Prime Minister Narendra Modi today paid tribute to PV Narasimha Rao, the former Prime Minister under whose initiative the economy, which was about to slip into red, was firmly set on the path to recovery.
"Fellow Citizens, today on 28 June, India is paying tribute to one of its former Prime Ministers, who led the country through a critical phase. Today is the beginning of our birth centenary year of our former Prime Minister Shri PV Narasimha Rao," the Prime Minister said.
"He led India at a very crucial time in our history," the Prime Minister said. "He was a great political leader and was a scholar. Narasimha Rao ji had joined the freedom movement in his teens. From a young age, Mr. Narasimha Rao was at the forefront in raising his voice against injustice. No one was left to raise their voice," added PM Modi.
Mr Rao, a low-profile leader -- was thrust into political limelight after the assassination of of Rajiv Gandhi in 1991. He had led the country as it went through much political turbulence - including the Babri Masjid demolition, the Bombay bomb blasts and the rising separatism in Jammu-Kashmir.
But his big contribution was pulling the country out of a deep economic crisis with the help of Manmohan Singh, his finance minister who later held the reins of the UPA government for a decade.
Together, Mr Singh and Narasimha Rao had brought in liberalization - an era reforms in face of opposition even from within the Congress -- placing the country on a growth trajectory.
PM Modi's tribute to Mr Rao came as the country is passing through another economic crisis, deepened by the coronavirus-induced lockdown. In April the International Monetary Fund predicted that India will grow at 1.9 per cent this year as the global growth will shrink by 3 per cent.