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G.V. Mavalankar
1888 - 1956

Early Life:

Ganesh Vasudev Mavalankar, popularly known as Dadasaheb, was born on 27th November, 1888 in Baroda (now Vadodara).  He obtained his B.A. in Science from the Gujarat College in Ahmedabad. After this he studied law and obtained  his degree in 1912.

 

Mavalankar established himself as a prominent lawyer, who was also an active social worker. He was selected by the Congress party for the Presidentship of the Sixth Central Legislative Assembly in January 1946.

 

Role in India’s Independence Movement:

Mavalankar played an active role in the freedom movement in Gujarat. He was associated with various national leaders like Sardar Vallabhai Patel and Mahatma Gandhi as well as major social organisations in Gujarat.

 

Mavalankar also became associated with the Indian National Congress after he joined the Non-Cooperation movement under the leadership of Mahatma Gandhi. He was also appointed the Secretary of the Gujarat Provincial Congress Committee during 1921-22 due to his contributions to the movement.

 

Mavalankar played a vital and active role in the ‘Khaira No-Rent’ campaign and later in the famine and flood relief works on various occasions.

 

Contribution to Constitution Making:

Mavalankar was elected to the Constituent Assembly from Bombay on a Congress party ticket. He also presided over the Constituent Assembly (Legislative) which acted as the legislature until 1950.

 

Later Contributions:

Mavalankar became the Speaker of the Provisional Parliament which functioned until the first general elections in 1952. He was then chosen as the Speaker for the First Lok Sabha in independent India on 15th May 1952.

 

As Speaker, he introduced various committees like the Rules Committee, the Committee of Privileges, the Business Advisory Committee, Committee on Private Members Bills and Resolutions, and the Committee on Salaries and Allowances. He was widely considered a non-partisan Speaker despite his links with the Congress.

 

Mavalankar was also associated with a number of organisations and trusts that worked on social service, rural upliftment and development of the underprivileged.

He resigned from the Speaker role in January 1956 due to health issues. He passed away on 27th February 1956. Jawaharlal Nehru gave him the title of  ‘Father of the Lok Sabha’.

 

Key Writings:

Mavalankar wrote two books in Gujarati titled Manavatana Jharna which contained stories about prisoners and the other one was called Sansmarano that was devoted to his reminiscences of Mahatma Gandhi’s life and the communications that he received from Mahatma Gandhi. He also write a book called My Life at the Bar which was about his experiences at the Bar. Other works of his include - A Great Experiment and G.V. Mavalankar Speeches and Writings.

Member, Committee on Functions of the Constituent Assembly.

Mavalankar did not actively participate in the Constituent Assembly debates.

Dada Saheb Mavalankar Father of Lok Sabha, edited by Subhash C. Kashyap (1957).