Kengal Hanumanthaiah
1908 - 1980

 

K. Hanumanthaiya was born on 10th February, 1908 in Bangalore. He obtained his B.A. from Mysore Maharaja College and studied law at Poona Law College. He joined the Bar and practiced law briefly. In 1934 he became the President of the Hindi Prachar Sabha – an organization aimed at improving Hindi literacy in non-Hindi speaking regions.

 

K. Hanumanthaiya took active part in India’ freedom movement: He took part in protests against the Simon Commission, and was active in the Satyagraha, Quit India and Mysore Chalo movements.

 

He was joined the Indian National Congress as a student in late 1920’s. Later, he went on to become a member of the Congress Working Committee. In 1936, he became the president for the Bangalore Congress Committee.

 

He was a member of the Indian Constituent Assembly representing the Province of Mysore on a Congress party ticket. He became a member of the Committee for the Drafting of a Model Constitution for the Indian States. In the Constituent Assembly he made interventions on the issue of federalism - he advocated for greater autonomy for States. He also supported a parliamentary system of government and wanted the President to be in-directly elected and not through adult franchise.

 

After his term in the Constituent Assembly, he became the second Chief Minister of Karnataka in 1952. One of his major contributions to the State was the construction of the “Vidhana Soudha” – the seat of the Karnataka legislature. He also served in the Central Government as Law and Social Welfare Minister (1970) and  Railway Minister (1972).

 

Kengal Hanumanthaiah died on 1st December 1980.

 

1. Member,Committee for the Drafting of a Model Constitution for the Indian States.