Durga Prasad Dhar

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Ambassador
Durga Prasad Dhar
Ambassador to the Soviet Union
In office
1969–1971
Preceded by Kewal Singh
Succeeded by K.S. Shelvankar
Ambassador of India to Soviet Union
In office
1975–1975
Preceded by K.S. Shelvankar
Succeeded by Inder Kumar Gujral
Personal details
Born (1918-04-24)24 April 1918
Died 6 December 1975(1975-12-06) (aged 57)
Nationality Indian
Children VIjay Dhar
Alma mater University of Lucknow, University of Punjab
Occupation Diplomat, Ambassador of India to Soviet Union

Durga Prasad Dhar (D. P. Dhar, 1918–1975) was a prominent Kashmiri politician and an Indian diplomat, who is a considered a chief architect of the Indian intervention in the 1971 Bangladesh Liberation War.[1] Dhar was a close adviser and confidant of Indira Gandhi. He served as the Ambassador of India to the Soviet Union, and as a minister in the Government of Jammu and Kashmir as well as the Government of India.

Personal life and education[edit]

D.P. Dhar was born in 1918, the only son to an affluent Kashmiri Pandit family. However, he was a rebel and when he was 17 he joined a student movement, and became its president. After graduating in arts from a college in Srinagar, in 1938, Mr. Dhar went to Lucknow University in Uttar Pradesh for a law degree. There he came in contact with Jawaharlal Nehru and became his protégé.

He earned his bachelor's degree from the University of Punjab and went on to complete his LLB from the University of Lucknow.[2]

Dhar became a Socialist in later years and played a prominent role in cementing India‐Soviet friendship. Largely because of his efforts during his first term as Ambassador in Moscow in 1968, a 20‐year India‐Soviet friendship treaty was drafted and signed in 1971. The treaty got the backing of Moscow to India at the time of war with Pakistan over the isue of Bangladesh later that year.

Ironically, he was also the man picked to play the central role in the reconciliation talks between India and Pakistan after the war of 1971.[3]

Career[edit]

Political[edit]

Dhar joined the Quit Kashmir movement in 1946, which was led by Sheikh Abdullah against Maharaja Hari Singh of Kashmir. Dhar played a key role in assisting the Indian Army during the Indo-Pakistani War of 1947. He helped the Indian officers interact with the population and collect porters, mules and other kinds of administrative help which facilitated the soldiers' job.[4]

Dhar was subsequently appointed the Home Secretary and then the Deputy Home Minister of Kashmir in 1948, when Sheikh Abdullah was the Prime Minister of Jammu and Kashmir. He was a Member of the Jammu and Kashmir State Constituent Assembly from 1951 to 1957 which confirmed Kashmir's accession to India. He was also a Member of the State Assembly from 1957 to 1967, and was appointed Cabinet Minister, in-charge of various portfolios. He was later elected to the Rajya Sabha from Jammu and Kashmir in 1972. He was appointed as the Union Minister for Planning in July, 1972.[2]

Dhar was a close associate of Indira Gandhi and was instrumental in finalising the 1972 Indo-Bangladesh treaty of peace, friendship and co-operation.[5] He became one of the closest confidants of the Nehru-Gandhi family and also played a significant role in the Shimla agreement between India and Pakistan.[6]

Diplomatic[edit]

Dhar was a member of the Indian delegation to the United Nations security council meeting in 1949 and the Indian Delegation to United Nations General Assembly in the Paris Session of 1952.[2] He was the Ambassador of India to the Soviet Union between 1969-1971 and then again from 1975 till his death.[7]

He negotiated the 1971 Indo-Soviet Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation and was a principal architect of India's military intervention in neighboring East Pakistan's civil war, which led to the creation of independent Bangladesh.[8][9]

The D.P. Dhar Hall at Embassy of India in Moscow is named in his honour.

Death[edit]

D.P. Dhar died of a heart attack on 12 June 1975.

Awards[edit]

In 2012, Bangladesh president Zillur Rahman conferred the Liberation War Friendship Honour (posthumous) to Durga Prasad Dhar in recognition of his pioneering role in concluding the 1971 Indo-Soviet Friendship Treaty, mobilising international support in favour of Bangladesh and playing a special role in support of the Liberation War.[10] Vijay Dhar, son of MR. D.P. Dhar received the honour on his behalf in Dhaka.[11]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Events of 23 June 1975". time.com. 23 June 1975. Retrieved 31 July 2012. 
  2. ^ a b c Chief Minister, W.A. Sangma (28 July 1975). "Proceedings of the Emergent session of the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly". Shillong: Meghalaya Legislative Assembly. Retrieved 31 July 2012. 
  3. ^ New York Times Obituary [1]
  4. ^ Sen, Maj Gen L. P. (1969). Slender Was the Thread: Kashmir Confrontation 1947-48. New Delhi: Orient Longman. p. 196. ISBN 0-86131-692-4. Retrieved 4 August 2010. 
  5. ^ Nayar, K.C. (14 September 2011). "Greater common good". telegraphindia.com. Retrieved 31 July 2012. 
  6. ^ Issue 02, Vol 02 (19 March 2012). "Durga Prasad Dhar". kashimrlife.net. Retrieved 31 July 2012. 
  7. ^ "Ambassadors of India to USSR and Russia". indianembassy.ru. Retrieved 31 July 2012. 
  8. ^ Time Magazine
  9. ^ T. P. Srreenivasan, Deccan Herald, 2016 [2]
  10. ^ Online, The Hindu (27 Mar 2012). "D.P. Dhar honoured in Bangladesh". 
  11. ^ Bangladesh, Sangbad Sanstha. "Bangladesh honours Indian who shaped things in 1971". bssnews.net. Retrieved 31 Jul 2012.