Chidambaram Subramaniam

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Bharat Ratna
Chidambaram Subramaniam
Autograph of Dr.C.Subramaniam signed for Mahaveer prabu at VIT University Vellore.
Minister of Defence
In office
28 July 1979 – 14 January 1980
Prime Minister Charan Singh
Preceded by Jagjivan Ram
Succeeded by Indira Gandhi
Minister of Finance
In office
Prime Minister Indira Gandhi
Preceded by Yashwantrao Chavan
Succeeded by Haribhai M. Patel
Personal details
Born (1910-01-30)January 30, 1910
Died November 7, 2000(2000-11-07) (aged 90)

Chidambaram Subramaniam (commonly known as CS) (January 30, 1910 – November 7, 2000), was an Indian statesman (Indian Independence activist, State minister, Central minister and Governor of state). He was the man who ushered in an era of self-sufficiency in food production in India.[1]

Early life and education[edit]

Subramaniam was born on January 30, 1910, to Chidambaram and his wife, in a village called Senguttaipalayam, Pollachi taluk, Coimbatore district.[2] Subramaniam completed his early education in Pollachi before moving to Chennai where he did a B.Sc in Physics at the Presidency College, Chennai. Later he took a degree in law at the Law college, Chennai. During college days he along with contemporary stalwarts like Periyasami Thooran, K.M.Ramasami, O.V.Alagesan, Justice Palanisami started "Vanamalar Sangam" & published underground magazine called "PITHAN" edited by P.Thooran & Published by K.M.Ramasami at Gobichettipalayam.[3] His inspiration and close relative was Swami Chidbhavananda.

Political career[edit]

He was an active member in Civil disobedience movement in his college days. He was imprisoned during the Quit India Movement in 1942.[2] A protégé of Rajaji, Subramaniam was trained in the rudiments of politics and administration. He was a Minister (Education, Law and Finance) in the then Madras State from 1952 to 1962. He was the Leader of the House in the Madras Legislative Assembly for 10 years from 1952. He was elected to the Lok Sabha in 1962 and was the Minister for Steel and Mines. Subsequently, he handled important portfolios like agriculture (in 1965 when he spearheaded the Green Revolution), and later the portfolios of Finance and Defence. He was the finance minister during the emergency. He also worked as the Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission from 2 May 1971 to 22 July 1972.[3][4]

When the historic split in the Congress took place in 1969, he cast his lot with Indira Gandhi and became the interim president of the faction she headed. He stood by her when she clamped the Emergency in 1975, but parted ways later and joined the Congress (Urs) faction led by Devraj Urs

Subramaniam was appointed Governor of Maharashtra in 1990. He transformed the Raj Bhavan into a beehive of activity by holding frequent meetings with leading academics, industrialists, representatives of non-governmental organisations and prominent citizens on issues crucial to the community. He had to resign after a newspaper reporter overheard and published an informal remark of his criticising the style of functioning of the then Indian Prime Minister, Mr P.V. Narasimha Rao.[5]


Subramaniam participated in the freedom struggle actively and went to prison. He was later elected to the Constituent Assembly and had a hand in the framing of the Constitution of India.

Subramaniam is best known as the architect of India’s modern agricultural development policy, after the success of his programme which led to a record production of wheat in 1972 — an achievement termed as the Indian Green Revolution. As Minister for Food and Agriculture, he played a decisive role in the introduction of high-yielding varieties of seeds and more intensive application of fertilizers which paved the way for increased output of cereals in the late 60s and attainment of self-sufficiency in food-grains in the country. About his contribution, Dr. Norman E. Borlaug, the Nobel Laureate, writes: "The vision and influence of Mr. Subramaniam in bringing about agricultural change and in the very necessary political decisions needed to make the new approach effective, should never be under-emphasized. The groundwork for this advance (in the production of wheat) was solidly laid during that period (1964–67) when Mr. Subramaniam was the guiding political force instituting change.[1]

Among his protégés who are notable in their own right are M.S. Swaminathan, who played a major role in translating the dream of a 'green revolution' into reality; former Agriculture Secretary B. Sivaraman (who, along with Subramaniam and Swaminathan, formed the three 'S's instrumental in heralding the Green Revolution), and Verghese Kurien Chairman of the National Dairy Development Board.

He was the founder of National Agro Foundation, Chennai[6] and Bharathidasan Institute of Management, Tiruchirappalli.


He has received the following awards

  • Bharat Ratna (the nation's highest civilian honour) in 1998.[7]
  • Y.B. Chavan National Integration Award.[8]
  • U Thant peace award and Norman Borlaug award in 1996.[2]
  • Anuvrat award (1988).[1]

A commemorative coin of him, was released in August 2010.[9]


  • War on Poverty
  • The New Strategy in Indian Agriculture
  • Some Countries which I visited Round The World
  • The India of My Dreams


  1. ^ a b c "Shri C. Subramaniam". Rajbhavan, Maharashra state, India. 
  2. ^ a b c "CS ushered in Green Revolution". The Hindu (India). 8 November 2000. Retrieved 28 October 2011. 
  3. ^ a b "A visionary and a statesman". Frontline (India). 20 March 1998. Retrieved 28 October 2011. 
  4. ^ Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission
  5. ^
  6. ^ "More light on personal facets of C. Subramaniam". The Hindu (Chennai, India). 31 October 2010. Retrieved 28 October 2011. 
  7. ^ "C.Subramaniam awarded Bharat Ratna". Rediff. 18 February 1998. Retrieved 28 October 2011. 
  8. ^ "C Subramaniam passes away". Business Line (India). 8 November 2000. Retrieved 28 October 2011. 
  9. ^ "Yeoman services rendered by Subramaniam to nation recalled". The Hindu (India). 28 August 2010. Retrieved 28 October 2011. 

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Yashwantrao Chavan
Finance Minister of India
1975 – 1977
Succeeded by
H. M. Patel