Yashwantrao Chavan

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Yashwantrao Chavan
यशवंतराव चव्हाण
Deputy Prime Minister of India
In office
28 July 1979 – 14 January 1980
Prime Minister Charan Singh
Preceded by Charan Singh
Jagjivan Ram
Succeeded by Chaudhary Devi Lal
Minister of Home Affairs
In office
28 July 1979 – 14 January 1980
Prime Minister Charan Singh
Preceded by Morarji Desai
Succeeded by Zail Singh
In office
14 November 1966 – 27 June 1970
Prime Minister Indira Gandhi
Preceded by Gulzarilal Nanda
Succeeded by Indira Gandhi
Minister of External Affairs
In office
10 October 1974 – 24 March 1977
Preceded by Sardar Swaran Singh
Succeeded by Atal Bihari Vajpayee
Minister of Finance
In office
27 June 1970 – 10 October 1974
Prime Minister Indira Gandhi
Preceded by Indira Gandhi
Succeeded by Chidambaram Subramaniam
Minister of Defence
In office
14 November 1962 – 14 November 1966
Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru
Gulzarilal Nanda (Acting)
Lal Bahadur Shastri
Gulzarilal Nanda (Acting)
Indira Gandhi
Preceded by Jawaharlal Nehru
Succeeded by Sardar Swaran Singh
Chief Minister of Maharashtra
In office
1 May 1960 – 14 November 1962
Governor Sri Prakasa
Paramasiva Subbarayan
Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit
Preceded by Position established
Succeeded by Marotrao Kannamwar
Personal details
Born (1913-03-12)12 March 1913
Devrashtre, British Raj (now India)
Died 25 November 1984(1984-11-25) (aged 71)
New Delhi, India
Political party Indian National Congress (Before 1977; 1981–1984)
Other political
affiliations
Indian National Congress-Urs (1977)
Janata Party (1977–1978)
Indian National Congress-Socialist (1978–1981)
Spouse(s) Venutai Chavan
Alma mater University of Mumbai

Yashwantrao Balwantrao Chavan (12 March 1913 – 25 November 1984) was the first Chief Minister of Maharashtra after the division of Bombay State and the fifth Deputy Prime Minister of India. He was a strong Congress leader, Co-operative leader, social activist and writer. He was popularly known as Leader of Common People. He advocated social democracy in his speeches and articles and was instrumental in establishing co-operatives in Maharashtra for the betterment of the farmers.

Early life[edit]

Yashwantrao Chavan was born in a Maratha_Hendre Patil family on 12 March 1913 in the village of Devrashtre in Satara District (now in Sangli District) of Maharashtra, India. He lost his father in his early childhood and was brought up by his uncle and mother. His mother taught him about self-dependency and patriotism. From his childhood he was fascinated by the freedom struggle of India. Despite the adverse family situation.

Chavan was an active participant in the struggle for independence of India. In 1930, he was fined for his participation in the Non-cooperation Movement led by Mahatma Gandhi.During this period he came in contact with Swami Ramanand Bharti,Dhulappa Bhaurao Navale,Gaurihar(Appasaheb) Sihasane V.S.Page & Govind Kruparam Wani. Their friendship lasted forever. In 1932, he was sentenced to 18 months in prison for hoisting the Indian flag in Satara.

Chavan obtained his B.A. in history and political science from Bombay University in 1938. In this period, he was involved in many social activities and was closely associated with the Congress party and its leaders, such as Jawaharlal Nehru, Sardar Patel and Keshavrao Jedhe. In 1940, he became President of Satara District Congress. In 1941 he passed his LLB. In 1942, he married Venutai at Phaltan in Dist Satara.

He was one of the delegates at the Bombay session of the A.I.C.C. in 1942 that gave the call for Quit India and he was subsequently arrested for his participation in the movement. Chavan was finally released from jail in 1944.

Political career[edit]

Offices held in the State Government of Bombay[edit]

In 1946, he was first elected as Member of Legislative Assembly of the Bombay State from the South Satara constituency. In the same year he was appointed as parliamentary secretary to the Home Minister of Bombay State. In the next government of Morarji Desai he was appointed as Minister of Civil Supplies, Social Welfare and Forests. In 1953 he was a signatory to the Nagpur Pact that assured equitable development of all regions of what is now the state of Maharashtra. In 1957 Yashwantrao Chavan was elected from the Karad constituency. This time he was elected as Leader of Congress Legislative Party and became Chief Minister of the bilingual Bombay state. From 1957 to 1960 he also served on the All India Congress Working Committee. He was one of the architects in the formation of Marathi speaking state of Maharashtra, although he never joined the Samyukta Maharashtra Samiti(United Maharashtra Movement). On 1 May 1960, Yashwantrao Chavan became the first Chief Minister of Maharashtra.[1]

Chavan's vision for Maharashtra for the development envisaged the equal development of both the industrial and agricultural sectors across all the regions of the state. He sought to realise this vision through the co-operative movement.

Legislation regarding democratic decentralized bodies and the Agricultural Land Ceiling Act were passed during his tenure as Chief Minister .

Roles in Central Government[edit]

After the resignation of Krishna Menon as Defense Minister in 1962 in the wake of India-China Border Conflict, Yashwantrao was given that portfolio by Prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru. He handled the delicate post-war situation firmly and took several decisions to empower the armed forces and negotiated, along with Pandit Nehru, with China to end the hostilities. He also held the Defense portfolio in the Lal Bahadur Shastri Government during the Indo-Pakistan War of September 1965.

In the next general election 1967, Chavan was elected unopposed as Member of Parliament from the Nashik parliamentary constituency. On 14 November 1966, he was appointed Home Minister of India by Prime minister, Indira Gandhi . On 26 June 1970, she appointed him the Finance Minister of India and the Foreign Minister on 11 October 1974. In June 1975, an Internal State of Emergency was declared in India by the Indira Gandhi Government. This period saw a severe crackdown on leaders and parties opposed to Mrs. Gandhi's rule. Yashwantrao remained in her Government during this period. In the subsequent general elections 1977, the Congress was routed with the party leader and Prime minister, Indira Gandhi herself losing her parliamentary seat. Therefore in the new Parliament, Chavan was elected the Congress Party Parliamentary leader. As Congress now the biggest opposition party, he became the Leader of opposition.

Split in Congress[edit]

At the end of 1978, at its annual session in Bangalore, the Congress split into two namely; Congress (Indira) and Congress (Urs). The important leaders who joined the Congress Urs were Devaraj Urs, Dev Kant Baruah, Kasu Brahmananda Reddy, A.K. Antony, Sharad Pawar, Sarat Chandra Sinha, Priyaranjan Das Munshi and Yashwantrao Chavan. On the other side, Indira Gandhi established her own party christened Congress (I) and it included leaders like Shankar Dayal Sharma, Umashankar Dikshit, Kamruddin Ali Ahmad, Chidambaram Subramaniam, Barrister A.R.Antulay and Gulabrao Patil. Yashwantrao Chavan's political career suffered a major setback following his decision to move away from Indira Gandhi. Congress (Urs) disintegrated and Devaraj Urs himself joined the Janata Party and Congress(Urs) was renamed the Indian Congress (Socialist).He was appointed as Home Minister and Deputy Prime Minister of India in the short-lived cabinet of Prime Minister Charan Singh in 1979.

In the general elections of January 1980, Congress (I) won a majority in Parliament and came to power under the leadership of Indira Gandhi. In this election, Yashwantrao Chavan was the only candidate elected from Maharashtra as MP on a Congress (S) ticket. In 1981, Yashwantrao returned to Congress (I). In 1982, he was appointed the Chairman of the 8th Finance Commission of India i.On 24th May 1982 Yeshwantrao Chavan & Vasantdada Patil's common friend Dhulappa Bhaurao Navale brought about the historic (Preeti Sangam) re-union of Yashwantrao Chavan and Vasantdada Patil in village Ankalkhop District Sangli. Due to this reunion of Yeshwantrao & Vasantdada several political changes took place in Maharashtra.

Death and Legacy[edit]

Yashwantrao Chavan died of a heart attack on 25 November 1984 in Delhi. He was 71. He was cremated in Karad with full state honours on 27 November

Literature[edit]

Yashwantrao Chavan took a keen interest in literature. He established the Marathi Sahitya Mandal and supported the Marathi Sahitya Sammelan(Conference). He was very closely associated with many poets, editors and several Marathi and Hindi writers. He initiated compilation of Marathi Vishwakosh (a Marathi language encyclopedia). For this, he nominated Lakshman Shastri Joshi as a chairman. He had planned to write his autobiography in three parts. The first part covers his early years in Satara district. Since his native place is situated on the banks of Krishna River he named the first volume as "Krishna Kath". His years as the Chief Minister of the bilingual Bombay state and later as that of the newly formed Maharashtra state were spent in Mumbai and so the proposed name for the second volume was "Sagar Tir". Later in 1962 he was appointed Defence Minister of India by Nehru. From then on he was in Delhi until his death in 1984; so he had proposed the name "Yamuna Kath" for his third volume. He was able to complete and publish only the first volume.

Yashwantrao Chavan Pratishtan (Foundation)[edit]

In 1985, Yashwantrao Chavan Pratishtan (Foundation) was established in Mumbai. The objective of setting up the Foundation was to "perpetuate his memory by acknowledging his rich, outstanding and valuable contribution to society and democratic institution and development process in India's socio-political life and to undertake activities and programme particularly for the elevation of common man and promote his cherished ideas nurtured in freedom struggle and thereby strengthening Socio-economical fiber of India."

In 2010, The Pratishtan instituted a corpus at the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses (IDSA) for the conduct of an annual Y B Chavan Memorial lecture. Y B Chavan was the founding President of IDSA.[2] The inaugural lecture in 2010 was given by Prof. Sunil Khilnani. The 2011 lecture was given by Prof. Kanti Bajpai, and the 2012 lecture by Ambassador Kanwal Sibal.[3]

Places named after Yashwantrao Chavan[edit]

In 1984, an engineering college named Yeshwantrao Chavan College of Engineering was established in Nagpur. In 1989, an open university named 'Yashwantrao Chavan Maharashtra Open University' was established at Nasik in Maharashtra. The expressway between Pune and Mumbai is named after him as are the auditoriums in the Kothrud suburb of Pune and at Nariman Point in Mumbai. Yashwantrao Chavan Memorial hospital in Sant Tukaram Nagar, Pimpri in PCMC is named after him.

Trivia[edit]

  • Yashwantrao Chavan holds the record of being the only Marathi leader who held the 4 most important portfolios of the Union government which are Home,External Affairs,Defence and Finance and successfully discharged his duties as the minister of the concerned ministries.
  • When Yashwantrao was appointed Federal Defence minister following the China war in 1962, a popular saying arose in Maharashtra. "Himalayachya hakela dhavla Sahyadri" or, in English, Sahyadri (the mountain range that separates Konkan from the Deccan Plateau) came rushing on the call (for help) by the Himalaya.
  • In the 1960s and 1970s, pictures of Shivaji, the founder of Maratha kingdom used to have a small inset picture of Yashwantrao on the top right hand corner.
  • He used to be called Prati-Shivaji in Maharashtra, that is, the new Shivaji or the new Avatar of Shivaji

External links[edit]

References[edit]

Political offices
New office Chief Minister of Maharashtra
1960–1962
Succeeded by
Marotrao Kannamwar
Preceded by
Jawaharlal Nehru
Minister of Defence
1962–1966
Succeeded by
Sardar Swaran Singh
Preceded by
Gulzarilal Nanda
Minister of Home Affairs
1966–1970
Succeeded by
Indira Gandhi
Preceded by
Indira Gandhi
Minister of Finance
1971–1974
Succeeded by
Chidambaram Subramaniam
Preceded by
Sardar Swaran Singh
Minister of External Affairs
1974–1977
Succeeded by
Atal Bihari Vajpayee
Preceded by
Charan Singh
Deputy Prime Minister of India
1979–1980
Succeeded by
Chaudhary Devi Lal
Preceded by
Jagjivan Ram
Preceded by
Morarji Desai
Minister of Home Affairs
1979–1980
Succeeded by
Zail Singh