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Jagernath Lachmon in 1975
(1916-09-21)21 September 1916
19 October 2001(2001-10-19) (aged 85)
The Hague, Netherlands
Progressive Reform Party
Jagernath Lachmon, also Jaggernath Lachmon, (21 September 1916 – 19 October 2001) was a Surinamese politician. He was one of the founders of the Progressive Reform Party, an Indo-Surinamese party founded in 1947 of which he served a long period as President.
3 Personal life and death
Lachmon was born in Corantijnpolder in the district of Nickerie. The youngest child of six, his parents were contract laborers from Uttar Pradesh to Suriname. His father was a plantation cook and his mother, Waterloo, clipped cane. Later, his parents started a small dairy farm in Nieuw Nickerie.
Lachmon left for Paramaribo when he was thirteen, and completed his school qualifications. On the advice of one of his teachers, he decided to practise law. At that time, there were restrictions about legal studies in Suriname. After a long search, he found the creole lawyer Julius Caesar de Miranda who became mentor. Surprised that a Creole was willing to teach an Indian made a great impression on the young Lachmon and laid the basis for his efforts towards reconciliation between the different ethnic groups.
In 1940, he started his own law practice, and in 1943, together with other Hindus, he founded the association Djagaran Will. In 1947, Lachmon was one of the founders and forerunner of the United Hindustani Party (VHP), the largest Hindu political party in Suriname (later renamed Progressive Reform Party). Lachmon was chairman, and retained that post until his death. In the general election of 1949, Lachmon won a seat in the States of Suriname, and the National Party of Suriname (NPS) took 13 of the 21 seats, enabling them to form a government. In the 1955 Suriname election, the NPS lost heavily, and Lachmon withdrew one of its candidates to back Johan Adolf Pengel, in order to give him a better chance. From 1964 to 1967 and 1969 to 1973, Lachmon was chairman of the States and the forerunner of the National Assembly.
In February 1974, Henck Arron, the Pri