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Biography of Bharat Ratna “Pandit Govind Ballabh Pant” complete biography for Class 10, Class 12 and Graduation and other classes.

Pandit Govind Ballabh Pant


A considerable figure in Indian public life for nearly fifty years and one of the top Congress leaders for over thirty years, Govind Ballabh Pant was born in Almora on 10 September 1887 in the family of the Pants, who originally belonged to Maharashtra and had migrated to the Kumaon regions of U.P. under the patronage of the then rulers in the 10th century.

Pant was a multifaceted personality—a statesman, a diplomat, a giant parliamentarian and a social reformer. He had all the traditions of a high caste Brahmin family, serving the Government in the Garhwal district. His father, Pandit Manorath Pant, was from an average middle-class family. Govind Ballabh showed brilliance from the beginning. He passed the Middle School and Matriculation examinations from the Samsay College, Almora. Obtained a scholarship and joined the Muir College, Allahabad, for graduation, with Mathematics, English and Politics as his subjects. But suddenly, as he listened to a speech by G.K. Gokhale in 1907, he was fired with a nationalist inspiration and decided to study Law. Two years later, he secured first position among the first batch of Law graduates from Allahabad and won the Lumsden gold medal.

 Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya influenced him lot. The writings of ‘Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyaya, Digby, Dadabhai Naoroji, Romesh Chandra Dutt, Mahadev Govind Henry George, Spencer, Mill, Dickens, Thackeray, Scott, Voltaire; Wendell Wilkie and a host of other thinkers helped fanning the patriotic fire in Pant.

Though belonged to an orthodox and tradition-bound family, Pant, as a social reformer, held progressive views on social reforms. He thought that by the uplift of the suppressed classes and backward tribes and by bringing them to the general level of the more advanced classes, the society would be doing its due duty. For him it was intolerable than old prejudices, outmoded concepts, obsolete notions and petty vanity should be allowed to deprive the people of their rightful dues. He believed in complete freedom of religion and hated those who fostered prejudice and passion in the name of religion with the result that often dust and smoke enveloped reason and light. He was all in favour of Western education adapted to the national needs, and in keeping with the environment. As a nationalist, he believed in India’s unity. He always felt that political issues were to be settled between India and Great Britain, and any reference to communal differences or other difficulties was irrelevant. He always held that the unity of India, despite the diversity, was a living, throbbing reality, and that caste, communal or religious barriers should not be allowed to imperil that unity.

In 1912 Pant’s political life started, when he first entered the Uttar Pradesh Legislative Council. He showed his talents as a successful legislator first in the opposition and then on the treasury benches for more than thirty-five years, nay till his last breath as a member of the Central Cabinet in 1961.

Soon Pandit Govind Ballabh became one of the top all-India leaders in the Indian National Congress and one of the leading spirits in the National Movement. He was the leader of the Uttar Pradesh Congress for many decades and served as its Chief Minister for the longest term.

For over thirty years Pant’s role in the Indian National Congress was of great significance. His name is invariably mentioned as a key figure in many historical sources of great importance—be it History of the Indian National Congress of Pattabhi Sitaramayya, Autobiography and Glimpses of World History of Jawaharlal Nehru, Mahatma Gandhi’s writings or any other account of Indian National Movement.

During the first few years of his legal practice at Kashipur, Pant served as a member of the Municipal Board. In November 1918 he gave evidence before the Franchise Committee, and vigorously pleaded the case of the Kumaon region which was treated as a backward tract and was consequently being excluded from the operation of the Montagu-Chelmsford Reforms. He was successful in getting the Kumaon region removed from the schedule of backward areas. Earlier Pant and Pandit Badri Dutt Pande started a weekly journal, the Shakes, dealing with the problems of the Kumaon region. Through the media Pant carried on an intensive campaign for the abolition of the Kuli Begar (forced and free labour).

During the visit of the Simon Commission to Lucknow, he along with Jawaharlal Nehru, led the demonstration against it and was the victim of a severe police lathi-charge which left a permanent physical injury on his body. He was an active participant in both the Non-Cooperation Movement and the Civil Disobedience Movement. After the 1937 elections, he was elected uncontested as the leader of the Congress Party of U.P. and became the first Chief Minister of U.P. As Chief Minister he proved himself as an able and great administrator. He introduced many needed reforms in the State. His character and administrative method of work and implementing approach was appreciated not only by the people in general, but also by the Governor and the officials.

For the eradication of corruption, Pant appointed a Committee to make recommendations on eradication of corruption under the Chairmanship of Sir Maharaj Singh on January 14, 1938. The Committee submitted its Report in October 1938.

In 1939 when India was dragged into the Second World War without her consent, the Congress called upon all the Congress Ministries in the Provinces to resign. Govind Ballabh Pant also resigned. Later Pant took part in the Individual Satyagraha Movement of Mahatma Gandhi. The resolution at the Allahabad Session of the All India Congress Committee on Non-Violent Non-Cooperation proposed by Mahatma Gandhi was moved by Govind Ballabh Pant his by Dr. Rajendra Prasad. As a staunch nationalist Govind Ballabh pant had his normal quota of prison life. He was imprisoned in Ahmedabad Fort in August 1942 along with Jawaharlal Nehru and other comrades.

After the end of the Second World War, when elections were held to the Provincial Legislatures, Govind Ballabh Pant was again chosen as leader of the Party in Uttar Pradesh and again became the Chief Minister of the State. He was not, however, left in the State Government for long. Following the untimely death of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, Govind Ballabh Pant was taken into the Central Cabinet. He was first sworn-in as Minister without Portfolio on January 3, 1955. Then he took over as Home Minister. In August 1956 Pant took over Heavy Industries in addition to Home.

In spite of his old age and ill-health, he proved himself equal to the occasion and breathed his last on 7 March 1961, at the age of seventy-four.

Govind Ballabh Pant was an effective public orator and could sway his audience by his impressive diction and force of argument. For many decades he was not only the Head of the Uttar Pradesh Congress but was also a Member of the All India Congress Committee and of the Working Committee of the Indian National Congress. In Congress politics in the thirties he stood very close to Mahatma Gandhi and supported Gandhiji when differences arose between Gandhiji and the Left-Wing group led by Subhas Chandra Bose. Pant was also a man of action and firm determination. The nation conferred its highest award Bharat Ratna on him in 1957 as a mark of recognition of his services.


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