Dharamvir Singh : The forgotten hero of TV network in India

Er Prabhat Kishore *

Communication has always been of prime importance. With the advent of television in 1927, Indians also dreamed for this service and after independence television service was started in Delhi as a part of All India Radio (AIR) in 1959. For its expansion across the country, its management was separated from AIR and independent new body named “Doordarshan (DD)” was constituted. One of the architects of the ambitious Doordarshan service was-Shri Dharamvir Singh.

Dharamvir Singh was born on 10 June 1932 in Barh in Patna district. His native village is Simra Bilgawan on the banks of Son river under Bhojpur district. His father Shri Devsharan Singh (Former Chairman, Bihar Legislative Council) was a renowned Congress leader and freedom fighter at the National level and was an advocate at Barh Sub-Divisional Court.

Dharamvir Singh graduated from Bihar National College, Patna under Patna University. He was a meritorious student from the very beginning and along with studies, he also had special interest in journalism, sports and social works. He was selected by Sarat Chandra Bose as a member of the “International Brigade” to go for the independence of Indonesiain 1947.

He was a member of Bihar Lawn Tennis Council in 1952 and Secretary of Bihar Table Tennis Association from 1954-67. He was also associated with New Patna Club, Delhi Golf Club and Delhi Gymkhana for a long time. In the company of his father, Dharamvir Singh inclined towards active politics.

In 1967, he was elected for the first time from the 193-Bakhtiarpur Vidhan Sabha Constituency in Patna district and became the secretary of the Congress Legislature Party. In the election held on 21 February 1967, Dharamvir Singh (20772 votes) contesting on Indian National Congress ticket defeated Independent Shri Ramlakhan Rai (18221 votes) and Shri RS Singh (15317 votes) of Jan Kranti Dal in a tough contest.

Again in 1969, he was elected from the 193-Bakhtiarpur Assembly Constituency and became the Chief Whip of the Congress Legislature Party. In this election held on 9 February 1969, Indian National Congress candidate Dharamvir Singh (19578 votes) defeated Ram Lakhan Rai (17896 votes) of Samyukta Socialist Party and Ram-chandra Singh Chouhan (15364 votes) Independent. In 1970, he was inducted for the first time in the Bihar Cabinet as Minister of State for Labor, Information and Tourism.

On the special initiative of the then Prime Minister Smt Indira Gandhi, Dharamvir Singh contested for the Fifth Lok Sabha in 1971 on Indian National Congress (R) ticket from the 34-Barh Lok Sabha Constituency. Outgoing MP and former Union Minister Smt Tarkeshwari Sinha was contesting against him as an Indian National Congress (Organization) candidate.

The fire-brand stalwart Smt Tarkeshwari Sinha had won four consecutive elections namely-the First Lok Sabha (3-Patna East Constituency in 1951), the Second Lok Sabha (28-Barh Constituency in 1957), the Third Lok Sabha (34-Barh Constituency in 1962) and the fourth Lok Sabha (34-Barh Constituency in 1967). Dharamvir Singh (184484 votes) created a new history in this area by securing 48.10 percent votes defeating an invincible MP like Smt Sinha.

After being elected to the Lok Sabha, he resigned from the membership of the Bihar Legislative Assembly, on which the flamboyant socialist leader Bhola Pra-sad Singh was elected in the by-election. Mrs Gandhi was highly impressed with Dharamvir Singh and he was inducted into the Union Cabinet in 1971 as Deputy Minister of Information and Broadcasting, in his first inning as a Member of Parliament, a position he held till 1977.

Several remarkable works have been performed in the Ministry during his tenure, the most notable event was the formation of “Doordarshan”. On 1 April 1976, television broadcasting was separated from the radio network and replaced by the name “Doordarshan”.

In 1972, television service was started in the second city of the country, Mumbai. Prior to this, the service of television broadcasting was available only in the National capital Delhi. By the year 1975, television service had expanded to seven cities of Bharatvarsha.

During his tenure, he made a lot of efforts to promote artistic films as well as commercial and devotional films like “Jai Santoshi Maa”. All India Radio Annual Awards were started in 1974. He led several Indian delegations abroad.

During the election of the Sixth Lok Sabha in 1977, there was a wave of Janata Party due to the student movement in the whole country. Bihar was the center of this movement. Congress could not get a single seat in Bihar due to the anger of the people stricken by the Emergency.

On Indian National Congress ticket, Dharamvir Singh got only 101945 votes and lost to a newcomer Shyam Sundar Gupta (372227 votes), the Mayor of Kolkata Municipal Corporation. In 1979, a separate political party named Congress (I) was formed by Smt Indira Gandhi, but Dharamvir Singh decided to remain in the original party.

Due to mutual tussle and personal arrogance, the Janata Party Government could not survive for its full term. In the mid-term elections to the Seventh Lok Sabha in 1980, Dharamvir Singh contested from the 18-Barh Lok Sabha Constituency as a candidate of the Indian National Congress (Urs) led by Shri Devraj Urs, the then Chief Minister of Karnataka.

He defeated Smt Kamla Devi (160801 votes) of Janata Party and Ramraj Pd. Singh (102566 votes) of Indian National Congress (Indira) by securing 192407 votes on his own capacity. He held many important positions in the National and Parliamentary Party of the Congress.

He later aligned himself with Sharad Pawar-led Congress (S) and became the party’s national general secretary. After Ram Lakhan Singh Yadav left the party to join Congress (I), Dharamvir Babu was also given the responsibility of the post of President of Bihar unit of Congress (S).

In 1984, for the Eighth Lok Sabha, Dharamvir Singh contested again from the 18-Barh Lok Sabha Constituency on Indian National Congress (S) ticket. In the election, he got full support of socialists like Karpoori Thakur.

But he again fell victim to the sympathy wave triggered by the assassination of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi and lost the election to a controversial figure like Prakash Chandra alias Baby, son of Ram Lakhan Singh Yadav, who was contesting on Indian National Congress (Indira) ticket. Shri Prakash Chandra got 384719 votes out of total cast of 610745, while Shri Singh had to be satisfied with only 161983 votes.

The people of the Barh area continued to repent his defeat till the end. In 1986, at the National Convention of Congress (S) in Mumbai, Dharamvir Singh proposed the merger of Congress (S) with Congress (I) in his capacity as General Secretary, which was accepted unanimously.

The entire life of Dharamvir Singh was dedicated to the Nation. He wanted to see India as a great Nation. The only goal in his life was to make the country self-sufficient and prosperous and to bring harmony in the society. He was constantly striving to achieve his goal.

He was an articulate and fighting man. He was a strong supporter of the politics of honesty and remained unmarried throughout his life for the fulfillment of this motto. He was a skilled politician and a strong orator. His charitable life inspired him to travel to European countries.

Dharamvir Singh excelled in the field of journalism. The editorials and articles written by him on various National as well as international burning issues in newspapers and magazines like Weekly Dinaman etc. had fascinated the public. He was the flagbearer of the communication revolution in India.

On 5 April 1989, in the midst of the discussion on his election to the Rajya Sabha from Maharashtra, Dharamvir Singh went to Mumbai where he held detailed talks with the then Chief Minister Sharad Pawar on various issues.

But on 06 April 1989, he suddenly passed away in a suspicious condition in Mumbai. A wave of mourning ran across Bihar and this shining star of Indian politics disappeared from the National horizon forever.

* Er Prabhat Kishore wrote this article for The Sangai Express
The Author is a technocrat and educationist
This article was webcasted on 19 June 2024

* Comments posted by users in this discussion thread and other parts of this site are opinions of the individuals posting them (whose user ID is displayed alongside) and not the views of We strongly recommend that users exercise responsibility, sensitivity and caution over language while writing your opinions which will be seen and read by other users. Please read a complete Guideline on using comments on this website.

  • 2nd Annual Art Exhibition #2 : Gallery
  • Violence in Manipur 2023-2024 : Timeline
  • Union Budget 2024 & Income Tax
  • Physicochemical & productivity of Loktak
  • Human Rights & Empowering Women: Seminar
  • Forgiving is about freeing from resentment
  • The untold stories of hardworking men
  • Note the desecration of Laiphams too
  • Remembering Japanese War Memorial
  • 4th open letter to RSS Sarsanghchalak
  • Manipur & Nagaland: Which one is Ram Rajya
  • Blindspot in the global HIV response
  • Origin & development of Hindi journalism
  • Place where first match stick was struck
  • Union Budget 2024
  • Anti-Repression Day @ MDU #2 : Gallery
  • Gossiping: Safety valve of social pressure
  • Gritty Filmmaker RK Kripa no more
  • Internal stigma is out of shadow at AIDS 2024
  • Climate preview at COP 29
  • 9th Brahmaputra Film Fest invite entry
  • Current existence of the people
  • Is US ready for first female President ?
  • Birth Centenary of Jananeta Irabat, 1996 : #11
  • SoO pact towards disintegration of Manipur
  • Logical curriculum is the need of the hour
  • Prodigal Ambani shaadi
  • Marks Vs Skills in today's world
  • Taking ST demand to the Assembly
  • Good intention, bad action
  • My daily prayer to Modi Bhagwan
  • Voting & Development : A new strategy
  • More infection-prevention options but...
  • "ST status for Meetei" at Sekmaijin
  • Job Openings at SAS Skills, Imphal
  • The Power of Poppy - 40 :: Poem
  • Manipur Kanba Khongchat #3 : Gallery
  • Compassion, empathy can restore peace
  • Totomsana Nongshaba to be inaugurated
  • Putting people first means following Gandhi
  • Assessment of cage culture on Maphou
  • Hotspots of trouble in North East India
  • Seeking a date with PM Modi
  • Puja Khedkar case: Opening the can of worm
  • Re-Interpretation of Subika Art of Manipur
  • International Day of Yoga #2 : Gallery
  • India refugee policy: Rohingyas Vs Chin-Kuki
  • Haats (Weekly Markets) of Guwahati
  • Shillong gears up to host Durand Cup
  • Lip care during Monsoon
  • Gaikhangam in his elements, again
  • The death of a Chiru man
  • Anti-Repression Day @ MDU #1 : Gallery
  • You are wrong, but it's okay
  • Growing call for 100-100-100 to end AIDS
  • Pelvis as the body's emotional junk drawer!
  • World Youth Skills Day & our environment
  • Insanity at its worst
  • 55 kms per day on Imphal-Jiri stretch
  • Justice Kotiswar: First among equals
  • Kang Chingba @Govindajee #2 : Gallery
  • Introducing Thang-Ta in school curriculum
  • N Kotiswar - Judge Supreme Court of India
  • Meitei Professors' Invention Patent [Upd]
  • Boeing crisis hits India, air fares to shoot up
  • Scholarship: Rs 4 crore for civil service
  • Out on the streets against extortions
  • Mandate against party-hopping
  • Birth Centenary of Jananeta Irabat, 1996 : #10
  • Bamboo Bio-toilets at Champu Kangpok
  • Decarbonisation for human survival
  • Book Release to promote physical education
  • "ST status for Meetei" @ Langmeidong
  • Condemns the Killing of CRPF Jawan
  • Rahul Ji, let us talk solution
  • Targeting Central security personnel
  • The monster outgrowing its creator
  • Aftermath of Imphal Flooding #2 : Gallery
  • World Plastic Surgery Day 2024
  • A new front of 'power politics' in Nagaland
  • 2nd Meghalaya Pineapple Fest at Delhi
  • Super 20 batch for UPSC 2025 announced
  • Why is PM not meeting Manipur leaders ?
  • Justice to displaced people
  • Imphal Art College Exhibition #1 : Gallery
  • Scholarship for Johnstone Hr Sec given
  • Will #PutPeopleFirst drive HIV response?
  • Open Letter to Amit Shah, Home Minister
  • The Power of Poppy - 39 :: Poem
  • World Population Day 2024
  • Beating of the Retreat #3 : Gallery
  • Liar's lair :: Poem
  • The Richest Man in Imphal
  • Gamcha, the Assamese Scarf
  • Meghalaya Govt launches OTT platform
  • Comprehensive Coverage in NE Telecom
  • Battered and tattered roads
  • Let there be transparency
  • Kanglei Thokpa @ Sagol Kangjei : Gallery
  • Featured Front Page Photo 2024 #3: Gallery
  • Historic Premiere: 'Chilli Chicken' at Manipur
  • Effective Unified Command for Resolution
  • Music & Quiz: Drug Abuse amongst youth
  • Visionless and headless DMU
  • When is the right time & situation for PM visit
  • Descent of Radha-Krishna #37: Download
  • Inspirations from Scientists of Manipur: Book
  • Manipur crisis: Treat the disease, not symptom
  • 133rd Durand Cup Trophies Flags Off
  • NEET droppers vs freshers
  • Death : Only future to look at ?
  • Mental health of displaced people
  • Aftermath of Imphal Flooding #1 : Gallery
  • When was the last time we smiled ?
  • Appeal to Stop Unbearable Monetary Demand
  • 'Oppenheimer' links with Supreme Science
  • 'Preventing from holding a press conference'
  • Travel tips during Monsoon
  • Look at it via ground reality
  • Making the 'Balak Buddhi' wiser
  • Kang Chingba @Govindajee #1 : Gallery
  • Release Ebo Mili & Stop large dams in ArP
  • Rainforests are the lungs of Earth
  • Education suffering from political interference
  • Inflated bill main vote plank, law dont cut graft
  • From the Lok Sabha to Manipur
  • Third visit of Rahul
  • Birth Centenary of Jananeta Irabat, 1996 : #9
  • International Day of Yoga #1 : Gallery
  • Lord Jagannatha's processional chariot fest
  • World Zoonoses Day 2024
  • PM 'bola' in Parliament
  • Acknowledging the stand of UNC
  • Embracing tree plantation as a new trend
  • 17th N Tombi Equestrian C'ships #2 : Gallery
  • The spirit & the creed of the Olympics
  • Kang Chingba (Rath Yatra) : Book
  • 'Economic blockade: Rumors baseless'
  • The Power of Poppy - 38 :: Poem
  • Balancing children's academic performance
  • Imphal flooded (again) [Jul 3] #2 : Gallery
  • Covid, Ngari, Yu and Loktak
  • Rural people struggling with network problem
  • English certificate courses for BA student
  • 6th July is International Day of Cooperatives
  • Clogging the waterways with plastics
  • Diverting public attention from core issues
  • Manipur Kanba Khongchat #2 : Gallery
  • Gateway of Assam
  • Integrating GIS & EWS for flood management
  • The Dopamine overdose
  • Free workshop on civil service exams
  • Bucket of cold water after a hot shower
  • Breaking the silence
  • Imphal flooded (again) [Jul 3] #1 : Gallery
  • Embracing 'Sharra - Kashar-ot'
  • Drug abuse & illicit trafficking in Manipur
  • Nudity being served to increase followers
  • Record high temperature
  • Bangladesh FM Hasan Mahmud's Riyadh visit
  • Indigenous call for NRC
  • Come home to the electorates
  • Meiteis must unite for survival
  • Flood advisories issued
  • State & District Control Rooms
  • Green Hydrogen for a clean environment
  • Need for an Emergency
  • Monsoons beauty
  • Calling out the indifference of Delhi
  • Questioning the silence with a roar
  • Birth Centenary of Jananeta Irabat, 1996 : #8
  • Problem & prospect of floriculture in Manipur
  • WomenLeaders India Fellowship 2024-25
  • Naga Peace Talks and Narasimha Rao
  • Arunachal Minister visits Oil Palm @Godavari
  • Clear cut stand from the Nagas
  • Crisis resolution in 100-day plan ?
  • Great June Uprising @Kekrupat #2 : Gallery
  • Manipur: A battleground of imperial geopolitics
  • Wangkhem Suresh @ Higher Defence Course
  • Shoppers Stop's 1st Store in Dimapur
  • Stop razing rail station, divert 25k Cr to Signal
  • Has Imphal completely lost the plot ?
  • Time to take responsibility
  • Tarpon chaklen katpa @ Andro #3 : Gallery
  • July Calendar for Year 2024 : Tools
  • Letter to Prime Minister of India
  • International Day of Parliamentarism
  • Skill Development Course at Lumshnong
  • The Power of Poppy - 37 :: Poem
  • Radio E-pao: Manipuri Film OST (130+ song)
  • Manipur Kanba Khongchat #1 : Gallery
  • Rally @ Jiribam [June 26] : Gallery
  • Panthoibi Phijol Hongba @Mandalay : Gallery
  • Indo-Naga Talks (From 2012) :: Timeline
  • Great June Uprising @Kekrupat #1 : Gallery
  • Ema Panthoibi Phijol Hongba at Mandalay
  • Ibudhou Cheng Hongba #1 : Gallery
  • Ima Keithel flood- May 30 #3 : Gallery
  • Aid to relief camps @ Jiribam : Gallery
  • Bike Rally - Sekmai to Kangla : Gallery
  • Ima Keithel flood- May 30 #2 : Gallery
  • Scientist of Manipur: Laishram Shanta
  • Imphal valley districts flooded #3 : Gallery
  • Ima Keithel flood- May 30 #1 : Gallery
  • Imphal valley districts flooded #2 : Gallery
  • Imphal valley districts flooded #1 : Gallery
  • HSLC (Class X) 2024 : Full Result
  • HSLC 2024 : Important Info & Grading System
  • HSLC 2024 : Pass % : Private Schools
  • HSLC 2024 : Pass % : Aided Schools
  • HSLC 2024 : Pass % : Govt Schools
  • HSLC 2024 : Statistical Abstract
  • HSLC 2024 : Comparative Statement
  • Scientist of Manipur: Jayanta Manoharmayum
  • Scientist of Manipur: Amom Ruhikanta
  • Preserving Thang-Ta :: Rare Photos
  • Malemnganbi Laishram : Science Topper
  • Thokchom Sheityajit : Arts Topper
  • Aiena Naorem : Commerce Topper
  • Hr Secondary Exam 2024 : Science Topper
  • HSE 2024 : Subject Pass Percentage
  • HSE 2024 : District Pass Percentage
  • HSE 2024 : Candidates with Highest Marks
  • Hr Secondary Exam 2024: Science Full Result
  • Hr Secondary Exam 2024: Arts Full Result
  • Hr Secondary Exam 2024: Commerce Result
  • Hr Secondary Exam 2024 : Arts Topper
  • Hr Secondary Exam 2024 : Commerce Topper
  • Nupi Landa Thaunaphabishing : Full Book
  • A ferocious hailstorm @Imphal : Gallery
  • Scientists of Manipur : Ngangkham Nimai
  • GHOST of PEACE :: Download Booklet
  • List of Kings of Manipur: 33 - 1984 AD