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This topic is all about the great former indian prime minister who passed away..

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									       Former PM I K Gujral passes away
Gujral, India's 12th prime minister whose tenure ran from April
1997 to March 1998, had been admitted to the hospital in a critical
Gujral, India's 12th prime minister whose tenure ran from April 1997 to
March 1998, had been admitted to the hospital in a critical condition a
few days ago following a lung infection and was on ventilator support.

A team of nine medical experts, led by Dr Naresh Trehan, were
attending to Gujral.

Gujral, in his illustrious political career, held many an important
portfolio in the government. In 1975, he was Minister of Information
and Broadcasting. He was also India's Ambassador Soviet Union.

He quit the Congress in the mid-1980s to join the Janata Dal. He also
was the Minister of External Affairs in Prime Minister VP Singh's

In 1992, he was nominated to the Rajya Sabha. He again held the
position of Minister of External Affairs in H D Deve Gowda-led
government. It was during this tenure that he propounded the
controversial 'Gujral Doctrine' that sought to improve relations with
India's neighbours.

He also held the portfolios of Parliamentary Affairs, Information &
Broadcasting, and Planning.

The gentleman politician who sought peace
The mild-mannered, soft-spoken politician, whose personality flew
against the political archetype, will be remembered primarily for his
keen interest in protecting and promoting India's external interests and
the eponymous Gujral Doctrine - his mantra for India's neighbourhood
policy when he was external affairs minister twice in a decade.

In a way reflective of the man, who came to Delhi from Pakistan in the
traumatic post-partition period, the Gujral Doctrine advocated
magnamity towards small neighbours in the interest of regional peace
and progress.

"The logic behind the Gujral Doctrine was that since we had to face two
hostile neighbours in the north and the west, we had to be at 'total
peace' with all other immediate neighbours in order to contain
Pakistan's and China's influence in the region," said Gujral in his
autobiography "Matters of Discretion".

Derided as a weak and conciliatory policy at the time when reciprocity
was still the ruling mantra at South Block, the principle was
nevertheless carried forward by successive governments. It helped
change mindsets and improved India's ties with its neighbours through
the years.

Gujral said: "When I finally demitted office (as prime minister) in March
1998, I had the satisfaction that India's relations with all its neighbours
were not only very healthy but also, to a large extent, the elements of
mistrust and suspicion had evaporated."

Gujral headed the external affairs ministry through two crucial periods
(1989-90 and 1996-97) under first prime minister V.P Singh and then
H.D. Deve Gowda. He helped steer India through the crises of the early
1990s, when India was making the difficult adjustment to the end of
the Soviet Union, and the oil shock administered by Iraq's invasion of
Kuwait (both important oil suppliers to India).

The invasion of Kuwait not only disrupted India's oil supplies but, more
importantly, left almost 200,000 Indians stranded in the region. Gujral
flew to Moscow, Washington and Baghdad and obtained assurances on
oil supplies from Moscow. In Baghdad he was greeted by Iraqi
president Saddam Hussain with a hug. Gujral was pilloried by the
Western and sections of the Indian media for that but the visit ensured
that the Indians stranded in Baghdad and Kuwait were allowed to be
evacuated when "others were being held as guests".

Gujral, whose prime ministerial stint in 1997-98 included three months
as interim prime minister, was described by many as a "gentleman
politician". His elevation to the prime minister's post came when he
emerged as the consensus candidate of the fractious United Front after
Sitaram Kesri, then party president, withdrew Congress support to the
H.D. Deve Gowda government.

Inder Gujral was born Dec 4, 1919 in the town of Jhelum on the banks
of the river of the same name, now in Pakistan. His parents were
freedom fighters and members of the Congress but Gujral was drawn to
the students wing of the Communist Party of India.

He was sent to Lahore Borastal Jail for organising a demonstration.
He met his wife Sheila when they were both students at Forman
Christian College and he was pursuing a master's degree in economics.
They were married in May 1945 and had two sons and a daughter. A
well known poet and social worker, Sheila Gujral died on July 11, 2011.
Gujral came to Delhi after the 1947 partition and got involved in local
politics, becoming closer to the Congress. He was nominated vice
president of the New Delhi Municipal Council in 1958.

In 1964 he was elected to the Rajya Sabha with Indira Gandhi's backing.
Three years later, in 1967, she made him minister of state for
parliamentary affairs and communications. He became a part of Indira
Gandhi's 'kitchen cabinet' together with Congressmen like Dinesh Singh
and Uma Shankar Dixit.

When Emergency was imposed in 1975, he was the information and
broadcasting minister. But he soon fell foul of Sanjay Gandhi and was
relegated to the planning ministry. When his Rajya Sabha term ended a
year later, Indira Gandhi sent him to Moscow as India's ambassador
(1976-80) "since he refused to bow down to the de facto powers (read
Sanjay Gandhi)".

Talking about his brief prime ministerial stint, Gujrat said: " main
task had been to ward off attacks from various factional leaders so that
I could keep my chin up. But I really did not feel a sense of achievement
that I did during my tenure as minister of external affairs."

He spent his last decade writing and speaking largely on foreign policy
issues and was much sought after in intellectual and academic circles.

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