James Shankar Singh

James Shankar Singh

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James Shankar Singh

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James Shankar Singh (born 1924) was a Fiji Indian farmer, businessman, social worker and politician who served as a Minister in the Alliance Government of Ratu Sir Kamisese Mara. Like many Fiji Indian politicians of the era, he joined the Alliance Party with a belief in mutiracialism, but was disappointed with the Alliance Party's appeal to Fijian nationalism after 1977 and left the Alliance to join the National Federation Party.

Early life

James Shankar Singh, although himself a Christian convert, came from an influential Kisan Sangh supporting Arya Samaj family from Ba. After completing his primary and secondary education in Fiji, he was sent overseas for further education but returned without completing his studies. He then established a successful insurance and travel agency in Ba town. He made valuable contribution to the Red Cross and was a driving force in the establishment of the Ba Health Centre.

Early election losses

With his family's involvement in sugar politics, it was only a matter of time before James Shankar Singh himself entered politics. His opportunity arose in 1963 when he stood for the North Viti Levu Indian Constituency against S.M. Koya of the Citizens Federation. The constituency included the districts of Ba, Tavua and Ra and in a tense and sometimes violent campaign Singh lost to Koya by 3,998 to 3,480 votes. This was the closest contest of the election and although Singh obtained the majority of the votes in Ba, voters from Tavua and Ra...
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