One of the greatest leaders in the post-independence political history of Himachal Pradesh is Shri Jai Behari Lal Khachi- the former PWD minister of Himachal Pradesh. It is surely a matter a proud that his image has never been maligned and he is remembered even after a long time after his demise. A great leader has the ability to connect with masses. He was able to form an instant bond with his audience and followers as he delivered all his speeches in the native language. Along with it, he had the ability to turn criticism in his favor due to his astounding sense of humor.
Childhood and education and Family
Ghamana – small village in Kumarsain district was the native village of this great leader. Coming from a moderate household, he came from a family of disciplined parents. They inscribed humanitarian and social values in him. He went to Lahore for his LLB and then returned India to join the coveted Delhi University for higher studies. Right from his student days, he was extremely popular amongst his friends and had an active interest in political matters. Upon completion of his studies, he returned to Himachal Pradesh only to get connected with the cooperative movement in the state. Shri Jai Behari Lal Khachi was a family man to the core. He has left his political legacy for his wife, Smt Giani Devi, a daughter and two sons.
Shri Jai Behari Lal Khachi was bred in the ideology of the INC Sangh. He commanded great respect from his party workers. In fact, throughout his political career, he was praised for his acumen by followers as well as opponents. He was one of the most loved political personalities by the entire media. The congress party in the state got a great revive under his dynamic leadership and this made him rise to most powerful political circles of his state.
Being one of the most coveted leaders of Congress, he contested elected several times and more than often emerged out as winner. Out of the six times he contested, he won 4 times only to lose by a nominal difference in the rest. In fact the seat from his Kumarsain constituency was fixed for him. He contested elections in 1977, 1982, 1985, 1990, 1993 and 1998.
One can almost get an idea of his position in the politics of Himachal Pradesh by the fact that there is a school named after him. The JBL Khachi Govt Senior Secondary School, in Kumarsain District, Shimla was renamed as a token of honor and appreciation of the work undertaken by the late leader in the development of the district. The school has become the center of excellence in recent years and has produced a number of alumina who have bought laurels not just for the state but for the entire country.
He died of a heart attack on April 10, in Shimla. The leaders of his astute are not born every day and he has surely left a big space in the state’s politics and probably much bigger shoes for his younger generation to fill.