Insight

Know Who was the FIRST from Odisha to become President of India

Insight bureau: Odisha’s contribution to Country’s leadership is quite huge with a number of Odias setting the perfect examples of prominent leaders make us feel proud. When it comes to leadership, The President of India symbolizes country’s pride and dignity.

But ever heard about the first Odia President? Interestingly, Odisha has given birth to an legendary soul who was once World’s biggest democratic country’s president.

 

It’s V. V. Giri

 

V. V. Giri who was the 4th president of India from 24 August 1969 to 24 August 1974 and 3rd vice president of India from 13 May 1967 to 3 May 1969 was the only president to be elected as an independent candidate.

He was born on 10 August 1894 in Berhampur of Odisha which was earlier in Madras Presidency.

He became a member of the Congress party, attended its Lucknow session and joined the Home Rule Movement of Annie Besant.

Giri abandoned his flourishing law legal career in response to Mahatma Gandhi’s call for a Non Cooperation Movement in 1920. In 1922, he was arrested for the first time for demonstrating against the sale of liquor shops.

From 1947 to 1951, Giri served as India’s first High Commissioner to Ceylon In the General Elections of 1951, he was elected to the 1st Lok Sabha from Pathapatnam Lok Sabha Constituency in the Madras state.

The presidential election, held on 16 August 1969, Giri had 420,077 votes against the quota of 418,169 votes required to be elected president.

Giri was honoured with India’s highest civilian award, the Bharat Ratna, in 1975 for his contributions in the area of public affairs.

V.V. Giri died of a cardiac arrest in his Madras residency, on 24 June, 1980.

Giri’s contribution to the India’s politics, people will keep him alive. An Odia’s journey from his state to the seat of president of the country will inspire and make every Odia feel proud.

Akankhya Mahapatra

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