C. M. Stephen

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C. M. Stephen (23 December 1918 – 16 January 1984) was an Indian politician and Union Minister Republic of India.[1] C.M.Stephen was born on December 23, 1918 to Eapen Mathai and Esther of Chembakassery house in Cherukole, Mavelikkara. During his school days, Stephen was active in the Balajanasakhyam (promoted by Malayala Manorama). This helped him to develop leadership qualities, oratorial and organizing skills. After completing B L, Stephen, started his career as a journalist. He also started 'Pouraprabha' an evening daily. Through this daily he supported the Travancore Congress and attacked the rule of C.P.Ramaswamy Iyyer. In 1949, he gave up his career as a journalist and started practising law. In 1951, he joined active politics and in the same year became the D C C president of Kollam. He was a close associate of veteran Congress leaders P.T.Chacko, Pattom Thanu Pillai and R. Sankar and provided leadership in the Vimochana Samaram during 1958-59 period as an associate of P.T.Chacko, Pattom Thanu Pillai, R.Sankar and others.

He was also one of the founding fathers of I N T U C, the trade union wing of the Indian National Congress. He won the State elections in 1960, 1965 and 1971. He was also elected as an MP from Idukki in the 1976 parliamentary elections. He was a close aide of then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. He was the leader of the Congress Parliamentary Party - Indira faction during 1978-79.

C. M. Stephen also served in the Union Cabinet under Indira Gandhi, most notably as the Union Minister for Communications. Shashi Tharoor in his 'India: From Midnight to the Millennium' quotes Stephen's statement in Parliament that "the telephone was a luxury and not a necessity" as symptomatic of India's failure to invest in infrastructure and communications before the Reforms of 1991.

Dharam Singh gave up the Gulbarga Lok Sabha seat to accommodate C. M. Stephen, the then Union Home Minister in the Indira Gandhi Cabinet, after he lost the election in Delhi to Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

C. M. Stephen was buried at the St. Mary's Orthodox Cathedral, Mavelikkara.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Those recognising Sonia's policies are welcome to Congress: Antony". The Hindu. 17 January 2006. Retrieved 26 July 2009. 

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