T. M. Kalliannan Gounder was born on 10 January 1921 in in Namakkal (present-day Tamil Nadu). He completed his graduation from Pachaiyappa’s College, Madras and then pursued his M.A. in English Literature at Loyola College, Madras.
Role in India’s Independence Movement:
Gounder was fairly young (19 years) when he decided to join the Indian freedom struggle and Indian National Congress in 1940 – a move that was inspired by M.K. Gandhi. He went on to actively participate in the 1942 Quit India movement which was his first substantive foray into public life. He also held administrative positions as the President of the Salem District Board and Vice President of the Tamil Nadu Congress Committee.
Contribution to Constitution Making:
Gounder was 28 when joined the Constituent Assembly – making him the youngest framer of the Indian Constitution. He was elected through a Congress Party ticket from Madras. However, he was not a vocal participant in the Assembly’s deliberations.
Gounder enjoyed a vibrant political career post-independence. He served as a member of the Provisional Parliament of India. Subsequently, he was elected as a Member of the Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly for three consecutive terms (1952-67). During his tenure as an MLA, he carried out various developmental activities such as building schools, roadways and irrigation projects. Gounder has been felicitated by the Tamil Nadu Government for his contribution to Tamil Nadu’s first Legislative Assembly.
Gounder is considered to be the last surviving member of the Constituent Assembly and passed away on 28 May, 2021 at the age of 100.