Chaudhary Charan Singh

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Author: Laxman Burdak, IFS (R)

For article in Hindi see चौधरी चरणसिंह

Chaudhary Charan Singh

Chaudhari Charan Singh1.JPG
Full NameChaudhary Charan Singh
Born23 December 1902
Died : 29 May 1987
ResidenceNoorpur in western Uttar Pradesh

Flag of India.png Indian

OccupationFifth Prime Minister of the Republic of India, 3rd Deputy Prime Minister of India, Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh (3 April 1967 – 25 February 1968)
Parent(s)Chaudhary Meer Singh (Father), Smt. Netrakaur (Mother)
  • Political party : Janata Party (Secular) (1979–1987)
  • In 1929 he joined the Indian National Congress

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.

Early life

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.

Chaudhary Meer Singh and Smt Netrakaur: Parents of Charan Singh

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.

He obtained Primary school education at Jani Khurd village, Matriculation from Meerut (1919), and Intermediate Degree from Agra College (1921).

He obtained Bachelor of Science from Agra College (1923), Master of Arts in History from Agra College (1925) in Europe, England and Indian history, Master in Law from Meerut College, Meerut (1927)

Career in Politics

Born in a Jat family in 1902[1][2], 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."[3]

Independent India

Chaudhary Charan Singh

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.

Charan Singh with President Neelam Sanjiva Reddy taking auth of vth PM of India on 28.7.1979

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

Ch. 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. [4]

Postal stamp on Charan Singh

Charan Singh Stamp.jpg

Indian Postal Department issued a commemorative stamp on him on 29/05/1990 of Denomination Rs.1.00.[5]

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.[6]
  • Chaudhary Charan Singh Memorial Kisan Ghat, Delhi
  • Chaudhary Charan Singh Portrait in Loksabha Delhi

  • 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

Ek aur Kabira.jpg

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

Dekh Kabira Roya.jpg

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

Chaudhari Charan Singh Smrati Granth1.jpg

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 Rajniti.jpg

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

A brief life history of Charan Singh
A brief life history of Charan Singh, published by the Charan Singh Archives

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

Summary of Selected Works by Charan Singh

Summary of Selected Works by Charan Singh (145 pages) includes summaries of each of 6 key books written by Singh between 1947 and 1986. For the very first time, this Summary brings to light Singh’s deep and wide range of reading from the time of his youth in the 1920s, during his multiple periods of incarceration in British jails during India’s freedom struggle, and then his long period as a legislator and Minister in multiple Government’s in Uttar Pradesh and Delhi in the 1980s. These books gave shape to his economic and political thought over 6 decades of his long public life. The Summary painstakingly re-creates annotated Bibliographies of each book, as well as traces the origins of Singh’s formative Masters education in History at Agra University in the then United Provinces.

The Summary is a companion volume to the comprehensive Selected Works by Charan Singh which is a library set of 6 books written by Singh. A comprehensive introduction to Singh whose ideas remain relevant to an as-yet agrarian India, this Summary is very useful for policy makers, politicians, academicians and students of the political economy of India, development studies and Gandhian followers.

“He [Charan Singh] was exceptional ... in producing a substantial corpus of written work, between 1947 and 1986 which contained a coherent and elaborate set of ideas, encompassing a vision of the nature of rural India and of the road that rural India might best take. He was a genuinely productive intellectual, who distilled in his writing a potent mixture of analysis and prescription. ... thirdly, he possessed a special distinctiveness, in combining a capacity for political action with intellectual activity and facility in conveying ideas.”

Byres, Terence Charan Singh (1902-87): An Assessment. Journal of Peasant Studies, 15:2, 139-189. 1988

“While Russia produced more than a dozen agrarian intellectuals, and China produced a few, Singh may have been independent India’s one and only.’'

Khilnani, Sunil. Incarnations: India in 50 Lives, Charan Singh – A Common Cause. Random Penguin House, 2016. p. 564

With Regards

Harsh Singh Lohit Charan Singh Archives --- CSA

Selected Works of Charan Singh

This collectors set includes 6 of Singh’s major works and an easy-to-read summary of each of these books in the original English. The set makes an ideal acquisition for private and public libraries and is especially useful for students of economics, political economy, Gandhian studies, academicians in general, social and political activists, politicians and policy makers.

Charan Singh proposed a Gandhian political economy – less industrial, more hand- made and self-sufficient local economies – one readers can reacquaint themselves through this collector set. He wrote Abolition of Zamindari (1947), Joint Farming X-Rayed (1959), India’s Poverty and Its Solution (1964), India’s Economic Policy: The Gandhian Blueprint (1978), Economic Nightmare of India (1981) and Land Reforms in U.P. and the Kulaks (1986). The 7th book (Summary of Selected Works) provides easy-to-read summaries of each of these 6 books, and is an excellent accompaniment to the original texts.

All these books plead for the centrality of villages, agriculture and hand-made local industry in India’s political economy. Singh believed deeply in a democratic society of small producers and small consumers brought together in a system neither capitalist or communist but one that addressed, as a whole, 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.

With Regards

Harsh Singh Lohit

Charan Singh Archives --- CSA

India's Economic Policy: The Gandhian Blueprint

Published in 1978 when Charan Singh was Union Home Minister and the Chairman of Janata's Party's Cabinet committee on economic policy, India's Economic Policy: The Gandhian Blueprint lays out an alternate model for India's development. This book is a succinct formulation of Singh's principles to build India from the bottom-up. Singh is critical of Jawarhalal Nehru's economic policy framework and the latter's rejection of Mohandas Gandhi's vision of an India with the village at its center. He prescribes a radically new policy blueprint, on Gandhian lines, in harmony with India's geography, population, demography and democratic beliefs.

His economic policy targets the 'three ills' of poverty, unemployment and disparities in wealth through higher agricultural production, maximisation of employment on land and by capital, reduced inequalities in incomes, and protection of labour from exploitation. Singh's blueprint recommends a reversal of industrialization and the privileges its mostly urban beneficiaries enjoyed over agriculture and the village, and a complete overhaul of urban-elitist planning which had little contact with ground realities.

Singh stresses he is not opposed to industrialisation per se, but to the priority given to it over village India. He opposes mechanisation that replaces human labour, with which India is endowed to excess, as well as to the concentration of economic power it engenders in the hands of a few. He urges a break from foreign technology as well as capital upon which all efforts at development had hitherto been predicated. His Gandhian prescription is the widespread application of labour-intensive techniques and small scale decentralised production, for the most part, all based on democracy engendering self-employment instead of the extractive Capitalist or totalitarian Communist systems.

With Regards

Harsh Singh Lohit Charan Singh Archives --- CSA

A Leader’s Ethics

The story of 6 Rupees and 25 Paisa

A 1967 meeting between Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh Chaudhary Charan Singh and Haridwar Resident Commissioner Chandrasekhar Dwivedi.

Narrated by Gaurav Dwivedi

“This story is from 1967, when Chaudhary Charan Singh was chief minister Uttar Pradesh and my father the resident magistrate posted in Haridwar. Haridwar wasn’t yet a district, hence the resident magistrate was pretty much the senior-most officer there. My late father Chandrasekhar Dwivedi was an IAS officer of the Uttar Pradesh cadre, from the PCS batch of 1956 who had been promoted to the IAS. He was a hard-working, upright and forthright officer. Even today it warms my heart when I hear his contemporaries talk about his sterling reputation and his form approach to law and order.

The Chief Minister was expected to reach Haridwar in the day at a pre-appointed time, he was delayed due to some reasons. He instead reached Haridwar very late that night. At that time, there was a Dam bungalow next to the Ganga river which was the residence of the resident magistrate. Right next to it was another bungalow which was a government guest house or the ‘Circuit House’. The Chief Minister stayed at the circuit house that night. None of the government officials knew the Chief Minister was on a fast that day, they came to know too late to make arrangements so my father provided the meal of milk and fruits from home. The tour of the Chief Minister was for 2 days, he kept busy with his official program including meeting the Commissioner of Saharanpur and workers from his political party.

My father narrated to us that a good thing about Charan Singh was his strong administrative capability. He kept a keen watch on the smallest of issues. He was particular about pulling-up officers when matters in their areas of responsibility were not up to the mark by his standards. He would say so-and-so is not happening on your district, this is what you should be doing, I as the Chief Minister know more then you about what's going on and so on. However, he was also very particular about rewarding and appreciating a good and upright officer. Charan Singh’s primary objective was the good of the state from an administrative viewpoint, implementation of what was good for the public, the duty of an officer, his dharma, what the officer needed to do to execute his responsibilities including being alert and knowledgeable on the ground.

Anyways, Charan Singh’s tour completed in two days and he was in his first-class cabin while the train was waiting to depart from the Haridwar station and he asked for the Resident Magistrate to be sent to him. My father reached Charan Singh who was alone in his cabin, wished him with a namaste, and was asked to sit across on the seat opposite. He took out a check already made out for six rupees and twenty five paise, wrote Chandrasekhar Dwivedi on the check and gave it to my father. He said RM sahab, please keep this. My father was obviously very taken aback that the chief minister was giving him a check, he asked what is this for. Charan Singh said “I had come the other day in the night and stayed at the Dak Bungalow and was informed that the fruits and milk had been sent from your home on a personal basis so this 6 rupees and 25 paise is for those fruits and milk that you were kind enough to send for me.” My father said “No Sir, this is not at all required, I mean I am a brahmin so I fully understand the importance of a fast, you were inordinately delayed that night and no one knew it was your fast that day, hence it was just a gesture, my house is right next door, so whatever I could organise immediately I did.” Charan Singh said “I appreciate what you did, your thoughtfulness about understanding the importance of my fast at midnight, but you just have to take this check.”

He was after all the Chief Minister, it was not possible to refuse him, and father accepted the check. The Chief Minister asked a few questions about Haridwar and related issues and my father gave him reasonable answers. The Chief Minister left, the train went its way.

My father never deposited that check.

He died in 2016 January and held that check all those years, he kept it perhaps as a commendation, a memorabilia, as something to remember; he never presented that check at a bank. In some days Charan Singh transferred my father to Lucknow and appointed him to a responsible post because he felt here was a good administrative officer, he works sincerely. Charan Singh had anyways checked on my father’s reputation on his own.

What I mean to bring out through this episode is the character and conviction of a Chief Minister, where a man like Charan Singh who had just eaten some fruits and milk from some officer gave money for this gesture."

Source: Harsh Singh Lohit, Charan Singh Archives

Picture Gallery

Images of Chaudhary Charan Singh

Chaudhary Charan Singh's family

Chaudhary Charan Singh in Public Life

Prime Minister Ch. Charan Singh (28.7.1979-14.1.1980)

Prime Minister Ch. Charan Singh:Monuments

Ch. Charan Singh in News/Articles

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