Published on: October 28, 2021
What is in news : The President of India, Shri Ram Nath Kovind paid homage to Shri K.R. Narayanan, former President of India
R. Narayanan or Kocheril Raman Narayanan
- Was a diplomat, academic and politician. He served India as the 10th President and 9th Vice-President.
- Born in present-day Uzhavoor, Kerala, India
- Belonged to Pulaya caste as a Dalit(FIRST DALIT PRESIDENT OF INDIA). His father was a practitioner of Ayurveda.
- Did his B.A. (Hons.) and M.A. in English literature from the University of Travancore and became the first Dalit to obtain a degree with first-class from the University of Travancore.
- Worked with The Hindu and The Times of India for a brief period as a journalist where he interviewed the Father of the Nation, Mahatama Gandhi.
- In 1944, J.R.D. Tata awarded him a scholarship of Rs. 16,000 to study economics, politics and journalism at the London School of Economics.
- In the year 1949, K.R. Narayanan joined the Indian Foreign Service (IFS) on the request of the first Prime Minister of India, Jawaharlal Nehru. On April 18, 1949, he was appointed as an attache’ in the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA).
- Under the Indira Gandhi administration, he was recalled from retirement to serve as the Indian Ambassador to the United States. According to Nehru, K.R. Narayana was the ‘Best Diplomat of the Country’.
- Upon the request of Indira Gandhi, Narayanan entered politics and won three successive Lok Sabha Elections in 1984, 1989 and 1991 from Ottapalam Constituency on a Congress ticket. Under the Rajiv Gandhi administration, he held several important portfolios such as Minister of State in the Union Cabinet, Minister of Planning, Minister of External Affairs and Minister of Science and Technology.
- On August 21, 1992, he was elected as the 9th Vice-President of India under the Presidency of Shankar Dayal Sharma. On the demolition of Babri Masjid on December 6, 1992, he stated it as the ‘greatest tragedy India has faced since the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi’.
- On July 17, 1997, he was elected as the 10th President of India. He became the first Dalit President of India and the first Malayali person to receive the highest office of the country.