagwat Jha Azad and the former speaker Shivchandra Jha. He also accused the Prime Minister of over-ruling his order to transfer the then superintendent of police K S Dwivedi who had failed miserably to discharge his duties. The decision was not only an encroachment of the Constitutional right of the state government but also a step detrimental to ongoing efforts to ease tensions.[23] When he stepped down from the post of Chief Minister of Bihar, Jagannath Mishra succeeded him. He recalled when he met Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi later on, he informed him about the "role of some Congress leaders" in the riots. The Prime Minister expressed surprise and said "so, the riots were motivated!"[23]

Parliament of India[edit]

S. N. Sinha was elected as a Member of the 1st Lok Sabha, Second and Fifth to Eighth Lok Sabhas from 1950—1961 and 1971—1989 representing Aurangabad parliamentary constituency of Bihar.[2] He retains the [24] record of maximum parliamentary election victories in Bihar, next only to the late Jagjivan Ram.

Former Union Railways Minister Ram Vilas Paswan (4th left), Bihar Governor Devanand Konwar, Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar with others releasing a biography of late Satyendra Narayan Sinha

He served as the Chairman of Committee on Estimates from 1977 to 1979. He was also a Member of the Committee on Finance from 1950 to 1952; Committee on Estimates from 1956 to 1958 and thereafter during 1985–1986 and the Committee on Public Undertakings during 1982–83. He was a well-known social activist, and served as the Assistant Secretary to the Bihar Provincial Committee of the Kasturba Gandhi National Memorial Fund and Secretary to the Bihar Provincial Committee of the Gandhi National Memorial Fund. He was also associated with a number of educational and social institutions in different capacities. He was member, Senate and Syndicate of Patna University from 1946 to 1960 and Bihar University from 1958 to 1960.[2]

International activities[edit]

A widely travelled person, S. N. Sinha attended Inter-Parliamentary Union Conference, Helsinki, Finland in 1955. He was the leader of the cultural delegation to Kabul on the occasion of Jasan in 1963.[2] He also led the Indian Parliamentary Delegation to the Spring Meetings of Inter-Parliamentary Council, Canberra in 1977 and also to its meeting at Lisbon in 1978. He was a member of the Indian Parliamentary Delegation to erstwhile USSR in 1976 and was elected a member of the Special Committee on Violations of Human Rights of Parliamentarians at Canberra in 1977 representing Asia.[2] He was also elected President of that committee (conferred upon the status of a Union Cabinet Minister) and served as its Chief from 1977 to 1988.[2]

Posts held[edit]

S.N. Sinha held the following posts in his political career:[2]

  • 1946–1960: Member, Senate and Syndicate, Patna University
  • 1948: Secretary, Bihar Provincial Committee of the Gandhi National Memorial Fund
  • 1950 : Member, Provisional Parliament
  • 1950–1952: Member, Committee on Finance
  • 1952 : Elected to 1st Lok Sabha
  • 1956–1958: Member, Committee on Estimates
  • 1957: Re-elected to 2nd Lok Sabha (2nd term)
  • 1958–1960: Member, Senate and Syndicate, Bihar University
  • 1961–1963: Member, Bihar legislative assembly
  • 1961–1962: State Cabinet Minister, Education, Bihar
  • 1961–1962: State Cabinet Minister, Local Self Government (additional charge), Bihar
  • 1963: Leader of the cultural delegation to Kabul
  • 1962–1963: State Cabinet Minister, Education, Bihar
  • 1962–1963: State Cabinet Minister, Local Self Government (additional charge), Bihar
  • 1963–1967: Member, Bihar legislative assembly
  • 1963–1967: State Cabinet Minister, Education, Bihar
  • 1963–1967: State Cabinet Minister, Local Self Government (additional charge), Bihar
  • 1963–1967: State Cabinet Minister, Agriculture (additional charge), Bihar
  • 1967–1969: Member, Bihar legislative assembly
  • 1969–1977: President, Congress(O), Bihar
  • 1971: Re-elected to 5th Lok Sabha (3rd term)
  • 1976: Member, Indian Parliamentary Delegation to erstwhile USSR
  • 1977–1980: President, Janata Party, Bihar
  • 1977: Re-elected to 6th Lok Sabha (4th term)
  • 1977: Member,Special Committee on Violations of Human Rights for Parliamentarians
  • 1977–1988: President (Status of Union Cabinet Minister), Special Committee on Violations of Human Rights for Parliamentarians
  • 1977: Leader, Indian Parliamentary Delegation to the Spring Meetings of Inter-Parliamentary Council, Canberra
  • 1978: Leader, Indian Parliamentary Delegation to the Spring Meetings of Inter-Parliamentary Council, Lisbon
  • 1977–1979: Chairman, Committee on Estimates
  • 1980: Re-elected to 7th Lok Sabha (5th term)
  • 1982–1983: Member, Committee on Public Undertakings
  • 1984: Re-elected to 8th Lok Sabha (6th term)
  • 1985–1986: Member, Committee on Estimates
  • 1989–1990: Member, Bihar legislative council
  • 1989–1990: Chief Minister, Bihar

Personal life[edit]

S. N. Sinha's wife Kishori Sinha is a former Member of Parliament from Vaishali, and his daughter-in-law Shyama Singh is a former Member of Parliament from Aurangabad. His son, Nikhil Kumar, a former IPS official, is the current[25] governor of the Indian state of Nagaland.

S. N. Sinha wrote his[26] autobiography Meri Yadein: Meri Bhoolein, which incorporates the experiences and perceptions of a leader of his eminence and stature.

His official residence in Delhi,[27] 28 Akbar Road, had consistently won awards for being one of the best kept bungalows in the national capital. Its grand[27] garden continually won awards at all Delhi’s flower shows and was one of capital's landmark gardens.


  • "I have lived my life on my own principles."
  • "People are not as aware about their duties as much they are concerned for their rights"
  • "Panchayati raj is the foundation of democracy at the grassroot level."
Preceded by
Bhagwat Jha Azad
Chief Minister of Bihar
Succeeded by
Jagannath Mishra


  1. ^ a b "Ministers of Education". Central Advisory Board of Education. Retrieved 10 July 2007. [dead link]
  2. ^ a b c d e f g "Lok Sabha Debates". Retrieved 10 July 2007. 
  3. ^ "Some Facts of Constituent Assembly". Retrieved 2013-12-22. 
  4. ^ A.J. Philip. "A gentleman among politicians". The Tribune. India. Retrieved 5 September 2006. 
  5. ^ Kamat. "Great freedom Fighters". Kamat's archive. Retrieved 25 February 2006. 
  6. ^ Indian Post. "First Bihar Deputy CM cum Finance Minister;Dr. A N Sinha". official Website. Retrieved 20 May 2008. 
  7. ^ Kamat. "Biography: Anugrah Narayan Sinha". Kamat's archive. Retrieved 25 June 2006. 
  8. ^ a b c d e f "SN Sinha -spent his student years under Lal Bahadur Shastri's (future PM) tutelage". PATNA DAILY OFFICIAL WEBSITE. Archived from the original on 2011-07-15. Retrieved 11 March 2011. 
  9. ^ Sir, is it true that when Mrs Indira Gandhi became PM in 1966, she wanted to make the then influential Bihar Education Minister Satyendra Narain Singh the chief minister of Bihar & sent Dinesh Singh to convey her desire but Late S N Singh denied because he wanted to be elected and not 'selected'. Will we ever see such principled stand from today's Bihar leaders like Nitish, Ramvilas & Lalu? : ASK PRABHU, News - India Today. (2010-10-19). Retrieved on 2014-05-21.
  10. ^
  11. ^ PIB (12 July 2011). "Vice President Delivers Satyendra Narayan Sinha Memorial Lecture". Vice President's Secretariat. Retrieved 29 July 2012. 
  12. ^ a b c "Chhote Saheb: Emergency era". Patna Daily. Archived from the original on 2010-12-30. Retrieved 10 September 2006. 
  13. ^ "Chhote Saheb". Press Information Bureau. Retrieved 15 July 2011. 
  14. ^ Gort, Jerald D.; Jansen, Henry; Vroom, H. M. (2002). Religion, conflict and reconciliation: multifaith ideals and realities. Rodopi. p. 246. ISBN 978-90-420-1460-2. 
  15. ^ Kesselman, Mark; Krieger, Joel; William A., Joseph (2009). Introduction to Comparative Politics: Political Challenges and Changing Agendas (5 ed.). Cengage Learning. p. 298. ISBN 978-0-547-21629-4. 
  16. ^ Namboodiripad, E.M.S. (9–22 August 1997). "The Opposition and the Left". Frontline (India) 14 (16). Archived from the original on 21 November 2002. Retrieved 9 August 2010. 
  17. ^ "Chhote Saheb dies (He quit Janata party following differences with ex PM Chandrashekhar)". The Times of India. 5 September 2006. Retrieved 4 September 2006. 
  18. ^ "A gentleman among politicians:The Tribune (Return Of SN SINHA in Congress fold)". The Tribune. India. Retrieved 4 September 2006. 
  19. ^ "S N Sinha's brainchild NTPC project gets approval". Hindustan Times. India. Retrieved 23 February 2007. 
  20. ^ "PM DR MANMOHAN SINGH APPROVES NTPC PROJECT IN BIHAR PROMISED BY THEN CM SN SINHA". Hindustan Times. India. Retrieved 23 February 2007. 
  21. ^ IndiaToday (31 March 1989). "India Today Official Website Archives". India Today Archives. Retrieved 16 Nov 2013. [dead link]
  22. ^ "Patna Planetarium Bihar, Indira Gandhi Planetarium, Patna, Bihar, India". Retrieved 22 December 2013. 
  23. ^ a b "Cong fanned fire, frenzy: Ex-CM". (Indian Express). 25 July 2005. Retrieved 8 February 2013. 
  24. ^ Chittorgarh tag sticks to Aurangabad LS constituency - The Times of India. (2014-03-16). Retrieved on 2014-05-21.
  25. ^ PTI. "ex Delhi Police Chief Nikhil Kumar sworn in as Nagaland Governor". Press Trust of India. Retrieved 15 October 2009. [dead link]
  26. ^ "Meri Yaadein, Meri bhoolein (My Memories, My Mistakes) released by Bihar Governor Buta Singh in the presence of Defence Minister Pranab Mukherjee". Express India. Retrieved 10 December 2005. 
  27. ^ a b "Diary". The Telegraph (Calcutta, India). 8 August 2004. 
  • Mere Sansmaran, an autobiography by Dr. Anugrah Narayan Sinha
  • Anugrah Abhinandan Granth samiti. 1947 Anugrah Abhinandan Granth. Bihar.
  • Anugrah Narayan cenetary year celebration Committee. 1987. Bihar Bibhuti : Vayakti Aur Kriti , Bihar.
  • Bimal Prasad (editor). 1980. A Revolutionary's Quest: Selected Writings of Jayaprakash Narayan. Oxford University Press, Delhi.