T.T. Krishnamachari
1899 - 1974

Early Life:

Tiruvallur Thattai Krishnamachari was born on 26 November 1899 to a Madras High Court judge. He received his education from Madras University. In 1928, he set up TTK Company Ltd., an indenting agency. Few years into business he joined politics fulltime and left the company’s affairs to his sons.

In 1937 he was a member of the Madras Legislative Assembly and later the Central Legislative Assembly in 1942.


Contribution to Constitution Making:

Krishnamachari was elected to the Assembly from Madras. In the Assembly he spoke on freedom of speech.

In an interview with the Nehru Memorial Museum and Library, he spoke in length about his contribution to the constitution making. As a member of the Drafting Committee he dedicated 4014 hours in numerous assignments of the Committee.

Krishnamachari believed that involvement of members of the Interim Government, especially Nehru and Patel, was crucial in settling controversial constitutional issues like language and right to property.


Key Writings:

In 1954 Krishnamachari authored his memoir 'Parliamentary Life during 1929-54', as a part of the Silver Jubilee Commemoration Volume published by Lok Sabha Secretariat.


Later Contributions:

Krishnamachari was the Central Minister for Iron and Steel between 1955 and 1957. Later, he served briefly as the Finance Minister in 1956. During his tenure he brought in key tax reforms; he introduced taxes on capital gains, wealth, estate and expenditure. Amidst the Mundhra corruption scandal, he resigned in 1958. But in 1963 he was recalled to Nehru’s cabinet where served as the Finance Minister for two years.

He played a crucial role in the setting up of financial organizations including Industrial Development Bank of India and Unit Trust of India.

He passed away on 7 March 1974 leaving behind three sons.

Krishnamachari was a member of the Drafting Committee.

  1. Krishnamachari wanted to include ‘contempt of court’ as a restriction to freedom of speech and expression.
  2. He argued against inclusion of Devadasi in Article 23. Instead he insisted that the social practices must be tackled through legislative reforms and public mobilization.
  3. Responding to criticism on emergency provisions, he pointed out that these provisions are crucial in protecting the constitution against future misuse of power.

  1. TT Krishnamachari’s interview, Oral History Transcript, Nehru Memorial Museum and Library.
  2. Margaret Herdeck, Gita Piramal, ‘India's Industrialists’  (Lynne Rienner  1986)