R Sankar

R. Sankar (1909–1972) was an Indian politician and the third Chief Minister of Kerala. He was born on April 30, 1909 to Raman and Kunchali Amma in Kuzhikkalidavaka village in Kottarakkara. Though born in a large family and despite the not so favourable conditions, he was fortunate enough to get good education. His formal education began in the Puthoor Primary School and later continued in an English School in Kottarakkara.

In 1924, he joined Maharajas College (present University College), Thiruvananthapuram, with the help of a wealthy and benevolent relative, as his father could not afford the expenses for his education.

After graduating from Maharajas College, he joined Law College, Thiruvananthapuram in 1933. After studies, he took teaching as his profession. He joined Sivagiri High School as Principal. It was during those days, that he associated himself with the activities of the SNDP Yogam. A very good orator, he impressed many with his inspiring talks on the social injustice prevalent in those days, particularly the discriminatory attitude shown towards backward class communities. He also raised his voice for equal opportunities for backward classes, in all sectors. He studied Kumaran Asan’s poetry deeply and attended many literary meetings throughout Travancore.

Having started public life as a teacher and lawyer, he was drawn to politics with the birth of the Indian National Congress in State . The end of the Nivarthana agitation and the gradual growth of the State Congress, accelerated Sankar’s rise as a political leader. He participated in the freedom struggle and was arrested and put in jail. After India’s independence he focused his attention on strengthening the Congress party. Later, taking a break from the Congress party, he began to work in the SNDP Yogam. His work during this period served a great deal to bring backward class communities into the fold of the Congress party. During his long association with the SNDP Yogam of over 13 years, he served the Yogam as its General Secretary, President and Chief of the SN Trust. Under his leadership the SNDP Yogam gave emphasis to the field of education and started many educational institutions. Sree Sankar returned to the State Congress at a crucial juncture, when it was going through one of its worst periods. His organising skills and leadership qualities became evident in the election held after independence. He was elected to the Travancore Assembly in 1948. He also became a member of the Travancore-Cochin Assembly from 1949 to 1956. Sree. Sankar was a member of the Constituent Assembly and also a member of the Franchise and Delimitation Commission and the Reforms Committee constituted after the introduction of the Responsible Government. He led the Congress party as KPCC President during the Vimochana Samaram(Liberation Struggle). The Congress won the elections in 1960 under Sree. Sankar’s leadership and he became the Deputy Chief Minister in the Pattom Thanupillai ministry. He handled Finance portfolio from 1960 to 1962. When Sree Pattom Thanupillaiwas appointed as Governor, Sree Sankar became the Chief Minister of Kerala from September 26, 1962 to September 10, 1964. Sree R Sankar was an able administrator and statesman. His track record as the Chief Minister of Kerala is ample proof of his administrative skills. He brought about many economic reforms while handling the finance portfolio. He served as the Chairman of the Committee of Privileges from 1960 to 1964. He was also the editor of a newspaper called Dinamony. His wife was Smt Lekshmikutty Amma and they have one son and one daughter.Sree Sankar died at the age of 63 on November 6, 1972. The Assembly paid its homage to him on November 13, 1972.




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