V. I. Munuswamy Pillai

Rao Sahib Vellore Iyyasamy Munuswamy Pillai (23 February 1889 – 14 December 1953) also spelled as Munisami Pillai, was an Indian businessman, politician, Scheduled Caste activist and activist of the Indian independence movement who served as the Minister for Agriculture and Rural Development in the government of C. Rajagopalachari from 1937 to 1939.

Rao Sahib
Vellore Iyyasamy Munuswamy Pillai
V. I. Munuswamy Pillai.jpg
Portrait from the Haripura Congress Souvenir, 1938
Member of Constituent Assembly of India
In office
9 December 1946 – 24 January 1950
Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development (Madras Presidency)
In office
14 July 1937 – 9 October 1939
PremierC. Rajagopalachari
GovernorJohn Erskine, Lord Erskine
Personal details
Ootacamund, Madras Presidency
Died14 December 1953
Political partyIndian National Congress

Early lifeEdit

Munuswamy Pillai was born in a poor(Inter caste married) family in Ootacamund, Nilgiris district in 1889. Due to his adverse financial circumstances, Munuswamy Pillai could afford little formal education and was forced to take up a job as a clerk at the age of twenty. After a successful stint as a clerk, Munuswamy Pillai set up his own business in 1925.

Public lifeEdit

Munuswamy Pillai was nominated to the Madras Legislative Council in 1926 representing the depressed classes. Under the presidentship of V. I. Munusamy Pillai 'The All India DC Congress' (2nd Conference) was held at Nagpur in May 1932.[1] He supported the policies of the Indian National Congress and served as Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development in Rajaji's cabinet from 1937 to 1939.

Later lifeEdit

Munuswamy Pillai retired from public life following the resignation of the Congress ministry in 1939. He returned to politics and was later elected to the Indian Constituent Assembly from Madras in 1946.[2] In the Constituent Assembly of India on 22 July 1947 for the adoption of the National Flag he said, "It is not to be the Flag of the rich or the wealthy but it is to be the Flag of the depressed, oppressed and submerged classes all over our country."[3] He contested and lost the 1952 parliamentary elections from Tindivanam as an Indian National Congress candidate.[4] He died on 14 December 1953 at the 63.[5] A special resolution was passed by the Madras Legislative Assembly condoling his death.[5]


  1. ^ Ambeth, அம்பேத்: One of the stalwarts V. I. Muniswamy Pillay on Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar in the Constituent Assembly of India
  2. ^ Members of the Constituent Assembly
  3. ^ Ambeth, அம்பேத்: V. I. Muniswamy Pillai on the National Flag of India
  4. ^ ECI report on 1951 election
  5. ^ a b "Resume of the 1st Madras Legislative Assembly (1952–1957) Chapter XIV:Motions and Resolutions" (PDF). Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly.