Henry Austin (politician)
Henry Austin (October 20, 1920 – May 15, 2008) was an Indian politician, diplomat, and former state and federal government minister. He was also a veteran leader in the Indian National Congress, which is also known simply as the Congress Party.
Austin was born on October 20, 1920. He attended school in Kollam before enrolling in St. Aloysius' College, a Jesuit college in Mangalore, Karnataka. He received his degree at the Arts College in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, before studying law at the Law College, which is also located in Thiruvananthapuram.
Austin served as the general secretary of the All India Congress Committee (AICC) in 1971. He also traveled abroad as an Indian representative to lobby for support of India's position during the Bangladesh Liberation War. (India supported Bangladesh's secession from Pakistan).
He first won election to the Parliament of India from the Ernakulam Lok Sabha constituency in 1971 and was re-elected again in 1977. However, he failed in his re-election bid in 1980 due to a dispute which split the Congress Party, to challenger, Xavier Arackal, a Congress Party member who was a supporter of Indira Gandhi.
Austin also became a minister in the government of former Prime Minister of India Charan Singh. He was in charge of civil and food supplies, a position which was the equivalent of the rank of state minister. Austin was named as India's ambassador to Portugal in 1985.
Austin was visiting his daughter in Thiruvananthapuram when he began complaining of uneasiness. He died on his way to the hospital on May 15, 2008, at the age of 88. He was buried at the Infant Jesus Roman Catholic Church Cemetery in Kochi, India.