Shri Neelam Sanjiva Reddy

Shri Neelam Sanjiva Reddy

6th President of India
In office
25 July 1977 – 25 July 1982
Prime Minister Morarji Desai
Charan Singh
Indira Gandhi
Vice President B. D. Jatti
Mohammad Hidayatullah
Preceded by B. D. Jatti (Acting)
Succeeded by Zail Singh
4th Speaker of the Lok Sabha
In office
17 March 1967 – 19 July 1969
Deputy R.K. Khadilkar
Preceded by Sardar Hukam Singh
Succeeded by Gurdial Singh Dhillon
In office
26 March 1977 – 13 July 1977
Deputy Godey Murahari
Preceded by Bali Ram Bhagat
Succeeded by K. S. Hegde
1st Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh
In office
12 March 1962 – 20 February 1964
Governor Bhim Sen Sachar
Satyawant Mallannah Shrinagesh
Preceded by Damodaram Sanjivayya
Succeeded by Kasu Brahmananda Reddy
In office
1 November 1956 – 11 January 1960
Governor Chandulal Madhavlal Trivedi
Bhim Sen Sachar
Succeeded by Damodaram Sanjivayya
Secretary General of the Non-Aligned Movement
In office
7 March 1983 – 11 March 1983
Preceded by Fidel Castro
Succeeded by Zail Singh
Personal details
Born 19 May 1913
Illur, Madras Presidency, British India
(now in Anantapur district, Andhra Pradesh, India)
Died 1 June 1996 (aged 83)
Bangalore, Karnataka, India
Political party Janata Party (since 1977)
Other political
affiliations
Indian National Congress(before 1977)
Spouse(s) Neelam Nagaratnamma
Alma mater University of Madras

 

Neelam Sanjiva Reddy  (19 May 1913 – 1 June 1996) was the sixth President of India, serving from 1977 to 1982. Beginning a long political career with the Indian National Congress party in the Indian independence movement, he went on to hold several key offices in independent India—as the first Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, a two-time Speaker of the Lok Sabha and a Union Minister—before becoming the youngest-ever Indian president.[2]

Born in present-day Anantapur district, Andhra Pradesh, Reddy completed his schooling at Adayar and joined the Government Arts College at Anantapur. He quit to become an Indian independence activist and was jailed for participating in the Quit India Movement. He was elected to the Madras Legislative Assembly in 1946 as a Congress party representative. Reddy became deputy chief minister of Andhra State in 1953 and the first Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh in 1956. He was a union cabinet minister under Prime Ministers Lal Bahadur Shastri and Indira Gandhi from 1964 to 1967 and Lok Sabha Speaker from 1967 to 1969. He later retired from active politics but returned in 1975, responding to Jayaprakash Narayan’s call for “Total Revolution” against the Indira Gandhi government.

Elected to Parliament in 1977 as a candidate of the Janata Party, Reddy was unanimously elected Speaker of the Sixth Lok Sabha and three months later was elected unopposed as President of India. As President, Reddy worked with Prime Ministers Morarji Desai, Charan Singh and Indira Gandhi. Reddy was succeeded by Giani Zail Singh in 1982 and he retired to his farm in Anantapur. He died in 1996 and his samadhi is at Kalahalli near Bangalore. In 2013, the Government of Andhra Pradesh commemorated Reddy’s birth centenary.

Reddy was born into a Telugu-speaking Hindu peasant family in Illur village, Madras Presidency (present-day Anantapur district, Andhra Pradesh) on 19 May 1913.  He studied at the Theosophical High School at Adayar in Madras and later enrolled at the Government Arts College at Anantapur, an affiliate of the University of Madras, as an undergraduate. In 1958, Sri Venkateswara University, Tirupati bestowed the degree of Honorary Doctor of Laws on him because of his role in its founding.

Reddy was married to Neelam Nagaratnamma. The couple had one son and three daughters.