June | 28, 2017 :: In History Today : Birthday of P. V. Narasimha Rao, the 9th Prime Minister of India ( 28 June 1921 )
Pamulaparti Venkata Narasimha Rao (28 June 1921 – 23 December 2004) was an Indian lawyer and politician who served as the 9th Prime Minister of India, from 1991–1996. His ascendancy to the prime ministership was politically significant in that he was the first holder of this office from a non-Hindi-speaking region, belonging to the southern part of India. He led an important administration, overseeing a major economic transformation and several home incidents affecting national security of India. Rao, who held the Industries portfolio, was personally responsible for the dismantling of the Licence Raj, as this came under the purview of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry. He is often referred to as the “Father of Indian Economic Reforms”. Future prime ministers Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Manmohan Singh continued the economic reform policies pioneered by Rao’s government. Rao accelerated the dismantling of the License Raj, reversing the socialist policies of Rajiv Gandhi’s government. He employed Dr. Manmohan Singh as his Finance Minister to embark on historic economic transition. With Rao’s mandate, Dr. Manmohan Singh launched India’s globalisation angle of the reforms that implemented the International Monetary Fund (IMF) policies to rescue the almost bankrupt nation from economic collapse. Rao was also referred to as Chanakya for his ability to steer tough economic and political legislation through the parliament at a time when he headed a minority government.
PV Narasimha Rao had humble social origins. He was born in a village in Warangal District, now in Telangana, but later adopted and brought to Vangara village of Bheemadevarapalli mandal of Karimnagar district in Telangana, then part of Hyderabad State, when he was three years old. His father, P. Sitarama Rao, and mother, Rukminiamma, hailed from agrarian families. Popularly known as PV, he completed part of his primary education in Katkuru village of Bheemdevarapalli mandal in Karimnagar district by staying in his relative Gabbeta Radhakishan Rao’s house and studying for his Bachelor’s degree in the Arts college at the Osmania University. He later went on to Hislop College, now under Nagpur University, where he completed a Master’s degree in law.