Chaudhary Charan Singh
|Author: Laxman Burdak, IFS (R)|
For article in Hindi see चौधरी चरणसिंह
Chaudhary Charan Singh (Tewatia) (b. 23 December 1902 - d. 29 May 1987) was the fifth Prime Minister of the Republic of India from 28 July 1979 to 14 January 1980.
- 1 Early life
- 2 Education
- 3 Career in Politics
- 4 Independent India
- 5 Charan Singh Portrait in Rajyasabha
- 6 National Farmers’ Day (Kisan Diwas)
- 7 Postal stamp on Charan Singh
- 8 Monuments after Chaudhary Charan Singh
- 9 Books Authored by Chaudhary Charan Singh
- 10 Books on Life and Deeds of Ch. Charan Singh
- 11 A brief life history of Charan Singh
- 12 Picture Gallery
- 13 See also
- 14 External Links
- 15 References
Chaudhary Charan Singh was from Noorpur in western Uttar Pradesh born in Tewatia clan Jat family. Like Sir Chhotu Ram, he came from a rural, peasant family and went on to become a lawyer. His father Mir Singh was a tenant-peasant of 5 acres in Noorpur. Thus Charan Singh was born into a poor, small tenant peasant family, not a landlord at all. Both of them promoted the concept of a united rural community, encompassing not only the Jats, but others as well. And both of them shared a common concern about the exploitative nature of the brahman-bania combine in those days.
Charan Singh's ancestors were the kinsmen of prominent freedom-fighter of the revolt of 1857, Raja Nahar Singh of Ballabhgarh (in present day Haryana). Raja Nahar Singh was sent to the gallows in Chandni Chowk of Delhi. Raja Nahar Singh was hung by the British at Delhi’s Chandni Chowk in 1857 for his revolutionary role in India’s First War of Independence. In order to escape the oppression the British Government let loose on Raja's kinsmen and supporters, Charan Singh's grandfather moved to district Bulandshaher in Uttar Pradesh.
Charan Singh was born on 23 December 1902 in town Noorpur, district Bulandshahr then, and now Ghaziabad of Uttar Pradesh in a peasant's home. He was a good student, and obtained degree of Masters in Arts in 1925, and the degree of Law in 1927.
Career in Politics
Born in a Jat family in 1902, Charan Singh entered politics as part of the Independence Movement. After independence he became particularly notable in the 1950s for opposing and winning a battle against Nehru's socialistic and collectivist land use policies, for the sake of the Indian farmer. He was very popular among all the rural and farming communities, his political base was Western Uttar Pradesh and Haryana.
In 1929 he joined the Indian National Congress. He was jailed several times in the struggle for Indian independence. He served in the United Provinces (now Uttar Pradesh) state assembly from 1937 on.
In February 1937 he was elected to the Legislative Assembly of Uttar Pradesh (United Provinces) at the age of 34. In 1938 he introduced an Agricultural Produce Market Bill in the Assembly which was published in the issues of The Hindustan Times of Delhi dated 31 March 1938. The Bill was intended to safeguard the interests of the farmers against the rapacity of the traders. The Bill was adopted by most of the States in India, Punjab being the first state to do so in 1940. Thus His political career began through the Congress ranks, supporting tenant rights. Working against the vein of early Congress policy and fighting formidable landlord influence, he mobilised support for peasant ownership of land, implemented reforms, and prevented tax increases on farmers. He worked to make farmers into an aggressive political force.
Charan Singh followed Mahatma Gandhi in non-violent struggle for independence from the British Government, and was imprisoned several times. In 1930 he was sent to jail for 6 months by the British for contravention of Salt laws. He was jailed again for one year in November 1940 for individual Satyagraha Movement. In August 1942 he was jailed again by the British under DIR and released in November 1943. Along with Mahatma Gandhi he was also influenced by Swami Dayanand, Kabir and Sardar Patel.
Prof. Paul R. Brass writes that "Charan Singh was a phenomenon who arrived on the national stage in peasant costume and demeanor, but with the intelligence of an intellectual and a scholar. Those American and European Scholars who did meet him in the 1960s when he was a minister in the U P government - or out of the power temporarily - were immediately impressed by his intelligence, intellect, knowledge and demeanor."
In 1952, he became the Revenue Minister of the state of Uttar Pradesh, the most populous state in independent India. He was dedicated to enforcing and implementing the provisions of the Zamindari Abolition and Land Reform Act of which he was the major architect. It has been argued by leading political scientists that success of Indian Democracy lies in successful implementation of this reform. Pakistan on the other hand did not have similar reforms, and the power is concentrated amongst the few powerful landlords or Zamindar who run their lands as their private fiefdom, and use their influence to further their wealth.
Charan Singh opposed Nehru on his Soviet style economic reforms. Charan Singh was of the opinion that cooperative farms would not succeed in India. Being a son of a farmer, Charan Singh opined that the right of ownership was important to the farmer in remaining a cultivator. Charan Singh's political career suffered due to his open criticism of Nehru's economic policy. In 1950's, no one questioned Nehru in India.
Chaudhary Charan Singh became an architect of India's national system of agrarian alliances. He brought about the Jat-Muslim political alliance in late 1960s when he was the Chief Minister of UP. He became the chief minister of the state in 67-68 and again in 70.
Charan Singh left the Congress party in 1967, and formed his own political party. He had two short stints as Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh in 1967, and later in 1970. In 1975, he was jailed again, but this time by then Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. She had declared the state of 'Internal Emergency' and jailed all her political opponents. After the Emergency was lifted and the elections for Lok Sabha were held, the Indian people voted her out; and the Janta Party, of which Chaudhary Charan Singh was a senior leader, came into power.
He remained committed to the ideal of a homogeneous and inclusive rural people. He was a product of Jat cultural assertion and the Arya Samaj movement and hence did not use caste as a rallying point. According to him, the Jat interests lay with the interests of the rural population.
In 1977, he allied his peasant and agricultural based Indian Revolutionary Party with the Janata Party of Morarji Desai and served as Home Minister (1977-78) and Deputy Prime Minister (1979) in Desai's coalition government. In July 1979 he became the Prime Minister of India with Congress support. But he resigned shortly afterwards, without facing a trust vote, when Indira Gandhi withdrew support. His speech to the nation on India's Independence Day (August 15, 1979 ) was very prophetic in which he identified Pakistan's nuclear ambition as a major threat to India. He also mentioned that Indian labour laws had to be refined if India were to become competitive in world economy. He also opened high level diplomatic relations with Israel, which Indira Gandhi's government which took office following the 1980 elections, curtailed.
It must be remembered that he was the first peasant leader (and the first Jat) to achieve that position. It was not until 1989, when Chaudhary Devi Lal became the Deputy PM, that any other Jat occupied such a high position and played such a significant role in national politics as he did. Though he was seen by the Jats of western U.P. as their sole benefactor, yet it would be unfair to call him merely a Jat leader. He could be described as a rural leader, whose support base transcended all rural communities.
Chaudhary Charan Singh passed away on May 29, 1987 in Delhi and was cremated at Kisan Ghat. He was survived by his wife, Gayatri Devi, four daughters (Satya, Vedvati, Gyanvati, Sharda) and one son, Ajit Singh.
Charan Singh Portrait in Rajyasabha
An ardent patriot, an able administrator, an astute statesman, a champion for the cause of India's peasantry, Chaudhary Charan Singh was a man of impeccable character and integrity and humanist inclinations. A long standing member of the Uttar Pradesh Legislative Assembly, he went on to become the Chief Minister of the State. He was Deputy Prime Minister in the Janata Party Government. A founder of the Bharatiya Kranti Dal and the Lok Dal, he ceaselessly strived for the amelioration of the lot of the peasants and weaker sections. As Prime Minister, he endeavoured to usher in various measures for the welfare of the common man.
The portrait, painted by Zeba Amrohawi, was unveiled by the then President of India, Dr. Shanker Dayal Sharma on 23 December 1993.
The portrait was donated by the Chaudhary Charan Singh Smarak Samiti.
National Farmers’ Day (Kisan Diwas)
National Farmers Day or Kisan Diwas is celebrated in the honor of Chaudhary Charan Singh who was the fifth Prime Minister of India. He was a very simple-minded man and led an extremely simple life. During his tenure as the Prime Minister, he introduced many policies to improve the life of Indian farmers. The magnetic personality of Chaudhary Charan Singh and various beneficial policies in the favor of farmers united all the farmers of India against the landlords and moneylenders. He followed the famous slogan ‘Jai Jawan Jai Kisan’ given by the 2nd Prime Minister of India. Chaudhary Charan Singh was also a very successful writer and wrote down several books depicting his thoughts on farmers and their problems; he even came out with various solutions to improve the lives of farmers. India is primarily the land of villages and majority of the population living in villages are farmers and agriculture is the main source of income for them. The green revolution during the 60s evolved in Punjab and Haryana transformed the agricultural picture of the country.This increased the productivity and thus India became self-sufficient in various agro-commodities.Farmers are the spine of India. The nation of lands, India celebrates Nationals Farmer’s Day every year on 23rd of December to pay honor to the great work done by the farmers of our country. The famous “Kisan Ghat” in New Delhi is dedicated to Chaudhary Charan Singh due to his involvement with the causes related to farmer’s communities in the North. 
Postal stamp on Charan Singh
Indian Postal Department issued a commemorative stamp on him on 29/05/1990 of Denomination Rs.1.00.
Monuments after Chaudhary Charan Singh
- Chaudhary Charan Singh Award for excellence in Journalism in Agricultural Research and Development 2014: In order to recognize the outstanding contribution in Journalism in the field of Agricultural Research & Development in the country, two annual awards of ₹ 1.00 lakh in cash and a citation each are to be awarded to journalists. There will be two awards- one each in print and electronic media respectively. The contribution made by the journalist would be judged through articles/success stories in Hindi/English News Papers / Magazines /Journals / Electronic Media in India during the preceding three years.
- Charan Singh University, Meerut
- Charan Singh College of Education & Technology, Meerut ...
- Chaudhary Charan Singh Statue at Airport Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh
- Ch. Charan Singh University, Meerut, Uttar Pradesh
- Ch. Charan Singh Inter College Bhatona, Bulandshahr, Uttar Pradesh
- Chaudhary Charan Singh Mahavidyalaya, Pandav Nagar, Basti, Uttar Pradesh
- Chaudhary Charan Singh Post Graduate College, Etawah, Uttar Pradesh
- Ch. Charan Singh Park, D-Block, Govindpuram, Ghaziabad
- Madhya Ganga Barrage(Chaudhary Charan Singh Barrage) B00247
- Chaudhary Charan Singh Park, Kundan Nagar, Jaipur, Rajasthan 302029
Books Authored by Chaudhary Charan Singh
Charan Singh was a prolific writer and had authored several books. Some of them are:
- India's Economic Policy - The Gandhian Blueprint
- Economic Nightmare of India - Its Cause and Cure
- Cooperative Farming X-rayed
Books on Life and Deeds of Ch. Charan Singh
एक और कबीर (चौधरी चरणसिंह का जीवन चरित्र I), - चौधरी चरण सिंह का जीवन चरित्र, लेखक: राजेन्द्र कसवा, कलम प्रकाशन, जयपुर, 52, दूसरी मंजिल, न्यू पुरोहित जी का कतला, जयपुर, फोन:560098, प्रथम संस्करण 1996
देख कबीरा रोया (चौधरी चरणसिंह का जीवन चरित्र II), लेखक: राजेन्द्र कसवा, प्रकाशक:लोकायत प्रकाशन, 883, लोधों की गली, मोती डूंगरी रोड, जयपुर-4, फोन:600912, प्रथम संस्करण 2000
संस्तवन: एक आलोक पुरुष का - चौधरी चरण सिंह स्मृति-ग्रंथ, संपादक डॉ. किरण पाल सिंह, प्रकाशक: भारतीय राजभाषा विकास संस्थान देहरादून, फोन: 0135-2753845, ISBN 978-81-906127-5-3, प्रथम संस्करण 2010
चौधरी चरण सिंह - एक चिंतन एक चमत्कार, 1990, एस. के. पब्लिशर्स
लौहपुरुष चौधरी चरण सिंह की अमर कहानी, 1987, मधुर प्रकाशन, दिल्ली
हमने भारत पर कैसे विजय प्राप्त की, भूमिका चौधरी चरण सिंह, 1983, किसान ट्रस्ट
नूर-ए-हिन्द-चौधरी चरणसिंह (Noor-e-Hind - Chaudhary Charan Singh): लेखक: Mansukh Ranwa
किसान मसीहा चौधरी चरणसिंह (Kisan Masiha Chaudhary Charan Singh): Author: Dr Natthan Singh
Charan Singh (1902-87): An Assessment by Terence J. Byres. SOAS, London. 1988: "Charan Singh (1902-87) is frequently identified as 'champion of India's peasants'. That description refers to his long career as an active politician. Less well known is his written work. That is rarely mentioned, and when it is, the tone (especially that of urban intellectuals) is dismissive. It is argued here, firstly, that Charan Singh was, indeed, an accomplished politician, but one who successfully represented the interests not of the whole peasantry, but of its rich and middle strata. It is suggested, secondly, that his published work is of greater significance than is generally acknowledged; that it falls squarely into the broad tradition of neo-populism; and that he was, unusually, a true ‘organic’ intellectual of the rich and middle peasantry. Both his political career and his ideas merit more serious attention than they have attracted hitherto; and such attention needs and adequate class perspective."
चरण सिंह (1902-1987): एक मूल्यांकन: टेरेंस ज. बायर्स द्वारा। एस. ओ. ए. एस., लंदन। 1988 में लिखित ...."चरण सिंह (1902-1987) को निरन्तर भारत के 'किसानों के हिमायती' के रूप में पहचाना जाता रहा है। यह परिचय उनके लम्बे राजनैतिक जीवन का संकेत है । किन्तु उनके लेखन की बहुत कम लोगों को जानकारी है । अव्वल तो उन लेखों का ज़िक्र होता नहीं, यदि कभी होता भी है, तो उसका स्वर (विशेष रूप से शहरी बुद्धिजीवियों की दृष्टि में) अस्वीकरात्मक होता है । इस लेख में तर्क दिया गया है कि, सबसे पहले, चरण सिंह वास्तव में एक निपुण राजनीतिज्ञ थे; लेकिन उन्होंने समूचे किसान वर्ग के हितों का प्रतिनिधित्व नहीं किया, केवल धनी और मध्यम तबके के किसानों का प्रतिनिधित्व किया । दूसरा, मेरा यह मानना है कि उनके प्रकाशित लेखन, जितना अमूमन समझा गया है, उससे कहीं अधिक महत्त्वपूर्ण है और सही तौर पर वह नव-लोकरंजकतावद की व्यापक परंपरा के अंतर्गत आता है । वह असामान्य रूप से धनी और मध्यम तबके के किसानों के एक सच्चे 'जैविक' बुद्धजीवी थे । उनके राजनीतिक जीवन और उनके विचारों को अधिक गंभीरता से ध्यान देने की आवश्यकता है, और यह पर्याप्त वर्गीय परिप्रेक्ष्य के अंतर्गत किया जाना चाहिए । "
जातीयता का अभिशाप और चौधरी चरणसिंह (Jātīyatā kā Abhishāp aur Chaudhary Charan Singh): Author: Dr Natthan Singh
Charan Singh aur Congress Rajneeti: Ek Bhartey Rajneetik Jeevan, 1937 se 1961 tak: (Hindi) Paperback – 1 Jan 2017: An Indian Political Life: Charan Singh and Congress Politics, 1937 to 1961 focuses on the role of Charan Singh in the politics of the period while providing a broader perspective on the major issues, controversies and developments of the time. The book is the result of a careful study of Charan Singh's personal collection of political files coupled with a series of extensive interviews with politicians, public personalities and local people. It provides an account of the principal issues and events of the period, including Hindu-Muslim relations, the conflict between the Nehruvian goal of rapid industrialization and the desires of those favoring primary attention to agriculture, issues of law and order, the rise of corruption and criminality in politics, the place of caste and status in a modernizing society and the pervasive factional politics characteristic of the era. This work is much more than the biography of an important politician; it is also an analysis of issues, movements and political conflicts that marked the late pre-Independence and early post-Independence era.This book is the first volume of a multi-volume work on The Politics of Northern India: 1937 to 1987.
चौधरी चरण सिंह और कांग्रेस राजनीति: एक भारतीय राजनीतिक जीवन 1937 से 1961 तक: लेखक - पाल.आर. ब्रॉस, विश्व विख्यात राजनीति-शास्त्री प्रोफेसर पॉल ब्रास की रची चौधरी चरण सिंह की तीन खंड की जीवनी के पहले खंड को पढ़ें और इस महान आत्मा के जीवन से प्रेरणा प्राप्त करें। प्रोफेसर पॉल ब्रास ने हिंदुस्तान की राजनीती और समाज का पिछले 55 साल अध्ययन किया, 18 से अधिक पुस्तक लिखीं, और सौ से अधिक लेख लिखे। प्रोफ. ब्रास का मानना है कि चरण सिंह आज़ादी के पश्चात भारत के सबसे ईमानदार और प्रभावी नेता ही नहीं थे, उनकी ग्रामीण और कृषि पर आधारित आर्थिक और सामाजिक विकास की नीति तथा सोच हिंदुस्तान के लिए सही थी। इस जीवनी का एक और ख़ास महत्व है - हिंदुस्तान में पहली बार एक अमरीकी, विश्व विख्यात राजनीति-शास्त्री की अंग्रेजी में लिखी आध्यात्मिक पुस्तक का हिंदी में अनुवाद किया गया है। इसका श्रेय प्रकाशन संस्था 'सेज' को जाता है, जिसने 2 साल की मेहनत के फल स्वरुप इस खंड को सम्पन्न किया। केवल 500 रूपये के मूल्य की यह पुस्तक हिंदी भाषी जनता, ख़ास तौर पर विद्यार्थियों और बुद्धिजीवियों के लिए उपयोगी है।
Books written by Chaudhari Charan Singh (all books are available for free download here) -
Books written on Chaudhari Charan Singh (many books are available for free download here)
Video’s of Chaudhari Charan Singh (1967 till his funeral in 1987)
Audio Interview of Chaudhari Charan Singh
A brief life history of Charan Singh
This brief life history of Charan Singh, published by the Charan Singh Archives, takes the reader through the early influences of Swami Dayanand and Mohandas Gandhi on Singh, his immersion in the freedom struggle, his long political life in Uttar Pradesh and subsequently in Delhi, and his abiding importance as an organic intellectual of village India with a complex, sophisticated and coherent strategy for India’s development at variance from all post-Independence governments. A detailed chronology of Singh’s life is a fascinating glimpse of politics in India from the Forties till the Mid-Eighties.
Singh was a man of simplicity, virtue and morals in the Gandhian mould, his upright character and honesty recognised by all. This enabled him a reputation as a strong administrator, an upholder of the law of the land. He believed in a fundamentally democratic society of small producers and small consumers brought together in a system neither socialist or capitalist but one that addressed the uniquely Indian problems of poverty, unemployment, inequality, caste and corruption. Each of these issues remains intractable today, and his solutions as fresh and relevant to their amelioration and ultimate eradication.
A scholar of extraordinary capability, Singh wrote a number of books, political pamphlets and numerous articles in English on his belief of the centrality of villages and agriculture in India’s political economy which are even more relevant to India today as we struggle with an agrarian crisis and 67% of our population in the villages. His first publication was the 611-page report of the Zamindari Abolition and Land Reforms Committee in Uttar Pradesh in 1948. He also wrote, amongst others, Abolition of Zamindari: Two Alternatives (1947), Joint Farming X-Rayed: The Problem and Its Solution (1959), India’s Poverty and Its Solution (1964), India’s Economic Policy: The Gandhian Blueprint (1978) and Economic Nightmare of India: Its Cause and Cure (1981).
“Charan Singh's political life and economic ideas provide an entry-point into a much broader set of issues both for India and for the political and economic development of the remaining agrarian societies of the world. His political career raises the issue of whether or not a genuine agrarian movement can be built into a viable and persistent political force in the 20th century in a developing country. His economic ideas and his political programme raise the question of whether or not it is conceivable that a viable alternative strategy for the economic development of contemporary agrarian societies can be pursued in the face of the enormous pressures for industrialisation. Finally, his specific proposals for the preservation and stabilisation of a system of peasant proprietorship raise once again one of the major social issues of modern times, namely, whether an agrarian economic order based upon small farms can be sustained against the competing pressures either for large-scale commercialisation of agriculture or for some form of collectivisation.
”Brass, Paul. Economic & Political Weekly, 25 Sept 1993. Chaudhuri Charan Singh: An Indian Political Life.
Now buy Charan Singh’s life history in English on Amazon at https://www.amazon.in/dp/9387280411?ref=myi_title_dp
Images of Chaudhary Charan Singh
Chaudhary Charan Singh's family
Chaudhary Charan Singh with father Ch. Meer Singh & mother Smt Netra Kaur, and son Ajit Singh
Jai Pal Singh and his wife Vedvati, daughter of [[Charan Singh], 1959
Charan Singh in marriage of Govind Sing's daughter at Kashipur 17.1.1977
Charan Singh in marriage of Govind Sing's daughter at Kashipur 18.1.1977 along with Smt Suman, Dr Ajay Chaudhary, Sau. Madhu and Govind Singh
Gayatri Devi with Virendra Singh and Hari Singh
Chaudhary Charan Singh in Public Life
Charan Singh with Gayatri Devi and Mulayam Singh
Satya Prakash Malaviya and Charan Singh , 12 Tughlak Road, Delhi
Satya Prakash Malaviya and Charan Singh with others 12 Tuglak Road Delhi
Chief guest Charan Singh with Nilam Sanjiva Reddy laying foundation at Surajmal Memorial Education Society on 12.12.1978
Charan Singh with Ramniwas Mirdha
Charan Singh with Indira Gandhi on birthday celebration of Jayant Chaudhary 7.1.1979
Charan Singh with Ajay Singh
Charan Singh with Satya Prakash Malviya Lokdal Sammelan, 1985
Prime Minister Ch. Charan Singh (28.7.1979-14.1.1980)
Charan Singh with Devi Lal at Boat Club Delhi Kisan Rally 23.12.1979
Prime Minister Ch. Charan Singh:Monuments
The Last Journey - 29.5.1987 - 12 Tughlak Road New Delhi, Tribute being paid by son Ajit Singh and daughters
Sign Board of parental village Bhadaula
Chaudhari Charan Singh Library - Noorpur - Ghaziabad
Ch. Charan Singh University Meerut
MLA Narendra Singh Paying homage at Chhaproli
- Tewatia : For the clan history of Chaudhary Charan Singh
- File:Charan Singh Panels - details.docx
- File:Agrucultural Marketing by Charan Singh Hindustan Times.31.3.1938.pdf
- चौधरी चरण सिंह: देश के एक प्रमुख पथ-प्रदर्शक
- Charan Singh Portrait Rajyasabha
- नाई का बुलावा
- Stamp on Charan Singh
- Charan Singh Portrait
- Charan Singh on Jatland
- Ideas of Charan Singh: An Alternative Perspective of Development Article in the 6 April 2019 issue of Economic and Political by Praveen Dhanda, Department of Political Science, Indraprastha College, Delhi University.
- The Churchill Centre, Making headway with the critics, 2002
- The anti-reservation man, November 27, 2003
- An Indian Political Life Ch. Charan Singh (Former Prime Minister of India) and Congress Politics,1967 to 1987 by Prof.Paul R Brass. Paul R Brass is a Professor of Political Science and International Studies at the University of Washington, Seattle, U.S.A.
- krishijagran.com, 23.12.2017
- Postal Stamp on Chaudhary Charan Singh
Back to The Leaders