Jaswant Singh is an Indian politician who has held a number of significant positions throughout his lengthy political career. He served as Finance Minister, Minister of External Affairs, and Minister of Defense at various times during the Atal Bihar Vajpayee administration. As Minister of External Affairs, he distinguished himself with his deft handling of Indo-U.S. ties following the 1998 Indian nuclear tests. On the other hand, he was heavily criticized for escorting terrorists to Kandahar, Afghanistan in exchange for hijacked Indian Airlines passengers. Born in Rajputana, British India, he began his military career as a cadet in the Joint Services Wing (JSW). The ambitious young guy was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Indian Army following his training. Despite his initial enthusiasm for a military career, he eventually felt disillusioned and left his promising military position. He entered the political arena by joining the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). His political career developed, and he eventually became one of the BJP’s most senior leaders. In 2009, he was removed from the BJP due to a controversial book he had written. In 2010, he was readmitted to the party, but he was expelled again in 2014 when he ran against the party candidate as an independent candidate.
Youth and Early Life
On 3 January 1938, Jaswant Singh was born into a Rajput family in the village of Jasol, Barmer District, Rajasthan. His parents were Thakur Sardara Singh and Kunwar Baisa.
He was a bewildered adolescent searching for direction when he chose on a whim to join the army. As a 15-year-old in 1953, he joined the Joint Services Wing (JSW), which was designed to teach cadets from all three services, as a cadet.
The young man’s military training was enlightening, and he learned the value of discipline, self-control, and time management. The rigorous physical training instilled in him the importance of health and physical fitness.
Jaswant Singh’s Career
In December 1957, Jaswant Singh was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Indian Army. He selected the Central India Horse (CIH) after opting for it. In terms of the Passing Out Order, he was in the top 10.
He served in the military for approximately nine years, from November 1966 to November 1973. Even though he was initially excited to become a commissioned officer at the age of 19 in 1957, he soon got disillusioned with army life and resigned in 1966.
At this point, he had developed a strong interest in politics and was resolved to pursue a political career. However, his subsequent years were difficult, and he fought to establish himself in Indian politics.
He first experienced success in the 1980s. Bhairon Singh Shekhawat, a pillar of the BJP, took him under his wing and became his political mentor. Soon after joining the Jan Sangh, Jaswant Singh was elected to the Rajya Sabha, the upper house of the Indian parliament.
In 1986, he was elected for a second term to the Rajya Sabha. He served on the Public Accounts Committee, Committee on Public Undertakings, and Committee on Privileges from 1986 to 1989. In addition, he was a member of the Consultative Committee established by the Punjab State Legislature (Delegation of Powers) Act of 1987.
In the years that followed, he held a number of other positions, including that of finance minister in the brief cabinet of Atal Bihari Vajpayee, which lasted from 16 May 1996 to 1 June 1996.
After a couple of years, Vajpayee resumed his position as Prime Minister. This time, Jaswant Singh assumed the position of India’s Minister of External Affairs, serving from 5 December 1998 until 1 July 2002. In this role, he handled the complex Indo-Pakistan problem with tact.
In 2002, he replaced Yashwant Sinha as India’s Minister of Finance. In this position, he was instrumental in formulating and advancing market-friendly government changes. In 2004, he served on the Joint Parliamentary Committee for the Installation of Portraits and Statues of National Leaders and Parliamentarians in the Parliament House Complex.
He sat on the Committee on Science and Technology, Environment and Forests, and Committee on Water Resources from 2004 to 2006. In 2004, he also assumed the position of leader of the opposition in the Rajya Sabha, which he held until 2009.
In 2009, he published the book Jinnah: India-Partition-Independence, in which he lauded Mohammad Ali Jinnah and asserted that Jawaharlal Nehru’s centralized strategy was to blame for Partition. The book was extremely controversial, and Singh was dismissed from the BJP’s core membership. In 2010, he was readmitted to BJP.
Jaswant Singh was again dismissed from the party in 2014 after he ran as an independent candidate in the 2014 Lok Sabha election in the Barmer constituency against his own party’s nominee. He subsequently lost the election.
His Major Opera
As India’s Minister of External Affairs, Jaswant Singh is widely praised for his efforts to mend relations with the United States, which were strained following the 1998 Indian nuclear tests. As a skillful negotiator and diplomat, he contributed to the improvement of relations between the two countries.
Awards & Achievements
In 2001, he was honored with the Outstanding Parliamentarian Award.
Personal History and Legacy
Sheetal Kanwar is married to Jaswant Singh. The eldest of their two sons, Manvendra Singh, is a former Barmer member of parliament.
In 2014, he fell at his home and sustained serious brain injuries. He spent four months in the hospital and has not yet fully healed.
Estimated Net Worth
Jaswant is one of the wealthiest and most popular politicians in India. According to our research, Wikipedia, Forbes, and Business Insider, Jaswant Singh has an estimated net worth of $1.5 million.