|3rd President of Singapore|
October 23, 1981 - March 27, 1985
|Prime Minister||Lee Kuan Yew (1959-1990)|
|Preceded by||Benjamin Henry Sheares|
|Succeeded by||Wee Kim Wee|
Member of Parliament
|Preceded by||P. Govindaswamy|
|Succeeded by||J.B. Jeyaretnam|
|Born||August 5, 1923|
Malacca, Straits Settlements
|Died||December 6, 2005 (aged 82)|
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
|Political party||People's Action Party|
On March 28, 1985, Nair resigned in unclear circumstances. Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew stated in Parliament that Nair resigned to get treatment for alcoholism, a charge Nair hotly denied. According to Nair's counterclaim, he resigned under pressure when their political views came into conflict and Lee threatened to seek a motion in parliament to oust him as president. Nair also alleged that he was fed drugs to make him appear disoriented, and rumours were spread about his personal life in an attempt to discredit him. In 1999, an article about the case in the Canadian newspaper Globe and Mail resulted in a libel suit by Lee. The suit was thrown out of court after Nair's counterclaim.
In 1995, Nair, with his family, migrated to Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. His wife, Avadai Dhanam, died on April 18, 2005. Nair died in the same year at around 2 pm, SST on December 6.
Nair is survived by his daughter, three sons, and five grandchildren. His eldest son,Janadas Devan, is a senior editor with the Straits Times. His second son, Janamitra Devan, is a Vice President of the World Bank Group, and his third son, Janaprakash Devan is a private entrepreneur in Canada. His only daughter, Vijaya Kumari Devan continues to reside in Hamilton, Ontario. His granddaughters are: Gitanjali Devan, a psychology graduate from the University of Maryland and now working in Singapore; and Priyanjali Devan and Kiran Devan, now college students in the United States. His grandsons are JanaAvinash Devan, currently attending the University of Washington in Seattle, and JanaShaan Heng-Devan, attending high school in Texas.
Once during his political action during the 1950s, Devan Nair was detained in a Singapore prison by the British government. There, he read the writings of Sri Aurobindo, particularly the Life Divine and became his life-long admirer and disciple. He visited Pondicherry (now, Puducherry),and nearby Auroville a number of times and wrote and spoke on Sri Aurobindo's vision in USA, Canada and other countries.