Unsung Heroes | History Corner | Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav, Ministry of Culture, Government of India

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Kala Venkata Rao alias Apara Chanikya

East Godavari, Andhra Pradesh

June 30, 2022

Kala Venkat Rao, popularly known as Apara Chanikya, was born in 1900 in the village of Mukkamala, Amalapuram taluka, East Godavari district in a Vedic Brahmin family. While studying for his graduation degree, he dropped out of college in 1920 at Gandhi's call and joined the Non-Cooperation Movement. As one of the prominent Congress leaders in Andhra, he served as one of the General Secretaries of the Andhra State Congress from 1929 to 1946 and strengthened the roots of the Congress party in South India. In 1942, the Quit India Movement was launched in Andhra in which he actively participated and effectively confronted the British troops. He is known for his administrative efficiency, and political acumen, as well as determination and versatility. When he was the Revenue Minister in the joint Madras State he introduced the Zamindari Abolition Ordinance and which became a model for the rest of the states in India. The Nagpur Congress passed a resolution on co-operative farming believing in the principle of plowing land. He served as Cabinet Minister in the cabinet of Ramaswamy Rediar and Kumaraswamy Raja in the joint Madras State. As an M.L.A., he won the 1937 first general assembly election for the Amalapuram Assembly constituency in East Godavari in the joint Madras state. He was one of the few members of the Constituent Assembly of India from the Madras Presidency. He served in the cabinet of Gopal Reddy after the formation of Andhra state, and after the formation of Andhra Pradesh, he served as the Planning Revenue Minister in the Neelum Sanjeeva Reddy cabinet. He is known as the best parliamentarian of his time. He dedicated his life to the service of the country with unwavering service and died on 30 March 1959 while working as Revenue Minister in Hyderabad.

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