Kocheril Raman Narayanan was the first Dalit person of India to be sworn in as the 10th President of India. He was also the first person to get a master’s degree from the Dalit community. In addition Kocheril Raman Narayanan was the first journalist from the Dalit community and the first President to vote in the 1998 general elections.
Biography of Kocheril Raman Narayanan(K. R. Narayanan)
Table of Contents
|K. R. Narayanan
|Kocheril Raman Narayanan
|Date of Birth
|Place of Birth
|Travancore, Uzhavoor Village, Kerala
|Kocheril Raman Vaidyar
|1/ Government Lower Primary School, Kurichthanam
2/ Our Lady of Lourdes Upper Primary School, Uzhavoor
3/ Trevancore University (now Kerala University)
4/ School of Economics in London
|November 9, 2005
Early Life of Kocheril Raman Narayanan
Kocheril Raman Narayanan, who held the highest prestigious position in the country, was born to a Dalit family on October 27, 1920 in Uzhavoor village in Kerala. Kocheril Raman Narayanan’s father’s name is Kocheril Raman Vaidyar and mother’s name is Punnaththuraveettil Pappiyamma. They belong to a Paravan caste. They were professionally involved in fisheries, boat construction and sea trade. Born into a poor family, Kocheril Raman Narayanan never gave up even though he faced various challenges in his life.
Kocheril Raman Narayanan started his formal education in 1927 at the Government Lower Primary School in Kurichthanam. He later studied at Our Lady of Lourdes Upper Primary School in Uzhavoor from 1931 to 1935. From 1935 to 1936, Kocheril Raman Narayanan was educated at St. John’s High School in Koothattukulam. Kocheril Raman Narayanan subsequently passed the entrance examination from St Mary’s High School in 1937.
Highly talented K. R. Narayanan completed his intermediate at C.M.S College in Kottayam Travancore aided by a scholarship from the Travancore Royal Family. It may be recalled that Narayanan studied at C.M.S college from 1938 to 1940. K.R. Narayanan later graduated from Travancore University (now Kerala University) in English literature. Importantly, sharp talented student K.R. Narayanan passed out with first class from the university.
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Career of Narayanan
Kocheril Raman Narayanan started his career as a journalist in The Hindu and The Times of India in 1944 -1945 after completing his formal education. It may be recalled that while serving as a journalist at The Times of India in1945, he interviewed Mahatma Gandhi and asked him questions on untouchability, social behaviour and their political importance.
Importantly, Narayanan, who moved forward with his talent in the field of academics, received a Tata Scholarship of Rs.16,000 by J.R.D. Tata in 1944 to study at the School of Economics in London. It may be recalled that K.R. Narayanan had the advantage of studying political science as well as economics and journalism at the London School of Economics. At that time he had the facility of learning from renowned scholars like Harold Laski, he also attended lectures by Karl Popper, Lionel Robbins, and Friedrich Hayek. Importantly, K.R. Narayanan, who was studying in London, also involved in the Indian League during this period and he also worked as a London correspondent for the weekly paper Social Welfare Weekly published by K.M. Munshi.
K.R. Narayanan returned to India in 1948 after completing his education in London. After coming to India K.R. Narayanan joined Jawaharlal Nehru in collaboration with Harold Laski. It may be recalled that Jawaharlal Nehru had requested K.R. Narayanan to join the Indian Foreign Service at that time. K.R. Narayanan joined the Indian Foreign Service(IFS) on Nehru’s request, and was appointed an attache in the Ministry of External Affairs(MEA) on 18th April of that year. He has held diplomatic positions in the embassies at Rangoon, Tokyo, London, Canberra and Hanoi since 1949. He retired from IFS in 1978. It may be recalled that Narayanan taught at the Delhi School of Economics for a year in1954 in parallel with his diplomatic career. K. R. Narayanan later served as the Fellow of Jawaharlal Nehru in 1970-72. It may be recalled that K.R. Narayanan served as vice chancellor of Jawaharlal Nehru University(JNU) from 1979 to 1980. Later he was subsequently appointed as The Indian Ambassador to the US in 1980-84.
Political Career of Narayanan
K.R. Narayanan, who was described by Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru as the best diplomat in the country, entered active politics in 1984 at the request of then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. It may be recalled that K. R. Narayanan won the general elections to the Lok Sabha from Palakkad in Kerala in1984, 1989, 1991 for three consecutive terms after entering active politics. K. R. Narayanan, who won the general election in the light of Rajiv Gandhi’s government, also served as minister of state for Planning (1985) and the ministry of External Affairs (1985-86), Science and Technology (1986-89).
Significantly, in August 1992, K. R. Narayanan was elected as the ninth Vice President of India, under the presidency of Shankar Dayal Sharma. K.R. Narayanan was subsequently elected as the 10th President in July 1997 with 95% of the votes. K.R. Narayanan was the first Dalit person to hold a high position as president of India. Importantly, it was Mahatma Gandhi’s wish for a Dalit to hold the top post position in the country one day. Gandhi never thought that the young journalist, K.R. Narayanan, who once interviewed him in The Times of India, would fulfil his wishes after decades.
K. R. Narayanan expressed his views strongly during his presidential tenure in the right of Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes. Narayanan who considers himself as a working president took several important decisions during his tenure as president. He fulfilled his duties by being confined to the boundaries of the Constitution.
Diplomat, politician, educationist K.R. Narayanan also wrote several books in the context of Indian society. Some of them are: published in 1999, Nehru and his vision, published in 1998, India and America: Essays in Understanding and its Second Edition Asia book corporation of America, his other noteworthy book is Images and Insights and jointly published Non-Alignment in Contemporary International Relations.
K. R. Narayanan, who holds a distinct position as an Indian diplomat, educationist and politician, died on November 9, 2005 at the Army Research and Referral Hospital in New Delhi at the age of 85 after suffering from pneumonia and kidney disease.
Narayanan, who played an important role in protecting the Constitution, Constitutional Morality and Secularism, faced many challenges in life but was always relevant to his philosophy because of his intellectual approach, hard work and humble behaviour in parallel with his vast personality.
1. Who is the first Dalit person to be elected as president?
Answer: The first Dalit person elected as president is K. R. Narayanan. K. R. Narayanan was elected as the 10th President in 1997 with 95% votes.
2. As a person from Dalit community, In which positions was K.R. Narayanan identified as the first person?
Ans: K. R. Narayanan was the first Dalit President of India to be sworn in as the 10th President of India. K. R. Narayanan become the first person to graduate from the Dalit community and was also the first journalist from the Dalit community.
3. When and where was K.R. Narayanan born?
Ans. K. R. Narayanan was born to a Dalit family on October 27,1920 in Perumthananam, Uzhavoor village in Kerala.
4. What is the full name of K. R. Narayanan?
Answer: K. R. Narayanan’s full name is Kosheril Raman Narayanan.
5. What is the name of the father and mother of K.R. Narayanan?
Answer: K. R. Narayanan’s father’s name is Kocheril Raman Vaidyar and mother’s name is Punnaththuraveettil Pappiyamma.
6. Name some of the books written by K. R. Narayanan.
Ans: Some of the books written by Narayanan are – Nehru and his vision, India and America: Essays in Understanding and its Second Edition Asia book corporation of America, his other noteworthy book is Images and Insights and jointly published Non-Alignment in Contemporary International Relations.
7. When did K. R. Narayanan died?
Ans: Narayanan died on November 9, 2005 at the Army Research and Referral Hospital in New Delhi at the age of 85.
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