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A brief biography
New RS Deputy Chairman Hails From JP’s Village
Hailing from socialist icon Jaiprakash Narain’s village Sitab Diyara in Ballia district of UP, 62-yearold Harivansh on Thursday recalled his childhood struggle and how he managed to make it to “Lutyens’ Delhi”.
“I studied under a tree, in an ordinary primary school. My journey to Lutyens’ Delhi was possible due to each one of you. There was no road in the village to commute, we used to be confined to our homes during floods. People used to carry the sick on a charpoy for 15 km. We saw electricity many years later, we started our journey with earthen lamps,” Harivansh recalled while addressing Rajya Sabha after his election as deputy chairman.
Born in 1956, Harivansh did his post-graduation in Economics from BHU in 1977. He started his career as a journalist with ‘Dharmyug’ in 1977. He worked in the PMO briefly in 1990-91 as information advisor to Chandrashekhar. Harivansh was the chief editor of Hindi daily ‘Prabhat Khabar’ from 1990 to 2017 and was elected to Rajya Sabha as a JD(U) MP in 2014. He has authored 19 books.
Harivansh said it would be his endeavour to uphold the dignity of the upper House and expressed hope that differences would be ironed out through debate, consensus and guidance. He exuded confidence that all members would work together and follow the principles of Gandhi and JP.
“Treading on rules and procedures framed by our Constitution makers, we can lead the country to greatness. There will be differences in debates, there will be different opinions, we can find a way. I got this opportunity to be here... I am frightened, surrounded by so many experienced people but this is my strength too as you all will guide me and... I will run the House in a fair and decent manner,” Harivansh said.
Harivansh also cited JP’s refusal to take up the demand for road and basic infrastructure in his village to higher-ups by saying, “If I do this for my village, what about 5.5 lakh other villages? JP’s response is still alive in my memory.”
He thanked PM Modi, BJP chief Amit Shah, leader of opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad and others and said he had never thought he would occupy this post as he came from a village between two mighty rivers — Ganga and Ghagra — where during floods, people thought this was the last day of their life.