S. V. Krishnamoorthy Rao was born on 15 November 1902 in Shimoga, Mysore State. He received his Bachelor of Science degree from Central College, Mysore University and later graduated with a law degree from Law College, Poona, Bombay University.
Rao started the National Educational Society at Shimoga which ran multiple high schools and middle schools.
He worked with many civil society organisations. He was a member of the Executive Committee of the Kannada Sahitya Parishad, Bangalore (1937-1947) as well as the Planning Committee for Industries and Commerce, Mysore (1945-1948) to name a few.
Rao was elected to the Mysore Representative Assembly (1945-1949). He was also extremely well travelled. Rao visited Japan, Australia, Indonesia, Canada and USA, amongst many other countries, during his life.
Role in India’s Independence Movement
Rao was imprisoned for 18 months in connection with the 1942 Quit India movement and took part in the Mysore Struggle – a movement that demanded responsible government for Mysore. He was an active member of the Congress Party’s political pursuits while simultaneously practising as an advocate.
Contribution to Constitution Making
Rao represented the princely state of Mysore in the Constituent Assembly. He had a distinct view about the role of Hindi in Indian public life and spoke on topics concerning the financial relationship between the Union and the States.
Rao led a vibrant public life and was a member of several Ministry constituted committees including the Standing Committee for Finance and External Affairs, Oilseeds Committee, and the State Trading Committee (1950-1951). He was also on the Panel of Chairmen in the Provisional Parliament of India.
Rao was the first Deputy Chairman of the Rajya Sabha (31 May 1952- 1 March 1962). He also served as a Deputy Speaker in the Lok Sabha from 1962.
He passed away on 18 November 1968, at the age of 66.
Rao had multiple publications under his name. Some of them include translations of Satyagraha in South Africa by Gandhiji, To The Women by Gandhiji, Discovery of India by Jawaharlal Nehru, Letters from Delhi and Life of Louis Pasteur in Kannada and The Leftist Experiment in English.
- Rao wanted Hindi to be a compulsory subject in all High schools. He argued that Hindi was an extremely fluid language and wanted a commission to review the use of Hindi in different parts of the country to standardize words and expressions.
- He felt that Hindi should be declared as the common language of India. He further stated that an academy should be set up to develop the language so it was acceptable to all of India.
- Rao wanted India’s financial policies to promote the development of States: he argued that trade, businesses and other industries started by State governments that were critical to States’ revenue should not be taxed.