We are nearing the 70th year of Independence as a country. Often referred to as the largest democracy of the world, India has made its place as one of the fastest developing countries. The transition from a postcolonial India to the India that the world now knows wasn’t easy. Sure, we have sent out space exploration missions and stunned the world and broke the world record by sending out 104 satellites in one go, but it has been quite the journey. Sometimes laden with victory and at times roadblocks welcoming the way ahead. So here’s a look back at the key figures behind the progress, the Indian Prime Ministers.

From pushing India’s IT sector into hyper drive to making India a nuclear power all the way to currency ban to combat black money circulation and the latest GST (Goods and Services Tax) implementation, the Indian Prime Ministers have put in all their heart and soul into making the country a better one. So, without any further ado here’s a look at the

15 decisions taken by Indian Prime Ministers that changed the country:

Indian Prime Ministers
Indian Prime Ministers and their boldest decisions


These decisions changed the social, economic and political landscape of the country.

Here’s a quick look at all the Indian Prime Ministers by the order of their tenures along with the boldest steps they have taken during that tenure:

1. Jawaharlal Nehru
Tenure: 15th August 1947 – 27th May 1964 (17 years)
Longest tenure
4 time elected head because there was no opposition
Boldest Decision: Pioneered Non-Aligned Movement and gained investment from both blocks during the cold war, thus contributing to Industrial growth.

2. Gulzarilal Nanda
Tenure: 27th May 1964 – 9th June 1964 and 11th January 1966 – 24th January 1966 (26days)
Acting Prime Minister After the death of two Prime Ministers.
Boldest Decision: Took office during a politically sensitive time for the country, post-Nehru and Lal Bahadur Shastri’s demise and the war with China and Pakistan.

3. Lal Bahadur Shastri
Tenure: 9th June 1964 – 11th January 1966 (1 year 7 months)
Boldest Decision: Promoted Green and White Revolution, thus boosting the food and milk production in the country.

4. Indira Gandhi
Tenure: 24th January 1966 – 24th March 1977 and 14th January 1980 – 31st October 1984 (15 years 11 months)
First and till date the only female Prime Minister of India
Boldest Decision: Built up the Indian economy which was in tatters when she took reins of the country. Used completely different strategies in both her tenures.

5. Morarji Desai
Tenure: 24th March 1977 – 28th July 1979 (2 years 4 months)
First Indian Prime Minister belonging to a non-Congress party
Boldest Decision: Banned currency notes of Rs 1000, Rs 5000 and Rs 10,000 to reduce the circulation of black money and to crack down on corruption.

6. Charan Singh
Tenure: 28th July 1979 – 14th January 1980 (5 months 17 days)
Boldest Decision: Challenged and presented an alternate development strategy in stark contrast with Nehru and Indira’s policy. Championed the cause of backward castes and agricultural laborers.

7. Rajiv Gandhi
Tenure: 31st October 1984 – 2nd December 1989 (5 years 1 month)
Boldest Decision: Revolutionized IT scenario of the country at a time when no one else did. Included the youth into politics by lowering the voting age to 18.

8. V.P. Singh
Tenure: 2nd December 1989 – 10th November 1990 (11 month 8 days)
Boldest Decision: Took up the challenging job of fixing quotas/reservations for poor people in government jobs. But plans were shelved due to massive, countrywide agitations.

9. Chandra Shekhar
Tenure: 10th November 1990 – 21st June 1991 (7 months 11 days)
Boldest Decision: Took the unpopular and often criticized choice of moving India’s gold reserves abroad to solve Balance of Payment Crisis of 1991.

10. P.V. Narasimha Rao
Tenure: 21st June 1991 – 16th May 1996 (4 years 10 months)
Boldest Decision: Along with Manmohan Singh saved the Indian economy from a near bankruptcy following the crisis of 1991.

11. Atal Bihari Vajpayee
Tenure: 16th May 1996 – 1st June 1996 and 19th March 1998 – 19th May 2004 (6 years 2 months)
Boldest Decision: Took it as a challenge and successfully transformed India into a nuclear power with no support from the international community.

12. H.D.Deve Gowda
Tenure: 1st June 1996 – 21st April 1997 (10 months 20 days)
Boldest Decision: Provided full freedom and support to P. Chidambaram for chalking up the dream budget of 1997 which slashed the maximum rates of income tax and set the stock markets on fire.

13. Inder Kumar Gujral
Tenure: 21st April 1997 – 19th March 1998 (10 months 26 days)
Boldest Decision: Stressed the importance of maintaining friendly relations with neighboring countries and in doing so developed the Gujral Doctrine.

14. Manmohan Singh
Tenure: 22nd May 2004 – 26th May 2014 (10 years)
Boldest Decision: Partnered with the US on Nuclear Deal not giving into the strong opposition from the left.

15. Narendra Modi
Tenure: 26th May 2014 – Present
Boldest Decision: In an unprecedented move demonetized Rs 500 and Rs 100 currency notes in circulation to crack down on corruption and black money. His recent efforts to bring all the indirect taxes under one bracket with different slabs for different goods and services is being hailed as one of the biggest and boldest decisions by any Indian Prime Minister ever!

From Rajiv Gandhi contribution to the growth of IT industries in India to PV Narasimha Rao’s impact on the Indian economy following the crisis of 1991, Atal Behari Vajpayee’s contribution to improving the situation of roads & civic amenities, providing quality education and winning us the Kargil war and the current Prime Minister of India Shri Narendra Modi’s surgical strike on black money hoarders, we are looking at a great future for the world’s greatest democracy. Here’s to a soon to be a superpower! Jay Hind.

According to you, who is the best among the 15 Indian Prime Ministers so far and why?

Let us know in the comments below 🙂

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