Dewan(prime minister)of Travancore STATE c.p. Ramaswami iyer1936


Dewan of Travancore

Sir C.P. Ramaswami Iyer became Dewan of Travancore in 1936 and started his career thus with the revolutionary
Temple Entry Proclamation of 1936
whereby untouchables and lower caste people of Travancore were permitted entry into Hindu Temples in that state. This was the first time that untouchability was attempted to be abolished by direct Government action. Mahatma Gandhi expressed great satisfaction and addressed meetings throughout Travancore praising the Dewan and Sovereign of Travancore During his Dewanship of Travancore he initiated the Pechipara Hydro-electric Scheme (present Kodayar Hydroelectric Power Project in Kanyakumari District, the Periyar Game Sanctuary and other irrigation projects. He inaugurated many industries including the Fertiliser and Chemicals, Travancore (FACT), Travancore Rayon, Cement, Aluminium, etc. He enlarged and reorganised laminated wood furniture and screw pine industries. He introduced, for the first time, graded agricultural income tax and abolished land revenue; he expanded the Pallivasal Hydro-Electric Project. He carried out a great deal of pioneering work for the Vivekananda Rock at Cape Comorin and built guesthouses at Kanyakumari. He renovated the Padmanabhapuram Palace of Marthand Varma's days (in present-day Kanyakumari District and expanded the Trivandrum Art Gallery. In 1937 Sir CP, as he was popularly known, started the University of Travancore with the Maharajah as Chancellor and himself as Vice Chancellor. He also established the Marine Biological Institute; organized mineral sands, rare earth and titanium products industries. In 1939 he was awarded an honorary L.L.D. Degree by the University of Travancore and in the same year he celebrated his sixtieth birthday by making great donations to charitable foundations and the University. In 1940 under his Dewanship Travancore became the first state to nationalize road transport in India. He also started aluminium, ceramic, fertilizer, rayon and other industries with major government collaboration. The same year capital punishment was abolished and adult franchise introduced. He was also the first to appoint a lady as District Judge (Mrs. Anna Chandy later became the first Indian woman High Court Judge). Sir CP introduced for the
first time the mid day meal scheme
to prompt poor children to attend school.
During Sir CP's tenure as Dewan of Travancore the revenues rose up from Rs. 2.5 crores to 9 crores without any additional taxation.
In 1941 the British conferred on him the title of Knight Commander of the Star of India (KCSI). In 1946 he resigned from the post of Dewan of Travancore but was persuaded to return. When Indian Independence came into view Travancore and other Princely States were given two options of either staying independent or merging with the dominions of India or Pakistan Sir CP was in favor of the independence of Travancore which saw a great furore being created by the Indian National Congress. In 1947 after an unsuccessful attempt was made at his life by K.C.S.Mani, he resigned the post of Dewan and left Travancoreon August 19, 1947. He was succeeded by PGN Unnithn
Criticism and dissent

While hailed as a modernizing reformer by many, his administration was also marked by popular dissent. During this period he came into conflict with the Communists on numerous occasions several incidents of which became minor rebellions. These culminated in 1946, when a communist uprising, which is popularly known as Punnapra-Vayalar revolt attempted to establish a new government in the Punnapara-Vayalar region which resulted in the death of more than 3000 people and was put down by the Travancore army and navy.
Jawaharlal Nehru once remarked about Iyer:

There is little now in common between us except our common nationality. He is today a full- blooded apologist of British rule in India, especially during the last few years; an admirer of dictatorship in India and elsewhere, and himself a shining ornament of autocracy in an Indian state