Neelam Sanjiva Reddy is one of the individuals whose personality and patriotism has made India a modern, powerful country. Neelam Sanjiva Reddy, who dedicated his entire life to the nation, was an uncompromising freedom fighter, an accomplished politician, a skilled MP.
Biography of Neelam Sanjiva Reddy
|Name||Neelam Sanjiva Reddy|
|Date of Birth||19 May 1913|
|Place of Birth||Anantapur, Andhra Pradesh|
|Father’s Name||Neelam Chinnapa Reddy|
|Education||1/ Theosophical High School, Madras|
2/ Government College of Arts, Anantapur
|Death||June 1, 1996|
Early Life of Neelam Sanjiva Reddy
Neelam Sanjiva Reddy, who actively participated in the freedom movement, started a long political career with the Indian National Congress party and also held the post of first Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh and served twice as Speaker and Union Minister of the Lok Sabha. Neelam Sanjiva Reddy, who served from 1977 to 1982, was the sixth President and youngest Indian President of India to be elected unopposed.
Neelam Sanjiva Reddy was born on May 19, 1913 in a Telugu-speaking Hindu family in Illur village of Madras (now Anantapur district, Andhra Pradesh). Neelam Sanjiva Reddy, who studied at Theosophical High School in Madras, and graduated at the Government Arts College in Anantapur under the University of Madras.
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Neelam Sanjiva Reddy, a huge nationalist spirit, jumped into the freedom struggle against the British, following Mahatma Gandhi’s visit to Anantapur in July 1929. Importantly, he left college in 1931 to actively participate in the freedom movement. At that time he was closely associated with the Youth League as well as participated in Student Satyagraha. Importantly, in 1938, he was elected secretary of the Andhra Pradesh Provincial Congress Committee and served as secretary for ten years. It may be recalled that he was also imprisoned for active participation in the freedom movement. Reddy spent most of his life in captivity during the Quit India movement led by Mahatma Gandhi, he was imprisoned and was mostly in jail between 1940 and 1945. Released in March 1942, he was arrested again in August and sent to the Amraoti jail, Reddy spent time with activists T Prakasam, S. Satyamurti, K. Kamaraj and V V Giri till 1945 during his imprisonment.
In 1946, Neelam Sanjiva Reddy was elected as the Congress representative to the Madras Legislative Assembly and took over as secretary of the Legislative Party of the Congress. He also served as a member of the Constituent Assembly of India. Neelam Sanjiva Reddy served as Minister of Home and Forest in April 1949 till 1951.
In 1951, Neelam Sanjiva Reddy was elected president of the Andhra Pradesh Congress Committee defeating N G Ranga. When the Andhra State was formed in 1953, T. Prakasam became its Chief Minister and Reddy became deputy. After the later formation of the Andhra Pradesh state by incorporating Telangana with the Andhra State, Reddy took over as the first Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh in October 1956 after the formation of a separate state of Andhra Pradesh.
Importantly, Neelam Sanjiva Reddy served as the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh for the second time from March 12, 1962 to February 20, 1964 thus holding that office for over five years. Reddy was the MLA from Sri Kalahasti and Dhone when he took over as chief minister for the second time. It was during his tenure that work on Nagarjuna Sagar and Srisailam multipurpose river valley project was started. It may be recalled that the Andhra Pradesh government later renamed the Srisailam project as Neelam Sanjiva Reddy Sagar in honour of Reddy.
Neelam Sanjiva Reddy also served as president of the Indian National Congress in its Bangalore, Bhavnagar and Patna sessions from 1960 to 1962. At the Congress session at Goa in 1962, Reddy’s speech stating India’s determination to end the Chinese occupation of Indian territory and the irrevocable nature of the liberation of Goa was enthusiastically received by attendees. He was also elected to the Rajya Sabha thrice as a member. It may be recalled that from June 1964, Reddy served as Union minister of Steel and Mines in the Lal Bahadur Shastri government, from January 1966 to March 1967, as the Union Minister for Transport, Civil Aviation, Shipping and Tourism in Indira Gandhi’s Cabinet.
Reddy was elected as the Speaker of the Fourth Lok Sabha on March 17, 1967, after he was elected to the Lok Sabha from Hindupur in Andhra Pradesh in the 1967 general elections. But importantly, he formally resigned from the political party – the Congress – after taking over as Speaker of the Lok Sabha. Through this act he cited examples of neutrality. Neelam Sanjiva Reddy was the first person to officially resign from the political party after taking over as Lok Sabha speaker. Several special works were completed during his tenure. For example during his tenure a committee was formed for the welfare of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes. During his term as Speaker a defamation suit field against him by an MP resulted in the Supreme Court’s ruling that parliamentarians had complete freedom of speech in the House and that the courts had no say in such matters. Reddy described his role as being the watchman of the Parliament.
Importantly, Neelam Sanjiva Reddy was nominated from the Congress party as a presidential candidate after the death of President Zakir Hussain in 1969 but Indira Gandhi supported Reddy against independent candidate V V Giri. V V Giri won as the resulting president. It was only after the presidential election that Reddy left the active political arena and travelled to the home land of Anantapur and engaged himself in agriculture.
Neelam Sanjeev Reddy entered active politics again in response to Jayaprakash Narayan’s call for a Total Revolution, in 1975. In January 1977, he joined Janata Party and contested the general election from Nandyal (Lok Sabha constituency) in Andhra Pradesh as Janata Party candidate and won as the only non-Congress candidate from Andhra Pradesh. Sanjiva Reddy was unanimously elected as the Speaker of the Sixth Lok Sabha on March 26, 1977. But he resigned as speaker of the Lok Sabha with the intention of contesting the presidential election. He had a second term as Speaker of the Lok Sabha for three months and 17 days and remains till date the shortest tenure for anyone to have held that post.
Neelam Sanjiva Reddy was sworn in as the sixth President of India on July 25, 1977. Reddy had the opportunity to work with Morarji Desai, Charan Singh and Indira Gandhi as president. Reddy was elected unopposed, the only President to be elected thus, after being unanimously supported by all political parties including the oppositions Congress Party. At 64 he became the youngest ever person to be elected President of India.
Importantly, in 1989, Reddy also published a book called Without Fear or Favour: Reminiscences and Reflections of a President.
Reddy, who made an important contribution to Indian social life, breathed his last in 1996 at the age of 83 after suffering from pneumonia while in Bangalore.
Neelam Sanjiva Reddy’s political honesty, values, powerful personality, ideals will always be alive even if he is not physically present. Neelam Sanjiva Reddy, who is regarded as a politician, a man of great personality who has contributed to the field of literature, is popular and still relevant to his thoughts for his intellectual views, hard work and humble behaviour.
1. Who is the person who has been elected as the youngest President of India without any contest?
Answer: After unanimous support from all political parties including the then opposition Congress party in 1977 Neelam Sanjiva Reddy was elected president unopposed at the age of 64. Neelam Sanjeev Reddy was the youngest person to be elected president of India at the age of 64.
2. Who is the first Chief Minister of Andhra?
Answer: Neelam Sanjiva Reddy.
3. Where and when was Neelam Sanjiva Reddy born?
Answer: Neelam Sanjiva Reddy was born on May 19, 1913 in a Telugu-speaking Hindu family in Illur village of Madras (now Anantapur district, Andhra Pradesh).
4. What is Neelam Sanjiva Reddy’s contribution to Indian society?
Answer: Active participation in the freedom movement, starting a long political career from the Indian National Congress Party as the first Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, two-time Speaker of the Lok Sabha and union minister – Neelam Sanjeev Reddy’s entire life as the youngest Indian President was a source of pride for Indians.
5. Name the book published by Sanjiva Reddy.
Answer: In 1989, Sanjiva Reddy published a book called “Without Fear or Favour: Reminiscences and Reflections of a President.“
6. When did Sanjiva Reddy died?
Ans: Reddy breathed his last in 1996 at the age of 83 after suffering from pneumonia while in Bangalore.
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