B. Shiva Rao
1891 - 1975

Early Life:

B. Shiva Rao was born on 26th February 1891 in Mangalore, Karnataka, to a renowned medical practitioner B. Raghavendra Rao. He was introduced early on to the Theosophical Society, and was influenced by its leader Annie Besant.


Rao became actively involved in the labour movement and went on to serve as the Vice President of the Indian National Trade Union Congress.


Role in India's Independence Movement:

He was not active in India's freedom struggle.


Contribution to Constitution Making:

Rao was elected to the Assembly from Madras under a Congress Party ticket. 


Later Contributions:

He remained dedicated to labour rights activism even after independence and took it to an international level, by serving as a delegate to the United Nations and the International Labour Organisation, where he worked with Vijaylakshmi Pandit and Babu Jagjivan Ram. He led the Indian Delegation to the United Nations General Assembly Sessions in 1947, 1948, 1949 and 1950.


On the Indian political front, he was elected a member of the Lok Sabha from the South Kanara constituency in 1952 and remained in office till 1957. He also served as a member of the Rajya Sabha from 1957 to 1960.


He passed away on 15th December 1975 in New Delhi.


Key Writings:

Shiva Rao was a correspondent for The Hindu and the Manchester Guardian. His major contribution was ‘The Framing of India’s Constitution’ (6 volumes). He recorded reports, proceedings and all other documentation of the Indian Constitution making project.


Some of his other published works include What Labour has Gained from Reform in India, Industrial Worker in India, India's Freedom Struggle: Some aspects, India's Freedom Fighters: Some Notable Figures and many others.


Member, House Committee.