Pandit Ravishankar Shukla
Pandit Ravishankar Shukla was born in Sagar, Madhya Pradesh on 2nd August, 1877.His ancesstors had migrated there from Unnaodistrict of Uttar Pradesh.A self respecting Indian, he resigned from the government post of munsif and started practising law in Raipur. Soon he became a top lawyer there.
Before joining politics, he devoted himself to the upliftment of society.Like an awakened philosopher, he very soon realized that theprimary duty of every Indian is to work for the Independence of the country.He, therefore, started working with Gandhiji. Gandhiji entrusted him with the duty to awaken the dormant political awareness of whole Madhya Pradesh.Pandit Ravishankar bid a final adiey to joys of his grandeur and got engrossed in the freedom movement with an all out effort and that was the beginning of a series of imprisonment's in his life.
In 1937, when the Indians acquired partial power, he became the Education Minister for a few months and then the Prime Minister (it was the contemporary form of address) of Madhya Pradesh.He took part in Quit India movement, and relinquished his post but the end of 1939.Again in 1945, he held the reigns of Madhya Pradesh as the Chief Minister and for the last ten years of his life, he held this post without any controversy.
He proved himself as a very successful administrator.during his period there was an all round development of Madhya Pradesh.The introduction of various schemes, establishment of industries, commissioning of Bhilai Steel Plant and starting of many Universities were amongst the great achievements.The state of Madhya Pradesh remained fully peaceful during his regime.Shuklaji had played the leading role in the merger of states, particularly themerger of Hyderabad into the republic which Vallabh Bhai Patel appreciated whole heartedly. In spite of being very religious minded, he was very liberal to other religions also.He laid special emphasis on the upliftment of women.He was a staunch opponent of illiteracy, purdah and dowry system.
He passed away on 31st December 1956, at the age of eighty.
Text Courtesy: Pandit Ravishankar ShuklaMemorial Committee, New Delhi.