B. Munuswamy Naidu

Bollina Munuswamy Naidu (1885 – 1935) was the Chief Minister of Madras Presidency from 27 October 1930 to 4 November 1932. He was conferred 'Rao Diwan Bahadur' by British Government.

Bollini Munuswamy Naidu
5th Chief Minister of Madras Presidency
In office
27 October 1930 – 4 November 1932
GovernorGeorge Frederick Stanley
Preceded byP. Subbarayan
Succeeded byRaja of Bobbili
Minister of Local Self-Government (Madras Presidency)
In office
27 October 1930 – 4 November 1932
PremierB. Munuswamy Naidu
GovernorGeorge Frederick Stanley
Preceded byP. Subbarayan
Succeeded byRaja of Bobbili
Personal details
Tiruttani, Chittoor district, Madras Presidency
Political partyJustice Party

Munuswamy Naidu was born in Tiruttani, Madras Presidency in 1885 in a family of agriculturists. He studied law and worked as a lawyer and businessman. He was one of the early members of the Justice Party. On the death of the Raja of Panagal in 1928, Munuswamy Naidu was appointed President of the Justice Party.

Munuswamy Naidu served as the President of the Justice Party from 1928 to 1932. Under his leadership, the Justice Party won the 1930 Madras Assembly elections and Munuswamy Naidu served as Chief Minister or Premier from 1930 to 1932. During Naidu's tenure, Madras was engulfed in a financial crisis arising out of the Great Depression. His tenure is also remembered for his clash with zamindars and his rivalry with the Raja of Bobbili. Naidu resigned in 1932 sensing serious opposition in party ranks. He lost the leadership of the party to the Raja of Bobbili and eventually retired from active politics. Munuswamy Naidu died in 1935. Munuswamy Naidu was a close associate of N. G. Ranga. Naidu's leadership is also remembered for his efforts to remove restrictions on Brahmins joining the party.

Early lifeEdit

Munuswamy Naidu was born in 1885 in Velanjeri in Tiruttani, Chittoor district[1] of farmers.[2] He was the first Chief Minister from the Justice Party with an agriculturist background.[3]

Munuswamy Naidu had his early education at Madras Christian College[4] and graduated in law and practised as a lawyer. He was also a moneylender, farmer and businessman and owned a mill in Chittoor district.[2]

Rise to powerEdit

The Raja of Panagal, President of the South Indian Liberal Federation, died on 18 December 1928.[5] Munuswamy Naidu was nominated to succeed him.[6][7] Munuswamy Naidu led the Justice Party throughout its period in opposition between 1928 and 1930. He also led the party during the assembly elections held in 1930.

In the elections held in October 1930 in Madras Presidency, the Justice Party fielded 45 candidates and was in an alliance with the Ministerialists.[8] As the Tamil Nadu Congress Committee did not participate in the elections,[8] the Justice Party swept to power without encountering any serious opposition.[9] The Justice Party secured an overwhelming majority in the districts of Vizagapatam, Chingleput, West Godavari, Bellary, Trichinopoly and Tinnevely.[8] It claimed to have won nearly 70% of the total number of votes polled.[8]

B. Munuswamy Naidu, the leader of the Justice Party, formed a government on 27 October 1930.[8][10][11][12]

As Chief Minister of Madras PresidencyEdit

Munuswamy Naidu took office as Chief Minister on 27 October 1930 and served till 4 November 1932[13][14] Munuswamy Naidu's tenure as Chief Minister was afflicted by controversies.[15] He assumed the Chief Ministership at a critical juncture. The Great Depression was at its height and the economy was crumbling. Moreover, the southern districts of the Presidency had been afflicted by floods.[15] The government was, therefore, compelled to increase the land tax in order to compensate for the fall in prices.[15]

Munuswamy Naidu's Cabinet
Portfolio Minister
Local Self-Government B. Munuswamy Naidu (Also Chief Minister)
Development, Public Works and Registration P. T. Rajan
Education, excise S. Kumaraswami Reddiar
Source: Encyclopaedia of Political Parties

Soon after Munuswamy Naidu formed the government, the Justice Party was torn apart by factionalism.[15] The Zamindars who had supported the Justice Party were disgruntled at the fact that two of the foremost landlords of the Presidency, the Raja of Bobbili and the Kumara Raja of Venkatagiri had not been included in the Cabinet.[15][16] Under the leadership of M. A. Muthiah Chettiar, the disgruntled Zamindars organized a "ginger group" in November 1930.[15][16]

This "ginger group" accused Munuswamy Naidu of having a soft corner for the Indian National Congress and Swarajists.[15] Moreover, Munuswamy Naidu was also close to N. G. Ranga, the leader of the Ministerialists who were opposed to the Zamindars.[7][17] Munuswamy Naidu gave his explanation

I did not provide a place in the ministry for a zamindar. I had no prejudice against any one, but in choosing my colleagues I had to be guided by the feeling in the party as a whole...The choice that I eventually made was not agreeable to the Hon. the Raja of Bobbili and some of his friends and consequently they began giving trouble in the party[18]

When two of his ministers, P. T. Rajan and S. Kumaraswami Reddiar resigned their posts, Munuswamy Naidu resigned before any no-confidence motion could be brought forward.[15] He r. Munuswamy Naidu was succeeded by the Raja of Bobbili as Chief Minister.[15]

End of party leadershipEdit

The Twelfth Annual Confederation of the Justice Party was held at Tanjore on 10 – 11 October 1932.[19] The Raja of Bobbili was chosen to preside over it.[19] However, a faction supporting Munuswamy Naidu (then the Chief Minister) refused to allow the proceedings to continue. An eyewitness records that furniture and shoes were hurled around by members of opposing factions. However, the Raja of Bobbili prevailed and eventually assumed the leadership.[19] This marked the end of Munuswamy Naidu's influence in the party and he gradually faded from limelight.

Later life and deathEdit

Post Premiership, Munuswamy Naidu formed a separate party called Justice Democratic Party with his supporters and additionally had the support of 20 opposition members in the legislative council. He died in 1935 and his supporters rejoined the Justice party.[2][20] A road in K. K. Nagar, Chennai has been named after him as Munuswamy Salai. (The caste suffix "Naidu" was dropped when caste suffixes were dropped from names of public places).A Bridge in the village Penamaluru in Krishna District of Andhra Pradesh was named after him.[21]


Munuswamy Naidu was a staunch supporter of the Justice Party and the non-Brahmin movement. At the same time, he also supported the admission of Brahmins in the party.[22][23]

At a tripartite conference between the Justice Party, Ministerialists and Constitutionalists in Madras in 1929 a resolution was adopted recommending the removal of restrictions on Brahmins joining the organization.[24] The Executive Committee of the party drafted a resolution to this effect and placed it before the Eleventh Confederation of the party at Nellore, for approval.[23][24] At this Confederation, Munuswamy Naidu spoke:

So long as we exclude one community, we cannot as a political speak on behalf of or claim to represent all the people of our presidency. If, as we hope, provincial autonomy is given to the provinces as a result of the reforms that may be granted, it should be essential that our Federation should be in a position to claim to be a truly representative body of all communities. What objection can there be to admit such Brahmins as are willing to subscribe to the aims and objects of our Federation? It may be that the Brahmins may not join even if the ban is removed. But surely our Federation will not thereafter be open to objection on the ground that it is an exclusive organization[23]

However, the resolution faced strong opposition and was eventually withdrawn.[25]


  1. ^ Narasimhan, C. (1986). Me and My Times. Radna Corporation. p. 60.
  2. ^ a b c Innaiah, N. (1981). Politics for Power: The Role of Caste and Factions in Andhra Pradesh, 1880–1980. Scientific Services. p. 180.
  3. ^ Ralhan, p. 249
  4. ^ "Some Outstanding Alumni of the College". Madras Christian College. Archived from the original on 27 December 2008.
  5. ^ Rao, P. Raghunadha (1983). History of Modern Andhra. Sterling Publishers. p. 116.
  6. ^ Mishra, Maria (2007). Vishnu's Crowded Temple: India Since the Great Rebellion. Allan Lane. p. 137. ISBN 978-0-7139-9367-7.
  7. ^ a b Innaiah, N. (1981). Politics for Power: The Role of Caste and Factions in Andhra Pradesh, 1880-1980. Scientific Publishers. p. 47.
  8. ^ a b c d e Ralhan, p. 196
  9. ^ Anthropology Tomorrow. University of Chicago Anthropology Club. p. 20.
  10. ^ Rajaraman, P. (1988). The Justice Party: A Historical Perspective, 1916–37. Poompozhil Publishers. p. 230.
  11. ^ Arooran, K. Nambi (1980). Tamil Renaissance and Dravidian Nationalism, 1905–1944. Koodal. p. 175.
  12. ^ Innaiah, N. (2002). A Century of Politics in Andhra Pradesh: Ethnicity & Regionalism in Indian State. Rationalis Voice Publications.
  13. ^ "Provinces of British India". World Statesmen. Archived from the original on 1 November 2008. Retrieved 20 October 2008.
  14. ^ "List of Chief Ministers of Tamil Nadu". Government of Tamil Nadu. Archived from the original on 26 October 2008. Retrieved 20 October 2008.
  15. ^ a b c d e f g h i Ralhan, p. 197
  16. ^ a b Rajaraman, P. (1988). The Justice Party: A Historical Perspective, 1916–37. Poompozhil Publishers. p. 177.
  17. ^ Innaiah, N. (1985). Charisma in Politics: A Special Study of Andhra Pradesh Politics. V. Komala. p. 47.
  18. ^ Manikumar, K. A. (2003). A Colonial Economy in the Great Depression, Madras (1929–1937). Orient Blackswan. p. 186. ISBN 978-81-250-2456-9.
  19. ^ a b c Ralhan, p. 250
  20. ^ Hamsapriya, A (1981). Role of the opposition in the Madras legislature 1921–1939 (PDF). Madras University. p. 85. Archived from the original (PDF) on 21 July 2011. Retrieved 1 August 2011.
  21. ^ Boy feared drowned. The Hindu. 21 September 2010.
  22. ^ Mangalamurugesan, Nataraja Kandasamy (1979). Self-Respect Movement in Tamil Nadu, 1920–1940. Koodal Publishers. p. 101.
  23. ^ a b c Ralhan, p. 165
  24. ^ a b Ralhan, p. 164
  25. ^ Ralhan, p. 166

Cited sourcesEdit

  • Ralhan, O. P. (2002). Encyclopaedia of Political Parties. Anmol Publications PVT. LTD. ISBN 978-81-7488-865-5.
Preceded by
Raja of Panagal
President of the South Indian Liberal Federation
Succeeded by
Raja of Bobbili
Preceded by
P. Subbarayan
Minister of Local Self-Government in Madras Presidency
27 October 1930 – 4 November 1932
Succeeded by
Preceded by
P. Subbarayan
Chief Minister of Madras Presidency
27 October 1930 – 4 November 1932
Succeeded by
Raja of Bobbili