Shankar Dayal Sharma

Shankar Dayal Sharma
Shankar Dayal Sharma
शंकर दयाल शर्मा
President of India
In office
25 July 1992 – 25 July 1997
Prime Minister Narasimha Rao
Atal Bihari Vajpayee
H. D.Deve Gowda
Inder Kumar Gujral
Vice President Kocheril Raman Narayanan
Preceded by Ramaswamy Venkataraman
Succeeded by Kocheril Raman Narayanan
Vice President of India
In office
3 September 1987 – 25 July 1992
President Ramaswamy Venkataraman
Preceded by Ramaswamy Venkataraman
Succeeded by Kocheril Raman Narayanan
Governor of Maharashtra
In office
3 April 1986 – 2 September 1987
Chief Minister Shankarrao Chavan
Preceded by Kona Prabhakar Rao
Succeeded by Kasu Brahmananda Reddy
Governor of Punjab
Administrator of Chandigarh
In office
26 November 1985 – 2 April 1986
Chief Minister Surjit Singh Barnala
Preceded by Hokishe Sema
Succeeded by Siddhartha Shankar Ray
Governor of Andhra Pradesh
In office
29 August 1984 – 26 November 1985
Chief Minister Nadendla Bhaskara Rao
Nandamuri Taraka Rama Rao
Preceded by Thakur Ram Lal
Succeeded by Kumudben Manishankar Joshi
Personal details
Born 19 August 1918(1918-08-19)
Bhopal, in the princely state of Bhopal (now India)
Died 26 December 1999(1999-12-26) (aged 81)
New Delhi, India
Political party Indian National Congress
Spouse(s) Vimla Sharma
Children Two sons
One daughter
Alma mater Allahabad University
Agra College
Panjab University, Chandigarh
University of Lucknow
Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge
Harvard University

Shankar Dayal Sharma About this sound pronunciation (Hindi: शंकर दयाल शर्मा) (19 August 1918 - 26 December 1999) was the ninth President of India serving from 1992 to 1997. Prior to his presidency, Dr Sharma had been the eighth Vice President of India, serving under President Ramaswamy Venkataraman. He was also Chief Minister (1952–1956), and Cabinet Minister (1956–1967), holding the portfolios of Education, Law, Public Works, Industry and Commerce, National Resources and Separate Revenue. He was the President of the Indian National Congress in 1972-1974 and returned to government as Union Minister for Communications from 1974 to 1977.

The International Bar Association presented Dr. Sharma with the 'Living Legends of Law Award of Recognition' for his outstanding contribution to the legal profession internationally and for commitment to the rule of law.[1]

Dr. Sharma was born in Bhopal, then the capital of the princely state of Bhopal.


Education and early life

Dr. Sharma received his education at St. John's College, Agra College, Punjab University, Lucknow University and Fitzwilliam College at Cambridge University. He obtained his Ph.D. in Law at Cambridge. Dr. Sharma was awarded the Chakravarti Gold Medal for Social Service by Lucknow University. Dr. Sharma taught Law at Lucknow University and at Cambridge University. While at Cambridge, Dr. Sharma was Treasurer of the Tagore Society and the Cambridge Majlis. He taught law at Cambridge University from 1946 to 1947. The University of Cambridge has honoured him with a Doctor of Law degree. Dr. Sharma was married to Smt. Vimala Sharma. Dr. Sharma was from the capital city of the state of Madhya Pradesh "Bhopal".

Political initiation

During the 1940s he was involved in the struggle for Indian independence from the British, and joined the Indian National Congress, a party which he would remain loyal to for the rest of his life. In 1952 he became the chief minister of Bhopal state and served in that position until the state reorganization of 1956, when Bhopal state merged with several other states to form the state of Madhya Pradesh.

Active political life

During the 1960s Sharma supported Indira Gandhi's quest for leadership of the Congress Party. He served in her cabinet as the minister for Communication from 1974-77. In 1971 and 1980 he won a Lok Sabha seat from Bhopal. Later on, he was given a variety of ceremonial posts. In 1984 he began serving as a governor of Indian states, first in Andhra Pradesh. During this time, his daughter Geetanjali Maken and son-in-law: Lalit Maken young member of parliament and a promising political leader,were killed by Sikh militants.In 1985 he left Andhra Pradesh and became governor of Punjab during a time of violence between the Indian government and Sikh militants, many of whom lived in Punjab. He left Punjab in 1986 and took up his final governorship in Maharashtra. He remained governor of that state until 1987 when he was elected for a 5-year term as the eighth Vice-President of India and chairman of the Rajya Sabha.

Sharma was known to be a stickler for parliamentary norms. He is known to have broken down in the Rajya Sabha while witnessing the members of the house create a din on a political issue. His grief brought back some order into the proceedings of the house.

Presidential election

Sharma served as Vice-President until 1992, when he was elected President. After a difficult campaign, he received 66% of the votes in the electoral college, defeating George Gilbert Swell. During his five-year term, he was active in ceremonial matters and was in charge of dismissing and appointing governors. During his last year as President, it was his responsibility to swear in three prime ministers. He did not run for a second term as President.

Illness and death

During the last five years of his life, Sharma suffered from ill health. On 26 December 1999, he suffered a massive heart attack and was admitted to a hospital in New Delhi, where he died. He was cremated at Karma Bhumi.


External links

  • Bio details (not updated) from Congress Sandesh at [1] accessed 26 July 2006
Political offices
Preceded by
Thakur Ram Lal
Governor of Andhra Pradesh
Succeeded by
Kumudben Manishankar Joshi
Preceded by
Hokishe Sema
Governor of Punjab
Succeeded by
Siddhartha Shankar Ray
Administrator of Chandigarh
Preceded by
Kona Prabhakar Rao
Governor of Maharashtra
Succeeded by
Kasu Brahmananda Reddy
Preceded by
Ramaswamy Venkataraman
Vice President of India
Succeeded by
Kocheril Raman Narayanan
President of India

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