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Last Updated: Friday, 24 December, 2004, 12:10 GMT
Ex-Indian PM Rao dies: Your reaction
Former Indian Prime Minister PV Narasimha Rao
Former Indian Prime Minister PV Narasimha Rao has died two weeks after suffering a heart attack.

Mr Rao was India's prime minister between 1991 and 1996, leading the Congress Party after the assassination of former premier Rajiv Gandhi.

He is largely credited with launching India's economic reforms in the 1990s, but his tenure was blighted in 1992 by the destruction of a mosque in Ayodhya by Hindu nationalists.

What is Mr Rao's legacy to the people of India? How will he be remembered? Send us your comments and experiences.

This debate has now closed. Thank you for your comments.

PVN was one of the greatest politicians who had a clear vision that most Indian politicians lack. Being from a non-Nehru family, he successfully ruled the country in spite of all the trouble. Common people in India will always remember him.
Karanth, India/USA

If it wasn't for him, I wouldn't be where I am right now
Bhaskar Chitraju, Dearborn
Mr Rao was not just a great man but also a great leader. If it wasn't for him, I wouldn't be where I am right now. Unfortunately, people may remember him more for his mistakes than his accomplishments. Whatever people may consider him, Mr. Rao for me will always be a leader who forever altered the course of my life and India.
Bhaskar Chitraju, Dearborn

Mr Rao is one of the most educated PMs India ever had - he knew 15 languages. Undoubtedly the pioneer of Indian economic reforms, when he came to power India had a billion dollar debt from world bank, but with his policies India recovered fast and achieved what she didn't in the 50 years after independence.
Nakul Navre, Indore / India

I still remember Rao when he came to Singapore in the mid nineties as the Prime Minsiter of India for the Annual Singapore Lecture, which was witnessed by all the cabinet ministers as well as the Prime Minister of Singapore. I was astonished by the man and the way he held himself. The lecture was telecast live in Singapore. It was clear to anyone that night that we were in the midst of a very learned person. Looking at the dismal state of affairs in India, I was surprised that this country could have produced such a bright and able person. And of course, I have rarely seen any leader, let alone leaders in the western world speak in such clear and impeccable English. He made me proud that night. There is no doubt in my mind that Rao is the greatest leader that modern India has produced. On that night, after his speech, there was a standing ovation for him not lasting anything less than 10 minutes.
Arut Kannan, Paris, France

His appointment of cabinet ministers and other important positions, were purely based on merit
Dig, Cincinnati, USA
He had some of the true leadership qualities. His appointment of cabinet ministers and other important positions, were purely based on merit. His decision to send Vajpayee, a political opponent, to the UN meeting during the Kashmir crisis was an example of mature leadership. He led India through a period of crisis and initiated bold reforms. The reforms have been embraced by all political parties and form the bedrock of their economic policies. He was a low profile person and will likely never get due credit. May God bless his soul and rest in peace.
Dig, Cincinnati, USA

Rajiv Gandhi trumpeted about reforms but did not have a clue how to implement it. PVN silently heralded the economic reforms. He had wisdom, could recognize talents such as M Singh, could trust them and give full freedom. This would never have happened with a Nehru-Gandhi Prime Minister!
Ravi Bale, Calgary, Canada

The reformer is dead. Can Manmohan Singh continue to push the path of reform? Remember, Rao's congress government was a supposed caretaker government yet it lasted for a whole term. Can Manmohan Singh do the same?
Malcolm, Singapore

Thanks to Rao, young Indians like me have stepped into 21st century with education and confidence
Amir Qureshi, Toronto, Canada

If Mahatma Gandhi freed India from the British Raj, Rao liberated India from its economic and socialist woes. Thanks to Rao, young Indians like me have stepped into 21st century with education and confidence that matches the best in the world. Clearly, Rao is the father of the Modern Indian Nation that will shine in the 21st century.
Amir Qureshi, Toronto, Canada

Under him, India moved away from socialism and towards a free-market system. It was unfortunate he frittered it away with the scandals and corruption.
Balark Mallik, San Francisco, CA

Probably the greatest of all the leaders that modern India produced. He executed some of the most fundamental of changes in the Indian economy despite running a minority government. May his soul rest in peace.
Tella Puli, India

I hope more citizens, particularly leaders, will be as intelligent and visionary as he was
Shashank Kansal, London, UK
Any true historian in 50 years time will describe him as the champion who steered Indian from verge of economic disaster to being one of the leading economies of the world. He should also be remembered as the first independent Indian PM who selected his cabinet on merits alone. I hope more citizens, particularly leaders, will be as intelligent and visionary as he was. A sad loss..
Shashank Kansal, London, UK

Though lots of people get credit for booming Indian economy, it was Mr Rao, who actually started it. He was the only Congress man who could break out of the Gandhi-Nehru dynasty clutches and have his own coterie. He made mistakes. One of them was inaction during demolishing of the Babri mosque... but the good thing about that is the fact that we don't see communal riots over that issue anymore.
Antesh Sinha, DC, US

He was a silent achiever. Hats off for he was the first non-Nehru congress PM to hold office for full term.
R K Raman, Chennai, India

Never has India had a better leader than him. All throughout his tenure as PM he brought in various bold reforms, which we were hitherto made to believe was impossible in India. He must be credited for the extraordinary economic growth that India is witnessing today and he must be credited for solving the Punjab problem. Today we badly need a leader who could take corruption head on and eradicate it. History will remember Mr Rao as one of India's best leaders. May his soul rest in peace and may India get more leaders like him.
Vinod Sandanasamy, Palm Beach, USA

He spoke very little but his actions took India on the path of progress. Indeed, he was the perfect example of deeds speaking louder than words. God bless his soul.
Kartikeya Sharma, Rochester, NY

PV is the only prime minister that ever thought about the country and did something good for the country. But sadly he is not from the Gandhi family so will never get his due.
Srinivas, Visakhapatnam, India

There is no doubt that Narasimha Rao played a pivotal role in the India's economic development. However, we should not ignore the fact that he was involved in various scandals. I am still waiting for the day when India will have honest, hardworking politicians.
Rahul Samanta, Milton Keynes, UK

Regardless of the controversies at the end of his term, he was a great prime minister
Chitraju, Southgate, Michigan, US
PV Narasimha Rao led the Indian economy to what it is today with his economic reforms. Regardless of the controversies at the end of his term, he was a great prime minister. It's a great loss for the country.
Chitraju, Southgate, Michigan, US

PV Narasimha Rao will be remembered for initiating the economic reforms that changed the face of modern India. After Rajiv Gandhi frittered away the absolute mandate given to him following his mother's assassination... Rao's common sense and political savvy rescued India from the brink of bankruptcy and put the nation on track to become a major player in the 21st Century.
Aditya, Boston, MA

Rao, one of the great politicians India has observed in recent history, will be remembered forever for his bold steps in economic reforms that led India to become the fastest growing economy in the world. Being outside the Nehru-Gandhi family, still his ability to lead the country for five yrs is remarkable. It's a great loss for the country.
Srikanth, London, UK

Undoubtedly, the best prime minister we have had so far. Scholarly and shrewd. He was the father of the (now seemingly inevitable) economic reforms. His indecisiveness proved fatal in the case of Babri Masjid, but led to a bizarre resolution of the Hazratbal conflict. The Punjab insurgency was quelled during his reign and the Kashmir problem further inflamed. The economy grew strong, but scandals were rife. He was one of the rarest, in the Indian political scene. He left his indelible mark in the history of independent India with his startling successes and equally stark failures.
Satyadev, Thrissur, India

Mr. Rao was one of the rare ones in Congress Party who had his own opinion and agenda rather than just following the Gandhi dynasty. He earns my respect for leading the country in a honest and straightforward manner.
Vijay, Washington, DC

Although there were controversies during his term, Mr. Rao managed to lead the country to a better place than it was when he took power. That in itself is a mighty accomplishment that not many other leaders of the world can claim. Mr Rao's work should teach new leaders how to effectively run a nation.
Soumyo Dutta, Kingsport, US

Mr. Narasimha Rao will always be remembered as the introducer of political and economic reforms. His regime is the turning point in Indian economic history. Strategic disinvestment and telecommunications are his most successful sectors. He, along with his cabinet, are always remembered by patriotic Indians.
Vijaya Sekhar Gullapalli, Landskrona, Sweden

I have always admired Narasimha Rao for his bold decisions. No-one can forget the almost bankrupt economy with 15 days worth of forex reserves left and when the previous governments resorted to selling the gold reserves. Even though his reign was marred by many scandals, I think he was an exceptionally shrewd man who should be given full credit for being bold under extreme pressure and giving new economic direction to the country. India will do well if there are many leaders who can take care of the country and are as astute as him.
Sriram, Chapel Hill, USA

Mr Rao was a very good politician and a capable leader, but the corrupt leaders of India tried to put him down
Scaria Mathai, Surrey, UK

Rao took office after Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated and he had bad times when India had huge deficit. I personally liked Rao since he had Intellectual image in the world. May God rest his soul in peace.
Saurabh Tandon, USA

This is really a pity. His term as prime minister was the time where he saved India from bankruptcy.
Srinivas Prabhu, Grenoble, France

Mr Rao will go down in Indian history as one of the best prime ministers that the country had. The growth India is seeing today is all due to his dedicated support to liberalisation and economic reforms. He broke the old guard, made India think new and integrated with rest of the developed world, especially the US and Europe. I salute his departed soul.
Hemant, UK

PVN belongs to a class of politicians who knew what was good for the country and also how to get it done in politics. This was evident from the way he brought in the reforms whose harvest is being reaped by the present leaders and also the way he steered the minority government for five years. It is an honour for all of us to have lived in his era.
Srinivas Chandrashekaran, Bangalore, India

Rao was one of the best and most progressive modern leaders in India. The current crop of politicians all over the world could learn a lot from him.
G Sareen, London, UK

It's a personal loss for each one of us in the country. Whatever India is now has been from God's blessings in the form of Rao. A true polyglot, Mr Rao will be remembered as the saviour of India, from a time where India could have gone into sovereign debt. The great "Apara Chanakya" is no more and it's a huge loss for the country.
Vamsi Krishna Hemanth Illindala, Hyderabad, India

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