Shri Manohar Joshi - Profile
The office of the Speaker occupies
a pivotal position in our parliamentary democracy. It has
been said of the office of the Speaker that while the members
of Parliament represent the individual constituencies, the
Speaker represents the full authority of the House itself.
He symbolises the dignity and power of the House over which
he is presiding. He is also the custodian of all the values
and ethics that are crucial for the smooth functioning of
parliamentary democracy. Indian Parliament, down its parliamentary
history, has witnessed a galaxy of eminent Speakers, starting
from Shri G.V. Mavalankar to Shri G.M.C. Balayogi, who have
always upheld our great parliamentary traditions and left
behind a great legacy for posterity. Shri Manohar Joshi joined
this illustrious line of Presiding Officers when he was elected
unopposed to the exalted position of Speaker on 10 May, 2002.
His election is especially unique, as this is the Golden Jubilee
year of not only our Parliament – after the first General
Elections in 1952 – but also of the august office of
the Speaker itself.
Born in Nandvi in the Raigad district of Maharashtra on 2
December 1937, Shri Joshi was educated in Mumbai. He is a
Bachelor of Law and holds a Master's degree of Arts and is
proficient in Marathi, Hindi, English and well versed in Sanskrit.
He has held various positions in his political career and
has undertaken a number of social activities. Shri Joshi has
been keenly interested in the industrial development activities
in general and the upliftment of the poor and downtrodden
sections of our society, in particular. Shri Joshi is married
to Smt. Anagha Manohar Joshi. They have one son and two daughters.
Shri Joshi began his career
as a teacher and plunged into active politics in 1967. He
was a Municipal Councilor in Mumbai during 1968-78 and Chairman,
Standing Committee (Municipal Corporation) in 1970. In between,
he held the prestigious Office of the Mayor of Mumbai during
1976-77. He was also the Chairman of All India Council of
Mayors. Shri Joshi’s legislative and parliamentary career
began in 1972 with his election to the Maharashtra Legislative
Council. He was elected thrice to the Legislative Council
between 1972 and 1989. As a member, he had taken part in debates
on a wide spectrum of issues in the House. However, it was
his association with the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly,
which was the most eventful period of his political career
before he assumed the office of the Speaker, Lok Sabha.
Shri Joshi was elected to the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly
in 1990. He served as the Chief Minister of Maharashtra during
1995-99. Earlier, he also served as the Leader of the Opposition
in the State Assembly during 1990-91. Shri Joshi is known
for his outspoken and forthright views and strongly believes
that a structured, responsible and healthy opposition greatly
contributes to the strengthening of the democratic polity.
He also believes that democracy thrives only where there is
a willing cooperation between the opposition and the ruling
party. In keeping with this firm conviction, he started a
National Association of the Leaders of Opposition in the country.
In the 1999 General Elections, Shri Joshi contested from the
Mumbai North - Central Lok Sabha Constituency on a Shiv Sena
ticket and was elected to the Thirteenth Lok Sabha. Subsequently,
he was inducted into the Vajpayee Government and held the
important portfolio of Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises.
As a Cabinet Minister, he played a vital role in strengthening
and expanding Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises Sector
by taking many important policy decisions.
Election as Speaker of Lok Sabha
After the tragic death of Speaker Shri G.M.C Balayogi
in a helicopter crash, the post of Speaker remained vacant
for some time and Deputy Speaker Shri P.M Sayeed discharged
the duties of the Speaker in a very dignified manner. On 10
May 2002, the Prime Minister Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee himself
moved the motion seeking the election of Shri Manohar Joshi
and the motion was seconded by the Home Minister, Shri L.K.Advani.
When the motion was put before the House for consideration
and vote, the House adopted it unanimously and Shri Joshi
was elected unopposed as the Speaker of Lok Sabha, the country’s
highest representative Chamber. It is a matter of great pride
that in the Golden Jubilee Year of Parliament, the House unitedly
came to oneness of opinion in choosing Shri Joshi as the Presiding
Officer. A soft spoken person and a man who believes in action,
Shri Joshi is known for his competence and ability to handle
difficult situations in a calm and cool manner. He happens
to be the third member of Parliament from the State of Maharashtra
to be elevated to the august office of Lok Sabha Speaker,
his other two distinguished predecessors being Shri G.V. Mavalankar
and Shri Shivraj V. Patil. He is also the only member to have
been chosen for this coveted position in Parliament in his
first term itself.
Shri Joshi was warmly felicitated on his election to the august
office of the Speaker by the Prime Minister, the Leader of
Opposition, the Deputy Speaker, and the Leaders of various
Parties and groups. Congratulating Shri Joshi on his election
to the Office of the Speaker, the Deputy Speaker, Shri P.M.
Sayeed said that although Shri Joshi was new to Parliament,
he was not new to parliamentary institutions and parliamentary
procedures. His long stint and rich experience in the Maharashtra
Legislature holding various positions, would guide him in
running the House smoothly.
Felicitating Shri Joshi on having been elected unopposed to
the Office of the Speaker, the Prime Minister said that Shri
Joshi had come to occupy a seat which had great responsibility
and obligations. Now onwards, he would be the sole custodian
of the dignity of the House, he added. Commenting on his rich
parliamentary and public life, the Prime Minister said that
Shri Joshi had started his life as a grass-root worker and
held a number of positions before his election to the Lok
Sabha. He expressed confidence that Shri Joshi’s experience
of the last many years in public life would guide him in conducting
the business of the House properly and in a dignified manner,
as envisaged in the Constitution.
Extending her felicitations to the newly-elected Speaker,
the Leader of Opposition, Smt. Sonia Gandhi said that with
his election to the highest office, a great responsibility
has devolved upon Shri Joshi for maintaining the time-honoured
traditions of our Parliament. She was confident that Shri
Joshi’s experience in diverse fields would guide him
in conducting the business of the House properly and judiciously
like his predecessors.
CPI (M) leader Shri Somnath Chatterjee expressed his happiness
over the election of educationist Shri Joshi as the Speaker
of the House. To quote him, “we are very happy and proud
that we have an educationist presiding over this House.”
Shri K. Yerrannaidu, on behalf of the Telegu Desam Party,
heartily congratulated Shri Joshi and felt sure that the experience
of the last many years in public life will guide him in the
conduct of the business of the House. Kumari Mamata Banerjee,
extending her warm greetings and cooperation, hoped that Shri
Joshi would discharge his duties impartially as the Speaker
of the House and would strengthen the democratic, moral and
the secular spirit in the House.
Extending his heartiest felicitations to the newly-elected
Speaker, Former Prime Minister Shri Chandra Shekhar hoped
that Shri Joshi would be able to conduct the proceedings of
the House successfully.
Replying to the felicitations
bestowed on him, Shri Joshi said:
I thank everyone of you wholeheartedly for electing me
to the high constitutional office of the Speaker. A great
responsibility has been entrusted to me and the fact that
I am the unanimous choice of the House makes the responsibility
indeed onerous. ………I consider it a great
personal honour that I am that choice despite being a first
time member of the House. I accept this responsibility with
humility and I pledge that I shall uphold the trust you have
reposed in me by discharging my duties impartially.
…….I am not new to parliamentary culture.I had
a long stint in the Maharashtra Legislature in various capacities,
including the Leader of the Opposition. The high traditions
maintained by my predecessors from G. V. Mavalanker to G.M.C
Balayogi and my long exposure to the Legislature in Maharashtra
would guide me in upholding the traditions of this House and
the dignity of this office. The Speaker represents the authority
of the House while enforcing the procedure and is the first
servant of the House while addressing the concerns of the
Members. My approach would be friendly and persuasive, rather
than rigid and strict. Therefore, I will make myself available
to the Members at all times. It will also be my constant endeavour
to protect the rights and privileges of the House and of its
Hon. Members. I seek the cooperation of the Media in projecting
the right image of our Parliament to our countrymen. I am
sure their meaningful cooperation will ever be forthcoming.
Manohar Joshi, the Person
As a successful businessman of long standing, Shri Joshi had
been Chairman and Managing Director, Proprietor, Partner of
several establishments. He believes in giving equal importance
to industrial and agricultural sectors and hence worked hard
for the advancement of both. He founded the Jagatik Marathi
Chamber of Commerce and Industry. During his Chief Ministership,
he organized Advantage Maharashtra Conference to promote industrial
investments in the State; arranged a programme known as Agro
Advantage Maharashtra for farmers and also organised an exhibition
displaying information on advanced technology in the field
of agriculture. During his Chief Ministership, he was also
instrumental in the construction of a number of fly-overs
in Mumbai; he also conceived and started the construction
of the Mumbai-Pune Express-way Project, Krishna Valley Irrigation
Project and schemes like ‘Tanker-free Maharashtra Scheme.
A keen sports enthusiast, Shri Joshi has held the position
of President of the Mumbai Cricket Association and Vice-President
of the Board of Control for Cricket in India. He was also
a Member of the Mumbai University Senate and Executive Council.
During his tenure as Mayor of Mumbai, he started reading room
facility with an idea to help the poor and needy students.
As an educationist, he played an important role in promoting
education and was instrumental in the foundation of the Kohinoor
Technical Institute, which imparts technical education to
youth so as to enable them to become self-employed. It was
for this laudable endeavour that he is lovingly known as “Sir”
among his followers. He played a vital role in the betterment
of all sections of the society including the youth, the women
and the aged. During his tenure as Chief Minister, he started
the Kamadhenu Policy for women, Matoshri Vrudhashram Scheme
for the aged and Sainik Schools for the youth.
Shri Joshi is a multi-faceted personality. He has always had
an abiding concern about environment and has taken up a host
of issues relating to labour, agriculture, housing, employment
and the promotion of the Marathi language. He conceived the
idea of Clean Mumbai-Green Mumbai and was actively associated
with the Green Movement. He also authored a book Swachh Mumbai;
Harit Mumbai in Marathi focusing on the problems relating
to environment and Clean Mumbai Movement. As part of an active
cultural and literary involvement, he set up a Kala Academy
in Mumbai; instituted Maharashtra Bhusan Award and organized
a graceful Akhil Bharatiya Sahitya Sammelan at Shivaji Park,
Mumbai during his tenure as the Chief Minister of Maharashtra.
Shri Joshi has undertaken several visits to foreign countries
including Australia, Canada, China, Croatia, Israel, Japan,
Mauritius, New Zealand, Poland, Switzerland, UK, USA and African
Countries. Since assuming the office of the Speaker of Lok
Sabha, he has led Indian Parliamentary Delegations to several
countries and to various international parliamentary conferences.