Thirumala Rao was born on 29th January 1901 in Pithapuram in present-day Andhra Pradesh. An active member of the Congress party, Rao was involved in local politics and was part of several local committees for his party.
Role in India’s Independence Movement:
He left his higher education to join the Non-Cooperation Movement, and was jailed several times between 1922 and 1942 for his role in the freedom struggle.
Rao was elected to the Central Legislative Assembly in 1937 and to the Council of States in 1945.
Contribution to Constitution Making:
Rao was elected to the Constituent Assembly on a Congress party ticket from the Madras province. He made several interventions in the Assembly, mostly relating to the importance of religion and Mahatma Gandhi in Indian history.
Rao was a Member of Parliament from 1950 until 1967. In 1952, he was appointed the Deputy Minister of Food and Agriculture. During his time as an MP, Rao was a member of a number of committees relating to food, agriculture, and transport, and health. He also served as the Lieutenant Governor of the erstwhile Vindhya Pradesh state from 1956.
Rao passed away in 1970.
He translated Meher Baba’s book ‘God Speaks’ into Telugu.
- He argued that although India was a secular state, the Constitution should be used to protect religious and cultural traditions. In this vein, he expressed agreement with an amendment to allow oath-takers to swear ‘in the name of God’.
- On several occasions, he lamented that the Constitution did not explicitly acknowledge Mahatma Gandhi’s contributions as the father of the nation.