Ramaswamy Venkataraman, Indian lawyer, Died at 98

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Dead, Ramaswamy Venkataraman on the 27th of January 2009 at the age of 98, he was an Indian lawyer, Indian independence activist and politician who served as a Union minister and as the eighth President of India.

Born in Rajamadam village near in Pattukottai, near Tanjore district in Tamil Nadu on the 4th of December 1910, he had his school education in Govt Boys Higher Secondary School, Pattukottai and Under graduation in National College, Tiruchirappalli.

Educated locally and in the city of Madras (now Chennai), Venkataraman obtained his master’s degree in Economics from Loyola College, Madras.

He later qualified in Law from the Law College, Madras.

Venkataraman was enrolled in the Madras High Court in 1935 and in the Supreme Court in 1951.

He was a member of constituent assembly that drafted India’s constitution. In 1950 he was elected to free India’s Provisional Parliament (1950–1952) and to the First Parliament (1952–1957).

During his term of legislative activity, Venkataraman attended the 1952 Session of the Metal Trades Committee of International Labour Organisation as a workers’ delegate.

He was a member of the Indian Parliamentary Delegation to the Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference in New Zealand. Venkataraman was also Secretary to the Congress Parliamentary Party in 1953–1954.

Venkataraman was also, variously, a member of the Political Affairs Committee and the Economic Affairs Committee of the Union Cabinet; Governor, International Monetary Fund, the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, and the Asian Development Bank.

Venkataraman was a Delegate to the United Nations General Assembly in 1953, 1955, 1956, 1958, 1959, 1960 and 1961.

He was Leader of the Indian Delegation to the 42nd Session of the International Labour Conference at Geneva (1958) and represented India in the Inter Parliamentary Conference in Vienna (1978).

He was a member of the United Nations Administrative Tribunal from 1955 to 1979 and was its President from 1968 to 1979.

Venkataraman was, then, made the Vice President of India in 1984, and later in July 1987 he was sworn in as the President of India serving till 1992.

During his tenure, Venkataraman had the distinction of working with four Prime Ministers among which he himself had appointed three of them. It was also during his tenure that saw the advent of coalition politics.

He received the degree of Doctor of Social Sciences from the University of Roorkee. In recognition of his participation in the freedom movement, Venkataraman was awarded the Tamra Patra.

He received the Soviet Land Prize in 1967 for his travelogue on “Kamraj’s Journey to Soviet Countries”. For his distinguished service as the President of the United Nations Administrative Tribunal, Venkataraman was given a Souvenir by the Secretary of the UN.

His Holiness the Sankaracharya of Kancheepuram conferred on Venkataraman the title “Sat Seva Ratna”.

In 2009, at the age of 98, Venkataraman passed away due to multiple organ failure at the Army Research and Referral Hospital, where he was brought 15 days before with complaints of Urosepsis.

He is survived by his wife Janaki Venkataraman whom he married in 1938, and three daughters.

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