Lives are full of twists and turns however solely a few signify the sort of turnaround that marked Jagmohan’s journey, with the bureaucrat-turned-politician going from being a shut member of Sanjay Gandhi’s crew which was blamed for Emergency excesses to being a saffron icon who, as J&Ok governor, took the daring, if vastly controversial, choice to dissolve the state meeting when Pakistan-fuelled insurgency had threatened to overwhelm the federal government equipment.
It can be a story of the alternatives that India supplied post-independence to gifted and bold youth who escaped the communal pogrom in what now varieties Pakistan to construct their lives from scratch. Born Jagmohan Malhotra in Hafizabad in Pakistan, the previous Union minister began off because the ‘third private assistant’ to former Punjab CM, the legendary Partap Singh Kairon. His meticulous work caught the eye of his seniors and fetched him a promotion to the Provincial Civil Service.
The elevation facilitated his shift to Delhi the place, along with his talent set, he caught the eye of Delhi’s first lieutenant governor A N Jha whose patronage ensured him key positions such because the housing commissioner of Delhi Development Authority.
Jagmohan, with stable credentials as a “doer” who knew the right way to negotiate the infamous “pink tape” and bureaucratic lethargy to perform powerful assignments on time, was serving as DDA vice-chairman through the Emergency when former PM Indira Gandhi’s son, Sanjay Gandhi, arguably probably the most influential individual throughout that notorious spell, determined to launch a beautification drive within the Walled City. The effort was aimed to take away slums from close to Turkman Gate in order that Jama Masjid may very well be seen from Connaught Place.
Only that the residents refused to purchase into the thought. There was resistance and Sanjay responded by sending bulldozers. Many had been killed within the firing that adopted. While censorship ensured that accounts of what occurred didn’t come out, the Turkman Gate “bloodbath”, together with compelled sterilisations, turned one of the defining themes of the 1977 polls, turning Muslims in opposition to Congress and contributing majorly to its loss.
Jagmohan, naturally, discovered himself on the sidelines through the Janata Party regime and was indicted by the Shah Commission which probed judicial excesses.
But with Congress and Sanjay again on the helm in 1980, he returned to prominence, touchdown vital assignments as LG of Delhi and Goa.
In 1984, he was rewarded with the place of J&Ok governor, paving the best way for a function which led to a dramatic rupture of hyperlinks with Congress, endeared him to BJP and outlined his legacy.
The five-year tenure starting in 1984 began on a stormy observe with Jagmohan executing Indira Gandhi’s contentious plot to dismiss Farooq Abdullah as CM and exchange him along with her proxy G M Shah. He defied resistance of vested pursuits to dramatically enhance services for devotees of the Mata Vaishno Devi shrine. It additionally noticed him making an attempt to inspire the administration and safety forces to arrange for the rising risk of Pakistan-backed insurgency.
But his first stint was dwarfed by the second he served within the strategically essential state, appointed by the V P Singh-led Janata Dal authorities in what was seen as an acknowledgement of the steps he had taken in opposition to the rising tide of secessionist insurgency.
In a quirk of destiny, Jagmohan discovered himself on the receiving finish of Congress beneath Rajiv Gandhi who had, by then, made up with Farooq Abdullah. Amid rising violence, focused killings of Kashmiri Pandits and resistance to and criticism of safety forces’ response, the governor discovered himself additionally having to cope with George Fernandes, who had been appointed as minister in cost of J&Ok.
The untenable scenario got here to an finish along with his dismissal, although BJP’s affect with V P Singh ensured that he was nominated to Rajya Sabha.
BJP’s rising affection noticed him contesting the 1996 elections on the celebration ticket from New Delhi. He handsomely defeated his Congress rival, former celebrity Rajesh Khanna, and retained the seat in 1998 and 1999. He served as minister for city growth and tourism and tradition. Though he didn’t enter the electoral enviornment after his defeat in 2004, he remained energetic and wrote ‘My Frozen Turbulence in Kashmir’, a e-book which was feted by many as the primary insider account of the “subversion” in J&Ok. The e-book can be thought-about to have supplied the Modi authorities with a means out for ending J&K’s particular standing with out having to repeal Article 370 by a constitutional modification.
A daily within the India International Centre library, Jagmohan remained engaged with the affairs in Delhi, his past love, in keeping with many. Vivek Shukla, a chronicler of up to date Delhi, famous in his Facebook submit that DDA flats in Munirka designed beneath him had been the very best ones to have been constructed by DDA.