Remembering R Venkataraman: The Eighth President of India


Ramaswamy Venkataraman was born in Rajamadam village in Tanjore district, Tamil Nadu State. He did his schooling from his native hometown and under graduated from National College Tiruchirappalli. He obtained his master degree in economics from Loyola College, Chennai. Further, he continued his study and qualified in law from the Law College, Chennai. He practiced his law in Madras High Court from 1935 and later he enrolled in Supreme Court in 1951.
In his young age, he was an activist of the Indian independence movement and was part of the Quit India Movement. He was designated member of the Constituent Assembly and the provisional cabinet. He was elected to Lok-Sabha four times and also served as the Union Finance Minister and Defense Minister. In 1984, he was elected the seventh Vice President of India and in 1987, he became the eighth President of India and served from 1987 to 1992. He also served as the State minister under K. Kamaraj and M. Bhaktavatsalam.
  On his 107th birth anniversary, we need to know some facts about R. Venkataraman:

  1. A lawyer by profession, R. Venkataraman had practiced law in the Madras High Court and in Supreme Court as well.
  2. He was registered as a Law practitioner in the Madras High Court in the year 1935 and was appointed in the Apex court of India in 1951.
  3. Venkataraman was a freedom fighter and also was a part of the Quit India Movement.
  4. He was an integral part of the parliamentary team that re-designed India’s Provincial Parliament during the period between 1950 and 1952.
  5. He was a unanimously chosen member of India’s First Parliament, which held seat from 1952 to 1957.
  6. Venkataraman was a member of the Parliamentary delegation to the Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference in New Zealand in his legislative years.
  7. He was appointed by the then Prime Minister, Indira Gandhi as a Member of the Union Planning Commission in 1967 to supervise matters of industry, labor, power, transport, communications, and railways.
  8. He also took office as the Union Minister of Finance on January 14, 1980. He served the post until January 15, 1982.
  9. He was appointed as the Minister of Defence on June 22, 1982, and he served the post until August 2, 1984.
  10. During this time, he initiated India’s first missile programme, named Integrated Guided Missile Development Program, and appointed Dr. A. P. J. Abdul Kalamas the programming head.

He also was the renowned author and published some books on the development of the nation and some based on politics as followed

  • Role of Planning in Industrial Development, by Ramaswami Venkataraman. Published by Govt. of India Press, 1969.
  • The Role of a Private Member of Parliament, by Ramaswami Venkataraman. Published by Harold Laski Institute of Political Science, 1986.
  • My Presidential Years – R Venkataraman, by R Venkataraman. 1995. HarperCollins/Indus. ISBN81-7223-202-0.
  • Venkataraman on Contemporary Issues, by Ramaswami Venkataraman, K. Venkatasubramanian. Published by Variant Communications, 1996.
  • The relevance of Gandhi: And Other Essays, by K Swaminathan, Ramaswami Venkataraman. Published by Gandhigram Trust, 1998.