of the towering figures in Kerala politics with his
courageous and inimitable style of functioning, Shri
R. Sankar became the third Chief Minister of Kerala
during one of the most turbulent periods in the State’s
political history. Shri. Sankar was born in the village
of Kuzhikkalidavaka in Kottarakkara Taluk on April
30, 1909 as the fifth son of Shri Raman and Smt. Kunchali
Amma. Though born in a large family and despite the
not so favourable conditions, he was fortunate enough
to get good education. Shri. Sankar’s formal
education began in the Puthoor Primary School and
later continued in the English School, Kottarakkara.
1924 he passed from the High School. Shri. Sankar joined
Maharajas College, Thiruvananthapuram, the present University
College, with thehelp of a wealthy and benevolent relative,
as his father could not afford the expenses for his
graduating from Maharajas College, he joined Law College,
Thiruvananthapuram in 1933.
studies, Shri. Sankar took to teaching to earn a living.
He joined Sivagiri High School as Principal. It was
during those days, that he associated himself with the
activities of the SNDP Yogam. A very good orator, he
impressed many with his inspiring talks on the social
injustice prevalent in those days, particularly the
discriminatory attitude shown towards backward class
communities. He also raised his voice for equal opportunities
for backward classes, in all sectors. He studied Kumaran
Asan’s poetry deeply and attended many literary
meetings throughout Travancore.
started public life as a teacher and lawyer, he was
drawn to politics with the birth of the State Congress.
The end of the ‘Nivarthana agitation’ and
the gradual growth of the State Congress, accelerated
Sankar’s rise as a political leader. He participated
in the freedom struggle and was arrested and put in
jail. After India’s independence he focused his
attention on strengthening the Congress party. Later,
taking a break from the Congress party, he began to
work in the SNDP Yogam.
work during this period served a great deal to bring
backward class communities into the fold of the Congress
party. During his long association with the SNDP Yogam
of over 13 years, he served the Yogam as its General
Secretary, President and Chief of the SN Trust. Under
his leadership the SNDP Yogam gave emphasis to the field
of education and started many educational institutions.
Sankar returned to the State Congress at a crucial juncture,
when it was going through one of its worst periods.
His organising skills and leadership qualities became
evident in the election held after independence. He
was elected to the Travancore Assembly in 1948. He also
became a member of the Travancore-Cochin Assembly from
1949 to 1956. Shri. Sankar was a member of the Constituent
Assembly and also a member of the Franchise and Delimitation
Commission and the Reforms Committee constituted after
the introduction of the Responsible Government. He led
the Congress party as KPCC President during the 'Liberation
Struggle'. The Congress won the elections in 1960 under
Shri. Sankar’s leadership and he became the Deputy
Chief Minister in the Pattom Thanu Pillai ministry.
He handled Finance portfolio from 1960 to 1962. When
Shri. Pattom Thanu Pillai was appointed as Governor,
Shri. Sankar became the Chief Minister of Kerala from
September 26, 1962 to September 10, 1964.
R. Sankar was an able administrator and statesman. His
track record as the Chief Minister of Kerala is ample
proof of his administrative skills. He brought about
many economic reforms while handling the finance portfolio.
He served as the Chairman of the Committee of Privileges
from 1960 to 1964. He was also the editor of a newspaper
wife was Smt. Lekshmikutty Amma and they have one son
and one daughter.
Shri. Sankar died at the age of 63 on November 6, 1972.
The Assembly paid its homage to him on November 13,