India got independence in 1947. Since, then there have been 15 Prime Ministers. Each has been associated with different political party and ideological leanings. India is a multicultural, multilingual and pluralistic society. Some of the greatest decisions ever made, has changed the course of Indian History. We owe a lot to our former and contemporary Prime Ministers for where we stand in terms of education, literacy, equality, judiciary system and our economy.
Here is a list of the ten greatest Prime Ministers that have led India from being an under developed to a developing, to the path of a developed economy in recent times.
10. P.V.Narsimha Rao (1991-96)
He came to power, soon after Rajeev Gandhi’s assassination. On assuming office, he promoted the restriction of government regulations and red tape, abandoning subsidies and fixed prices, and privatizing state-run industries.
9. I.K.Gujral (1997-98)
He served briefly, but left an impact in history for his tough and unrelenting stance. Notably his policy, (that India should reach out diplomatically, to its neighbours, without the expectation of reciprocity), was termed as Gujral Doctrine and paved way for countless negotiations in subsequent years.
8. Rajeev Gandhi (1984-89)
He was a leader of modern India. Under his premiership, government bureaucracy was reformed. Taxes and tariffs were reduced on technology based enterprises, encouraging growth in telecommunications, airlines, defence and computers. He was also instrumental in liberalising the economy, which later on paved way for globalisation and nurturing foreign investment in India.
7. Morarji Desai (1977-79)
During his premiership, he worked on improving relations with arch rivals, Pakistan and China. Several amendments were made in the constitution of India, to ensure that imposition of National Emergency (implemented by Indira Gandhi) on the country, was impossible for any future government.
6. Dr. Manmohan Singh (2004-14)
The policies which he launched and implemented during his first term (2004-09), make him go down in history as a great economist. He led the nation to a G.D.P. growth of 8.2%. He gave the common man a tool in the form of R.T.I.
5. Narendra Modi (2014 till date)
In spite of only completing one year in office, we have included him in the list because of his economic and foreign policies till date. His recently launched National Pension scheme, Life Insurance and Accident Insurance through bank accounts, is commendable. He is famous for his development talks and thought for a modern and powerful India.
4. Indira Gandhi (1966-77/ 1980-84)
She created history by becoming the first woman Prime Minister of India. Though she faced a lot of opposition throughout her service, nonetheless, it was under her regime that Indian won the 1971war against Pakistan. She was termed one of the strongest leaders, not only in India but also internationally because of her foreign policies.
3. Atal Bihari Vajpayee (1998-2004)
He assumed office, when India was just beginning to stand up to the world. Some of the greatest scientific developments-including the Nuclear power testing- were undertaken, while he was in office. He positioned himself as a tough diplomat in the face of Western criticism. He is considered to be the most honest and undisputed PM India has ever got after Shastriji.
2. Lal Bahadur Shastri (1964-66)
The slogan,”Jai Jawan,Jai Kisan”, was coined by him. He played a key role in promoting agricultural development. White revolution or the milk revolution, the national campaign to increase the production and supply of milk, was encouraged and supported by him.
1. Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru (1947 -64)
He was the first and longest instated Prime Minister of independent India. He inherited a vulnerable economy from the British. In that period, the Indian society was slave to certain social evils. The Indian Constitution was framed under his guidance making the Indian nation-state: a sovereign, socialist, secular, and democratic republic.