Pt. Ravishankar Shukla

Pt Ravi Shankar Shukla

Pt Ravi Shankar Shukla

Date of Birth : 2 August, 1876
Date Of Death : 31 December, 1956

Mini Biography :

Pt. Ravishankar Shukla ( 2 August 1876 – 31 Dec 1956),Veteran Congressman, Freedom Fighter, Premier of CP & Berar from 27 April 1946 to 14 August 1947,First Chief Minister of CP & Berar from 15 August 1947 to 31 October 1956. He was the First chief minister of the newly formed Madhya Pradesh, the biggest state of India consisting of Mahakoshal, Madhya Bharat, Bhopal and Vindhya Pradesh from 1 November 1956 to 31 December 1956 i.e. till his death.

After Ravishankar completed middle school his father Pt. Jagganath Shukla moved to Rajnandgaon to join his elder cousin Pt. Gajadhar Shukla who was a major partner in CP Mills, owned by McBeth Brothers. Later CP Mills was sold to Shaw Wallace and the mill was renamed as Bengal Nagpur Cotton Mill. The cousins Pt. Gajadhar Shukla and Pt. Jagganath Shukla were both gifted with wrestler’s bodies and both would enjoy wrestling bouts in the Akharas. Pandit Jagganath Shukla continued to be a partner in the cotton mills, till after a few years when he moved with his son to Raipur.

Automobiles were just arriving in the country and with them the petrol of Burma-Shell. Pt. Jagganath Shukla was quick to grasp the importance of these new arrivals and knew the role it would play in the development of the country. He was the first to become the agent of Rayally Brothers for Burma-Shell fuels for the entire region i.e. Chhattisgarh inclusive of Balaghat. His son Ravishankar continued his schooling at Rajnandgaon and subsequently at Raipur High School from where he completed his schooling in the year 1894 aged 17. It will be from here that some of his schoolmates, Thakur Hanuman Singh, Govindlal Purohit and Rewati Mohan Sen would remain his lifelong friends. He then shifted to Jabalpur and joined Robertson College (whose premises then was what is today the Model High School in front of the High Court of Jabalpur) from where he completed the Intermediate in the year 1895 aged 18 yrs. The same year he shifted to Nagpur and joined Hislop College for the graduation course.

Pandit Shukla proved to be a successful administrator.During his Chief Ministership 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 the merger 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.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.

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