OP Ramaswamy Reddiyar

Constituent Assembly Members

O. P. Ramaswamy Reddiyar

1895 - 1970

Key Information






Mother Tongue:


Committee Memberships


Early Life

O.P. Ramaswamy Reddiar was born on 1 February 1895 near Tindivanam, in present day Tamil Nadu. He completed his schooling at Walter Scudder school in Tindivanam. He joined the Indian independence movement as a young adult and enrolled in the Indian National Congress.

Role in Indian Independence Movement

Not much is known about Reddiar’s role in the Indian independence movement.

Contribution to Constitution Making

Reddiar was elected to the Constituent Assembly from the Madras Presidency on a Congress party ticket (1949). He did not actively participate in the Assembly.

Later Contributions

Reddiar was elected as the Chief Minister of the Madras Presidency on 23 March 1947 and continued to hold office till 6 April 1949 – becoming the first Chief Minister of Madras after independence.

During his tenure as Chief Minister, Reddiar made significant contributions to legal and social reform in Madras. For instance, the Madras Temple Entry Authorisation Act, 1947 – a landmark legislation permitting Dalits and other backward classes to access temples was passed during this time. The Tamil Nadu Devadasis (Prevention of Dedication) Act, 1947 was also passed under his leadership.

Reddiar took various steps to promote education in Tamil Nadu. He ensured that many children were enrolled in school by making elementary education compulsory. He set-up the Advisory Board of Education and the Provincial Basic Education Board to advise the state government on its education policies. Reddiar also implemented a scheme for adult education programs to promote literacy in the state.

Despite his strong leadership and significant contributions, Reddiar was forced to step down due to internal conflicts in the Congress party.

He passed away on 25 August 1970.

To commemorate his contributions to Tamil Nadu, buildings in the Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly have been named after him. The Indian postal department issued postage stamp to honour him on 25 August 2010.

Key Writings

India’s Legacy, the World’s Heritage Dravidian. Vol. 1, Basel Mission Book Depot (1948)