Sardar Nagappa was born on 6 October 1911 in Kurnool District in the erstwhile Madras province. He passed his matriculation examination in 1932 from the local municipal school, after which he earned his livelihood by stitching khadi.
Nagappa joined the Congress in 1930. In the 1937 Madras Presidency Elections, he ran and won for a general seat in Kurnool. He worked to uplift and empower members of the Scheduled Castes, and started a free hostel for students from these communities in Kurnool in 1938.
Role in India’s Independence Movement:
Nagappa was the first in Kurnool district to offer individual satyagraha in support of the ongoing Satyagraha, or Civil Disobedience Movement; he was eventually jailed for his participation in the Movement.
As a member of the Kurnool District Congress Committee, he was behind the famous Kurnool District Circular which provided detailed guidelines for local organizations to support the Quit India Movement. His involvement in this Movement also resulted in his imprisonment for a period of 18 months.
Contribution to Constitution Making:
Nagappa was elected to the Constituent Assembly from Madras province under the Congress Party ticket. He intervened in some important debates on the representation of minorities and reservation.
After his stint in the Constituent Assembly, he ran for elections twice: in the first general elections in 1952, as a candidate from the Kisan Mazdoor Praja Party (KMPP), and as a member of the Congress Party in the Andhra Pradesh Legislative Assembly elections in 1967. However, he was defeated both times.
- Nagappa moved an amendment, which was supported by Ambedkar, to ensure that members contesting reserved seats would only be able to take office after securing at least 35% of the votes polled by the Scheduled Caste communities.
- He supported the idea of having a strong centre and defended reservation of minorities for a certain period of time.