|22nd August 2003 - Page 3|
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My grandfather, my Inspiration
My grandfather, I.K.Gujral, was born in a small town, Jhelum, now in Pakistan to Sri Avatar Narayan Gujral, and Pushpa Gujral. His family was one of eminent freedom fighters and so he was raised in a strong anti-British feeling, it did not come as to much of a surprise when, at the age of 11, he was caught heading student processions, and was arrested for the first time.
The schools in Jhelum were very ordinary. The one my grandfather went to had two teachers, each taking two classes at a time, one inside the building and one on the street, as there were only two rooms.
After finishing school in Jhelum, he went to university in Lahore. Here he became the President of the Lahore Students Union. This was his first introduction to politics. During the 1942 movement, he was again arrested along with his parents and sisters.
When he finished his MA, he went to Karachi, and then the partition took place. My grandfather, pregnant grandmother Sheila Gujral and the rest of their family, had to make the difficult journey across the border, and spent the first night on the railway platform. The next seven years were spent in two rooms. This was a very hard time for hem all.
Years later in Delhi, he was elected vice president of the NDMC, and was elected into Parliament. After becoming a minister in Mrs. Gandhi's government he went on to occupy more portfolios.
During the emergency, my grandfather had serious differences with Mrs. Gandhi about curtailing the freedom of press and was "shunted out" by her to Moscow as ambassador for the next five years.
On return, he was re-elected into Parliament and become foreign minister for both Mr.V.P.Singh and Mr.Devgouda.
In 1997, he was head of the Jantadal party and was then elected as the head of the coalition government, which lasted till early 1998. This government was based on the outside support by the Congress. They later withdrew their support, as they wanted the Prime Minister to throw out three ministers from the DMK party for an unfounded allegation that the DMK had some role in the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi. As this allegation was false, my father refused to agree to this demand, and preferred to resign.
He is famous for his many contributions, the most outstanding being in the sphere of foreign policy known as the "Gujral Doctrine."
My grandfather often tells me that we should take pride in our country's democracy, which does not distinguish on the basis of birth and riches, otherwise, how could a poor immigrant from Pakistan one day become Prime Minister of India.
By Diksha Gujral
Enters the world alone,
From the almighty’s universal home,
The place where all are equal,
Where every man returns,
At the end of seven ages,
At the end of his sojown.
The earth is a bounty,
Inherited by the travellers,
That walk down this road,
A part of an eternal journey,
A gift, a joy, a treasure trove.
Ours to experience, owns to mould,
Ours, to have and hold.
Bequeathed with a role,
To create and idyllic home,
For the next traveller that will walk down this long hunding road.
This divine ordination, is understood by all
Followed by creatures big and small,
The birds fly the horizons,
Fish swim the seas,
Without passport and visa fees.
The human race is different altogether,
We forget the Almighty’s divine order,
Creating meaningless boundaries,
Against others from that same universal home,
Through war, violence and bloodshed,
WE try to create a dome,
That will shelter us,
That will be our home,
From the ashes of destruction,
A home cannot rise,
For a home is made with love and affection
With bricks of respect and understanding,
Home is the harmony we prize.
We are only travellers on a path,
And soon we will part,
We forget that we’re not forever,
Forever is always the moment,
Let me detroy moments,
In search of forever,
Dont’ you see,
Every moment can be forever...
- Nitya Vaishnavi Singh, X-C
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