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Govind Ballabh Pant
1887 - 1961

Early Life:

Govind Ballabh Pant was born on 10 September 1887 in Almora, Uttarakhand. He attended the Muir Central College and Law College, Allahabad. Later, he went on to practice law at the Allahabad High Court and Naini Tal.

After joining Indian National Congress in 1921, he became actively involved in the working of the party; he was the President of the United Province Provincial Congress Committee in 1926 and went on to become a part of the national Working Committee in 1946.

Prior to independence Pant largely focussed on the provincial politics of the United Province. Between 1923 and 1930 he was a member of the United Province Assembly and the Legislative Council. In 1937 he went on to become the Prime Minister of United Province.

(Source: Granville Austin, The Indian Constitution: Cornerstone of a Nation, page 428)

 

Role in India’s independence movement:

Pant took part in the Salt March, protests against Simon Commission, Quit India movement.

 

Contribution to Constitution Making:

Pant was elected to the Constituent Assembly from United Province. In the Assembly he spoke on separate electorates, citizenship, right to property and federalism.

 

Later Contributions:

Pant was the first Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh. Further, in the Nehru Cabinet, he served as the Home Minister from 1955 until his death in 1961. He received India’s highest civilian honour- Bharat Ratna- in 1957.

Committee Memberships:

  1. The Advisory Committee
  2. Sub-Committee on Minorities
  3. Union Constitution Committee
  4. Union Powers Committee

  1. Pant argued vehemently against separate electorates for minority communities.
  2. He wanted the Provinces (states) to have greater autonomy and was against centralization of power.
  3. During debates around fundamental right to property, he spoke against Zamindari system.

  1. B. R. Nanda, Selected Works of Govind Ballabh Pant, Volumes 1 to 18.
  2. S. R. Bakshi, Govind Ballabh Pant: The True Gandhian (South Asia Books 1992)