Rabi Ray

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Rabi Ray
ରବି ରାୟ
9th Speaker of the Lok Sabha
In office
19 December 1989 – 9 July 1991
DeputyShivraj Patil
Preceded byBalram Jakhar
Succeeded byShivraj Patil
Minister of Health and Family Welfare
In office
25 January 1979 – 14 January 1980
Preceded byRaj Narain
Succeeded byMohsina Kidwai
Member of Parliament, Lok Sabha
In office
Preceded bySarat Kumar Deb
Succeeded bySrikant Kumar Jena
ConstituencyKendrapara, Odisha
In office
Preceded byB. Mishra
Succeeded byBanamali Patnaik
ConstituencyPuri, Odisha
Member of Parliament, Rajya Sabha
In office
03 April 1974 – 02 April 1980
Personal details
Born(1926-11-26)26 November 1926
Bhanagarh, Puri district, Odisha, British India
Died6 March 2017(2017-03-06) (aged 90)
Cuttack, Odisha, India
Political partyJanata Dal
Other political
Janata Party (Secular),
Janata Party,
Samyukta Socialist Party,
Socialist Party
As of 11 July, 2009
Source: [1]

Rabi Ray (26 November 1926 – 6 March 2017) was an Indian socialist politician, a Gandhian, a speaker of the Lok Sabha and a former Union minister. He hailed from Odisha. He joined the Socialist Party in 1948, and later became member of the Samyukta Socialist Party, the Janata Party and the Janata Dal.[1][2]

Early life[edit]

Ray was born on 26 November 1926 at Bhanaragarh village in the Puri district of Orissa, He passed his B.A. examination in History from the Ravenshaw College in Cuttack and later studied Law in the Madhusudan Law College in Cuttack.[1] He was married to Dr. Saraswati Swain, a medical doctor, who was later become a professor on SCB Medical College, Cuttack. Being a socialist he never shown interest to change her surname after marriage. She stood beside him as a source of inspiration in politics.

Political career[edit]

Before joining active politics Shri Rabi Ray was a freedom fighter. In early 1947, when he was studying history in Ravenshaw College, Cuttack, he was arrested by British Army in connection with unrolling the National flag in Ravenshaw College. At the end of the day British Government had to listen to students demand for unfurling the tricolor Indian flag in Educational Institutions, though the country was still under foreign rule.

An ardent believer in socialism from his college days, Rabi Ray joined the Socialist Party as its member in 1948. Due to his innate qualities of leadership and his deep commitment to the socialist cause, he always remained in the forefront of the socialist movement. During 1953-54, he held the post of the Joint Secretary, All India Samajwadi Yuvak Sabha. In 1956, under the leadership of Dr. Rammanohar Lohia, he founded the Socialist Party in Orissa. He was also a member of the National Executive of the Socialist Party during that period. Later, in 1960, he became the General Secretary of the Party for about a year.

In 1967, he was elected to the 4th Lok Sabha from Puri constituency in Orissa. In the 4th Lok Sabha, he was the leader of the Parliamentary Group of the Samyukta Socialist Party (SSP). In 1974, he was elected to the Rajya Sabha from Orissa and he completed his term in Rajya Sabha in 1980. He was the Union minister of health and family welfare in Morarji Desai Ministry from January 1979 to January 1980.[1]

In 1989, he was re-elected to the 9th Lok Sabha from the Kendrapara constituency in Orissa as a Janata Dal candidate. On 19 December 1989, he was unanimously elected as the Speaker of the 9th Lok Sabha. In 1991, he was re-elected to the 10th Lok Sabha from the same constituency. Since 1997, he is associated with a non-political organization, the Lok Shakti Abhiyan.[1]

Rabi Ray empowered with an inherent simplicity and transparent sincerity, ameliorated and improved the prestige and dignity of the office of the Speaker by his unbiased and judicious approach while he was the speaker of Lok Sabha.

He spearheaded a people's movement through a non-political organisation Lok Shakti Abhiyaan since 1997 against corruption in high places, excessive centralisation and a decadent consumerist culture. He has also been touring different parts of the country in furtherance of ensuring probity and transparency in all spheres of our national life. He also contributes regularly articles on contemporary political and social issues to various leading journals in Oriya/ Hindi and English.


  • Light Of Truth, 2002 (Rabi Ray, received the award on behalf of the people of India during the closing ceremony of the Tibetan Festival of Compassion on 18 December 2002.)
  • Shanti Doot International Award - the honour is conferred by the World Peace Movement Trust India.
  • Kalinga Ratna, 2008


  1. ^ a b c d "Former speakers - Rabi Ray". The Speaker, Lok Sabha official website. Retrieved 21 April 2010.
  2. ^ http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/politics-and-nation/former-lok-sabha-speaker-rabi-ray-passes-away/articleshow/57495889.cms
Lok Sabha
Preceded by
B. Mishra
Member of Parliament
for Puri

1967 – 1971
Succeeded by
Banamali Patnaik
Preceded by
Sarat Kumar Deb
Member of Parliament
for Kendrapara

1989 – 1996
Succeeded by
Srikant Kumar Jena
Political offices
Preceded by
Raj Narain
Minister of Health and Family Welfare
25 January 1979 – 14 January 1980
Succeeded by
Mohsina Kidwai
Preceded by
Balram Jakhar
Speaker of the Lok Sabha
19 December 1989 – 9 July 1991
Succeeded by
Shivraj Patil

External links[edit]