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Dalit Dignitory

K. R. Narayanan

Kocheril Raman Narayanan
10th President of India
In office
25 July 1997 – 25 July 2002
Prime MinisterI. K. Gujral
Atal Bihari Vajpayee
Vice PresidentKrishan Kant
Preceded byShankar Dayal Sharma
Succeeded byA. P. J. Abdul Kalam
Vice President of India
In office
21 August 1992 – 24 July 1997
PresidentShankar Dayal Sharma
Preceded byShankar Dayal Sharma
Succeeded byKrishan Kant
Personal details
Born(1920-10-27)27 October 1920
Perumthanam, Travancore, British India
(now in Kerala, India)
Died9 November 2005(2005-11-09) (aged 85)
New Delhi
Political partyIndian National Congress
Alma materUniversity of Kerala (B.A., M.A.)
London School of Economics (B.Sc)
Kocheril Raman Narayanan About this sound pronunciation (27 October 1920 – 9 November 2005) was the tenth President of India. He was the first Dalit and the first Malayali to become President.
Born in Perumthanam, Uzhavoor village, in the princely state of Travancore (present day Kottayam district, Kerala), and after a brief stint with journalism and then studying political science at the London School of Economics with the assistance of a scholarship, Narayanan began his career in India as a member of the Indian Foreign Service in the Nehru administration. He served as ambassador to Japan, United Kingdom, Thailand, Turkey, People's Republic of China and United States of America and was referred by Nehru as "the best diplomat of the country". He entered politics at Indira Gandhi's request and won three successive general elections to the Lok Sabha and served as a Minister of State in the Union Cabinet under former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi. Elected as the ninth Vice President in 1992, Narayanan went on to become President in 1997.
Narayanan is regarded as an independent and assertive President who set several precedents and enlarged the scope of the highest constitutional office. He described himself as a "working President" who worked "within the four corners of the Constitution"; something midway between an "executive President" who has direct power and a "rubber-stamp President" who endorses government decisions without question or deliberation. He used his discretionary powers as a President and deviated from convention and precedent in many situations, including – but not limited to – the appointment of the Prime Minister in a hung Parliament, in dismissing a state government and imposing President's rule there at the suggestion of the Union Cabinet, and during the Kargil conflict. He presided over the golden jubilee celebrations of Indian independence and in the country's general election of 1998 became the first Indian President to vote when in office, setting another new precedent.
Early life
K. R. Narayanan was born in a small thatched hut at Perumthanam, Uzhavoor, as the fourth of seven children of Kocheril Raman Vaidyar, a physician practicing the traditional Indian medical systems of Siddha and Ayurveda, and Punnaththuraveettil Paappiyamma. His family (belonging to the Paravan caste, whose members are assigned the task of plucking coconuts as per the caste system) was poor, but his father was respected for his medical acumen. He was born on 27 October 1920, but his uncle, who accompanied him on his first day in school, did not know his actual date of birth, and arbitrarily chose 27 October 1920 for the records; Narayanan later chose to let it remain official.
Narayanan had his early schooling in Uzhavoor at the Government Lower Primary School, Kurichithanam (where he enrolled on 5 May 1927) and Our Lady of Lourdes Upper Primary School, Uzhavoor (1931–35). He walked to school for about 15 kilometres daily through paddy fields, and was often unable to pay the modest fees. He often listened to school lessons while standing outside the classroom, having been barred from attending because tuition fees were outstanding. The family lacked money to buy books and his elder brother K. R. Neelakantan, who was confined to home as he was suffering from asthma, used to borrow books from other students, copy them down, and give them to Narayanan. He matriculated from St. Mary's High School, Kuravilangad (1936–37) (he had studied at St. John's High School, Koothattukulam (1935–36) previously). He completed his intermediate at C. M. S. College, Kottayam (1938–40), aided by a scholarship from the Travencore Royal family.
He obtained his B. A. (Honours) and M.A. in English literature from the University of Travancore (1940–43) (present day University of Kerala), standing first in the university (thus becoming the first Dalit to obtain this degree with first class in Travancore).
With his family facing grave difficulties, he left for Delhi and worked for some time as a journalist with The Hindu and The Times of India (1944–45). During this time he once interviewed Mahatma Gandhi in Bombay on his own volition (10 April 1945).Narayanan then went to England (1945) and studied political science under Harold Laski at the London School of Economics (LSE); he also attended lectures by Karl Popper, Lionel Robbins, and Friedrich Hayek. He obtained the honours degree of B. Sc. (Economics) with a specialisation in political science, helped by a scholarship from J. R. D. Tata. During his years in London, he (along with fellow student K. N. Raj) was active in the India League under V. K. Krishna Menon. He was also the London correspondent of the Social Welfare Weekly published by K. M. Munshi. He shared lodgings with K. N. Raj and Veerasamy Ringadoo (who later became the first President of Mauritius); another close friend was Pierre Trudeau (who later became Prime minister of Canada).

Diplomat and academician

When Narayanan returned to India in 1948, Laski gave him a letter of introduction to Prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru. Years later he narrated how he began his career in the public service:
When I finished with LSE, Laski, of his own, gave me a letter of introduction for Panditji. On reaching Delhi I sought an appointment with the PM. I suppose, because I was an Indian student returning home from London, I was given a time-slot. It was here in Parliament House that he met me. We talked for a few minutes about London and things like that and I could soon see that it was time for me to leave. So I said goodbye and as I left the room I handed over the letter from Laski, and stepped out into the great circular corridor outside. When I was half way round, I heard the sound of someone clapping from the direction I had just come. I turned to see Panditji [Nehru] beckoning me to come back. He had opened the letter as I left his room and read it. [Nehru asked:] "Why didn't you give this to me earlier?" [and KRN replied:] "Well, sir, I am sorry. I thought it would be enough if I just handed it over while leaving." After a few more questions, he asked me to see him again and very soon I found myself entering the Indian Foreign Service.

K. R. Narayanan with then President of Russia Vladimir Putin on 3 October 2000.
In 1949, he joined the Indian Foreign Service (IFS) on Nehru's request.
He worked as a diplomat in the embassies at Rangoon, Tokyo, London, Canberra, and Hanoi. He was the Indian ambassador to Thailand (1967–69), Turkey (1973–75), and the People's Republic of China (1976–78). He taught at the Delhi School of Economics (DSE) (1954), and was Jawaharlal Nehru fellow (1970–72) and secretary to the ministry of external affairs (1976). He retired in 1978. After his retirement, he served as the Vice-Chancellor of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) in New Delhi from 3 January 1979 – 14 October 1980; he would later describe this experience as the foundation for his public life. Subsequently he was called back from retirement to serve as Indian Ambassador to the United States from 1980–84, under the Indira Gandhi administration. Narayanan's tenures as Indian ambassador to China, the first such high level Indian diplomatic posting in that country after the 1962 Sino-Indian War, and to the USA where he helped arrange Ms. Gandhi's landmark 1982 visit to Washington during the Reagan presidency helped mend India's strained relations with both these countries. Nehru, who had also been the Minister for External Affairs during his 16 years as PM, held that K. R. Narayanan was "the best diplomat of the country."(1955)


While working in Rangoon, Burma (Myanmar), K. R. Narayanan met Ma Tint Tint, whom he later married in Delhi on 8 June 1951. Ma Tint Tint was active in the YWCA and on hearing that Narayanan was a student of Laski, approached him to speak on political freedom before her circle of acquaintances. Their marriage needed a special dispensation from Nehru per Indian law, because Narayanan was in the IFS and she was a foreigner. Ma Tint Tint adopted the Indian name Usha and became an Indian citizen. Usha Narayanan (1923–2008) worked on several social welfare programs for women and children in India. She also translated and published several Burmese short stories; a collection of translated stories by Thein Pe Myint, titled Sweet and Sour, appeared in 1998. She is the only woman of foreign origin to have become the First Lady. They have two daughters, Ms. Chitra Narayanan (Indian ambassador to Switzerland and The Holy See) and Amrita.

Parliamentarian, Union Minister and Vice President

Narayanan entered politics at the request of Indira Gandhi and won three successive general elections to the Lok Sabha in 1984, 1989, and 1991, as a representative of the Ottapalam constituency in Palakkad, Kerala, on an Congress ticket. He was a Minister of State in the Union cabinet under Rajiv Gandhi, holding the portfolios of Planning (1985), External Affairs (1985–86), and Science and Technology (1986–89). As a Member of Parliament, he resisted international pressure to tighten patent controls in India. He sat in the opposition benches when the Congress was voted out of power during 1989–91. Narayanan was not included in the cabinet when the Congress returned to power in 1991. K. Karunakaran, Congress Chief Minister of Kerala, a political adversary of his, informed Narayanan that he was not made a minister because of him being a "Communist fellow-traveller". He did not, however, respond when Narayanan pointed out that he had defeated Communist candidates (A. K. Balan and Lenin Rajendran, the latter twice) in all three elections
K. R. Narayanan was elected as the Vice President of India on 21 August 1992, under the Presidency of Shankar Dayal Sharma. His name had been proposed initially by V. P. Singh, former Prime Minister and the then leader of the Janata Dal parliamentary party. The Janata Dal and the Left Front had jointly declared him as their candidate, and this had later garnered support from the Congress under P. V. Narasimha Rao, leading to a unanimous decision on his election. On his relationship with the Left front, Narayanan later clarified that he was neither a devotee nor a blind opponent of Communism; they had known of his ideological differences, but had supported him as Vice President (and later as President) because of special political circumstances that prevailed in the country. He had benefited from their support, and in turn, their political positions had gained acceptability. When the Babri Masjid was demolished on 6 December 1992, he described the event as the "greatest tragedy India has faced since the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi

K. R. Narayanan was elected to the Presidency of India[ (17 July 1997) with 95% of the votes in the electoral college, as a result of the Presidential poll on 14 July. This is the only Presidential election to have been held with a minority government holding power at the centre. T. N. Seshan was the sole opposing candidate, and all major parties save the Shiv Sena supported his candidature., while Seshan alleged that Narayanan had been elected solely for being a Dalit.
He was sworn in as the President of India (25 July 1997) by Chief Justice J. S. Verma in the Central Hall of Parliament. In his inaugural address, he said:
That the nation has found a consensus for its highest office in some one who has sprung from the grass-roots of our society and grown up in the dust and heat of this sacred land is symbolic of the fact that the concerns of the common man have now moved to the centre stage of our social and political life. It is this larger significance of my election rather than any personal sense of honour that makes me rejoice on this occasion.
Golden jubilee of independence
The principal event of the golden jubilee of Indian independence was President K. R. Narayanan's midnight address to the nation during the special session of Parliament convened on the night of 14 August; in this address, he identified the establishment of a democratic system of government and politics to be the greatest achievement of India since independence. The following morning, Prime Minister I. K. Gujral, addressing the nation[ from the ramparts of the Red Fort, said:
When Gandhiji dreamt of India's future, he had said that the country will attain the real freedom only on the day when a Dalit would become the President of this country. This is our great fortune that today on the eve of golden jubilee of independence, we have been able to fulfil this dream of Gandhiji. In the person of Shri K. R. Narayanan we have been able to fulfil the dream of Gandhiji. Our President of whom the whole country is proud of, is from a very poor and downtrodden family and today he has endowed the Rashtrapati Bhavan with a new pride and respect. It is a matter of further happiness that the President has a very high place among the intellectuals of this country. This is a feather in the cap of our democracy that the backward sections of the society today are attaining their rightful place in society. All the countrymen today whether they are from minorities, scheduled castes [Dalits], or scheduled tribes [Adivasis]-- are working unitedly for the development of the country.
Participation in the elections
In the general elections of 1998, K. R. Narayanan became the first sitting President to vote (16 February 1998), casting his vote at a polling booth in a school within the Rashtrapati Bhavan complex after standing in a queue like an ordinary citizen. He insisted on casting his vote, despite the departure from precedent being pointed out to him. Narayanan sought to change what was a long-standing practice of Indian presidents not voting during general elections. He also exercised his franchise as President in the 1999 general elections.
Golden jubilee of the Republic
President K. R. Narayanan's address to the nation on the golden jubilee of the Indian Republic (26 January 2000) is considered a landmark: it was the first time a President attempted to analyse, with due concern for growing disparities, the several ways in which the country had failed to provide economic justice to the Indian people, particularly the rural and agrarian population; he also stated that discontent was breeding and frustrations erupting in violence among the deprived sections of society. In his address to Parliament later that day, he praised the work of B. R. Ambedkar on the Indian constitution and cautioned against attempts to change its basic structure, concurring with Ambedkar's preference for accountability and responsibility over the stability of the government. He reiterated this in stronger terms in his next Republic day address (2001); on this occasion, he took exception to certain proposals seeking to abridge the franchise, and pointed out the wisdom of reposing faith in the common men and women of India as a whole, rather than in some elite section of society.
In these addresses, he articulated opinions which departed in many ways from certain views of the A. B. Vajpayee government

 Exercise of Presidential discretion

President Narayanan introduced the important practice of explaining to the nation (by means of Rashtrapati Bhavan communiqués) the thinking that led to the various decisions he took while exercising his discretionary powers; this has led to openness and transparency in the functioning of the President.
Appointment of the Prime minister and dissolution of Parliament
During his Presidency, Narayanan dissolved the Lok Sabha twice after determining through consultations across the political spectrum, that no one was in a position to secure the confidence of the house. Congress president Sitaram Kesri withdrew his party's support of the I. K. Gujral government and staked his claim to form the government on 28 November 1997. Gujral advised Narayanan of the dissolution of the Lok Sabha. President Narayanan determined that no one would be able to secure a majority in the Lok Sabha and accepted Gujral's advice (4 December). In the ensuing general elections, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) emerged as the single largest party, leading the largest pre-election coalition, the National Democratic Alliance (NDA), and the coalition leader Vajpayee staked his claim to form the government, though at that point he did not have a majority. Narayanan asked Vajpayee to furnish letters of support to demonstrate the NDA's ability to secure a majority. Vajpayee was able to meet this demand after support for the NDA grew, and subsequently he was appointed Prime Minister (15 March 1998) on the condition (which was met) that a vote of confidence be secured within 10 days.
One of the coalition partners supporting the minority government (the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam under J. Jayalalithaa) wrote a letter to the President withdrawing support on 14 April 1999, and Narayanan advised Vajpayee to seek a vote of confidence in the Lok Sabha. This motion was defeated (17 April). Both Vajpayee and the Leader of the Opposition, Congress president Sonia Gandhi, then staked claims to form the government. Narayanan asked the NDA and the Congress party to show proof of support since the loss of the confidence vote. When evidence from neither party was forthcoming, Narayanan informed the Prime minister that fresh elections seemed to be the only way to resolve the crisis in governance. The Lok Sabha was then dissolved at Vajpayee's advice (26 April). (In the ensuing general elections, the NDA secured a majority and Vajpayee was reappointed Prime minister (11 October 1999) in a straightforward manner.)
In these decisions, President Narayanan set a new precedent concerning the appointment of a Prime minister — if no party or pre-election coalition had a majority, then a person would be appointed Prime minister only if he was able to convince the President (through letters of support from allied parties) of his ability to secure the confidence of the house. In doing so, he diverged from the actions of his predecessors who had been faced with the task of appointing a Prime minister from a hung parliament, Presidents N. Sanjiva Reddy, R. Venkataraman, and Shankar Dayal Sharma: the latter two had followed the practice of inviting the leader of the single largest party or pre-election coalition to form the government without investigating their ability to secure the confidence of the house.
Imposition of President's rule
President Narayanan returned for reconsideration the advices from the Union cabinet to impose President's rule in a state, in accordance with Article 356, in two instances: one from the Gujral government (22 October 1997) seeking to dismiss the Kalyan Singh government in Uttar Pradesh, and the other from the Vajpayee government (25 September 1998) seeking to dismiss the Rabri Devi government in Bihar. In both instances, he cited the Supreme court judgement of 1994 on S. R. Bommai vs. Union of India and exercised his discretion. In both cases, the cabinet honoured the President's reservations. These remain the only occasions when a President urged such a reconsideration, and has set an important precedent concerning federalism and the rights of state governments.
Kargil conflict
A military conflict was developed in Kargil on the Line of Control (LoC) with Pakistan in May 1999. The Vajpayee government had lost a no-confidence vote in Lok Sabha earlier that year and the opposition failed to form the next government. The Lok Sabha had been dissolved and a caretaker government was in office. This caused a problem with democratic accountability, as every major government decision is expected to be discussed, deliberated and consented by the parliament. Narayanan suggested to Vajpayee that the Rajya Sabha be convened to discuss the conflict, as demanded by several opposition parties (citing the precedent of Nehru convening a parliamentary session on Vajpayee's demand during the Sino-Indian war in 1962 ) though there was no precedent of convening the Rajya Sabha in isolation during an interregnum. Further, Narayanan was briefed by the chiefs of the three arms of the Indian Armed Forces on the conduct of the conflict. His Republic day address next year began by paying homage to the soldiers who had died defending the nation.

 Concern for social and economic justice

President Narayanan in his speeches consistently sought to remind the nation of its duties and obligations towards the Dalits and Adivasis, the minorities, and the poor and downtrodden. He called the nation's attention to various recalcitrant social ills and evils, such as atrocities against women and children, caste discrimination and the ingrained attitudes it nurtured, abuse of the environment and public utilities, corruption and lack of accountability in the delivery of public services, religious fundamentalism, advertisement-driven consumerism, and flouting of human rights, and lamented the absence of public concern, political debate, and civic action to address them. Drawing from the experiences of his own home state Kerala, he pointed out that education was at the root of human and economic development. He hoped that the establishment would not fear the awakening of the masses through education, and spoke of the need to have faith in the people.
President Narayanan spoke on various occasions on the condition of the Dalits, Adivasis, and other backward sections of society, and the various iniquities they faced (often in defiance of law), such as denial of civic amenities, ostracism, harassment and violence (particularly against women), and displacement by ill-conceived development projects
He felt that the policy of reservations for the backward sections in education and the public sector had remained unfulfilled due to administrative distortions and narrow interpretations, and needed to be implemented with renewed vigour and sincerity; apprehensive of what he described as a counter-revolution among some privileged sections seeking to reverse progressive policies, he reminded the nation that these benefits were not charity, but had been provided by way of human rights and social justice to sections constituting a large portion of the population and contributing to the economy as landless agricultural labourers and industrial workers. In his 2002 Republic day address, he drew attention to the Bhopal declaration on the Dalit and Adivasi agenda for the 21st century and spoke of the necessity of the private sector adopting policies to promote equitable representation of the backward sections in their enterprises. In a governmental note on higher judicial appointments (which leaked to the press; January 1999), he observed that eligible persons from the backward sections were available and that their under-representation or non-representation was not justifiable; K. G. Balakrishnan, a Dalit, was elevated to the Supreme court (8 June 2000), the fourth such instance, and the only one since 1989.
He felt that Ambedkar's exhortation to "educate, organise, agitate" continued to be relevant; with the Dalits forming a quarter of the population in a democracy with universal adult franchise, he felt that the ultimate destiny of the backward sections lay in the hands of the backward sections themselves, organised socially and politically.
When the Australian missionary and social worker Graham Staines and his two minor sons were burned alive (22 January 1999), President Narayanan condemned it as a barbarous crime belonging to the world's inventory of black deeds.
Towards the end of his Presidency, communal riots broke out in Gujarat (February 2002). President Narayanan was deeply pained and anguished, and described it as a grave crisis of the society and the nation; he called it the duty of every Indian to strive to restore peace and thus preserve and strengthen the foundations of the state and the tradition of tolerance. He did not stand the election for a second Presidential term due to the lack of support from the ruling government. After the demission of Presidential office, he lent his support to alternative globalisation movements like the World Social Forum. After he had left the Presidency, and after the Vajpayee government had been voted out of power in the general elections of May 2004, in an interview on the third anniversary of the riots (in February 2005), he said;
There was governmental and administrative support for the communal riots in Gujarat. I gave several letters to Prime Minister Vajpayee in this regard on this issue. I met him personally and talked to him directly. But Vajpayee did not do anything effective. I requested him to send the army to Gujarat and suppress the riots. The military was sent, but they were not given powers to shoot. If the military was given powers to shoot at the perpetrators of violence, recurrence of tragedies in Gujarat could have been avoided. However, both the state(the Narendra Modi government) and central government did not do so. I feel there was a conspiracy involving the state and central governments behind the Gujarat riots.
He also stated that constitutional limits on his powers had prevented him from doing anything further.Throughout his Presidency, Narayanan adopted the policy of not visiting places of worship or godmen/godwomen; he is the only President to have followed this practice.

Demission of office

As Narayanan's tenure neared its end, various sections of public opinion looked forward to a second term of his Presidency. The NDA had a slender majority in the electoral college. Narayanan offered to be a consensus candidate. The Opposition parties (including the Congress, the Left Front, Janata Dal (Secular), and various regional parties) supported a second term for him, and Sonia Gandhi met him to request his candidature; Vajpayee then met Narayanan, informed him that there was no consensus within the NDA on the question, and advised against his candidature. The NDA then proposed to elevate the Vice President Krishan Kant as a consensus; this drew support from the Opposition and an agreement to this effect was conveyed by Vajpayee's representative to the Congress. However, within a day, the NDA unable to reach an internal consensus, decided to propose another candidate Dr.P. C. Alexander. Alexander's candidature drew disapproval of the Opposition parties. The Opposition parties approached Narayanan and renewed their request to seek a second term. The NDA then put forth a third candidate Abdul Kalam as their official choice, without seeking consensus; one opposition party (the Samajwadi Party under Mulayam Singh Yadav) dissipated the unity of the Opposition by supporting this proposal. Narayanan opted himself out from a contest at this point.
When asked about these events later,Narayanan accused the BJP of scuttling a second term of his Presidency.
In his farewell address to the nation(24 July 2002), K. R. Narayanan set his hopes for social action and progress on the service of the nation by its youth. He reflected on his varied experiences of the essential goodness and wisdom of the Indian people, recalling how he had grown up in Uzhavoor among adherents of several religions, how religious tolerance and harmony had prevailed, how upper-caste Hindus and well-off Christians had helped him in his early studies, and how upper-caste Hindus as well as Christians and Muslims had worked together enthusiastically for his election campaigns in Ottapalam. He said that the credibility and endurance of India's unity and democracy are founded on its tradition of tolerance, and spoke of the need for Hindus, who form the majority, to express the traditional spirit of their religion.
Reflecting on his Presidency, K. R. Narayanan said:
As the President of India, I had lots of experiences that were full of pain and helplessness. There were occasions when I could do nothing for people and for the nation. These experiences have pained me a lot. They have depressed me a lot. I have agonised because of the limitations of power. Power and the helplessness surrounding it are a peculiar tragedy, in fact.

 Subsequent life

After his retirement as President, K. R. Narayanan, along with his wife Usha, lived his remaining years in a central Delhi bungalow (on 34 Prithviraj Road).
At the World Social Forum (WSF) in Mumbai (21 January 2004), he lent his support to the alternative globalisation movement. Addressing the forum at its concluding session, he praised the WSF for demanding freedom in its most comprehensive form, and was happy that people had assembled under an important idea, rather than for narrow political ends; after reflecting on corporations displacing governments in various countries, and on how Mahatma Gandhi had fought British colonisers non-violently with the strength of the masses, he predicted that vocal masses the world over would successfully fight by non-violent means the capturing of the world's resources by a few corporations in the name of globalisation. He urged the people to struggle against power corporates and militarism and fight those aspects of globalisation which were against the interests of the people; he hailed people's power as a renascent factor of international politics.
K. R. Narayanan dedicated (15 February 2005) his tharavaadu at Uzhavoor to the Santhigiri Ashram in Pothencode for the purpose of establishing the Navajyothisree Karunakara Guru research centre for Siddha and Ayurveda. This turned out to be his last return to Uzhavoor.
K. R. Narayanan died on 9 November 2005 at the Army Research and Referral Hospital, New Delhi, after being briefly ill with pneumonia and consequent renal failure. He was cremated with full state honors at sunset the following day; the last rites were performed by his nephew Dr. P. V. Ramachandran, at Ekta sthal on the banks of the River Yamuna (adjacent to Shanti van, the memorial of his mentor Jawaharlal Nehru).
His daughter, Chitra (Indian ambassador to Switzerland & The Holy See), on behalf of her mother (Usha), sister (Amrita), and the rest of his family, expressed her appreciation for the outpouring of grief from all over the country and abroad; she added that K. R. Narayanan would be remembered for his great love for the nation and for his immense moral strength and courage.
Four siblings, K. R. Gowri, K. R. Bhargavi, K. R. Bharathi, and K. R. Bhaskaran, survived him; two elder brothers had died when Narayanan was in his twenties. His elder sister Gowri (a homoeopath, who remained unmarried) and his younger brother Bhaskaran (a teacher, also unmarried) had been living in Uzhavoor. Villagers of Uzhavoor marched silently to the tharavaadu of K. R. Narayanan and paid him reverent homage.
From the sidelines of society
About his life and its message, K. R. Narayanan said:
I see and understand both the symbolic as well as the substantive elements of my life. Sometimes I visualise it as a journey of an individual from a remote village on the sidelines of society to the hub of social standing. But at the same time I also realise that my life encapsulates the ability of the democratic system to accommodate and empower marginalised sections of society.
Narayanan died in New Delhi at the age of 85.

 The K. R. Narayanan Foundation

The K. R. Narayanan Foundation (K.R.N.F) founded in December 2005, aims at propagating the ideals and perpetuating the memory of K. R. Narayanan. K.R.N.F is a mission of collective action to provide better future to the most vulnerable sections of Kerala Society – women, children, disabled persons, the aged and other disadvantaged groups – by providing educational training, protecting their health and environment, improving their living conditions and strengthneing their family and community. The paradigms of K.R.N.F revolves around five crucial elements;
  • research and development on science and technology for the dissemination of eco-friendly rural technology to the poor
  • human resource development
  • attitudinal change and self management
  • economic empowerment to the poor.
The Foundation is to identify and honor the best in areas of national importance like Integrity in Public Life, Journalism, Civil Service, Medical Science, Social Service, Literature, Sports, Entertainment, Politics etc.
K.R.N.F is also producing a documentary (both in Malayalam and English) on the life of K. R. Narayanan, entitled The Footprints Of Survival, aimed at propagating the ideals and perpetuating the memory of K.R.Narayanan. This documentary will be directed by Mr. Sunny Joseph, a senior journalist. The script will be based on a biography of the late President written by Eby J. Jose, who is also the General Secretary of the K.R.N.F. The Foundation has planned to distribute DVD copies of the creative work to all schools, colleges and public libraries.
The Foundation General Secretary Eby J. Jose has written a biography of the late president titled K. R. Narayanan Bharathathinte Suryathejassu. It is written in Malayalam, the mother tongue of Dr. K. R. Narayanan. This book traces the not-so-rosy paths through which this great man had to travel

K. G. Balakrishnan
Konakuppakatil Gopinathan Balakrishnan
Justice K. G. Balakrishnan, during an official visit to Brasília in 2008
37th Chief Justice of India
In office
14 January 2007 – 12 May 2010
Appointed byA. P. J. Abdul Kalam
Preceded byY. K. Sabharwal
Succeeded bySarosh Homi Kapadia
Personal details
Born12 May 1945Thalayolaparambu, Travancore, British India
Spouse(s)Nirmala Balakrishnan
Alma materGovernment Law College, Ernakulam

Konakuppakatil Gopinathan Balakrishnan (K. G. Balakrishnan) (Malayalam: കൊനകുപ്പക്കാട്ടില്‍ ഗോപിനാഥന്‍ ബാലകൃഷ്ണന്‍, b. 12 May 1945) is presently the Chairperson of the National Human Rights Commission of India. He is a former Chief Justice of India.
He was the first judge from the state of Kerala to become the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. He was also the first person of Dalit origin to ascend to the post of the Chief Justice in the Supreme Court of India. His tenure lasting more than three years has been one of the longest in the Supreme Court of India.

 Early life and education

K. G. Balakrishnan was born at Kaduthuruthy, near Vaikom, Kingdom of Travancore, into a MalayalamC.S.I Christian family. According to (Pappachan)Balakrishnan, his parents were the only source of inspiration for him: "Though my father 'Mr Joseph' was only a matriculate and my mother 'Pennamma' had her schooling only up to the seventh standard, they wanted to give their children the best education. When father being a christian he approched the Poikail Yohannan and embraced from christianity to hinduism and change his name as Gopinadh through Gazette notification and obtained a certificate as Scheduled Caste and get a job as a clerck His father was a clerk in the Vaikom munsiff court and was a classmate of K. R. Narayanan who also hailed from a Paravar caste family in Uzhavoor, a village near Vaikom. "
After completing his primary education in Thalayolaparambu, he finished school at the Government High School, Vaikom for which he had to walk 5 km every day. Subsequently, he joined the Maharaja's College at Ernakulam, where he studied for his B. Sc.. He took his Bachelor of Laws (L.L.B.) degree from the Government Law College, Ernakulam, and enrolled as an advocate in the Kerala Bar Council in 1968, beginning practice at the Munsiff's court, Vaikom. He then completed his L.L.M. in 1971.


As an advocate he pleaded both criminal and civil cases in the Ernakulam court. He was later appointed as a Munsiff in the Kerala Judicial Services in 1973. He later resigned from the services and resumed practice as an advocate in the Kerala High Court. In 1985, he was appointed as a judge of the Kerala High Court, and was transferred to the Gujarat High Court in 1997. He became the Chief Justice of Gujarat High Court in 1998, and in 1999, he assumed charge as the Chief Justice of the High Court of Judicature at Madras. While being Chief Justice of Gujarat High Court, he also discharged duties of Governor of Gujarat for about two months.
On the 8 June 2000 he was appointed a judge of the Supreme Court. He was sworn in as the Chief Justice of India on 14 January 2007 by then President A. P. J. Abdul Kalam. After his retirement on 12 May 2010, he has been serving since 7 June 2010 as the Chairman of the National Human Rights Commission.

Public stances, opinions and views

Balakrishnan has tried to exempt the Office of the Chief Justice of India from the purview of the Right to Information Act. He ordered the Supreme Court registry to file an appeal before the Supreme Court against the Delhi High Court judgement making the office of the CJI amenable to the RTI act.He has also spoken about the need for amending the RTI act in the interests of the right to privacy.
Balakrishnan has said "due regard" must be given to the "personal autonomy" of rape victims to decide on whether they should marry the perpetrator or choose to give birth to a child conceived through forced crime.Lawyers and women's rights activists have expressed some reservations. Balakrishnan has stated that pornography sites and hate speeches should be banned from the internet. He also passed a judgment stating that journaling on the web any thing hateful even against a political party is liable for censorship.
On a visit to Kasaragode as NHRC Chairman initiating suo motu complaint, Balakrishnan felt there had been violations of human rights against the populace by the harmful spraying of the pesticide Endosulfan, and recommended the founding of a super-speciality hospital for the relief of the victims

 Notable judgments

In a Kerala High Court judgement he asked the election commission to debar the political parties which impose hartals (Hindi: हड़ताल) on the public causing them suffering.
Making distribution of lunch compulsory in schools.[citation needed]
He was a part of the three-member Supreme Court bench that decided a PIL filed by two NDA leaders seeking the cancellation of bail of Rashtriya Janata Dal chief Lalu Prasad and his wife and former Bihar Chief Minister Rabri Devi for their interference in the judicial process in the disproportionate assets (DA) and Income Tax cases against them. The verdict (2-1) went in favour of Prasad. Justice Balakrishnan and Justice Lakshmanan said according to Article 233 of the Constitution of India the Governor has power to appoint a judge in the subordinate judiciary in consultation with the High Court Administration and held that it was the prerogative of the government to appoint any lawyer as public prosecutor. However, Justice S H Kapadia gave a dissenting judgement saying the income tax department should have filed an appeal against the Income Tax Appellate Tribunal (ITAT) order. On the issue of promotion of judge Munni Lal Paswan, he said, while competence and suitability of two other judges, who were promoted to the post of Special Judge along with Paswan, were determined on the basis of annual confidential report (ACRs) and inspecting the judges' reports, the criteria was not applied while promoting Paswan who had been found to be slow in disposing cases.
In 2010, he passed a judgement Prohibiting narcoanalysis in interrogations.


Justice H. L. Gokhale of the Supreme Court has accused Balakrishnan of misrepresenting facts to conceal sacked telecom minister A. Raja's attempt to influence Justice R. Reghupathy of the Madras High Court, on behalf of two murder accused known to the DMK leader.
Balakrishnan's son-in-law and Indian Youth Congress leader P. V. Srinijan, who did not have any land four years ago, is now the owner of property worth hundreds of thousands of crores rupees. According to a report by news channel Asianet News, Srinijan had declared while contesting as a Congress candidate in the 2006 Assembly elections that he had no landed property. He had contested unsuccessfully from the SC reserved constituency of Njarackal in Ernakulam. In light of the charges, Srinijan resigned from the Youth Congress. Former Chief Justice J. S. Verma, former apex court Judge V. R. Krishna Iyer, noted jurist Fali S. Nariman, former member of NHRC Sudarshan Agrawal and the prominent activist lawyer Prashant Bhushan have called for Justice Balakrishnan to step down from the chairmanship of the NHRC pending an inquiry into the matter.
A petition-seeking vigilance probe into the allegations of "amassment of wealth disproportionate to their sources of income" by Balakrishnan's family members, was filed before the Income Tax Vigilance and Anti-Corruption Bureau. The income tax department confirmed recently that at least three of his relatives had held a large amount of black money.
In February 2012, the Supreme Court of India in a case filed by the NGO Common Cause, inquired of the government as to the progress in the probe against Justice Balakrishnan

Personal life

K. G. Balakrishnan is married to Nirmala and they have two daughters, Sony and Rani. His younger brother K. G. Bhaskaran was government pleader in Kerala High Court until recently.


  • "Really, it is a matter of pride for us, but what I achieved is the result of hard labour and integrity."
  • "Both advocates and judges have an equal responsibility towards the society. So both deserve equal respect from the people."
  • "The forcible strikes by political parties has a very bad effect on common people. You can see how patients, passengers, and children suffer during strikes."
  • "Trial and defence lawyers should not terrorise witnesses. A judge should be alert and caring."
  • "Any dilution of the right to a fair trial for all individuals, however heinous their crimes may be, will be a moral loss against those who preach hatred and violence."
  • "In India, different types of crimes are on the increase. The death penalty will have a deterrent effect on the people. If you analyse [the cases], many of those who were given death penalty really deserved it in the cases imposed [on them]."
Ramkrishnan Suryabhan Gavai, former MP, Governor of Kerela and Bihar. Raj Kumar Verka M.L.A Amritsar Vice Chairman National Commission for Sc/St Govt.of India

JM Lyngdoh IAS Former chief election commissioner <>

Lankapalli Bullayya

Lankapalli Bullayya (1918–1992) was an innovative Indian educator and vice-chancellor of Andhra University, Andhra Pradesh. He was the first Dalit to be appointed vice-chancellor of an Indian university.

Life and career

Bullayya was born in 1918 in Peravali, near Vemuru, Guntur district, Andhra Pradesh. He had to travel long distances to receive his education. Bullayya received a B.A. degree with honours from Andhra University, and served as principal of a B.Ed. college in Kurnool. He later became a District Educational Officer in Kurnool, Krishna and other districts and served in the Education Department as a senior-level officer. After the formation of Andhra Pradesh in 1953, Bullayya was appointed Director of Public Instruction. As Director of Higher Education for the government of Andhra Pradesh, he was instrumental in bringing about educational reform.
He considered the 10+2+3 plan in Andhra Pradesh before it was recommended by the Kothari Commission, and was given the responsibility of strengthening the educational system from primary to university level. In November 1968 Bullaya was appointed vice-chancellor, continuing in that post until December 1974. He sympathised with socially- and economically-disadvantaged students, and was concerned about their welfare. Academic, curricular and examination reforms (among them the introduction of the semester system), abolition of external examinations and the detention system, and continuous assessment marked his tenure. During this period the departments of education, geography, biochemistry, human genetics and physical anthropology were established along with foreign-language courses (German, French and Russian).
Six affiliated colleges were permitted to establish postgraduate departments in select subjects for the purpose of decentralisation. Coaching classes for civil-service examinations and the Continuing Education Scheme were introduced. For the first time in South India, a School of Correspondence Courses was established due to Bullayya's efforts. He was an able administrator and maintained a rapport with the central and state governments, directed toward the betterment of the university. When university buildings were badly damaged after the 1970 cyclone which struck Visakhapatnam Bullayya showed photographs of the damage to University Grants Commission authorities in New Delhi, seeking grants for the repair of the buildings. The UGC granted funds not only for repairs, but for constructing new buildings.
Bullayya later served at the Union Public Service Commission in an advisory capacity on behalf ofTelugu-speaking candidates at the UPSC Interview Board. He was chairman of the Andhra Pradesh and all-India units of the Boy Scouts and a director on the Andhra Bank Board. Bullayya's wife, Samyuktha, was also an educator and former chairman of the Andhra Pradesh Housing Board. His nephews Lankapally Ramesh Babu and Suresh Babu are public servants in Sanjeeva Reddy Nagar,Hyderabad. Dr. Bullayya College at Visakhapatnam was named for him. He founded the Dr. V.S. Krishna Government College in remembrance of his predecessor as vice-chancellor Vasireddy Sri Krishna, and was more concerned about that school than the one named after himself. A bust of Bullayya has been installed in the School of Distance Education in Visakhapatnam.

Damodaram Sanjivayya

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Damodaram Sanjivayya
దామోదరం సంజీవయ్య
Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh
In office
11 January 1960 – 12 March 1962
Preceded byNeelam Sanjiva Reddy
Succeeded byNeelam Sanjiva Reddy
Personal details
Born14 February 1921
Peddapdu Village, Madras Presidency, British India
(now in Andhra Pradesh, India)
Political partyIndian National Congress
CabinetGovernment of India
PortfolioMinister of Labour and Employment(9 June 1964 – 23 January 1966)
Damodaram Sanjivayya ( 14 February 1921 – 8 May 1972) was the chief minister of Andhra Pradesh, India from 11 January 1960 to 12 March 1962.

Early life

Damodaram Sanjivayya was born in a dalit family in Peddapadu village of Kallur Mandal in Kurnool district. His father died when he was young. He was a brilliant student at the Municipal school and he took a bachelor's degree in law from Madras Law College. Even as a student, he actively participated in the Indian freedom movement.


Damodaram Sanjivayya was Minister in the composite Madras State. He was the member of the provisional parliament 1950–52. In 1962, Sanjivayya also became the first dalit leader from Andhra Pradesh to become All India Congress Committee president.
He was Minister of Labour and Employment under Lal Bahadur Shastry between 9 June 1964 and 23 January 1966.

Chief Minister

He had the distinction of becoming the first chief minister among the first Dalit leaders to have shouldered such high responsibilities in the cause of service to the Nation. He was known for his administrative ability and for his uprightness of character.
He wrote a book on Labour problems and industrial development in India, in 1970 published by Oxford and IBH Pub. Co., New Delhi.


  • His statue was erected opposite Public Gardens in Nampally, Hyderabad
  • A park, Sanjeevaiah park on the banks of Hussain Sagar in Hyderabad was named in his honor. His grave is also located inside the park.
  • Damodaram Sanjivayya National Law University, Visakhapatnam one of the premier legal institutions in the country has been named in his honour
  • India Post issued a commemorative postage stamp in his honour (INR 5.00) on 14 February 2008

Ram Nath Kovind

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Ram Nath Kovind
Ram Nath Kovind official portrait.jpg

14th President of India
Assumed office
25 July 2017
Prime MinisterNarendra Modi
Vice PresidentMohammad Hamid Ansari Venkaiah Naidu
Preceded byPranab Mukherjee
Governor of Bihar
In office
16 August 2015 – 20 June 2017
Chief MinisterNitish Kumar
Preceded byKeshari Nath Tripathi
Succeeded byKeshari Nath Tripathi
Personal details
Born 1 October 1945 (age 73)
Paraunkh, United Provinces, British India
Political partyBJP
Savita Kovind (m. 1974)
ResidenceRashtrapati Bhavan
Alma materKanpur University
Ram Nath Kovind (born 1 October 1945) is the 14th and current President of India, in office since 25 July 2017. Previously he had served as the Governor of Bihar from 2015 to 2017 and was a Member of Parliament, Rajya Sabha from 1994 to 2006. Kovind was nominated as a presidential candidate by the ruling NDA coalition and won the 2017 presidential election, becoming the second Dalit to be elected to the post of President.
Before entering politics, he was a lawyer for 16 years and practiced in the Delhi High Court and the Supreme Court until 1993.

Early life and education

Kovind was born on 1 October 1945 in Paraukh village in the Kanpur Dehat district, Uttar Pradesh. His father Maikulal was a landless Kori/Koli (a Dalit weaving community) who ran a small shop to support his family. He was the youngest of five brothers and two sisters. He was born in a mud hut, which eventually collapsed. He was only five when his mother died of burns when their thatched dwelling caught fire. Kovind later donated the land to the community.
After his elementary school education, he had to walk each day to Kanpur village, 8 km away, to attend junior school, as nobody in the village had a bicycle He holds a bachelor's degree in commerce and an LLB from DAV College (affiliated with Kanpur University).


Kovind at a function with Prime Minister Narendra Modi opening a bridge in Bihar, 2016.


After graduating in law from DAV College, Kanpur, Kovind went to Delhi to prepare for the civil services examination. He passed this exam on his third attempt, but he did not join because he had only scored high enough to work in an allied service rather than of IAS and thus started practicing law.
Kovind enrolled as an advocate in 1971 with the bar council of Delhi. He was Central Government Advocate in the Delhi High Court from year 1977 to year 1979. Between 1977 & 1978, he also served as the personal assistant of Prime Minister of India Morarji Desai. In 1978, he became an advocate-on-record of the Supreme Court of India and served as a standing counsel for the Central Government in the Supreme Court of India from 1980 to 1993. He practiced in the Delhi High Court and Supreme Court until 1993. As an advocate, he provided pro-bono aid to weaker sections of society, women and the poor under the Free Legal Aid Society of New Delhi.

BJP member

He joined the BJP in 1991. He was President of the BJP Dalit Morcha between 1998 and 2002 and President of the All-India Koli Samaj. He also served as national spokesperson of the party He donated his ancestral home in Derapur to the RSS. Soon after joining the BJP, he contested for Ghatampur assembly constituency, but lost and later contested for Bhognipur (in 2007) (both in Uttar Pradesh) assembly constituency on the BJP ticket but lost again.
In 1997, Kovind joined the protest against certain orders from the Central government that had adverse effects on the SC/ST workers. Later, three amendments were made to the Constitution that revoked the orders, by the NDA government headed by Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

Rajya Sabha

He was elected and became a Rajya Sabha MP from the state of Uttar Pradesh in April 1994. He served a total of twelve years, two consecutive terms, until March 2006. As a member of parliament, he served on the Parliamentary Committee for Welfare of Scheduled Castes/Tribes, Home Affairs, Petroleum and Natural Gas, Social Justice and Empowerment, Law and Justice. He also served as the chairman of the Rajya Sabha House Committee. During his career as a parliamentarian, under the Members of Parliament Local Area Development Scheme, he focused on education in rural areas by helping in construction of school buildings in Uttar Pradesh and Uttrakhand. As a member of parliament, he visited Thailand, Nepal, Pakistan, Singapore, Germany, Switzerland, France, the United Kingdom and the United States on study tours.

Other appointments

He has served on the Board of management of Dr. B.R Ambedkar University, Lucknow, and as on the Board of Governors of IIM Calcutta. He has also represented India at the UN and addressed the United Nations General Assembly in October 2002.


On 8 August 2015, the then President of India appointed Kovind as Governor of Bihar. On 16 August 2015, the acting Chief Justice of Patna High Court, Iqbal Ahmad Ansari, administered the oath to Kovind as the 35th Governor of Bihar. The function took place at Raj Bhawan, Patna.
H.E the Governor of Bihar Shri Ram Nath Kovind welcoming Hon'ble President of India Shri Pranab Mukherjee at Patna on April 17, 2017
Governor of Bihar Ram Nath Kovind welcoming President Pranab Mukherjee at Patna on April 17, 2017
Kovind's appointment was criticised by then Chief Minister of Bihar Nitish Kumar as it came months before State Assembly elections and the appointment was made without consulting State Government as recommended by Sarkaria Commission. However, Kovind's term as Governor, was praised for constituting a judicial commission to investigate irregularities in promotion of undeserving teachers, mis-management of funds and appointment of undeserving candidates in universities. In June 2017, when Kovind was announced as candidate for Presidential election, Nitish Kumar backed Kovind's choice and praised Kovind as being unbiased and working closely with the State Government during his Governorship.

2017 presidency campaign

After nomination for the post of 14th President of India, he resigned from his post as Governor of Bihar, and President of India Pranab Mukherjee accepted his resignation on 20 June 2017. He won election on 20 July 2017.
Ram Nath Kovind received 65.65% of the valid votes, against former Speaker of the Lok Sabha - Meira Kumar, the presidential candidate of the Opposition who received 34.35% of the total votes. Kovind received 2,930 votes (From MPs and MLAs) amounting to Electoral College votes of 702,044 (65.65%) as compared to 1,844 votes with a value of 367,314 (34.35%) votes for Meira Kumar lagging far behind with 367,314 votes, and 77 votes were invalid.[ He became only the second Dalit representative to become President after K. R. Narayanan, and also is the first BJP candidate to be elected to the post. The tally of votes (367,314) polled by Meira Kumar is only the second highest for a losing candidate, that of Neelam Sanjiva Reddy in the 1969 Presidential elections being the highest ever; he received 405,427 votes as against 420,077 by V V Giri, the winner. 

President Ram Nath Kovind with Dipak Misra after administering his oath as the Chief justice of India on 28 August 2017

14th President of India

Ram Nath Kovind took the oath as the 14th President of India on 25 July 2017.

List of international trips as president

Country Areas Visited Date(s) Purpose References
 Djibouti Djibouti City 3 - 4 October State Visit
 Ethiopia Addis Ababa 5 - 6 October
 Mauritius Port Louis 11 - 14 March

 Madagascar Antananarivo 14 - 15 March
 Equatorial Guinea Malabo 7 - 9 April
 Swaziland Mbabane 9 - 10 April
 Zambia Lusaka 10 - 12 April
 Greece Athens 16 - 19 June
 Suriname Paramaribo 19 - 21 June
 Cuba Havana 21 - 23 June
 Cyprus Nicosia 2 - 4 September
 Bulgaria Sofia 4 - 6 September
 Czech Republic Prague 6 - 9 September

Personal life

Kovind married Savita Kovind on 30 May 1974. They have a son, Prashant Kumar, and a daughter, Swati.


 As reported by IANS and published by Hindustan Times, he made this comment in response to the Ranganath Misra Commission which recommended 15 percent reservation for religious and linguistic minorities in government jobs. Although more recently, the issue was raised in the media if whether or not he was misquoted and that he in fact said “Islam and Christianity are alien to the notion (of caste)” as opposed to what was reported as "nation".

S. Ashok Kumar

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Justice S. Ashok Kumar நீதிபதி அசோக் குமார்

Judge, Madras High Court
In office
3 April 2003 – 21 March 2008
Judge, Andhra Pradesh High Court
In office
24 March 2008 – 17 July 2009
Personal details
Born 20 July 1947
Thenkalampudur, Tirunelveli,
Died 25 October 2009 (aged 62)
Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India
Spouse(s) Ebi Ashok Kumar
Children Augustin Baskar
Edwin Prabakar
Bobby Arun
Brindha Ashok Kumar
Justice S. Ashok Kumar (20 July 1947 – 25 October 2009) was a judge of the Madras High Court and the Andhra Pradesh High Court in India.

Early life and career

He was born on 20 July 1947 to a teacher couple, the late Mr. S. Santiago and the late Mrs. Saveriammal, in a small village of Tirunelveli district called Thenkalam Pudur which comes under the administration of Thenkalam Panchayat.
Despite hardships, both social and on the economic front, he went on to study 1st form to P.U.C at St.Xavier’s High School and College, Palayamkottai; B.Sc at St. John’s College, Palayamkottai. M.Sc at St. Joseph's College, Tiruchirapalli and Bachelor of Law at Dr. Ambedkar Government Law College, Chennai. He practiced at Thirunelveli bar council from 1971 to 1987.
During his tenure at the bar he was greatly moved towards the cause of people. This led him to contest twice in Tamil Nadu assembly elections, in 1977 and 1980. He later decided to keep away from active politics and went on to look for ways to help the community through the legal fraternity. 

His zeal to serve the downtrodden made him appear in the Justice K. S. Ramamurthy Commission, which was set up on his insistence, investigating the rape of 17 dalit women in Sankanankulam village, India in 1980-81 on behalf of the victims, fighting for their cause. In fact, he took some of the victims to meet the then Prime Minister of India Mrs. Indira Gandhi to brief her about the gravity of the situation and ultimately saw to that justice was done for the victims. After noticing his dedication and commitment towards the society, the then Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu Thiru M. G. Ramachandran appointed him to assist Shri Ashoke Kumar Sen in the commission investigating the IMFL Licensing system in 1983-84. He always looked for inspiration towards Shri Sen, a towering personality in stature and knowledge, who held the Office of the Union Law Minister in three cabinets - Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi.
Justice Ashok Kumar died on 25 October 2009.


S. Ashok Kumar was appointed as directly recruited District and Sessions Judge on 16 November 1987. He served as Trainee District Judge, Coimbatore from 1987–1988; subsequently he was posted in the following stations:
  • Additional District Judge, Ramnad from June 1988 to May 1989
  • Presiding Officer, E. C. Court and Consumer court, Coimbatore from June 1989 to 1991
  • Presiding Officer, Additional & Principal Labour Courts, Madras from 1991 to 1994
  • Principal District Judge, Dindigul from 1994 to 1995
  • Principal District Judge, Thiruvannamalai from 1995 to 1997
  • Presiding Officer, Industrial Tribunal, Madras from 1997 to 2000
  • Principal District Judge, Cuddalore from June 2000 to September 2000
  • Principal Judge, City Civil Court, Chennai, from October 2000 to April 2002
  • Principal District Judge, Krishnagiri from May 2002 till the date of elevation as:
  • Judge, Madras High Court on 3 April 2003
  • Transferred to Andhra Pradesh High Court and took charge on 24 March 2008
  • Retired on 17 July 2009
During his stint at Dindugal, alleged henchmen of the then incumbent government occupied the Kodaikanal International School in the middle of the night thereby evicting all the resident students from their boarding quarters. His timely intervention restored the school back to the school authorities. This seemed to have enraged the then incumbent government who immediately transferred him to Thiruvannamalai.

Corruption scandal

On 21 July 2014, Press Council of India Chairman and former Supreme Court judge Justice Markandey Katju made allegations of corruption in the judiciary. Katju alleged that a District Judge in Tamil Nadu, later revealed to be Justice S. Ashok Kumar, was elevated to the position of Additional Judge of the Madras High Court despite charges of corruption against him. Katju alleged that the judge had been directly appointed as a District Judge in Tamil Nadu and during his career as district judge, there were as many as eight adverse entries against him recorded by various portfolio judges of the Madras High Court. Katju has alleged that one acting Chief Justice of the Madras High Court deleted all those adverse entries and consequently S. Ashok Kumar became an Additional Judge of the High Court. He has said that the judge had the solid support of a very important political leader of Tamil Nadu.

Controversial Extensions as Judge

Judge Ashok Kumar gave bail to Karunanidhi's son Stalin and others on July 6, 2001. Ashok Kumar was elevated as Additional Judge of Madras High Court in April 2003, a period when the DMK was part of the NDA. Ashok Kumar was given a four-month extension along with his batch in April 2005, then another extension for a year in August 2005, then another six months in August 2006, confirmed in February 2007. While the DMK has now been accused of openly campaigning for the judge, courtroom gossip in Chennai is that the AIADMK at that time did everything in its capacity to stall his appointments. In fact, Ashok Kumar's tenure has been so controversial that his extension and confirmation as permanent judge has been questioned twice in court.

"Is your heart made of muscle or mud?"

He again proved his mettle while dealing with a case in which 78-year-old former Chief Minister (as he then was) Mr. M. Karunanidhi was arrested at midnight by the police at later produced before Ashok Kumar around 4:30 a.m. and was remanded to judicial custody. As a judge he was annoyed that the police did not heed his specific directive that Mr. Karunanidhi should be first medically examined at the Government General Hospital, Chennai, before being taken to the prison and he said "the whole world has seen Karunanidhi sitting like a beggar before the central prison, begging for medical treatment." He famously asked the police, "a 78-year old man suffering from various ailments. Is your heart made of muscle or mud? What was the pressure on you?"
He courageously dealt with all the political pressure and hurdles that followed, including an attempt on his life.
The Hindu, the national daily, observed that Mr. Ashok Kumar is a firm believer that judicial pronouncements have to be severe, when it comes to protecting rights in a civil society. The judge observed, "Time may change, people may change, but law should not change". "About the occupational hazards and working in a pressure-cooker atmosphere at times, with intimidation of various kinds thrown in for good measure, he says he is not very concerned. One should not spend too much time worrying about threats, he says". "Though Judges are expected to keep their thoughts to themselves, Mr. Ashok Kumar differs. His court always witnesses elaborate consideration of issues, where he points out mistakes and seeks clarification from both prosecution and defence. He gives enough opportunity, and if they still fail to make the best use of it, they have none to blame but themselves".
"The orders of this Judge, as the average citizen has found, combine sharp, but impersonal law points and a subtle warning to keep executive excesses well under check"

Katikithala Ramaswamy

Katikithala Ramaswamy was the Justice of the Supreme Court of India from June 6, 1989 to December 7, 1997.


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Origin of Chamar

चमार मुक्त ज्ञानकोश विकिपीडिया से
चमार कुल जनसंख्या१.१ % ख़ास आवास क्षेत्रभारत • पाकिस्तान भाषाएँहिन्दी, बंगाली, मराठी, पंजाबी, उर्दू आदिअन्य सम्बंधित समूहरामदासिया, रविदासिया, जुलाहा, आदिचमार अथवा चर्मकार भारतीय उपमहाद्वीप में पाई जाने वाली जाति समूह है। वर्तमान समय में यह जाति अनुसूचित जातियों की श्रेणी में आती है। यह जाति अस्पृश्यता की कुप्रथा का शिकार भी रही है। इस जाति के लोग परंपरागत रूप से चमड़े के व्यवसाय से जुड़े रहे हैं। संपूर्ण भारत में चमार जाति अनुसूचित जातियों में अधिक संख्या में पाई जाने वाली जाति है, जिनका मुख्य व्यवसाय, चमड़े की वस्‍तु बनाना था । संविधान बनने से पूर्व तक इनकोअछूतों की श्रेणी में रखा जाता था। अंग्रेजों के आने से पहले तक भारत में चमार जाति के लोग बहुत धनवान थे परन्तु चमड़े का कार्य करने से छूआछूत के शिकार थे । आजादी के बाद इनके साथ हो रहे छूआछूत को रोकने के लिए इनको भारत के संविधान में अनुसूचित जाति की श्रेणी में रखा गया तथा सभी तरह के ज़ुल्‍मों तथा छूआछूत को प्रतिबंधित कर दिया गया। इसके बावजूद भी देश में कुछ जगहों पर इन जातियों तथा अन्‍य अनु…

Dalit in Cricket


लेख सूचनाक्रिकेट पुस्तक नाम हिन्दी विश्वकोश खण्ड 3 पृष्ठ संख्या 200 भाषा हिन्दी देवनागरी संपादक सुधाकर पांडेय प्रकाशक नागरी प्रचारणी सभा वाराणसी मुद्रक नागरी मुद्रण वाराणसी संस्करण सन्‌ 1976 ईसवी उपलब्ध भारतडिस्कवरी पुस्तकालय कॉपीराइट सूचना नागरी प्रचारणी सभा वाराणसी लेख सम्पादक परमेश्वरीलाल गुप्त क्रिकेट एक अति प्रसिद्ध अंग्रेजी खेल। इस खेल का प्रचार 13 वीं शती में भी था, यह उस समय के एक चित्र को देखने से ज्ञात होता है। उसमें लड़के क्रिकेट खेल रहे हैं। 16वीं शताब्दी से तो निरंतर पुस्तकों में क्रिकेट की चर्चा प्राप्त होती है। कहा जाता है, इंग्लैंड का प्रसिद्ध शासक ऑलिवर क्रॉमवेल बचपन में क्रिकेट का खिलाड़ी था।
क्रिकेट का पुराना खेल आधुनिक खेल से भिन्न था। प्रारंभ में भेंड चरानेवाले लड़के क्रिकेट खेला करते थे। वे पेड़ की एक शाखा काटकर उसका बल्ला बना लेते थे, जो आजकल की हॉकी स्टिक से मिलता जुलता था। वे कटे हुए किसी पेड़ के तने (stump) के सामने खड़े होकर खेलते थे या अपने घर के छोटे फाटक (wicket gate) को आउट बना लेते थे। आजकल के क्रिकेट में न तो पेड़ के तने (stump) हैं और…

Dalit Officers

Case of an IAS Topper

Fate of a Scheduled Caste Candidate

The Union Public Service Commission under the Constitution of free India started functioning from January 26, 1950. The The Union Public Service Commission Commission conducted its first examination to recruit personnel for the IAS and Central Services the same year. There were 3,647 candidates for this examination. The First Report of the UPSC does not mention the number of Scheduled Caste or Scheduled Tribe candidates. But it discloses that Achyutananda Das was the country's first SC to make it to the IAS in 1950 itself. He was, in fact, the topper of his batch in the written examination.

Achyutananda Das, from West Bengal, secured 613 (58.38 per cent) out of 1050 marks in written examination whearas N. Krishnan from Madras secured 602 (57.33 per cent). But in the interview, Krishnan secured 260 (86.66 per cent) out of 300 as against 110 (36.66 per cent) by Achyutananda Das. Thus Achyutananda was left miles behin…