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Home / HT School / HT Archives: February 13, 1955, when Delhi ministry was sworn in

HT Archives: February 13, 1955, when Delhi ministry was sworn in

The Cabinet included Mr Brahm Perkash, former Chief Minister, and Dr Yudhvir Singh, one of Delhi’s elder Congressmen and a former chairman of the Delhi Municipal Committee.

ht-school Updated: Feb 13, 2020 13:31 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
(HT File)

Delhi ministry sworn in (1955)

Uncertainty about Delhi’s political future ended, at any rate for some time, on Saturday when a three member Ministry, headed by Mr Gurmukh Nihal Singh former Speaker of the State Assembly, assumed office.

The Cabinet included Mr Brahm Perkash, former Chief Minister, and Dr Yudhvir Singh, one of Delhi’s elder Congressmen and a former chairman of the Delhi Municipal Committee.

The sense of relief among the general public at the happy culmination of what was only a week ago a gloomy situation was reflected in the statement by the new Chief Minister immediately on assuming office. He said by accepting the new office he had to depart, but reluctantly, “from the well-established and sound convention of parliamentary government that a Speaker should not enter active party politics by accepting an executive office, howsoever high it may be.” “But in the exceptional circumstances in which the democratic set-up was placed in Delhi,” when President’s rule seemed to be the only alternative, he explained, his, departure from the usual parliamentary convention was justified.

Mr Nihal Singh’s Ministry is the second since the introduction of the Part ‘ C ‘ States Act in Delhi in 1952. The Ministry was welcomed in local Congress circles as “a balanced team,” with a wise, old scholar and non-partisan personality in the Chief Minister. Mr Brahm Perkash was regarded as representing the State’s rural interests and Dr Yudhvir Singh those of urban elements. Mr Brahm Perkash’s continuance in the new Ministry was particularly welcomed as providing continuity of administration.


It is understood that at Dr Sushila Nayar was pressed by the Congress High Command to agree to become Speaker of the Assembly but she declined the offer, She is reported to have held the view that she did not want a job and that she would prefer to work in spheres in which she could make her contribution. She has left for Agra and will be away for some days.

Bid to sell ‘rights’ of story (1983)


New Delhi- Even as the drama of Phoolan Devi’s surrender was being played in Bhind, a disturbing piece of news of how in the last few weeks senior police officers dealing with Phoolan approached a number of foreign Pressmen in the city and offered to sell exclusive “rights” of the Phoolan story to the highest bidder, was making the round in the Capital’s foreign Press circuit.

The money, the police officer claimed, was to be used largely for “Phoolan’ s defence and to enable her to buy back the land seized in her village”.

According to a senior foreign correspondent who does not wish to be identified, three weeks ago a man with a Bengali name, who claimed to be from the police, walked into his office and told him that the exclusive story of Phoolan’ s surrender was available to any foreign Pressman who was willing to pay the maximum amount. “At that point I told him I was not interested and gave him the brushoff.”

Shortly afterwards, however, “a more senior, suave gentleman” walked into the same correspondent’s office when the latter was not there. The correspondent arrived at noon to be met by this gentleman. “He presented his police credentials to me, looked to be a very intelligent and sensitive man “ He told him all about how Phoolan had been abused by the society, how moved he was by her and how he wanted to make life easier for her. “If not her defender, he seemed to be her champion.”

The visitor played a tape-recorded conversation of Phoolan with her mother on the telephone and showed the correspondent pictures of himself and Phoolan which no refused to let the correspondent copy. The offer was - exclusive rights to spend several days with Phoolan before she officially surrendered, to photograph her and write about her.

What would be the price they would have to pay? asked the correspondent.

It was up to him to make the first offer, he was told but it was pointed out that the exclusive rights would go to the Pressman who made the highest offer.

Lagaan nominated for Oscar (2002)


New Delhi- It’s probably an even bigger high than hitting that last ball for a six in Lagaan. On Tuesday evening, producer Aamir Khan, director Ashutosh Gowariker and the Lagaan XI were glued to the TV in Aamir’s house. The instant they heard the news - that Lagaan had won an Oscar nomination in the Best Foreign Film category, all hell broke lose.

There was cheering, shouting, yelling. Cellphones rang ceaselessly. Fireworks went off in his building. Said Aamir, “It’s been like a non-stop party. I’m thrilled and very happy. I was a bit nervous all of Tuesday, but then I thought, we’ve done our best.”

The run-up to the nomination has been a bit like a slog over. Aamir Khan’s first film as producer had a dream run in India. Critics loved it, so did the box office, it swept all the popular awards here.

But the Oscars were another ball game altogether. Getting the Film Federation of India to send Lagaan as India’s official entry to the Oscars was the first step. (Lagaan had tough competition from Mira Nair’s Monsoon Wedding). Once the film was selected, the struggle began in earnest.

Aamir and Ashutosh parked themselves in Los Angeles. The toughest part was getting the Academy members to just watch the 224 minute-long film. India has won only two best foreign film nominations so far - for Mehboob Khan’s Mother India (1957) and 31 years later, for Mira Nair’s Salaam Bombay.

As Aamir said then, “Most of the academy members were wary of seeing such a long Hindi film.” But in his typically dogged way, Aamir persevered, organising several screenings, hiring a publicist to create interest in the film. He said, “Our attempt was to show the film to as many people as possible, and let the film speak for itself.”