P. V. Narasimha Rao
Pamulaparti Venkata Narasimha Rao (28 June 1921 – 23 December 2004) was an Indian lawyer, politician, and activist who served as the ninth Prime Minister of India (1991–1996). 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 Industries Ministry. He is often referred to as the "Father of Indian Economic Reforms". Rao accelerated the dismantling of the license raj, reversing the socialist policies under the government of Rajiv Gandhi. 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 globalization angle of the reforms that implemented the 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.
Rao's term as Prime Minister was an eventful one in India's history. Besides marking a paradigm shift from the industrializing, mixed economic model of Jawaharlal Nehru to a market driven one, his years as Prime Minister also saw the emergence of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), a major right-wing party, as an alternative to the Indian National Congress which had been governing India for most of its post-independence history. Rao's term also saw the destruction of the Babri Mosque in Ayodhya which triggered one of the worst Hindu-Muslim riots in the country since its independence. Rao died in 2004 of a heart attack in New Delhi. He was cremated in Hyderabad.
Read more about P. V. Narasimha Rao: Early Life, Political Career, Corruption Scandals, Later Life and Financial Difficulties, Death, Literary Achievement, Rao's Legacy and The Current Congress Leadership