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P. V. Narasimha Rao

10th Prime Minister of India

In office
21 June 1991 16 May 1996

R. Venkataraman
Shankar Dayal Sharma

Preceded by

Chandra Shekhar

Succeeded by Atal Bihari Vajpayee

Minister of Defence
In office
6 March 1993 16 May 1996
Preceded by

Sharad Pawar

Succeeded by Pramod Mahajan

In office
31 December 1984 25 September 1985

Rajiv Gandhi

Preceded by

Rajiv Gandhi

Succeeded by Shankarrao Chavan

Minister of External Affairs
In office
31 March 1992 18 January 1993
Preceded by

Madhavsinh Solanki

Succeeded by Dinesh Singh

In office
25 June 1988 2 December 1989

Rajiv Gandhi

Preceded by

Rajiv Gandhi

Succeeded by V. P. Singh
In office
14 January 1980 19 July 1984

Indira Gandhi

Preceded by

Shyam Nandan Prasad Mishra

Succeeded by Indira Gandhi

Minister of Home Affairs
In office
12 March 1986 12 May 1986

Rajiv Gandhi

Preceded by

Shankarrao Chavan

Succeeded by Sardar Buta Singh

In office
19 July 1984 31 December 1984

Indira Gandhi
Rajiv Gandhi

Preceded by

Prakash Chandra Sethi

Succeeded by Shankarrao Chavan

Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh
In office
30 September 1971 10 January 1973

Khandubhai Kasanji Desai

Preceded by

Kasu Brahmananda Reddy

Succeeded by Jalagam Vengala Rao (afterPresident's Rule)

Personal details


28 June 1921
[Vangara], Karimnagar district,Hyderabad
(now in Telangana, India)


23 December 2004 (aged 83)

New Delhi, Delhi, India



Political party Indian National Congress


Satyamma Rao (d. 1970)[1]

Alma mater

Osmania University
Fergusson College





Pamulaparti Venkata Narasimha Rao (28 June 1921 23 December 2004) was

Indian lawyer and politician who



the tenth Prime



India (19911996). His ascendancy to the prime ministership was politically

significant in that he was the first holder of this office from non-Hindi-speaking south
India. He led an important administration, overseeing a major economic

transformation and several home incidents affecting national security of India Rao
who held the Industries portfolio was personally responsible for the dismantling of
the Licence Raj as this came under the purview of the Ministry of Commerce and
Industry. He is often referred to as the "Father of Indian Economic Reforms".
Future prime ministers Atal Bihari Vajpayee andManmohan Singh continued
the economic reform policies pioneered by Rao's government. Rao accelerated the
dismantling of the License Raj, reversing thesocialist policies of Rajiv Gandhi's
government. He employed Dr. Manmohan Singh as his Finance Minister to embark on
historic economic transition. With Rao's mandate, Dr. Manmohan Singh launched
India's globalisation angle of the reforms that implemented the International Monetary
Fund (IMF) policies to rescue the almost bankrupt nation from economic
collapse. Rao was also referred to as Chanakya for his ability to steer tough economic
and political legislation through the parliament at a time when he headed a minority
According to Natwar Singh, "Unlike Nehru his knowledge of Sanskrit was
profound. Nehru had a temper, PV a temperament. His roots were deep in the spiritual
and religious soil of India. He did not need to Discover India". 11thPresident of
India APJ Abdul Kalam described Rao as "patriotic statesman who believed that the
nation is bigger than the political system". Kalam acknowledged that Rao in fact
asked him to get ready for nuclear tests in 1996 but it was not carried out
as government at center got changed due to 1996 general election and it was later
carried out by Vajpayee led NDA government. In fact Rao briefed Vajpayee on
nuclear plans.
Rao's term as Prime Minister was an eventful one in India's history. Besides
marking a paradigm shift from the industrialising, mixed economic model
ofJawaharlal Nehru to a market driven one, his years as Prime Minister also saw the
emergence of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), a major right-wing party, as an
alternative to the Indian National Congress which had been governing India for most
of its post-independence history. Rao's term also saw the destruction of the Babri
Mosque in Ayodhya in Uttar Pradesh when BJP's Kalyan Singh was CM which
triggered one of the worst Hindu-Muslim riots in the country since its independence.

Rao died in 2004 of a heart attack in New Delhi. He was cremated

in Hyderabad He was a versatile personality with interests in a variety of subjects
(other than politics) such as literature andcomputer software (including computer
programming) He spoke 17 languages.

His father P. Ranga Rao and mother Rukminiamma hailed from agrarian
He was married to Satyamma and had eight children with herthree sons and
five daughters. His wife died in 1970, leaving him a distraught widower for the rest of
his life.

Narasimha Rao had three sons and five daughters. His eldest son P.V.
Rangarao was an education minister in Kotla Vijaya Bhaskara Reddy cabinet
and MLA from Hanamakonda Assembly Constituency, in Warangal District for two
terms. His second son P.V. Rajeswara Rao was a Member of Parliament of the 11th
Lok Sabha (15 May 1996 4 December 1997) from Secunderabad Lok Sabha

Rao had "humble social origins". he was born in Vangara of Telangana, then
part of Hyderabad State.
Popularly known as PV, he studied part of his primary education in Katkuru
village of Bheemdevarapalli mandal in Karimnagar district by staying in his relative

Gabbeta Radhakishan Rao's house and studied Bachelor's in the Arts college at
the Osmania University and later on went to Hislop College now under Nagpur
University where he completed a Master's degree in law Rao's mother tongue
was Telugu and had an excellent command of Marathi. In addition to seven Indian
languages (Telugu, Hindi, Oriya, Marathi, Bengali, Gujarati, Tamil and Urdu),
he spoke English, French, Arabic, Spanish, German and Persian. [15][16] Along
with his distant cousin Pamulaparthi Sadasiva Rao, Ch. Raja Narendra and
Devulapalli Damodar Rao, PV edited a Telugu weekly magazine called Kakatiya
Patrika in the 1940s. PV and Sadasiva Rao used to contribute articles under the pennameJaya-Vijaya.

Political career
Narasimha Rao was an active freedom fighter during the Indian Independence
movement and joined full-time politics after independence as a member of the Indian
National Congress. His tenure as Chief minister of Andhra Pradesh is well
remembered even today for his land reforms and strict implementation of land ceiling
acts in Telangana region. President's rule had to be imposed to counter the Jai Andhra
movement during his tenure.
He rose to national prominence in 1972 for handling several diverse
portfolios, most significantly Home, Defence and Foreign Affairs, in the cabinets of
both Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi. In fact, it is speculated that he was in the
running for the post of India's President along with Zail Singh in 1982.
Rao very nearly retired from politics in 1991. It was the assassination of the
Congress President Rajiv Gandhi that made him make a comeback.[23] As the
Congress had won the largest number of seats in the 1991 elections, he got the
opportunity to head the minority government as Prime Minister.
He was the first person outside the Nehru-Gandhi family to serve as Prime
Minister for five continuous years, the first to hail from southern India and also the
first from the state of Andhra Pradesh. [3][24] Since Rao had not contested the general

elections, he then participated in a by-election in Nandyal to join the parliament. Rao

won from Nandyal with a victory margin of a record 5 lakh (500,000) votes and his
win was recorded in the Guinness Book Of World Records. His cabinet
included Sharad Pawar, himself a strong contender for the Prime Minister's post,
as Defence Minister. He also broke a convention by appointing a non-political
economist and future prime minister, Manmohan Singh as his Finance Minister. He
also appointed Subramanian swamy, an Opposition party member as the Chairman of
the Commission on Labour Standards and International Trade. This has been the only
instance that an Opposition Party member was given a Cabinet rank post by the ruling
party. He also sent Opposition leader Atal Bihari Vajpayee, to represent India in a UN
meeting at Geneva.

Adopted to avert impending 1991 economic crisis, the reforms progressed
furthest in the areas of opening up toforeign investment, reforming capital
markets, deregulating domestic business, and reforming the trade regime. Rao's
government's goals were reducing the fiscal deficit, Privatization of the public sector
and increasing investment in infrastructure. Trade reforms and changes in the
regulation of foreign direct investment were introduced to open India to foreign trade
while stabilising external loans. Rao wanted I.G. Patel as his Finance Minister.

Patel was an official who helped prepare 14 budgets, an ex-governor of Reserve

Bank of India and had headed The London School of Economics and Political
Science.[32] But Patel declined. Rao then chose Manmohan Singh for the job.
Manmohan Singh, an acclaimed economist, played a central role in implementing
these reforms.
Major reforms in India's capital markets led to an influx of foreign portfolio
investment. The major economic policies adopted by Rao include:

Abolishing in 1992 the Controller of Capital Issues which decided the prices
and number of shares that firms could issue.

Introducing the SEBI Act of 1992 and the Security Laws (Amendment) which
gave SEBI the legal authority to register and regulate all security market

Opening up in 1992 of India's equity markets to investment by foreign

institutional investors and permitting Indian firms to raise capital on international
markets by issuing Global Depository Receipts (GDRs).

Starting in 1994 of the National Stock Exchange as a computer-based trading

system which served as an instrument to leverage reforms of India's other stock
exchanges. The NSE emerged as India's largest exchange by 1996.

Reducing tariffs from an average of 85 percent to 25 percent, and rolling back

quantitative controls. (The rupee was made convertible on trade account.)

Encouraging foreign direct investment by increasing the maximum limit on

share of foreign capital in joint ventures from 40 to 51% with 100% foreign
equity permitted in priority sectors.

Streamlining procedures for FDI approvals, and in at least 35 industries,

automatically approving projects within the limits for foreign participation.
The impact of these reforms may be gauged from the fact that total foreign

investment (including foreign direct investment, portfolio investment, and investment

raised on international capital markets) in India grew from a minuscule US $132
million in 199192 to $5.3 billion in 199596. Rao began industrial policy reforms
with the manufacturing sector. He slashed industrial licensing, leaving only 18
industries subject to licensing. Industrial regulation was rationalised.

Support for Bharat Ratna

Many people across the party line supported the name of P.V.Narasimha Rao
for Bharat Ratna. Telangana CM KCR supported the move to give Bharat Ratna to
Rao. Even BJP leader Subramanian swamy supported the move to give Bharat ratna
to Rao. According to Sanjay Baru PM Manmohan Singh wanted to give Bharat Ratna
to Rao during his tenure.
Literary achievements
Rao had great interest in Indian literature among 16 languages. He was very
fluent in many languages including his mother tongue Telugu, Marathi, Hindi,
English, Tamil, Urdu, Kannada, Oriya, Sanskrit, French, and Spanish. He was able to
speak 17 languages. Due to his college education in Fergusson College In Pune, he
was very prolific reader and speaker of Marathi. He translated the great Telugu
literary work Veyipadagalu of Kavi Samraat Viswanatha Satyanarayana into Hindi
as Sahasraphan. He also translated Hari Narayan Apte's Marathi novel Pan Lakshat
Kon Gheto? (But who thinks?) into Telugu. He was also invited to be the chief guest
of Akhil Bhartiya Marathi Sahitya Sanmelan where he gave speech in Marathi.


Similarly, we hold PV in high regard for his right-wing, pro-capital reform
measures for opening up the economy to liberalization, privatization and
globalization. But P.V was a fierce advocate and practitioner of Socialism when he
was the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh.
His land reforms for redistribution of land to the poor and downtrodden, and
his strict enforcement of land ceiling act, created such a strong backlash from the
established big land lords, that the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi had to take back
P.V from the state politics as a Minister in the Union Cabinet,and declare President's
rule in Andhra Pradesh for some time.

Rao suffered a heart attack on 9 December 2004, and was taken to the All
India Institute of Medical Sciences where he died 14 days later at the age of 83. [75] In
Delhi, his body was not allowed inside AICC building.[76] His body was kept in state
at the Jubilee Hall in Hyderabad. His funeral was attended by the then Prime
Minister Manmohan Singh, the then Home Affairs Minister Shivraj Patil, the
then Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president L.K. Advani, the then Defence
Minister Pranab Mukherjee, the then Finance Minister P. Chidambaram and many
other dignitaries. Rao was a long-time widower and he was survived by his eight
children. The Government of Telangana declared birth anniversary celebrations of late
P.V. Narasimha Rao, as State function in 2014.

Law and order entirely being a state subject, Rao was helpless to do anything other
than warn the UP state Govt to maintain status quo on the Babri Masjid-Ram Janma
Bhoomi issue. Yet, some commentators argue that while Rao should be blamed for his
failure to protect the Babri Masjid, at the same time, he should be given credit for
initiating the process of economic reforms in India. In an op-ed article published
in Business Standard, A.K. Bhattacharya writes:[85]
"Even today, the Congress leadership shows extreme reluctance to acknowledge the
role PV Narasimha Rao played in appointing Manmohan Singh as his finance minister
and giving him the freedom to unveil the economic reforms package to bail the Indian
economy out of an unprecedented crisis. The Congress leadership was correct in
blaming Narasimha Rao for his political misjudgment on the Ayodhya issue. But it is
now time the same leadership also acknowledged Narasimha Raos role in ushering in
economic reforms.

When I don't make a decision, it's not that I don't think about it. I think about it and
make a decision not to make a decision.
P. V. Narasimha Rao