Details of the life sketch of
Prof. K.M. Chandy-Governor of Gujarat
Born on 6 th August 1921 at Palai in Kottayam District of Kerala, Prof. Kizhakathil Mathew Chandy had his schooling in his home town and College education at Changanacherry and Trivandrum. He passed his M.A. in English Language and literature in 1942.
He made his debut in politics while a 17 year old intermediate student in St. Berchman's College at Changanacherry, leading a students' strike protesting a lathi charge on students at Trivandrum who cheered the leaders of the State Congress. He and a few of his companions though expelled from the College had to be taken back unconditionally following a mass satyagraha at the College gates. While doing his Honours course in English literature at Trivandrum, he was mainly instrumental in organising the Tagore Academy under the leadership of the Gandhian stalwart Shri G. Ramachandran. The Academy was banned in 1942 for activising the nationalist movement amongst students and youngsters.
Early in 1946, while working as Secretary, Meenachil Taluk Congress Committee, the State Government, through a prohibitory order banned his participation in any political activity. This did not deter him from his active association in the freedom movement. He was arrested in July 1946 and when the High Court granted him bail, he was detained under the Defence of India Act and kept in prison till the end of September 1947, a month after India's Independence.
He was elected unanimously to the State Legislature after Independence at the age of 26 and he was re-elected in 1952 and 1954. He was the Chief Whip of the Congress Party in the State Assembly and a Member of the first State Planning Board. He was also a Member on the first State Minimum Wages Advisory Board which recommended minimum wages for most of the industries. He organised and led a number of Trade Unions even before the advent of the INTUC called "THOZHILALI" in support of his Trade Union activities.
He was President of the District Congress Committee from 1953 to 1957. General Secretary of the K.P.C.C. from 1963 to 1967 and Treasurer of the K.P.C.C. from 1967 to 1972. He was Member of the K.P.C.C. from 1948 onwards and a Member of the All India Congress Committee from 1963 onwards. In January, 1978, he resigned from the Chairmanship of the Rubber Board and became the President of the K.P.C.C. He took up the challenging task of building up the image of the Congress in Kerala when many had deserted Mrs. Gandhi.
The first Youth Congress Unit was started by him in the year 1953 and attended the first All India Convention of youth Congress held at Avadi, Madras in January, 1957. Also, the present students organisation in Kerala owes much to Shri Chandy for the ideological orientation and organisational leadership that he gave it in the formative stage.
Shri Chandy was mainly responsible for the establishment and growth of many big co-operative institutions in Kerala. As President of the Meenachil Taluka Co-operative Union for over two decades from 1949, he helped the establishment of a large number of co-operative banks and service societies. He founded the Meenachil Co-operative Land Mortgage Bank and was its President for over a decade. He was also the Founder of the Palai Co-operative Marketing Society and was also the Founder of the Palai Co-operative Marketing Society and was its President till 1972 when he became the Chairman of the Rubber Board. He has also served as Director of the Kottayam District Co-operative Bank, Kerala State Co-operative Bank and Kerala State Marketing Federation. The Kerala State Rubber Marketing Federation was founded by him in 1971.
Hailing from a family of farmers, he was always keenly interested in agrarian problems and championed the cause of the agriculturists. Hence he was appointed by the Government in 1962 as member of the Committee to examine the problems of the settlers in Government forest lands. His report was well appreciated by all sections.
He founded the Indian Rubber Growers Association in 1966 and was its President till he became the Chairman of the Rubber Board. He became a Member of the Rubber Board in 1968 representing small growers and was elected its Vice-Chairman in 1971. Later, the Government of India appointed him as Chairman of the Rubber Board in March 1972. During his tenure from 1972 to 1978, he has made significant contributions for the development of rubber plantations and rubber industry. Vast developments in rubber research in India have been initiated by him. The world Bank Project in Rubber was initiated, planned and finally successfully negotiated by him. The present B. Tech. Course in rubber technology in the Cochin University is his brain child. It was at his instance that India joined the Association of Natural Rubber Producing Countries and started playing an important role in the International Rubber community. He led a large number of delegations from India to conferences of International Rubber Study Group, Association of Natural Rubber Producing Countries, International Rubber Research Development Board held at London, Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok, Singapore, etc. from 1972 to 1978. He also visited Washington to negotiate the World Bank Project in Rubber. He also held the Office of the Chairman, Cardamom Board during 1974-76 and it was during his Chairmanship research in Cardamom plantation was started by the Board.
He took teaching in 1950 at St. Thomas College, Palai which he helped to establish. He became the Post-graduate Professor in English in 1968 but gave up the post in 1972 to become the Chairman of the Rubber Board. He was a Member of the Senate of the University of Kerala, General Council of the Kerala Agricultural University and Member of various Academic bodies of Kerala and Cochin Universities. He played a very prominent role in organizing the All Kerala Private College Teachers Association bringing under one banner teachers working in various Universities in Kerala. It was during his Presidentship of the Association from 1969 to 1972, the two major settlements benefitting teachers in private Colleges viz., the parity of pay with Government College teachers and direct payment by Government to the teachers of private Colleges were made.
He was married to Mariakutty in the year 1939. He has eight sons and two daughters, Five of his sons and one daughter are married.
He took over of as Lt. Governor of Pondicherry on 15 th May, 1982 and took over charge as Governor of Gujarat on August 6, 1983. He remained on this post till 25.04.1984.