Sri Prakasa

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Sri Prakasa (Hindi: श्री प्रकाश) (August 3, 1890 – June 23, 1971) was an Indian politician, freedom-fighter and administrator. He served as India's first High Commissioner to Pakistan from 1947 to 1949, Governor of Assam from 1949 to 1950, Governor of Madras from 1952 to 1956 and Governor of Bombay from 1956 to 1962.

Sri Prakasa was born in Varanasi in 1890. In his early days, he participated in the Indian independence movement and was jailed. After India's independence, he served as an administrator and cabinet minister. Sri Prakasa died in 1971 at the age of 80.

Early life[edit]

Sri Prakasa was born on August 3, 1889 or 1890 in an Agarwal family of Varanasi.[1] He had his schooling at Varanasi and graduated from Cambridge.[1][2]

Indian independence movement[edit]

Prakasa was arrested during the Quit India Movement and was in jail from 1942 to 1944.[3]

As High Commissioner to Pakistan[edit]

In August 1947, Sri Prakasa was appointed India's first High Commissioner to Pakistan and served in the post till 1949. During this time, Pakistan was gripped by communal riots and Sri Prakasa had to deal with the influx of refugees to India and the granting of Indian citizenship to migrants. Sri Prakasa had also to represent India's diplomatic interests during Pakistan's invasion of Kashmir.

As Governor of Assam[edit]

Sri Prakasa served as the Governor of Assam from February 16, 1949 to May 27, 1950. When Prakasa took over as Governor, there were serious disturbances in the eastern parts of the province which were inhabited by the Mizo Hill tribes.[citation needed] The Governor pacified the agitators by promising to grant sufficient autonomy As a result, a Lushai Hills Advisory Council was set up.[citation needed] During his tenure, he secured the accession of Manipur.[4][5]

As Governor of Madras[edit]

Sri Prakasa served as the Governor of Madras from 1952 to 1956. While Governor, he took the highly criticized decision to invite politician C. Rajagopalachari to form a Congress government in the state despite the fact that the Indian National Congress did not have a majority and Rajagopalachari was not an elected member of the assembly as he had not participated in the elections.[6][7][8][9] Rajagopalachari requested Prakasa to nominate him to the assembly thereby foregoing the usual process of election by the members of the assembly. However, Rajagopalachari resigned in two years due to strong opposition to his leadership among party ranks. P.C. Alexander, a former Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra governor, viewed the behaviour of the Governor and the Chief Minister of Madras in 1952 as one of the most serious breaches of the democratic process.

As Governor of Bombay[edit]

Sri Prakasa served as the Governor of Bombay from to . He was of the opinion that a composite Bombay state could not thrive and strongly recommended the partition of Bombay into multiple linguistic entitites.[10]

Character[edit]

Noted Indian civil servant Rajeshwar Dayal regarded Sri Prakasa as "an amiable and cultured gentleman set in a Victorian mould".[2] His manners were courteous, and he was a good speaker and rider.[2]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b Siba Pada Sen (1974). Dictionary of national biography. Institute of Historical Studies. p. 259. 
  2. ^ a b c Rajeshwar Dayal (1998). A life of our times. Orient Blackswan. p. 56. ISBN 8125015469, ISBN 978-81-250-1546-8. 
  3. ^ Y. D. Gundevia (1985). Outside the Archives. University of Nevada. p. 321. ISBN 0861317238, ISBN 978-0-86131-723-3. 
  4. ^ Sajal Nag (1998). India and North-East India: mind, politics and the process of integration, 1946-1950. Daya Books. p. 110. ISBN 818603076X, ISBN 978-81-86030-76-9. 
  5. ^ John Parratt. Wounded Land: Politics and Identity in Modern Manipur. Mittal Publications. p. 112. ISBN 818603076X, ISBN 978-81-86030-76-9. 
  6. ^ "Leader, amend thy mind". Expressindia.com. 1997-11-08. 
  7. ^ "Towards a new political culture". The Times Of India. May 20, 2006. [dead link]
  8. ^ "The Telegraph - Calcutta : Opinion". Telegraphindia.com. 2005-03-03. 
  9. ^ "Of Governors and CMs". Chennai, India: The Hindu. 2001-06-04. 
  10. ^ Sri Prakasa, Pg 276
Government offices
Preceded by
Ronald Francis Lodge (acting)
Governor of Assam
February 16, 1949 – March 27, 1950
Succeeded by
Jairam Das Daulatram
Preceded by
Krishna Kumarasingh Bhavasingh
Governor of Madras
March 12, 1952 – December 10, 1956
Succeeded by
A. J. John, Anaparambil
Preceded by
M. C. Chagla
Governor of Bombay
December 10, 1956 – April 16, 1962
Succeeded by
P. Subbarayan