India has been led by the most charismatic of leaders throughout its glorious history, who have directed the people of our country and served as an inspiration to all of us and for generations to come.
Since its independence on August 15, 1947, India, one of the world’s largest democracies, has seen the formation of 200 political parties. India has a considerable number of political parties compared to other democracies, and some of them are knit around their leaders.
The BJP and congress are India’s two most powerful political parties, dominating national politics. India’s first Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, was a pivotal player in Indian politics and is often regarded as the architect of modern India. Indira Gandhi, his daughter, made history when she became India’s first female Prime Minister.
While the Congress has traditionally dominated Indian politics, the BJP has made a comeback in recent years thanks to figures such as Shri. Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Prime Minister of India Shri. Narendra Modi. Let us look at some of those great political leaders from India.
1 . Dr. Rajendra Prasad
Dr. Rajendra Prasad served as India’s first president after independence. He was also the president of India’s Constituent Assembly and is considered one of the architects of the Indian Republic. Prasad is known for being bipartisan and acting based on merit. He is still the only President to have been elected twice to the office of President.
2. Pandit. Jawaharlal Nehru
From India’s independence in 1947 until his death in 1964, the country’s first prime minister controlled a turbulent infant nation. Nehru’s legacy is that of a very liberal, socialist, and secular statesman who, under Mahatma Gandhi’s tutelage, firmly set India on the path it is on today. Nehru was a man of letters and is also credited with creating the Planning Commission of India.
3. Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel
When India gained independence, it was not given as a whole piece of territory. It was separated into princely realms, the leaders of which claimed unrestricted privileges or wished to remain neutral. Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel gained the moniker “India’s Iron Man” by dealing with each of them severely and forcefully. In the Indian government, he also formed the civil services section.
4. Subhash Chandra Bose
He was just, although his Army failed to directly force out the British, former British Prime Minister Clement Atlee acknowledged that Bose’s actions had a significant influence on Britain’s exit from India. A member of the Indian National Congress for a short time, but he had a significant impact on the country’s armed forces.
Bose, one of the few leaders who backed the violent uprising against British authority in India, even organized an army under his command, the Indian National Army, and sought Japanese assistance in defeating Britishers in the nation.
5. Shri. Lal Bahadur Shastri
It was never going to be simple to fill Jawaharlal Nehru’s shoes, but Lal Bahadur Shastri succeeded admirably. In continuation of Nehru’s socialist principles, he gave India the motto “Jai Jawan Jai Kisaan” and worked tirelessly for the farmer sector in India.
While he was Prime Minister, India’s overwhelming victory in the war against Pakistan in 1965 lifted the country’s spirits after its earlier setback to China and made him a hero to be cherished forever.
6. Shri. Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar
Ambedkar was a jurist, political leader, philosopher, anthropologist, historian, revolutionary, writer, and many other things. He was a revolutionary who stood firm in his beliefs, even if they ran counter to common opinion.
He also resurrected Buddhism in India, leaving a legacy that may still be observed among Dalit communities, a cause Ambedkar championed throughout his life. Ambedkar is also recognised as the Father of the Indian Constitution, which the country commemorated on Republic Day.
7. Shri. Dadabhai Naoroji
He was one of India’s first political leaders, as well as a businessman who traded cotton. He was also an early educator in India, attempting to clarify Zoroastrianism beliefs among the Bombay population.
Between 1892 to 1895, Naoroji served as a Member of Parliament (MP) in the House of Commons in the United Kingdom, becoming the first Asian to do so.
8. Shri. Atal Bihari Vajpayee
He is one of India’s most renowned political leaders, having been awarded the Padma Vibhushan in 1992. Vajpayee was known as a liberal inside the BJP, a party with radical right-wing ideas, and was the only prime minister to serve a complete term outside of the Congress Party. He boldly led the nuclear testing in Pokhran, Rajasthan, in May 1998.
9. Shrimati. Indira Gandhi
Smt. Indira Gandhi was India’s Prime Minister for 11 years and is credited with launching the country’s Green Revolution. Indira Gandhi, the only child of Jawaharlal Nehru, exerted considerable power over the Congress Party and public opinion.
She was noted for being harsh during her tenure as Prime Minister, which saw India emerge from a policy quagmire and firmly establish the country on the fast track to growth.
10. Shri. A. P. J. Abdul Kalam
APJ Abdul Kalam, India’s favourite grandpa and the man with frizzy hair, was one of the most active presidents in recent memory. For expanding India’s ballistic missile programmes, he is also known as People’s President and India’s Missile Man.
Kalam, who is known for advocating youth concerns, started the “What Can I Give” campaign in 2011 to fight corruption and achieve his life aim of making India a developed country by 2020.
11. Shri. Jyoti Basu
Jyoti Basu, a CPI (M) politician from West Bengal, holds the distinction for serving as the longest chief minister of any state in India, having held the position from 1977 to 2000. He was also an agnostic who was well-known in India. Basu was the architect of India’s land reform plan and the founder of West Bengal’s Panchayati raj system for farmers. Basu, who was never one to follow Communism by the book, made it his job to provide the lowest classes of society their due and to uphold communal harmony at all times.
12. Shri. E M Sankaran Namboodiripad
E M Sankaran Namboodiripad, or EMS as he was known, became the first Communist leader to be elected democratically in India when he took the oath as Kerala’s first chief minister.
EMS pioneered Kerala’s land and education system, which has since become a model for other states and has contributed to the state’s growing literacy rate. In the 1960s and 1970s, he was also an active member of the CPI (M), which he helped to bring to national prominence. Aside from that, he was a well-known journalist and author.
13. Shri. N.T.Rama Rao
N.T. Rama Rao, better known as NTR, was the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh for three terms, riding high on the success of his films, in which he primarily played the God’s Rama and Krishna.
When he decided to become a politician and founded the Telugu Desam Party, his representation of mythological heroes won him record audiences. NTR was noted for his devotion to the Andhra cause, equal rights for women, prohibition of alcohol and a slew of populist initiatives for his state.
He was a savvy politician who was also instrumental in the formation of the National Front, which ruled the country from 1989 to 1991 and implemented the Mandal Commission’s proposal of 25% reservations for OBCs.
14. M. G. Ramachandran
M. G. Ramachandran, or MGR to his followers, was one of Tamil Nadu’s most powerful politicians. MGR was a Tamil movie star who became a member of the Congress Party after being impressed by Gandhian values.
Later, he joined the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam and became as well-known within the party as he was among his cinema admirers. In 1972, he founded his political party, Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, and in 1977, he became the chief minister of Tamil Nadu, a position he held until his death in 1987.
He was noted for his dedication to education and was one of the first proponents of midday meals as a way to encourage youngsters to attend school. MGR was also well-known for his philanthropy. The frenzied looting that followed his death is still unmatched today and a monument to his enduring popularity.
15. Dr. Zakir Hussain
Dr Zakir Hussain was India’s first Muslim president and the founder of Jamia Milia Islamia, one of the country’s most prestigious universities.
His commitment to education and efforts to keep Jamia Milia Islamia afloat in the face of adversity gained him accolades from unlikely sources, including arch adversary Mohammed Ali Jinnah. Salman Khurshid, the current foreign minister, is Dr Hussain’s grandson.