R. Sankar

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R. Sankar
Chief Minister of Kerala 3 - R Shankar.jpg
Chief Minister of Kerala
In office
22 September 1962 – 10 September 1964
Personal details
Born (1909-04-30)April 30, 1909
Kuzhikalidavaka, Puthoor, Travancore
Died 6 November 1972(1972-11-06) (aged 63)
Political party Indian National Congress
Spouse(s) Lekshmikuttyamma
Children Mohan Sankar (Son), Prof. Sasikala(daughter)
Residence Kollam

R. Sankar (1909–1972) was the third Chief Minister of Kerala from 1962 to 1964. He was also the Deputy Chief Minister of the State from 1960 to 1962. Sankar apart as a politician is known as a statesman, administrator, orator, educationist, writer and editor.

Early life[edit]

He was born in an Ezhava family to Raman and Kunjaliamma on April 30, 1909 in Kuzhikkalidavaka village in Puthoor, Kottarakkara. He did his formal education in the Puthoor Primary School and later continued in an English School in Kottarakkara. In 1924, he joined Maharajas College (present University College) from gained a degree in Chemistry. He was supported financially for his education by a wealthy relative, as his father could not afford the expenses. he also worked as a techer for a short span of time before he moved to the Government Law College, Thiruvananthapuram in 1933.

His appointment as principal of Sivagiri High School made him associate with the activities of the Sree Narayana Dharma Paripalana (SNDP) Yogam. He talked about the social injustice prevalent in those days, particularly the discriminatory attitude shown towards backward class communities, and also equal opportunities for backward classes.

Political life[edit]

Having started public life as a teacher and lawyer, he was drawn to freedom movement and became an active member of the Indian National Congress in Travancore State. After India’s independence he focused his attention on strengthening the Congress party.[citation needed]

Later, he took a break from the Congress party and began to work in the SNDP Yogam. During his long association with the SNDP Yogam of over 13 years, he served as its General Secretary for over a span of 10 years and 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. SNDP Yogam celebrated its Golden Jubilee year while Sankar was the General Secretary in 1953. As part an year long celebration he organised an Exhibition in Kollam which is marked in the history of the State as 'SNDP Kanaka Jubilee'

Sankar returned to the Congress and was elected to the Travancore State Assembly in 1948. He also became the member of the Travancore-Cochin State Assembly from 1949 to 1956. Sankar was member of the Constituent Assembly and also 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 Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) President during the Vimochana Samaram(Liberation Struggle) in 1958. The Congress won the elections in 1960 under R. Sankar’s leadership. Though Congress gained majority of seats in the Elections of 1960 to the Kerala Legislative Assembly, Pattom Thanupillai of the Praja Socialist Party was given the Chief Ministership (CM) and Sankar became the Deputy Chief Minister in the Pattom Thanupillai ministry. He handled the portfolio of Finance from 1960 to 1962 when he was the Deputy CM.

R. Sankar became the Chief Minister of Kerala when Pattom Thanupillai was appointed as Governor of Punjab State. He was in the chair from September 26, 1962 to September 10, 1964. He had to resign and dismiss the Government under his leadership when a No-confidence motion was passed in the Assembly. 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.

Sankar died at the age of 63 on November 6, 1972. The Assembly paid its homage to him on November 13, 1972.

Allegations of Corruption[edit]

R.Shankar has been allegedly involved in various scams mainly involving acquisition and transfer of ownership of state owned land to his proxies and SNDP (Sree Narayana Darma Paripalana Yogam ). At the time of his death in 1972 several cases were filed against him relating to transfer of land ownership to SNDP.

Political retirement[edit]

R. Sankar contested to the general elections held in 1965 to Kerala Legislative Assembly but was defeated. He thus took back from active politics and concentrated in starting and implementing Educational Institutuions for SNDP yogam by settling back in Kollam. At that time he started the Sree Narayana Medical Mission under the SN Trust for giving away free treatment. The first hospital under the mission was started in Kollam, the hospital is also known on his name 'Sankers' which is now a multi speciality hospital. The body of Sankar was also laid to rest in the Hospital compound as a tribute to his service. He was the President of the Committee which erected the statue of pPoet Kumaranasan in Thiruvananthapuram

Editor[edit]

Sankar was the Chief Editor of the newspaper Dinamony which was started under his ownership. He has also penned two books on Chemistry.


External links[edit]

Preceded by
Pattom Thanupillai
Chief Minister of Kerala
1962– 1964
Succeeded by
E. M. S. Namboodiripad