Shivraj Patil was a prominent figure in Bharatiya politics, who served as the 10th Speaker of the Lok Sabha and a senior member of the Indian National Congress. Throughout his illustrious career, he held several important positions and made significant contributions to Bharatiya politics.
Patil was first elected as a Member of the 7th Lok Sabha in 1980 and held the seat for seven consecutive terms until 2004. During the decade of 1980-1990, he served as a member of the Joint Committee on Salaries and Allowances of Members of Parliament and was later appointed as its Chairperson. He held several important portfolios including Minister of State for Defence, Commerce, Science and Technology, Atomic Energy, Electronics, Space & Ocean Development, and Bio-Technology, as well as Minister of State for Personnel and Training, Public Grievances and Pensions, Administrative Reforms, Defence Production, Civil Aviation, and Tourism.
In addition to his role as a Member of Parliament, Patil served as the Minister of Home Affairs between 2004 and 2008 and as the Honorable Governor and Administrator of the Union Territory of Chandigarh from 2010 to 2015. He was also a two-term member of the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly between 1972 and 1979, holding positions such as Chairman of the Public Undertakings Committee, Deputy Minister of Law and Judiciary, Irrigation, and Protocol, and Deputy Speaker and Speaker of the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly.
As the 10th Speaker of the Lok Sabha, Shivraj Patil played a crucial role in shaping the debates and discussions in the House during the “reform years”. He was a member of various committees such as the Committee on Defence, Committee on External Affairs, Rules Committee, and Committee on Privileges, and was also a part of the Consultative Committee of the Ministry of External Affairs and Ministry of Home Affairs. During his 7th term, he served as the Chairperson of the Committee on Finance from 1999 to 2000. He highlighted the problems in the 10th Schedule of the Constitution and prescribed remedies for the same, and was recognised for his initiatives in the Parliament.
Patil was known for his innovative ideas and deep insights, and was widely popular for his balanced approach during his tenure as Speaker of the Lok Sabha. He initiated several reforms during his tenure, including the inauguration of 17 departmental committees, the development of a contemporary Parliament Library Building, and the computerization of Parliament records. He also oversaw the live telecasting of Lok Sabha proceedings and directed six videos about parliamentary practice and procedures, aimed at bringing Parliament closer to the people of Bharat.
An advocate by profession, Shivraj Patil had a keen interest in agriculture and social work, and enjoyed reading, painting, swimming, horse riding, and shooting. He was the author of four books, including “Reminiscences and Reflections”, “Emerging Vision of India”, “Ecstasy and Agony of a Presiding Officer”, and “Fragrance of Innerself”. These books reflect his thoughts and experiences as a prominent political leader and serve as a source of inspiration for aspiring political leaders.
In conclusion, Shivraj Patil is a well-respected and influential politician who made a lasting impact on Bharatiya politics. He remains an inspiration for aspiring political leaders and is remembered for his contribution to Indian politics. His innovative ideas, balanced approach, and deep insights continue to influence the political landscape of India and serve as a testament to his legacy.