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CP Ramaswamy Iyer


Amid the ongoing tussle between the LDF government in Kerala and Governor, senior BJP leader and state education minister traded allegations over erstwhile Travancore Diwan Sir CP Ramaswamy Iyer.


GS I: History

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. About Sir CP Ramaswamy Iyer
  2. Independent Travancore mission

About Sir CP Ramaswamy Iyer

  • Sir Chetput Pattabhiraman Ramaswamy Iyer, popularly known as ‘Sir CP’, was the Diwan of the erstwhile Travancore princely state from 1936 to 1947.
  • A lawyer who served as the Advocate-General of Madras Presidency from 1920 to 1923, CP rose to glorious heights as he found favour with both the crown prince Sri Chithira Thirunal Bala Rama Varma and Lord Willingdon, the Viceroy of India.
  • Serving as Adviser to the prince between 1931 and 1936, Sir CP was personally requested by Sri Chithira Thirunal in 1936 to be the Diwan of Travancore, an offer he accepted and served at the position for 10 years.

Independent Travancore mission

  • On June 3, 1947, Britain announced its intention to quit India, while also accepting demands for the country’s partition.
  • Following this, the Indian Independence Act of 1947 — a legislation of the United Kingdom Parliament — gave princely states the option to accede to the newly divided territories of India or Pakistan, or continue as an independent sovereign state.
  • Maharaja Sri Chithira Thirunal, who wished to stay independent, was supported by Sir CP, who declared his intention of forming an independent state of Travancore that would be open to the idea of signing a treaty with the Indian union.
‘American model’ for Travancore:
  • Amid his dream of an independent state, Sir CP became more unpopular as he proposed an ‘American model’ for Travancore.
  • Communists were opposed to his move and the struggle against the Travancore Kingdom led to the merger of socialist parties, creating a new radical communist party.
  • Further, severe famine conditions during the Second World War, that killed over 21,000 peasants in Cherthala taluk alone, spewed discontent against the Diwan, who was accused of not helping the poor during the famine.
Punnapra-Vayalar revolt:
  • His policies led to a massive uprising, the Punnapra-Vayalar revolt, which was suppressed by the Travancore army and navy.
  • As over 2,000 communists fiercely attacked police stations across Alappuzha, the crackdown they faced were brutal.
Assassination attempt on Sir CP
  • The anger and discontent culminated into an assassination attempt on Sir CP on July 25, 1947, at a concert commemorating the anniversary of Swati Thirunal.
  • The attempt was carried out by a member of the Kerala Socialist Party, and the Diwan survived with multiple stab wounds. Soon after, he agreed to the accession of Travancore state to the Indian Union, following which he resigned and left for London.
  • On July 30, 1947, Travancore joined India.

-Source: Indian Express

February 2024