N Gopalswami Ayyangar
1886 - 1953

                                                     Gopalaswami Ayyangar's Timeline

 

 

 

Early Life:

Gopalaswami Ayyangar was born on 31st March, 1882 in Tanjore, Madras, and studied at the Wesley School and later at Presidency College, Madras. In 1905, he joined the Madras Civil Service and served several posts including Deputy Collector and Member of the Board of Revenue.

 

Role in India’s Independence Movement:

His contribution to politics started with his appointment as the Prime Minister of Kashmir from 1937-1943. His tenure as a member of the Council of States lasted from 1943-1947 during which he was the Chairman of the ‘Committee for the Indianisation of Army’.

 

Key role in Constitution making:

Ayyangar was a member of the Constituent Assembly and belonged to the thirteen -member Drafting Committee. He played a significant role in the shaping of Article 370 of Constitution of India, 1950 - which granted local autonomy to the state of Jammu and Kashmir.

 

Role in Post Independence India:

In 1948 Ayyangar headed the delegation that represented India at the United Nations in the persistent dispute over Kashmir.

 

Under his leadership as the Minister for Railways and Transport from 1948 to 1952, the Indian Railways experienced remarkable growth and development in services and equipment. The regrouping of the Indian Railways into six zonal systems was his brainchild leading to the Railways reporting surplus earnings at this time. His report "Reorganization of the Government Machinery" in 1949 aimed at the smooth running of the government services, and led to the formation of the Defence Committee, the Economic Committee, the Parliamentary and Legal Affairs Committee, and the Ad Hoc Administrative Organization Committee by the Central government.

 

His final stint was as the Defence Minister from 1952-1953. In 1952, during his tenure as Defence Minister, he was appointed India's representative in the ongoing negotiations and discussions on Kashmir at the Geneva talks.

 

 

Awards:

Ayyangar given the title of Diwan Bahadur in 1937, the highest title awarded by a British viceroy. He was included in the 1941 New Year Honours list, and received his knighthood from King George VI.

 

Ayyangar died in Madras on February 10, 1953.

Committee Memberships:

  1. Member, Rules of Procedure Committee;
  2. Member, Order of Business Committee;
  3. Member, Functions Committee;
  4. Member, States Committee;
  5. Member, Union Powers Committee;
  6. Member, Union Constitution Committee;
  7. Member, Committee on Chief Commissioners Provinces;
  8. Member, Drafting Committee.