An effective leader is someone who is willing to make difficult decisions (and possibly unpopular) for the greater good.
Shri Satpal Maharaj Ji, a leader who is an amazing confluence of spirituality and polity, a leader who is eccentric and rich in versatility. Currently, he is a member of the Bharatiya Janata Party and is a cabinet minister in the government of Uttarakhand. As a minister, he has an important portfolio of minister of tourism, public works, irrigation and culture.
As the saying goes “coming events cast their shadow much before”. He carried on the legacy of his father, Shri Hans Ji Maharaj, a spiritual leader who taught the entire mankind about the religion of humanity. Shri Satpal Maharaj Ji had a lot of interest in spirituality since childhood. And often he would go into a state of contemplation to practice deep meditation techniques. despite spiritual inspiration and training at home, he did his Senior Cambridge from st. George’s College, Mussoorie, where he learned science and various languages. He also expressed his interest in philosophical debate and applied science and won many awards for the same. He was always experimental in nature and did not accept anything until he verified it through personal experience or practical analysis. From the earliest time of his life, Satpal Maharaj has been a prominent social worker bringing reforms for the betterment of society. He opened several non-profit clinics, dharamshalas and shelter homes and other important services to reach out to remote people who do not have access to government schemes due to geographical conditions. By his teens, he became familiar with the problems of the people living in the hilly remote areas of erstwhile Uttar Pradesh and stood by his demand for a separate state of Uttarakhand. During his early life, Satpal Maharaj’s interactions and journeys into remote villages had a profound influence on him. He was moved by the social ills and the plight of the ordinary man and particularly those who belong to the disadvantaged section. His life has only one purpose that is the welfare of the people. Whether it is done through the spiritual path or the political path, the motive remains the same. He did many padayatra for social causes with massive support. Furthermore, he wanted to reveal the limited consciousness of man by uniting him with a company of primordial cosmos.
HIS GLORIOUS CAREER
So, in the 90s, he started his political career. The following year, in 1992, he was elected a member of the national relief and goodwill committee, when the communal atmosphere was going bad in the country. He took concrete initiatives to bring peace to the communities and due to this, he entered national-level politics. Became a member of the Uttar Pradesh state integration council from March 1993 to October 1994. He played an important role as a patron of the Uttarakhand Samyukta Sangharsh Samiti formed under the Uttarakhand State Nirman movement in 1994 and established himself in a leading position. Satpal Maharaj Ji played an important role in the formation of Uttarakhand. As an MP and a union minister, he garnered support from the then prime minister H D Deve Gowda and West Bengal chief minister Jyoti Basu for the creation of a separate state of Uttarakhand. When the central government was considering granting union territory status to Uttarakhand in 1996, he had assured Prime Minister H D Deve Gowda that the demand for a separate state of Uttarakhand if granted the status of a union territory would still be a fully independent state. The demand will continue to rise. It was because of his efforts that Prime Minister Deve Gowda accepted the proposal of giving statehood to Uttarakhand and made an announcement in this regard from the ramparts of red fort on 15 august 1996. Eventually, it was under Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee, that the bill for the formation of a separate state was passed and on November 09, 2000, Uttarakhand became the 27th state of the Republic of India coinciding with the centenary of the birth of his father Shri Hans Ji Maharaj. This was just the beginning of great leadership. He has taken many historic decisions not only for the state but also in the interest of the country and many important policies implemented in the country are the result of his isolated efforts.
HIS ACHIEVEMENTS IN DIFFERENT PORTFOLIOS
He has been an exemplary leader in every tenure and every portfolio. He undertook and implemented various projects for the development of the state and the welfare of the people.
MINISTER OF STATE RAILWAYS
He was the visionary behind Rishikesh to Karn Prayag railway line. As soon as he undertook this portfolio he mooted the proposal of this essential railway line. His idea was to extend rail connectivity to the Garhwal hills and connect the region with the plain areas. His priority was to improve pilgrim connectivity to the Kedarnath and Badrinath shrines of Garhwal Himalayas.
So, he laid the foundation of this line on 14th October 1996. His vision is to get better connected to every remote region so that nobody is deprived of any facility.
MINISTER OF STATE FINANCE WITH THE CENTRAL GOVERNMENT
He put forth his best foot in this tenure as well. As soon as he took over as the minister of state for finance, he called a meeting of the finance ministry in Joshimath, Auli.
For the first time, senior officials of the finance ministry saw the region of Uttarakhand and also saw its problems closely. They got a closer look at how the mothers of mountains carry a mountain like a burden on them. To help them out he launched ‘Mahila Beema Yojana’. Additional to this, it was after this meeting on 18th October 1997 that he declared Uttarakhand as industrially backward. So, the government of India cleared the proposal to declare a tax holiday for the industry in Uttarakhand.
CHAIRMAN, STANDING COMMITTEE OF DEFENCE
During the tenure of this portfolio, he was a driving force behind many strategic important policies. He suggested and ensured to get one rank one pension policy, implemented. Also, he gave the opportunity to many talented unemployed youths to join the defence. He created a record of the number of personnel recruited by the armed forces. 32 thousand 700 young men from Uttarakhand were employed in the army, navy, air force, RSPF and coastal guards.
Apart from this, he was also appointed as a member of the public accounts committee, a member of the consultative committee for the ministry of railways and a member of the general purposes committee.
Also, he was the one who facilitated the approval of the American visas of Indian scientists, who were blacklisted after the Pokhran testing.
MP LOK SABHA
His work speaks a lot about him. That is the reason, that the people of Uttarakhand elected him as a member of parliament. Like every other portfolio, he displayed his great leadership quality over here as well. He took many important decisions for the welfare of the state and its inhabitants.