Rajnath Singh- The minister who follows the philosophy of Antyodaya
Shri Rajnath Singh was born on 10 July 1951 in the Bhabhuara village of Uttar Pradesh to a family of farmers, he grew up to secure a master’s degree in physics from Gorakhpur University and served as a lecturer of Physics at K.B. Post-Graduate College Mirzapur, Uttar Pradesh.
Even after devoting himself to politics for more than five decades, the lecturer within him is still alive. And, that is the sole reason why he loves to interact with students and the youth of the country. He never misses an invitation to be part of a convocation with the youth and students.
Shri Rajnath Singh is one of the senior-most political leaders of the country. He started his political career as a student activist with Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) and proceeded to become the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) National President.
In 1988 he was elected to Uttar Pradesh Legislative Council and in 1991 he became the Education Minister of Uttar Pradesh. During his tenure as Education Minister in UP, he made some crucial decisions like introducing the Anti Copying Act and Vedic Mathematics in the syllabus and correcting various distorted portions of history textbooks.
In March 1997 when he became State President of Uttar Pradesh unit of BJP, he showed exceptional leadership in expanding and strengthening the party base and the organization. He also played a key role in saving the BJP Government twice during the political crisis.
In October 2000, Shri Rajnath Singh became Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, India’s most populous state. Before that, in November 1999 he became Union Minister of Surface Transport during the period of Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee government. And in 2003, he became Minister of Agriculture in Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s cabinet at Centre.
In his role as Minister of Union Surface Transport, he initiated the NHDP (National Highway Development Programme), which was a dream project of Prime Minister Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee. As the Union Minister of Agriculture and subsequently, for Food Processing he spearheaded epoch making projects like Kisan Call Centre and Farm Income Insurance Scheme.
In his role as Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh and later as Union Minister with different portfolios, he worked to strengthen the democratic establishment of the country and was devoted to the welfare of people, especially the marginalised sections of the society. In the same manner as the National President of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), in the true spirit of an “organisation man”, he worked tirelessly to strengthen the party and take party ideology to the masses and to every corner of the country.
As the Defence Minister of India, he undertook several initiatives to increase women’s participation in various departments and field operations. The proposal for induction of women in the corps of military police in the Indian Army as soldiers were taken by him and the decision to recruit a total of 1,700 women military personnel was also taken under his leadership.
A cause that is close to his heart is women empowerment. In 2007 as BJP National President he proposed 33 per cent reservation for women in the party. As a Home Minister of the country, in 2015 he announced 33 per cent of reservations for women in all paramilitary forces, including the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF). Steps like increasing the tenure of women officers in SSC from 10 to 14 years and improving their promotional prospects in the Army have also been taken since he resumed the office of Raksha Mantri. As Raksha Mantri, he is working towards strengthening ‘Nari Shakti’ in Indian Armed Forces.
Shri Rajnath Singh believes in debates and deliberations, consensus and cooperation as the bedrock of thriving democracy. When in 1975 National Emergency was imposed by then Prime Minister Smt Indira Gandhi, he strongly opposed the move. He was arrested in the year 1975 and was in detention for two years.
He firmly believes that India has potential and spirit, and is destined to be the Vishwa Guru meaning a world leader. He also believes that ‘Aatmanirbharta’ that is self-reliance is the road to attain this status. When Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi gave a clarion call for ‘AatmaNirbhar Bharat Abhiyaan’ he wholeheartedly supported it.
Prompting the spirit of ‘Make in India’ and ‘AatmaNirbhar Bharat’ Raksha Mantri Shri Rajnath Singh in August 2020 decided to ban the import of 101 defence related items and in May 2021 it was decided that another set of 108 military weapons and systems including next-generation corvettes, airborne early warning systems, tank engines and radars will be entirely made in India.
Shri Rajnath Singh’s dream is to see India as a country that provides leadership to the world not only in the economic fields but all walks of life. His political life is clear emulation of the idea of “Antyodaya”— the rise of the last person” the political philosophy of Shri Deendayal Upadhyaya.