Shri L. K. Advani
BJP National President: 1986 – 1990, 1993-1998, 2004-2005
From its start in 1980 until now, Shri L. K. Advani had been President of the Bharatiya Janata Party for the longest amount of time. In Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s cabinet (1999–2004), Shri L. K. Advani was first the Home Minister and then the Deputy Prime Minister. This was the end of a nearly 30-year stint in parliament.
An enormous amount of people think that Shri L. K. Advani was very smart, had strong morals, and always supported the idea of an independent and wealthy India. As Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee confirmed, Shri L. K. Advani has “never compromised on his core belief in nationalism and yet has displayed flexibility in his political responses whenever the situation called for it.”
Born on November 8, 1927, Shri L. K. Advani grew up in Sindh before it was split up. As a student at Karachi’s St. Patrick’s School, his love of country led him to join the Rashtriya Swayamasevak Sangh (RSS) when he was only fourteen years old. Since then, he has spent his whole life serving his country.
Shri L. K. Advani’s happiness over India’s freedom from Britain in 1947 didn’t last long, though, because he was one of the millions of people who had to leave their home country during the tragedy of India’s partition. He didn’t become angry or cynical because of these events, though. Instead, they made him want to make India more open even more. He went to Rajasthan to keep working as an RSS Pracharak with this goal in mind.
Shri L. K. Advani’s only goal in the second half of the 1980s and early 1990s was to make the BJP a major political force across the country. The results of his work were made clear by the General Election of 1989. The Party went from having only two seats in 1984 to getting an amazing 86 seats. In 1992, the Party gained 121 seats, and in 1996, it had 161. The 1996 elections were a turning point in Indian democracy. The Congress lost its top spot for the first time since independence, and the BJP became the only party with the most seats in the Lok Sabha.
The late Shri L. K. Advani was an emotional person with strong family ties. He once said, “Nature dangles happiness and meaning before us all, insisting only that we choose between them, but I have had the good fortune of experiencing both, and in abundance.”
Today, Shri L. K. Advani asks the people of India to make the right choice by picking a leader who knows what India has done wrong in the past and wants to make sure that India is stronger, more united, and stands higher, with a brighter tomorrow than today.
ABOUT SHRI L.K. ADVANI : A TIMELINE
- November 8, 1927: Shri L.K. Advani was born in Karachi, which is now in Pakistan. His parents were Kishenchand Advani and Gyanidevi Advani.
- 1936 -1942: He went to St. Patrick’s School in Karachi and was the top student in every class until he graduated.
- 1942: Joined the RSS as a Swayamsevak.
- 1942: During the Quit India movement, he started going to Dayaram Gidumal National College in Hyderabad.
- 1944: worked as a teacher at Model High School in Karachi.
- 12 September, 1947: Planes with propellers took off from Sindh and flew to Delhi during the partition.
- 1947-1951: As Secretary of the Karachi branch of the RSS, I organized work for the group in Alwar, Bharatpur, Kota, Bundi, and Jhalawar.
- Early 1957: Moved to Delhi to help Shri. Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
- 1958-63: He or she was Secretary of the Delhi State Jana Sangh.
- 1960-1967: As an assistant editor, he joined the Jana Sangh’s political newspaper Organiser.
- Feb 25, 1965: He got married to Smt. Kamla Advani and has two kids with her, Pratibha and Jayant.
- April 1970: Entered the Rajya Sabha.
- Dec 1972: Was selected to be President of the Bharatiya Jana Sangh.
- 26 June 1975: And other BJS members were taken to Bangalore Central Jail after being arrested in Bangalore during an emergency.
- March 1977 to July 1979: Held the job of Union Minister for Broadcasting and Information. He became the leader of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in May 1986.
- 1980-86: Was in charge of the BJP as its General Secretary.
- May 1986: Was announced as party President of the BJP.
- 3 March 1988: Was re-elected to be the new President of the BJP.
- 1988: Used to be the Home Minister in the BJP government.
- 1990: Rang from Somnath to Ayodhya to start the Ram Rath Yatra.
- 1997: To mark the 50th anniversary of India’s independence, the Swarna Jayanti Rath Yatra began.
- Oct 1999 – May 2004: Home Affairs Minister in the Union Cabinet
- Jun 2002 – May 2004: Deputy Prime Minister
A marching group. A trip. A trip of faith. A word that stands for an old Indian custom that has changed over thousands of years.
An old custom that is both deeply rooted in what is uniquely Bharatiya and open to everyone.
There is a custom that connects the old and the new, the past and the present.
A custom that welcomes everyone and encourages them to take part. a practice that is holy for these very reasons.
When the country was going through one of its worst crises in recent memory, in 1990, casteist forces were threatening to tear our society apart, and on the other hand, the competitive communalism of the pseudo-secularists was causing new cracks to appear. It was Shri L. K. Advani’s turn to lead the counteroffensive. He used the one-of-a-kind symbol of Sri Ram, which stands for our unity or integration, to bring out both our stifled nationalist fervor and our desire to live by better standards.
For the first time, an old custom was used to get people to support something. When others in Delhi were using faith and caste to control power, Shri Advani started his now-famous Ram Rath Yatra. The Bharatiya Janata Party, on the other hand, took its message to the people, who are the ultimate judges in a democracy. Along one level, the yatra was a political “procession.” On another level, it was a search for the heart of India that would take them across the land between the beautiful beaches and the tall Himalayas. On a third level, it was a journey whose goal was to build a rashtra mandir out of nationalist zeal and patriotism instead of bricks and mortar.
So was made a strong tool to change public opinion, stir up dormant nationalism, and restore faith in the cultural unity of our huge country.
As the country celebrates its 60th anniversary of being free from foreign rule, Shri Advani has chosen to go on another yatra. There will be a parade of celebrations that goes all the way across the country. But this trip will also have a good reason: to bring back the dying flame of patriotism and to rebuild the hopes that Indians had on August 15, 1947. A lot more seriously, it will be a pilgrimage to honor those who gave their lives for their country.
In the past eight years, this is the fifth yatra that the BJP has done. As the Swarna Jayanti Rath starts to move across the country, it’s a good time to think about the last four yatras and what they all meant for the people.
The start of a political career
After India got its freedom and was split into two parts, there was a huge political upheaval in Sindh. Like millions of other people, Shri L. K. Advani and other RSS swayamsevaks left for Delhi on September 12, 1947, to find safety and a fresh start in India after it was cut up. An important part of his life came to an abrupt end on his trip from Karachi to Delhi. The next part of his life started as an RSS pracharak in Rajasthan.
Members of the RSS from Sindh who are pracharaks or senior leaders were told to meet up in Jodhpur. There, they would be given orders on what to do in the next few days. The RSS leaders told the swayamsewaks who had come from Pakistan that their main job was to help make sure that refugees could move in a smooth and organized way. Shri L. K. Advani and others were also needed to help the newcomers get better and get back on their feet. In the second half of 1947, he put all of his energy into this work.
After the camp in Jodhpur was over, he and other people were sent to different parts of Rajasthan to keep working for the RSS. Rajasthan would be his karmabhoomi (place of work) for the next ten years, first as a pracharak of the RSS and then as a full-time worker for the Bharatiya Jana Sangh.
In the early part of 1957, Shri L. K. Advani was asked to move his base from Rajasthan to Delhi in order to help Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee and the other newly elected Jana Sangh MPs with their work in parliament. After that, Delhi became the center of his political work. Not only did his new job give him a chance to learn more about how Parliament and the government work, but it also helped him get better at writing statements, questions, and political ads for his party.
The first step into alliance politics
Shri L. K. Advani’s first foray into partnership politics was in Delhi’s city government. Not only did he work for the party in government, but he was also asked to be the General Secretary of the Jana Sangh’s Delhi branch. The party was up against the Congress, which was the main political party in India at the time. The Jana Sangh got 25 seats in the house of 80, just two less than the Congress. Eight people from the CPI were on the board, which was just enough to tip the balance in favor of either the Congress or the Jana Sangh.
Soon after the elections, the CPI offered to form an alliance with the Congress to keep the Jana Sangh out. They would only do this if the Congress promised to make Aruna Asaf Ali, a famous freedom fighter and star of the Quit India movement, the first Mayor of Delhi. That’s what Congress said. But after only a year, the union fell apart because of constant fighting within it.
After that, the Jana Sangh and the CPI signed a written deal that said the jobs of Mayor and Deputy Mayor would be alternated between the two groups. That’s why Aruna Asaf Ali was named Mayor for the first year and Kedarnath Sahni was named Deputy Mayor. Sahni later became a well-known leader of the Jana Sangh and the BJP. He was going to be the Mayor for the second year, and a CPI candidate was going to be the Deputy Mayor.
This was a good way for Shri L. K. Advani to learn how to be a political leader and make plans. He states, “I can confidently say that this is where I had my initial grounding in alliance politics, something that held me in good stead on many occasions in subsequent years and decades.”
The Years of “Organizer”
This was Shri L. K. Advani’s first home in Delhi after coming from Rajasthan. It was Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s official home at 30, Rajendra Prasad Road. Shri L. K. Advani started a new job as a writer when he joined Organiser, a weekly magazine based on the ideas of the RSS. He had been the acting organizing secretary of the party in Delhi for more than three years. In 1960, he became an Assistant Editor for Organiser.
Since it started in 1947, Organiser has had a small readership, but it is well known and has a lot of power in intellectual and political circles. Its editor, K.R. Malkani, was a great writer who, like Shri L. K. Advani, was active in the RSS in Sindh before the partition. Organiser started to be read with great interest by both supporters and opponents of the RSS and the Jana Sangh under Malkani’s skilled leadership as editor.
At an editorial review meeting one day, the team talked about how most people thought the journal was too dry and only had political problems. To make things more interesting, other interesting things from life were added, like movies. Shri L. K. Advani, who was a huge movie and theater fan, offered to write a regular movie column under the name “Netra” (eye).
In 1967, Shri L. K. Advani’s seven-year job with Organiser came to an end. He returned to Delhi’s politics because he had to take care of a big job. Though Delhi became a full-fledged state in 1952, it was taken away by the Central Government in 1955, based on the advice of the States’ Reorganisation Commission. The people of the country didn’t like this, and Jana Sangh said they wanted to be the first party to demand that the national capital become a full state. In the five months in 1967, Delhi had three votes, almost all at the same time: for the Lok Sabha, the Metropolitan Council, and the Municipal Corporation. In all three elections, the Jana Sangh won. Six of the seven Lok Sabha seats went to Shri L. K. Advani’s party. Fifty-two of the hundred MCD seats went to his party, and 33 of the fifty-six Council seats went to his party. The Jana Sangh became a possibly powerful force in Indian politics after their amazing three-win streak in the national capital and their big jump in the number of seats in the Lok Sabha, from fourteen in 1962 to thirty-five in 1967.
In the Council elections, Shri L. K. Advani didn’t run because he was in charge of organizing the party’s city unit for all three races. The Union Home Ministry could choose five people to serve on the Council under the Delhi Metropolitan Council Act. Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee used this clause to get Union Home Minister Y.B. Chavan to put forward Shri L. K. Advani for the Council. The party then chose to put him forward as a candidate for Chairman of the Council. The election was won by Shri L. K. Advani, who then became the Presiding Officer. Vijay Kumar Malhotra, who worked with him in the Jana Sangh, was made Chief Executive of the Council. By the end of the decade, his time on the Council was also over.
How to Get Into The Rajya Sabha
In April 1970, Ashutosh Gujral, a member from the Union Territory of Delhi, finished his time in the Rajya Sabha, leaving a seat open. The party put forward Shri L. K. Advani, and because the Jana Sangh had the most seats in the Council, he was chosen. He went from the Chairman of the Delhi Metropolitan Council’s office to the Parliament house.
In his early speeches in the Rajya Sabha, Shri L. K. Advani talked about a lot of important issues, such as how to strengthen the country’s unity and integrity, how to protect and improve our democratic institutions, how the ruling party needs to learn to respect the voice of the Opposition, and how to make relations between the Centre and the states smooth and peaceful.
As Head of the Party
In February 1968, Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee became President of the party. He was thinking about stepping down after the general elections in 1971. Around the start of 1972, Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee asked Shri L. K. Advani to take over as party president since he had already been in that position for four years and wanted to give someone else a chance.
Shri L. K. Advani didn’t want to go because he didn’t think he was a great speaker and got nervous when he had to talk in public. On the other hand, Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee was a great speaker and could easily hold people’s attention with his magical speeches.
Shri L. K. Advani finally agreed after Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee made him many times. In December 1972, he was officially chosen as the President of the Bharatiya Jana Sangh. After that, he led the party’s 18th yearly meeting in Kanpur not long after.
EMERGENCY AND JANA SANGH
On June 25, 1975, then-Prime Minister Indira Gandhi declared “Emergency,” assuming almost totalitarian rule. She jailed all the opposition party leaders and banned the RSS. Shri L. K. Advani and Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee were arrested and imprisoned in Bangalore. Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee returned to Delhi after elections were announced on 18 January 1976. After the announcement of new elections, Jayaprakashji (Jayaprakash Narayan) formed the Janata Party and named a twenty-eight-member national executive committee, with Morarji Desai as Chairman and Charan Singh as Vice Chairman. Political developments in the country moved quickly. Its members came from Jana Sangh, Congress (O), Socialist Party, and Lok Dal, which amalgamated to form it. Shri L. K. Advani was one of four General Secretaries, along with Madhu Limaye, Ram Dhan, and Surendra Mohan.
The emergency was ended on 23 March 1976 when the Janata Party won 295 seats in a House of 542, a comfortable majority.
AS MINISTER OF INFORMATION AND BROADCASTING
On March 24, 1976, Morarji Desai became India’s fifth PM. A nineteen-member Cabinet was sworn in two days later. Three former Jana Sangh members joined the new government, including Shri L. K. Advani. Brijlal Verma became Industries Minister and Atal Bihari Vajpayee External Affairs Minister. Prime Minister asked Shri L. K. Advani which portfolio he preferred, and he immediately chose ‘Information & Broadcasting’ He believed his 1960s journalism experience had influenced his love of media. He often critiqued Indira Gandhi and her party’s biased usage of government-run media, which he intended to change.
He had called for autonomy for AIR and Doordarshan in the Rajya Sabha, and his first assignment as I & B minister was to publish a White Paper on mass media misuse during the Emergency in Parliament. In August 1977, he presented the White Paper to Parliament after a special committee led by a former Secretary in my government finished its work rapidly.
As I & B Minister, Shri L. K. Advani introduced two Lok Sabha legislation. Prohibition of Publication of Objectionable Matter Act repeal was requested. Restoring the Parliamentary Proceedings (Protection of Publication) Act, or Feroze Gandhi Act, was the other goal. The house enthusiastically passed both bills.
To give AIR and Doordarshan institutional autonomy, he started a major debate in and out of Parliament. B.G. Verghese chaired a working committee on this. This group suggested Prasar Bharati, an autonomous company to run the two media organizations. He introduced the 1977 Prasar Bharati Bill in Parliament. The Congress majority in the Rajya Sabha opposed it, hence it could not pass.
Too bad the Janata government’s splendor was brief. Internecine squabbles killed the party before it could finish half its mandate. On July 15, 1979, Morarji Desai resigned as PM. In less than six months, Indira Gandhi withdrew her support for Charan Singh, his Deputy, as Prime Minister. One treachery followed another quickly.
Another tragedy hit the nation. After Charan Singh resigned, the Janata Party called for Jagjivan Ram to lead the next administration. Then-Indian President Neelam Sanjiva Reddy dissolved the Lok Sabha on 22 August 1979, ignoring Jagjivan Ram’s prerogative to form the government. January 1980 midterm elections were forced. People were fed up with the power struggle and Janata Party split and voted Indira Gandhi back in.
In “The People Betrayed (Vision Books, 1980),” he details the Janata government’s rise and fall. The book analysed events very soon after Morarjibhai’s government was destabilised and before the 1980 legislative elections. L. K. Advani states “When I look back at the same events in hindsight, I find that the main conclusions I had drawn then are relevant even today.”
FOUNDING MEMBER OF BJP
The two-day national convention on 5-6 April 1980 infused determination. Over 3,500 delegates met at Delhi’s Ferozeshah Kotla arena on April 6 to launch the Bharatiya Janata Party. Atal Bihari Vajpayee was elected President and Shri L. K. Advani, Sikandar Bakht, and Suraj Bhan were named General Secretary.
Indira Gandhi’s assassination a few months before the 1984 election created a sympathy wave for the Congress, which helped the Congress win a record number of seats and hurt the BJP. Shri L. K. Advani became party president.
In the early 1980s, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) began a campaign to build a Rama temple at the Babri Masjid in Ayodhya. Shri L. K. Advani made the BJP the Ram Janmabhoomi campaign’s political face. Lord Rama’s birthplace was said to have had a temple that Babur razed to build the Babri mosque. The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) supports the assertion that a Hindu edifice stood there, but does not comment on demolition.
In 1988, the Congress won a plurality but declined to form a government, therefore VP Singh’s National Front government was sworn in. The new government relied on the BJP’s 86 seats.
After the Congress, the BJP gained the second-most seats in 1991. Between 1991 to 1996, Shri L. K. Advani led the party as the main opposition against P V Narasimha Rao.
AS HOME MINISTER
The President requested the BJP to form the government after the 1996 general elections, where it was the largest party. Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee became PM in May 1996. Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee resigned after 13 days.
Second term 1998–1999
After elections were called in March 1998, the BJP-dominated National Democratic Alliance (NDA) took power with Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee as Prime Minister after two shaky governments led by H. D. Deve Gowda and I. K. Gujral.
The Lok Sabha, a coalition of political parties, and BJP formed the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) under Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee after two United Front governments fell between 1996 and 1998. Parliament was dominated by the NDA. After 13 weeks, the AIADMK under J. Jayalalitha withdrew its support in mid-1999. India’s Parliament was dissolved and new elections held when the NDA lost its majority. Prime Minister Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee served until elections.
Elections resumed in 1999, months after the Kargil War. The 13th Lok Sabha election was the first time a united front of parties won a majority and formed a government that lasted five years under Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Shri L. K. Advani, ending a period of political instability at the national level marked by three general elections in three years. The NDA, which lasted five years till 2004, was the only non-Congress government to achieve so.
Shri L. K. Advani became Home Minister and then Deputy Prime Minister. Shri L. K. Advani bravely faced internal problems in India caused by rebel attacks reportedly aided by Pakistan as Union Minister.
As 2004 elections neared, the BJP lost the general election and into opposition. Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee departed from politics, putting Shri L. K. Advani in charge of the BJP. Shri L. K. Advani was Lok Sabha Opposition Leader from 2004 to 2009.
Shri L. K. Advani’s relationship with the RSS soured when RSS chief K. S. Sudarshan advised him and Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee to step down. BJP President Shri L. K. Advani received this comment positively and resigned at the Silver Jubilee celebrations in Mumbai in December 2005. Rajnath Singh, a junior Uttar Pradesh politician, was elected in his place.
As Leader of the Opposition in a parliamentary democracy, Shri L. K. Advani was assumed to be the BJP’s Prime Ministerial candidate for the 2009 general elections, which ended on 16 May 2009. Shri L. K. Advani was the most dominant BJP leader until Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee, who endorsed him. On December 10, 2007, the BJP Parliamentary Board named L. K. Advani their prime ministerial candidate for the 2009 general election. However, Shri L. K. Advani allowed Sushma Swaraj to become the 15th Lok Sabha Leader of Opposition when Congress and its allies won the 2009 general elections, allowing Manmohan Singh to remain Prime Minister.
Living Tribute”: BJP Leaders Hail Decision To Give Bharat Ratna To LK Advani
हम सबके प्रेरणास्रोत एवं देश के वरिष्ठ नेता, श्रद्धेय लाल कृष्ण आडवाणी जी को भारत रत्न दिये जाने के निर्णय से बड़े हर्ष और आनंद की अनुभूति हुई है। वे राजनीति में शुचिता, समर्पण और दृढ़ संकल्प के प्रतीक हैं। आडवाणीजी ने अपने लंबे सार्वजनिक जीवन में अनेक भूमिकाओं में, देश के विकास… pic.twitter.com/bHfvkI354Q
— Rajnath Singh (@rajnathsingh) February 3, 2024
The insightful, personal blog of Shri L. K. Advani has him talking on an array of topics of both national and global interest.