Saturday, January 8, 2011


Sir C P Ramaswamy Iyer, Dewan of the erstwhile Travancore has come in for criticism from several quarters for their own valid reasons.

This great son of India has contributed immensely towards the industrial development of the State of Kerala through his initiatives and untiring efforts. An unprejudiced view of his role in shaping the fortunes of Kerala would be timely and in right spirit.

Sri Chetpet Pattabhirama Ramaswami Iyer was born in Chetpet Chennai on13th November,1879. After passing his degree with a gold medal and law degree from the Madras Law College with Distinction he practiced for a while as a lawyer.

Ø      He was appointed as the Advocate General of the Madras Presidency. (1920-1923).
Ø      He served as the Law member of the executive council of the Governor and the Viceroy of India (1923-1936).
Ø      In 1931 when Sri Chithira Thirunal was crowned the Maharajah of Travancore CPR was appointed the legal and constitutional adviser.
Ø      In 1936 the king appointed him as the Dewan which post he occupied till the assassination attempt on his life in 1947.
Ø      As a member of the executive council in Madras he laid the foundation stone for the PYKARA DAM, in 1929 and completed the work. This has helped the rapid industrialization of Coimbatore.
Ø      He started the construction of the Mettur dam which helped to irrigate vast areas in the Thajavur and Trichy districts.
Ø      During the same period itself he helped to improve the Cochin, Visakhapattanam and Tuticorin ports.

After he became the Dewan of TRAVANCORE, CP Ramaswamy Iyer,  though a Tamilian by birth worked devotedly for the all-round progress of this state.

Ø      He was instrumental in bringing forward several reforms with far reaching consequences.
Ø      Temple Entry Proclamation Decree giving Dalit Hindus also the right for free worship in all temples.
Ø      Pallivasal Hydro Electric Project across the Periyar River, against the fierce objection by the Madras state.
Ø      CP Ramaswami Iyer himself argued the case for Kerala and won the case.
Ø      Pechipara dam which helped to irrigate the extensive areas in the Kanyakumari district which was the RICEBOWL of Kerala in those days (we had to give possession of these to Tamilnadu in exchange for the Palakkad area.)
Ø      To utilize the power generated from the dams he started the Indian Aluminium Company, at Eloor and Kundara, Travancore Rayons, Travancore Titanium Products, Travancore Cements Kottayam.
Ø      His most glorious achievement is the establishment of FACT at Eloor with American collaboration in open defiance of the hostility of the Viceroy.
Ø      In 1937 he started the University of Travancore with the Maharajah as the Chancellor and Sir CP as the Vice Chancellor.
Ø      In 1940.the road transport was nationalized.
Ø      In the same year the FIRST CEMENT HIGHWAY OF INDIA was constructed from Thiruvananthapuram to Kanyakumari covering a distance of 88 Km.
Ø      Smt Anna Chandy was appointed as the first woman Disrict Judge. (She later became the first Woman High court Judge.).
Ø      The much talked about Mid-day meal scheme was also introduced in the label of the Vanchi Poor Fund to prompt poor students to attend school.

On July 25, 1947, an attempt was made on his life during a music concert commemorating Swati Tirunal .Following this he resigned his position as the Dewan of Travancore and left the state for good.

Afterwards he occupied several coveted positions like the following, Member of the University Grants Commission, Vice Chancellor of Annamalai and Benaras Universities simultaneously the first Indian to do so, Member of the Press Commission of India.

At the invitation of the host countries he has visited and given lectures to elite audience in US, China, Brazil ,Australia, New Zealand ,Peru.

During all these years we Keralites have been honouring the persons who tried to kill him. 

Let us at least once appreciate in public the good work done by this great Indian for the development of our state.


  1. Sir... well documented. The concept of Mid day meal was the first of its kind in the world, to be introduced in Travancore. Its irony that Sri AK Antony inaugurated the stone representing the Killer outside Music Academy, but we have no testimonial in Trivandrum for this Great Visionary.

  2. Very True..canw e do soemthign about it? can't believe..people are so..pathetic..nowadays...where is this state going
    ? where is this country going?