New Delhi: The Vice President of India M Venkaiah Naidu today released the commemorative stamp in honor of the former Prime Minister Inder Kumar Gujral on his birth anniversary.
The Vice President said Gujral was a learned man, soft-spoken and a “gentleman-politician”, who never compromised on his values irrespective of the challenges or hardships he had faced. “Bearing an amiable demeanour, he was courteous to a fault and made friends across the political spectrum”, he added.
Describing the former Prime Minister as a multifaceted personality, he recalled that he had authored several books and used to enjoy reading and reciting poetry.
He will be always remembered for the ‘Gujral Doctrine’ enunciated by him during his tenure as India’s External Affairs Minister, he added.
Gujral was born in Jhelum (now in Pakistan) in 1919 to noted freedom fighters A.N. Gujral and Pushpa Gujral. A.N. Gujral later became a Member of the Constituent Assembly of Pakistan, before his family, migrated to India.
Gujral started his political career as a student leader and was the President of Punjab University Students Union. He was arrested during the Quit India Movement along with his parents.
After partition, Gujral settled down in Delhi. In 1958, he was elected unopposed to the Electoral College of Delhi. Later, he was nominated as Vice President of New Delhi Municipal Committee.
In 1964 he was elected to the Rajya Sabha from Delhi and in 1967 he joined Smt. Indira Gandhi’s Council of Ministers as Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs & Communications.
He held various important portfolios in the union government including Works &Housing, Communications & Parliamentary Affairs, Information & Broadcasting , Planning during Ms Gandhis’s tenure as prime minister. He was appointed as India’s Ambassador to U.S.S.R and played a crucial role in further cementing Indo-Soviet at that juncture.
Subsequently, he served as the External Affairs Minister in the Cabinets of V P Singh and Deve Gowda. He also served as the leader of the Rajya Sabha from 1996- 1998. In 1997, he assumed office as the 12th Prime Minister of India. He demitted office in 1998.
Gujral was a learned man, soft-spoken and a “gentleman-politician”, who never compromised on his values irrespective of the challenges or hardships he had faced. Bearing an amiable demeanour, he was courteous to a fault and made friends across the political spectrum.
He was indeed a multifaceted personality and authored several books, enjoyed reading and reciting poetry. He used to take a keen interest in Theatre and Visual Arts.
He will be always remembered for the ‘Gujral Doctrine’ enunciated by him during his tenure as India’s External Affairs Minister.