|Born||in Bhadeli, Bombay Presidency, British India|
|Died||in New Delhi, India|
Mini Bio (1)
A native of Bhadeli, a village near the city of Bulsar, in what is now the state of Gujarat, Morarji Ranchhodji Desai was born on leap years day in 1896, the oldest of the 6 children of Ranchhodji Desai, a teacher, and Vajiaben (or Maniben) Desai. He was educated at Bombay University, and he was a civil servant for 12 years before embarking on a long and varied political career. He joined Congress in 1930, but was twice imprisoned as a supporter of Mahatma Gandhi's Civil Disobedience Campaign before becoming Revenue Minister in the Bombay government (1937-39). He was again imprisoned (1941-45) for his part in the 'Quit India' movement, before again serving as Bombay's Revenue Minister (1946) and later, Home Minister and Chief Minister (1952). Four years later, he entered central government, first as Minister for Commerce and Industry (1956-58) then as Finance Minister, resigning in 1963 to devote himself to party work. He was a candidate for the premiership in 1964 and again in 1966, when he was defeated by Indira Gandhi. Deputy premier and Minister of Finance in her administration, Desai resigned in 1968 over differences with the premier. In 1974 he supported political agitation in Gujarat, and the following year began a fast in support of elections in the state, being detained when a state of emergency was proclaimed. After his release in 1977 he was appointed leader of the Janata Party, a coalition opposed to Mrs Gandhi's rule, and he finally became Prime Minister after the elections that same year. The Janata government was, however, characterized by much internal strife, and Desai was forced to resign in 1979.
- IMDb Mini Biography By: Sujit R. Varma