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Uchharangrai Navalshankar Dhebar (1905-1977) was active in India's struggle for Independence, and later served as Chief Minister of Saurashtra, and President of the Indian National Congress. He was born on September 21 1905 in the hamlet of Gangajala, eleven miles from Jamnagar. He belonged to the Nagar community. The family had to struggle hard against poverty. After his education, he started legal practice and from the very beginning gained a name as a lawyer. Under the influence of Mahatma Gandhi he left his promising legal career in 1936 and devoted himself to national service.

In 1941 Dhebar was selected by Gandhiji to offer Individual Satyagraha at Viramgam. He was arrested and sentenced to six months imprisonment. In 1942 he was again arrested during the Quit India Movement. On the attainment of independence, Dhebar played a prominent role in the merger of the States of Kathiawad in the Indian Union and then in the formation of the Kathiawad Union known as 'Saurashtra'. He was elected as Chief Minister of Saurashtra in 1948. During his administration several reform were introduced in Saurashtra for the uplift of Villages.

In 1955 he was elected President of the Indian National Congress. He continued in that position for five years, till 1959. His first act as the President was to assemble the top leaders of the Congress for a week in a conference to decide how the Congress could best serve the nation. In 1962 he was elected to the Lok Sabha. Dhebar was connected with several institutions rendering social and educational services to the country.He was awarded Padma Vibhushan in 1973.

References

Indian national Congress

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