Talk:Morarji Desai

From New World Encyclopedia
Unification Aspects: Morarji Desai was the first Indian Prime Minister who did not belong to the Indian National Congress. Before India's independence he served as Revenue Minister of Bombay (1937 to 1939 and in 1946). In 1952 he was elected Chief Minister. He entered central government in 1956, becoming Minister for Commerce and Industry (1956-1958) and Finance Minister (1958-1963). He contested Indira Gandhi for leadership of the Indian National Congress in 1966 but lost the following year accepted the post of Deputy Prime Minister in her government. In 1969, he split from Gandhi and in 1977 formed the Janata Party. Winning the General Election that year, he became Prime Minister at the age of 81. He was a committed disciple of Mahatma Gandhi. He is the only Indian to receive the highest civilian awards from both India and Pakistan, the Bharat Ratna and the Nishaan-e-Pakistan. This award was given in recognition of his effort to improve India-Pakistan relations. He died at the age of 99. His relatively brief term as Prime Minister proved to India that a party other than Congress could govern. He condemned Indira Gandhi's rule as dictatorial. He tried to re-position India as a non-aligned state, countering what he saw as too close a relationship with the Soviet Union by improving links with the United States, hosting a visit from Jimmy Carter in 1978. Visiting the Soviet Union in June 1979, he expressed India's opposition to the occupation of Afghanistan. He improved relations with China, frozen since a border dispute in 1962. Desai's life was motivated to serve the public by what has been described as a "selfless mission." He tied to imbue government with "with spirituality and righteousness," a description that applies to too few world leaders. Indeed, few Prime Ministers in the modern world have been as disinterested in material wealth or possessions as Desai was, whose simple life-style was legendary. Few others, perhaps, live up to so many of the ideals taught and personified by Sun Myung Moon as convincingly and sincerely as Moraji Desai. He gave his life to he service of others and like Sun Myung Moon experienced imprisonment as a result of his commitment to human freedom and dignity.
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