Raj Narain

Raj Narain (1917 – December 31, 1986) was an Indian politician who, as a candidate of Janata Party for the Lok Sabha in 1977, ran for office in Rae Bareli constituency and defeated Indira Gandhi, the then Prime Minister of India. He was the Minister of Health during Morarji Desai's ministry and a commemorative stamp was released in his honor by the former Vice President of India, Bhairon Singh Shekhawat. Raj Narain was the only politician who defeated Indira Gandhi, the then Prime Minister of India, in the 1977 Lok Sabha elections in Rai Bareli. (Although he was defeated by her in 1971 elections.) Raj Narain accused Indira Gandhi of election fraud and filed an election petition against her. The Allahabad High Court, on 12 June 1975, upheld the accusations and set aside the election of Indira Gandhi and also disqualified her from running in the Lok Sabha elections for next 6 years. The present Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, Akhilesh Yadav unveiled a statue in his memory at Chandrabhanu Gupta Agriculture University which is close to the state capital Lucknow.

Raj Narain was born in 1917 in a Bhumihar Brahmin family in Uttar Pradesh and studied M.A and LLB. He was born in a village named Motikoat, Gangapur in Varanasi. He was from the Royal family of Varanasi and was directly associated with the family of Maharaja Chet Singh and Maharaja Balwant Singh, who were kings of Varanasi over a century back.

Narain joined Socialist Party and held many party positions. He was very close to Dr. Ram Manohar Lohia, who described him as "A person who has heart of a lion and practices of Gandhi". Dr. Lohia admired him a lot, and even said that "if in India there could be just three or four persons like him, dictatorship can never shadow the democracy". He was elected to the Uttar Pradesh Legislative Assembly in 1952 and was the first opposition leader in the Uttar Pradesh Legislative Assembly after India's independence. He was in Uttar Pradesh Legislative Assembly for two terms, serving from 1952 to 1962. He was a member of the Rajya Sabha from 1966 to 1972 and from 1974 to 1976. He was Minister of Health in Morarji Desai's Government from 1977 to 1980.

He is one of the pillars of Socialist movement in India along with Dr. Ram Manohar Lohia.

Narain was the President of Student Congress during the 1942 revolution, and he led the revolution in and around Varanasi district. The revolution under his leadership on August 9, 1942 is renowned in India. He was so active in the independence movement that the British government wanted to arrest him and in 1942, a prize of Rs. 5000 was offered to anybody who could apprehend him.

Narain was jailed 80 times, spending a total of nearly 17 years in jail in which 3 years in British rule & 14 years in congress rule(anti government protest) in his life of 69 years.

He died on December 31, 1986 at 23:55 hrs at Dr. Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital, New Delhi.

Famous quotes containing the word raj:

    Dogmatic toleration is nonsense: I would no more tolerate the teaching of Calvinism to children if I had power to persecute it than the British Raj tolerated suttee in India. Every civilized authority must draw a line between the tolerable and the intolerable.
    George Bernard Shaw (1856–1950)