Govind Ballabh Pant

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Govind Ballabh Pant
Pandit Govind Ballabh Pant.jpg
4th Union Home Minister of India
In office
10 January 1955 – 7 March 1961
Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru
Preceded by Kailash Nath Katju
Succeeded by Lal Bahadur Shastri
1st Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh
In office
26 January 1950 – 27 December 1954

Homi Mody

Kanaiyalal Maneklal Munshi
Preceded by Position established
Succeeded by Sampurnanand
2nd Chief Minister of United Provinces
In office
17 July 1937 – 2 November 1939
Preceded by Muhammad Ahmad Said Khan Chhatari
Succeeded by Vacant
In office
1 April 1946 – 25 January 1950
Preceded by Vacant
Succeeded by Position abolished
Personal details
Born (1887-09-10)10 September 1887
Khoont, Almora, North-Western Provinces of British Raj
(now in Uttarakhand, India)
Died 7 March 1961(1961-03-07) (aged 73)
New Delhi, India
Nationality Indian
Political party Indian National Congress
Children K. C. Pant, Lakshmi and Pushpa
Residence No. 6, Maulana Azad Road, New Delhi
Alma mater Allahabad University
Profession Lawyer
Independence Activist
Religion Hinduism

Pandit Govind Ballabh Pant (Hindi pronunciation: [ɡoːʋiːŋd̪ bəlləbʱ pəŋt̪], 10 September 1887 – 7 March 1961) was a veteran Indian freedom fighter and politician who alongside Mahatma Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru was a key figure in the movement for India's independence and subsequently was a pivotal figure in the independent Indian Government. He was one of the foremost political leaders from Uttarakhand (then in United Provinces) and of the movement to establish Hindi as the official language of India. Today there are at least a dozen Indian hospitals, educational institutes and foundations named after him across India. A prominent statue of Mr. Pant stands in front of the Indian Parliament in New Delhi. The city and Airport of Pantnagar in Northern India is also named after Mr. Pant. Today Pantnagar has integrated industrial estates which houses some of India's largest companies such as Tata, Bajaj, Nestle, Dabur and Vedanta Resources.

Mr. Pant received India's highest civilian honour, the Bharat Ratna in 1957, an honour which has been shared with luminaries such as Nelson Mandela, Mother Teresa and various Indian Nobel Laureates.

Early life[edit]

Govind Ballabh Pant was born on 10 September 1887 in Khoont village on the slopes of Shyahi Devi hill near Almora, in a Karhade family having their roots in Maharashtra.[1] His mother's name was Govindi Bai. His father Manorath Pant being a government official, was constantly on the move, and hence Govind was brought up by his maternal grandfather, Badri Dutt Joshi, who played a significant part in moulding his personality and political views.

[2] He was honored with "Proud Past Alumni" in the list of 42 members, from "Allahabad University Alumni Association", Allahabad University registered under society act 1860 with registration no. 407/2000.[3][4][5]

As a lawyer in Kashipur, Pant began his active work against the British Raj in 1914, when he helped a local parishad, or village council, in their successful challenge of a law requiring locals to provide free transportation of the luggage of travelling British officials. In 1921, he entered politics and was elected to the Legislative Assembly of the United Provinces of Agra and Oudh.

In the freedom struggle[edit]

Statue of Govindballabh Pant, at Mall Road, Nainital

In 1930, he was arrested and imprisoned for several weeks for organizing a Salt March inspired by Gandhi's earlier actions. In 1933, he was arrested along with Harsh Dev Bahuguna (Gandhi of Choukot)and imprisoned for seven months for attending a session of the then-banned provincial Congress. In 1935, the ban was rescinded, and Pant joined the new Legislative Council. During the Second World War, Pant acted as the tiebreaker between Gandhi's faction, which advocated supporting the British Crown in their war effort, and Subhas Chandra Bose's faction, which advocated taking advantage of the situation to expel the British Raj by any means necessary.

In 1934, the Congress ended its boycott of the legislatures and put up candidates, and Pant was elected to the Central Legislative Assembly. His political skills won the admiration of the leaders of the Congress, and he became deputy leader of the Congress party in the Assembly.[6]

In 1940, Pant was arrested and imprisoned for helping organize the Satyagraha movement. In 1942 he was arrested again, this time for signing the Quit India resolution, and spent three years in Ahmednagar Fort along with other members of the Congress working committee until March 1945, at which point Jawaharlal Nehru pleaded successfully for Pant's release, on grounds of failing health.[6]

Chief Minister[edit]

Govind Ballabh Pant statue near Parliament of India, Delhi

He was made the Chief Minister on 17 July 1937 and was in power till 1939 when all Congress ministries in India resigned.

Home Minister Govind Ballabh Pant and Finance Minister T. T. Krishnamachari attending a meeting in 1957 at Delhi

In 1945, the new British Labour government ordered new elections to the Provincial legislatures.[6] The Congress won a majority in the 1946 elections in the United Provinces and Pant was again made the Chief Minister, continuing even after India's independence in 1947.He was the first Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh in Independent India. Among his achievements in that position was the abolition of the zamindari system.

Union Home Minister of india[edit]

He served as Union Home Minister from 1955-1961.[7]

In 1955, he was awarded the Bharat Ratna.[8] As Home minister, his chief achievement was the re-organisation of States along linguistic lines. He was also responsible for the establishment of Hindi as an official language of the central government and a few states.[9]

Controversies and criticisms[edit]

As Union Minister, Ballabh Pant and the then Government of Indian National Congress announced on 30 September 1957 that the Jeep scandal case was closed for judicial inquiry ignoring suggestion by the Inquiry Committee led by Ananthsayanam Ayyangar. He declared that "as far as Government was concerned it has made up its mind to close the matter. If the opposition was not satisfied they can make it an election issue."[10][11]


In 1960, he had a heart attack. After this his health started deteriorating and he later died on 7 March 1961 from a cerebral stroke, which had led to several days in a coma, when he was treated by top doctors in India, including his friend Dr Bidhan Chandra Roy, then the Chief Minister of West Bengal. At the time of his death, he was still in office as the Home Minister of India.


Institutions and monuments[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • Bakshi, S. R. (1991). Govind Ballabh Pant: The True Gandhian. South Asia Books. ISBN 9788170414308. 


Pant's son, Krishna Chandra Pant, was likewise a capable administrator and politician, whose initiative as the Minister in charge, propelled India in to the nuclear club in 1974. Pant's daughters Lakshmi and Pushpa did not enter politics and led quiet married lives with their respective families, away from the limelight.


Political offices
Preceded by
Nawab Sir Muhammad Ahmad Said Khan Chhatari
Chief Minister of United Provinces
17 July 1937 – 2 November 1939
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Chief Minister of United Provinces
1 April 1946 – 25 January 1950
Succeeded by
Post abolished
United Provinces renamed to Uttar Pradesh
Preceded by
New Creation
Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh
26 January 1950 – 27 December 1954
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Kailash Nath Katju
Union Home Minister
10 January 1955 – 7 March 1961
Succeeded by
Lal Bahadur Sastri

See also[edit]


  1. ^
  2. ^ Govind Ballabh Pant
  3. ^ " Proud Past Alumni Allahabad University"[dead link]
  4. ^ " Internet Archive of Proud Past Alumni"
  5. ^ "Internet Archive of Proud Past Alumni"
  6. ^ a b c B. R. Nanda, Pant, Govind Ballabh (1887–1961), politician in India (2004)
  7. ^ "Nation pays homage to Govind Ballabh Pant". The Times of India. 10 September 2006. 
  8. ^ "Padma Awards Directory (1954-2007)" (PDF). Ministry of Home Affairs. Retrieved 26 November 2010. 
  9. ^ "Govind Ballabh Pant Engineering College, Pauri Garhwal, Uttarakhand". Retrieved 1 January 2013. 
  10. ^ Dipankar Paul, India Syndicate (30 April 2011). "Jeep purchase (1948) - The Republic of Scams". Retrieved 1 January 2013. 
  11. ^ [1][dead link]

External links[edit]