Early Life of Jagmohan
Jagmohan was born on September 25, 1927, in the railway colony of Cheecho Ki Malian now located in West Pakistan. Jagmohan's father was posted as track engineer in the Indian Railways. From time to time, the family moved to other stations and lived in various railway colonies. At that time, the national movement for freedom was gaining ground. But it was soon overtaken by the divisive fall-outs of the 'two nation' theory due to British strategy of 'divide and rule'. All this led to the Partition of India, communal riots and killings and also a large scale migration of population across the dividing line. Jagmohan himself escaped death by a whisker. After remaining a virtual prisoner for about four months in the protection camp, Jagmohan was moved, as a seriously sick boy, to the Indian side of the border, from where he proceeded to Delhi and joined other family members for permanent stay in the Capital of India. He completed his college education and joined the State service of Punjab & and later Delhi. He soon made his mark as an able organizer with initiative and drive. His talent was spotted by a galaxy of top civil servants of the ICS era, such as A.D. Pandit, Bhagwan Sahay, Dr. A.N. Jha and V. Vishwanathan, who held the office of Lt. Governor at that time. As implementation Commissioner and later as Vice Chairman, Delhi Development Authority, Jagmohan executed firmly the Clearance cum resettlement - Redevelopment schemes which had been approved by the union cabinet and the Parliament.
Administrative Career of Jagmohan
In January 1980, Jagmohan took over as Lieutenant Governor of Delhi and put the planned development of the Capital in top gear. His tenure saw successful organization of three major international events - the Asian Games, Commonwealth Heads of Governments Meeting and Non-Alignment Movement Conference. Jagmohan served his second term as the city's Lieutenant Governor and under his supervision Delhi hosted the Asian Games, The games were a huge success and he was credited for his capable administration of the city at the time. Without bothering about the brickbats he got earlier - with renewed vigor he started his mission to create greener and healthier Delhi - and created a large number of planned areas for habitation and recreation. Under his direct supervision a large number of rehabilitation colonies were created and many green belts were carved out.
Jagmohan as Governor of Jammu and Kashmir
Jagmohan also served as the Governor of Jammu and Kashmir (1984-1989). It is often said that during his governor’s rule - people of the valley had their first peep of a benevolent, humane and honest local administration. He was the first head of state in Jammu & Kashmir in 1984 to start open darbar where the poorest of Kashmiri people could have their problems solved on an urgent basis. He paid special attention to building of schools and hospitals, restoration of iconic cultural centres like Mughal time gardens, Mosques and tombs. He paid special attention to creation of facilities for drinking water and drainage.
Political Career of Jagmohan
Jagmohan during his tenure has the clash with Indian National Congress and he was subsequently invited by Bharatiya Janata Party to represent the prestigious New Delhi Constituency in 1996. He won a hat-trick in Lok Sabha elections from New Delhi (1996, 1998 and 1999). When the Atal Bihari Vajpayee became Prime Minister in 1999, Jagmohan served in his cabinet first as Telecom and Communication Minister. When Jagmohan refused to grant telecom licenses without proper auctions, he was shifted out of telecom and given Urban Development portfolio. With his customary zeal, Jagmohan created vast pools of green belts in Delhi and other cities of India. Soon, the usual vested interests united to stall his anti encroachment drive and redevelopment work in poor areas of Delhi. The Vajpayee government again shifted him to Tourism and Culture Ministry. Instead of getting demoralized, Jagmohan decided to launch the most ambitious project of his life creating 32 cultural hubs across India restoring some of the most iconic and historical architectural and cultural focal points.
Award Received by Jagmohan
Jagmohan received Padma Shri by the President of India, on 26th January 1971 for formulation and implementation of the Delhi Master Plan and for playing a pioneering role in planning and implementation of projects in Delhi. He was functioning as the Vice-Chairman of Delhi Development Authority. In 2016, he is conferred with Padma Vibhushan Award.
(Last Updated on : 08-02-2016)
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