Murli Manohar Joshi

Murli Manohar Joshi (born 5 January 1934) is an Indian politician. He is a member of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) of which he was the President between 1991 and 1993, and the former Member of Parliament for Kanpur parliamentary constituency. He was formerly a professor of Physics in Allahabad University. He was one of the key leader of the BJP. Joshi later became the Union Human Resources Development minister in the National Democratic Alliance government. Joshi was awarded Padma Vibhushan, the second-highest civilian award, in 2017 by the Government of India.

Early life and education

Joshi was born on 5 January 1934, hailing from the Kumaon Hills region of Almora northern India which today form a part of the state of Uttarakhand. Joshi had his early education in Chandpur, District Bijnore and Almora . He completed his B.Sc. from Meerut College and M.Sc. from Allahabad University. Here one of his teachers was Professor Rajendra Singh, who later became the RSS Sanghchalak. He did his doctorate from Allahabad University. The subject of his doctoral thesis was spectroscopy. He published a research paper in Physics in Hindi, which was a first of its kind. After completing his PhD, Joshi started teaching Physics at Allahabad University.

 

Politics and activism

Joshi came in contact with the RSS in Delhi at a young age and took part in the Cow Protection Movement in 1953–54, in the Kumbh Kisan Andolan of UP in 1955, demanding halving of land revenue assessment. During the Emergency period (1975–1977) in India, Joshi was in jail from 26 June 1975 until the Lok Sabha elections in 1977. He was elected Member of Parliament from Almora. When the Janata Party (which then included his party) came to power forming the first non-Congress government in Indian history, Joshi was elected General Secretary of the Janata Parliamentary Party. After the fall of the government, his party came out of Janata Party in 1980, and formed the Bharatiya Janata Party or the BJP. Joshi first looked after the Central Office as a General Secretary and later became Party Treasurer. As General Secretary of BJP, he was directly in charge of Bihar, Bengal and North-Eastern States. Later, when BJP formed a government in India under Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Joshi served as the Human Resource Development Minister in the cabinet.

Joshi is known to have been influenced by the life and work of Babasaheb AmbedkarMahatma Jyotiba Phule and Deendayal Upadhyaya. Joshi was a three-term M.P. from Allahabad before he was defeated in the Lok Sabha elections of May 2004. He won election to the 15th Lok Sabha from Varanasi as a BJP candidate. He also served as the home minister for 13 days government in 1996. Joshi was appointed as Chairman of the Manifesto Preparation Board of the BJP in 2009. He was honoured as “Proud Past Alumni” of Allahabad University by Allahabad University Alumni Association. He was a sitting MP from Varanasi and he vacated that seat for Narendra Modi in 2014 Lok Sabha Elections. He later contested from Kanpur and won from the constituency by a margin of 2.23 lac votes.

Awards and honours