PS Nataraja Pillai was born in March 1891 at Alleppey, Kerala. He was a farmer and a journalist. Pillai was elected to member of the Popular Assembly, Travancore – the first popularly elected legislature in India (1916). He was a member of the Travancore Legislative Assembly (1944-1947) and the Travancore Constitution Reforms Committee (1946).
A highlight of his political career was that he associated himself with multiple political parties which included the Indian National Congress, the Indian Socialist Party and the Praja Socialist Party.
Pillai was also actively involved in civil society. He had a keen interest in the study of Tamil language and promoted the Travancore Tamil Sangam – a cultural organisation – and became its director. He also the Director of Siva Prakasasaba – a religious institution.
Role in Indian Independence Movement
Not much is known about Pillai’s role in India’s freedom struggle.
Contribution to Constitution Making
Pillai was a representative of the princely state of Travancore in the Constituent Assembly. He did not actively participate in Assembly. Though he did intervene in a few discussions on taxation.
Pillai’s prolific legislative career continued into independent India. He was a member of the Travancore-Cochin Legislative Assembly (1948-1950, 1951 and 1954-1957) and sat on a number of important legislative and executive Committees on subjects that included taxation, land tenure and unemployment.
Pillai wrote Arasyal Vilakom which was an introduction to the study of Tamil politics.
Pillai criticised the manner in which the Draft Constitution divided revenue between the Union and State governments. He also moved an amendment to exclude State government-initiated business and trade from Union taxation.