Early Life of Arjun Singh
Arjun Singh was born on 5th November 1930 in Madhya Pradesh to father Rao Shiv Bahadur Singh and mother Mohini Devi. He belonged to a Jagirdaar family, as his father was a Former Jagirdaar of Churhat Jagir under Ex Princely State of Rewa. His father was sent to jail in 1950 for forging documents. He was sentenced to three years imprisonment and he died in jail in 1953.
Political Career of Arjun Singh
Arjun Singh formed the All India Indira Congress along with Narayan Dutt Tiwari, former Union minister and Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand. At the Lok Sabha Elections of the year 1996 the newly formed party by Arjun Singh lost their position. He then returned to the Congress party and lost again from Hoshangabad District in Madhya Pradesh. He served three times as Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh, Union minister and Governor of Punjab once for a short period. In April 2000, he was elected for Rajya Sabha. Arjun Singh was the Human Resource Development Minister in the Government of Dr. Manmohan Singh from 2004-09. Singh has been intimately associated with various social and cultural organisations. He had a keen interest towards social work.
Arjun Singh has also played a major role in the reservation of the backward castes. According to the 104th Amendment Bill, the State Government can ask all private unassisted educational institutes to reserve seats for designated Other Backward Classes. In early 2006, Singh attempted to increase caste based reservation quotas for the supposed Other Backward Classes in the internationally esteemed Indian Institutes of Technology and Indian Institutes of Management, along with other Indian central government run institutes of higher studies, from 22.5% to 49.5%. Arjun Singh also suggested that overall seats be modified over a short period of time in order to mollify the general category students, so that the absolute number of general category seats remains the same. Arjun Singh was also involved in social work and remained associated with various social and cultural organizations supporting the cause.
For his immense contribution to Indian Politics, Arjun Singh was awarded the 'Outstanding Parliamentarian Award' for the year 2000.
During his tenure he held many important positions that have been described below:
* Minister of State for Agriculture, General Administration Department (GAD) and Information & Public Relations, Government of Madhya Pradesh (Sept 1963- Dec 1967)
* Minister of Planning and Development, Government of Madhya Pradesh (1967)
* Minister of Education, Government of Madhya Pradesh (1972-77)
* Leader of Opposition, Madhya Pradesh Legislative Assembly (1977-80)
*Minister of Commerce, Government of India, (Nov1985 - Jan 1986)
* Member of the Eighth Lok Sabha (Dec 1985 - Jun 1988)
* Minister of Communications, Government of India, (Oct 1986 - Feb 1988)
* Minister of Human Resource Development, Government of India, (Jun 1991 - Dec 1994), under the Narasimha Rao headed government.
* Member of the Tenth Lok Sabha, (Jun 1991 - Dec 1994)
*Member of the Consultative Committee for the Ministry of Home Affairs, (May 2000- Feb 2004)
* Member of the Committee on Rules, (Aug 2001- Jul 2004)
*Chairman of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Purposes Committee, (Apr 2002- Feb 2004).
* Human Resources and Development Minister, Government of India, (May 2004 onwards)
Personal Life of Arjun Singh
Arjun Singh was married to Saroj Devi of Pratapgarh and had 2 sons and a daughter. Abhimanyu Singh, their eldest son, is a businessman in Bengaluru. Their 2nd son, Ajay Singh, is an Indian politician, MP MLA and has been a minister in M.P. Government. Veena Singh, their daughter, was an unsuccessful independent candidate from Sidhi Lok Sabha constituency in 15th Lok Sabha elections. Arunoday Singh, an upcoming actor, is Arjun Singh's grandson.
Due to his failing health, Arjun Singh retired from active politics and died at the age of 80, on 4 March 2011. He was suffering from neurological problems in the chest and died at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), in Delhi, due to heart attack.