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Morarji Desai: A Profile in Courage

VoW 2019 / Sessions / November 15 / Morarji Desai: A Profile in Courage

VoW 2019 | November 15 – 1:00 pm to 1:30 pm | |

Morarji Desai: A Profile in Courage

Arvinder Singh in conversation with Raj Kanwar | Chair: N Ravi Shanker

Morarji Desai: A Profile in Courage


The man, often described as the ‘rare politician’ in the political history of India has recieved huge appraisal for his contribution in political and electoral arenas. The International Literature and Arts  Festival, Dehradun witnessed a session upon the book, ” Morarji Desai: A profile in Courage” by Arvinder Singh. The session mainly revolved around an engaging conversation between the panelists consisting of Arvinder Singh, Raj Kanwar and N.Ravi Shanker. The session started with the proper detailed description about the book, which was first launched in 1995. Shri N. Ravi Shanker mentioned that the updated version of the book primarily deals with the initial career developments and participation of Morarji Desai in Bombay politics. The other parts of the book deal with the role of Morarji Desai in the criticism of the policies of  Indian National Congress mainly Emergency of 1975. The concluding aspects of the book include the retirement of the politician from the political paradigm.

The session took a interesting turn as the questions and answers were articulated along the lines of political and factual correctness. Raj Kanwar asked the author about the imperativeness of 44th Amendment as it was introduced during the tenure of  Morarji Desai. The author answered about the quintessential nature of the respective amendment as it changed the basic provisions for the declaration of Emergency. He further mentioned that the Amendment changed the condition of internal disturbances to internal armed rebellion for the declaration of Emergency. Shri Arvinder Kumar mentioned about Kuldeep Nayyar and his presence in the book for the detailed analysis of 44th Amendment.

As the session continued, the questions were mainly regarding the growth of international relations during the term of Morarji Desai. The author mentioned that the politician laid the premise for the close proximal relations between the India and Pakistan. He mentioned about the ‘hockish’ nature of the politician and his close relations with General Zia-ul-haq of Pakistan. The informative aspect of the session was the highlight of the discussion. During the session, Raj Kanwar states that Morarji Desai was given both Nishaan-i-Pakistan and Bharat Ratna in Pakistan and India respectively.

Shri Ravi Shanker also questioned the author about the relevance of the politician in the status quo. The session laid emphasis upon the contemporary issues of Kashmir and other conflictual areas. Shri Arvinder Singh mentioned that his book forms the character sketch of Morarji Desai, by defining him as the ‘man of consensus’. He stated the examples of Goa Aggression, Indira Gandhi’s trials etc. The major theme of the session declared the politician as the administrator par excellence, which the book also mentions. The aspects of Bombay politics, economic spheres, protection of minority rights and the communal harmony were given major position in the discourse.

As the event concluded, definite light was dropped upon the basic ideological inclinations of Morarji Desai. The personal characteristics and primarily a character sketch was build by the session, which proved that Morarji Desai was indeed the ‘rare politician’ of India.

Session Images