Remembering Ninth President Of India Shankar Dayal Sharma on His Birth Anniversary
Mumbai: The progress and development of India can be attributed to several leaders and visionaries. One of them is Shankar Dayal Sharma, who was also appointed as the ninth President of India. Sharma served as the president of nation from 1992 to 1997. Born in Bhopal on August 19 1918. Sharma also served as the eighth Vice President of India under R Venkataraman. He also held other dignified political positions, including Chief Minister of Bhopal from 1952 to 1956, and Cabinet Minister from 1956 to 1967.
As a meritorious law student from Fitzwilliam College, Sharma was awarded the Chakravarti Gold Medal for Social Service by Lucknow University. He later worked at the Cambridge University and Lucknow University. During his tenure in these universities, he was awarded a fellowship at the Harvard law school and was elected Honorary Bencher and master of Lincoln’s Inn and Honorary Fellow, Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge. While at Cambridge, Sharma was Treasurer of the Tagore Society and the Cambridge Majilis.
During the 1960s he supported Indira Gandhi’s quest for leadership of the Congress Party. He was elected as the President, All India Congress Committee (AICC), in 1972 and presided over the AICC session in Calcutta. From 1974, he served in the union cabinet as the Minister for Communications from 1974–77. In 1971 and 1980 he won a Lok Sabha seat from Bhopal. Later on, he was given a variety of ceremonial posts. In 1984 he began serving as a governor of Indian states, first in Andhra Pradesh. During this time, his daughter Geetanjali Maken and son-in-law Lalit Maken, a young member of parliament and a promising political leader, were killed by Sikh militants.
Sharma passed away on December 26, 1999, after suffering a massive heart attack. He was cremated at Karma Bhumi in New Delhi. He was survived by two wives, a son from the first wife and a son and a daughter from his second wife.