What Did The First Union Cabinet Look Like Compared To Modi’s Cabinet in 2017?
There are two things that can bring India together – cricket and discussing unsolicited political opinions.
But sometimes, in the heated debate of discovering whether you or your equally uninformed friends are correct, genuine curiosity might be stifled. Curiosity about a number of things, like what India’s first cabinet looked like for example.
And it was this curiosity that led us straight down the path of finding out who exactly used to be in charge in 1947 and who we can blame for everything in 2017.
#1 Prime Minister Of India
Jawaharlal Nehru’s cabinet was in the works as the Constituent Assembly before India gained her independence. It eventually took shape when he selected 15 members from the INC to form his first cabinet.
The BJP won in a landslide in the 2014 general elections, putting Narendra Modi in the nation’s most powerful position. Regardless of policy, it was his immense presence that makes him instantly recognizable to politically inclined and disinclined citizens alike.
#2 Minister Of External Affairs
*Known as Minister of External Affairs and Commonwealth Relations in 1947
Nehru was in charge of a number of portfolios, including External Affairs.
Sushma Swaraj is the second woman to be elected to the office after Indira Gandhi. At the age of twenty-five, she became the youngest cabinet minister in Haryana and has been elected to Parliament seven times and thrice to our legislative assembly.
#3 Minister Of Science And Technology
*Known as Minister of Scientific Research in 1947
Dr Harsh Vardhan was a student of the Ganesh Shankar Vidyarthi Memorial Medical College, Kanpur. Holding a double bachelor’s degree and a master’s in ENT surgery. A member of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh since childhood and was elected to Parliament representing Chandni Chowk.
He is also in charge of the portfolios for Minister for Earth Sciences and Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change.
#4 Minister Of Home Affairs
*Known as Minister of Home Affairs And States in 1947
The Iron Man Of India is still largely credited for being indispensable in having united the country pre-Independence. One of the founding fathers of the country, he was behind relief efforts for refugees streaming in from Punjab and Delhi.
Sardar Patel persuaded almost every princely state to join the Union through diplomacy and expressing the option to utilize military force.
Rajnath Singh was the prior President of the BJP from 2005 to 2009 and 2013 to 2014. As Home Minister, he was featured heavily in the media during the JNU protests.
#5 Minister Of Finance
Chetty was actually one of Nehru’s most controversial choices because his background was relatively pro-British for the time. He was present when the first Union budget was tabled in November 1947.
Jaitley will remain – at least for a while – synonymous with the policy of demonetization. However, he is well groomed for the position, being a senior advocate of the Delhi High Court and having served in Atul Bihari Vajpayee cabinet as well.
He also holds the portfolio of Minister of Corporate Affairs.
#6 Minister Of Defence
*Please Note, this is not a verified picture of Baldev Singh
Baldev Singh was a Sikh political leader who represented the community during negotiations leading to the Partition. He was chosen as a representative for the community when the Cripps Mission arrived to offer India self-governance.
He along with Vallabhbhai Patel worked to give aid to the Hindus migrating to India from the freshly formed Pakistan.
Nirmala Sitharaman, India’s first female Defence Minister is a member of the Rajya Sabha for Karnataka. She formerly served as a minister for Finance and Corporate Affairs. She has also served as the national spokesperson for the BJP.
#7 Minister Of Education/Human Resource Development
The name of the portfolio has undergone a change, however, the premise has remained the same since 1947 and only grown in scope in the present day.
Azad was one of the senior-most Islamic leaders in the Indian National Congress and is commonly remembered as Maulana Azad. A journalist known for his nationalist take and critique of the British Raj, he was in line with the philosophy of Swadeshi and Swaraj. Azad was also the youngest person who served as the President of the INC at 35.
A spokesperson for the BJP. Javadekar has previously held the portfolio of Information and Broadcasting and was known to participate heavily in student movements during the time of emergency.
#8 Minister Of Information And Broadcasting
The Ministry behind the recently infamous CBFC has undergone numerous changes since its inception.
Smriti Irani, who prior to her involvement in politics was best known as a television actress, rose through the ranks of the BJP to be elected to the Rajya Sabha from Gujarat. She joined the party in 2003 and was made President of the Maharashtra Youth Wing in 2004.
She also currently holds the portfolio for Textiles Minister.
#9 Minister Of Railway And Transport
John Mathai served as India’s Railway Minister and post that, as our Finance Minister. A Professor and then Head of the University of Madras, he was a renowned economist who was the first chairman of the Bank of India when it was first set up.
Mathai presented two Union Budgets before resigning in 1950 to oppose the growing power of the planning commissions.
Piyush Goyal was the National Treasurer for the BJP and oversaw the party’s publicity and social media engagement during the 2014 elections. He has been on the board for both the State Bank of India as well as the Bank Of Baroda.
#10 Minister Of Law
Known as the principal architect of the Indian Constitution, B.R. Ambedkar is remembered as a champion for major social causes.
Dr Ambedkar was an accomplished economist, earning his doctorate from both Columbia University and the London School Of Economics. He later converted to Buddhism, which led to many Dalits converting as well.
Ravi Shankar Prasad represents the state of Bihar in the Rajya Sabha. A senior advocate of the Supreme Court of India, he has been practising law since 1980.
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