V. I. Munuswamy Pillai

19 Feb 2019
14 Dec 1953
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Rao Sahib V. I. Munuswamy Pillai (1889 – December 14, 1953) also spelled as Munisami Pillai, was an Indian businessman, politician, Dalit activist and activist of the Indian independence movement who served as the Minister for Agriculture and Rural Development in the government of C. Rajagopalachari from 1937 to 1939.

Munuswamy Pillai was born in a poor Dalit family in Ootacamund, Nilgiris district in 1889. Due to his adverse financial circumstances, Munuswamy Pillai could afford little formal education and was forced to take up a job as a clerk at the age of twenty. After a successful stint as a clerk, Munuswamy Pillai set up his own business in 1925.

Munuswamy Pillai was nominated to the Madras Legislative Council in 1926 representing the depressed classes. He supported the policies of the Indian National Congress and served as Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development in Rajaji’s cabinet from 1937 to 1939.

Munuswamy Pillai retired from public life following the resignation of the Congress ministry in 1939. He returned to politics and was later elected to the Indian Constituent Assembly from Madras in 1946.He contested and lost the 1952 parliamentary elections from Tindivanam as an Indian National Congress candidate.He died on December 14, 1953 at the 63.A special resolution was passed by the Madras Legislative Assembly condoling his death.

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