Mr Varahgiri Venkata Giri who served as the 4th President of India was one of the prominent Indian politicians who was one amongst the activists of India’s struggle for independence. Barrister V V Giri was one of the cardinals behind the country’s Trade Union Movement.
The Bharat Ratna Awardee and the 3rd Vice President of India was born on 10 August 1894 in Berhampur, presently in Odisha. He served in various key positions and he bid his final bye to us on June 24, 1980. Today on the occasion of his death anniversary let’s remember him by knowing more about this great son of mother India in detail.
Early Life And Education of V V Giri
VV Giri was born in a Telugu speaking brahmin family on 10 August 1894 in Berhampur, Madras Presidency in British India, which now comes in Odisha. Having been born in a family of nationalists, the feeling of patriotism was inculcated in him from early childhood.
His father, V V Jogayya Pantulu was a barrister as well as a political activist of Indian National Congress while his mother Subhadramma was one of the active participants of Non Cooperation and Civil Disobedience Movements in Berhampur. Mr Giri got married to Saraswati Bai with whom he had 14 children.
After completing his graduation from Khallikote College, Madras University he moved to Ireland to study Law from the University College Dublin. Giri was active in both Indian and Irish politics. During his study years in Dublin he along with his fellow students published a pamphlet that documented the ill-treatment of Indians in South Africa. In 1916 at the time of First World War due to his suspected participation in the Irish Uprising he was given a legal notice to leave Ireland. After returning from Ireland he started to practice in Madras High Court.
Role of V V Giri in National Movements
Despite living abroad, Giri was well acquainted with the freedom movements going on in India. After returning to India, Giri started his practice in Madras High Court but soon inspired by Mahatma Gandhi, he abandoned his successful legal career and became an active member of Annie Besant’s Home Rule League and joined the freedom movement during Non-cooperation movement led by Gandhi ji in 1922.
V. V. Giri The Leader of Indian Trade Union
The credit of uniting labours and trade Unions to fight for freedom goes to none other than V. V. Giri. He is known for the labour movement in India. Here are some points that define why he is known as the leader of trade Union reforms in India.
- Mr Giri was the General Secretary and one of the Founding members of All India Railwaymen’s Federation in 1923.
- He became the President of the All India Trade Union twice, once in 1926 and again in 1942.
- He was the founder of Bengal Nagpur Railway Association and led a landmark labour movement in 1928 in which the government had to concede to the workers’ demands in the end.
- Giri was also the President of Indian Trade Union Federation (ITUF), which he co-founded with N M Joshi and in 1929.
- As a leader of the trade Union he attended the International Labour Conference at Geneva in 192.
- As a worker’s representative he attended the second round table Conference in London From 1931 to 1932.
- In the General Elections of 1936 he was elected as the Minister of Labour and Industries in the Madras Presidency.
- Giri was a member of the Indian Legislative Assembly from 1934 to 1937.
- During the Quit India movement, the Congress Government resigned in 1942 and V.V. Giri returned to the Labour Movement to take part in the Quit India Movement, for which he was imprisoned for 3 years.
- In the elections of 1946, he was again given the charge of the Ministry of Labour.
Political Life of V V Giri
Giri’s political Journey began soon after the introduction of Government of India Act 1935, when he was elected as Minister of labour in Madras Presidency under the Government of C Rajgopalachari in 1936. Again in the cabinet of T. Prakashan he was given the same charge in 1946. Let’s look at the following points to understand his political journey in brief.
- Giri served as a member of the Lok Sabha from 1952 to 1957.
- Mr Giri served as Union Labour Minister from 1952 to 1954.
- He became the 3rd Vice President of India and served in the position from 1967 to 1969.
- In 1969 he was elected as the 4th president of India as the first Independent candidate and served in the position from 1969-74.
- Along with serving as the Union Minister of Labour, he also served in key positions such as the High commissioner to Ceylon and the Governor of Kerala, Uttar Pradesh and Karnataka.
- So it was all about the political journey of V V Giri. He died due to cardiac arrest and left his mortal body on June 24, 1980 in Chennai.
Important Facts On V V Giri
Here We are presenting some facts that you should know about the great representative of Labours and the 4th President of India, Mr V V Giri.
- V V Giri was awarded the Bharat Ratna in 1975 for his contribution towards Indian freedom movements and Indian Politics.
- He became the acting President upon the death of then President Dr Zakir Hussain.
- He was the one to become part of the Sinn Fein Movement in Ireland during the Irish Uprising.
- Mr Giri penned down two notable books Giri one on “Industrial Relations” and the other on “Labour Problems in Indian Industry”.
- He served as Indian High Commissioner to Ceylon, 1947-51.
- The Indian Society of Labour Economics was founded by him in 1957.
- Served as the Governor of Uttar Pradesh 1957-60, Kerala 1960-65 and Mysore, 1965-67.
- As a tribute to his contribution to the labour movement in India, the National Labour Institute was renamed after him in 1995 which is now known as V.V Giri National Labour Institute.
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(With Inputs from careerindia)