Early Life of Tanguturi Prakasam
T. Prakasam was born on 23rd August 1872 in Vinoda Rayudu Palem, Andhra Pradesh to the parents Venkata Narasimham and Subbamma. He belonged to a Telugu Brahmin Niyogi family. Tanguturi failed to pass his matriculation examination. He eventually managed to shift Madras (now Chennai) and become a second grade pleader. Later he became a lawyer and was eventually elected as Municipal Chairman of Rajahmundry in the year 1904.
Legal Career of Tanguturi Prakasam
In the year 1904, Tanguturi Prakasam went to England in order to pursue legal studies. There he became a part of the Indian Society and worked for the election of Dadabhai Naoroji to the House of Commons. He successfully completed his barrister course with a certificate of honour in London. Later T. Prakasam repositioned to Madras high court. He attended the Indian National Congress Party sessions frequently following the Lucknow pact and he signed the Satyagraha pledge in the year 1921. Prakasam gave up his lucrative law practice and joined the Indian freedom struggle. He also edited the Swarajya newspaper, which was published simultaneously in Tamil, Telugu and English. He also managed a Khadi production centre and a national school.
Political Career of Tanguturi Prakasam
Tanguturi Prakasam was elected as the General Secretary of the Indian National Congress Party at the Ahmedabad session in December 1921. In the year 1922, he organized a demonstration with 30,000 Congress volunteers at Guntur during the Non-cooperation Movement. In the year 1926, Prakasam was elected on a Congress Party ticket to the Central Legislative Assembly. Tanguturi Prakasam Pantulu resigned as legislator in 1930 when the Indian National Congress requested all the legislators to resign. As he was not convinced about the programme, he contested and won the by-election. He became a part of the Congress under the leadership of Madan Mohan Malaviya. He later resigned from the party after Mahatma Gandhi decided to break the salt tax law with the Dandi March. Tanguturi Prakasam also resigned as a legislator.
In the year 1937, the Indian National Congress contested the provincial elections and became triumphant in Madras province. Prakasam was appointed as the Revenue Minister. He founded and managed the Zamindari Enquiry Committee which managed the structural distortions in agriculture committed due to the Zamindari system under the British Government of India. During the Second World War, Tanguturi Prakasam Pantulu became the first major leader from South India to offer individual Satyagraha against the war attempt in the year 1941. Due to his active participation in the Quit India movement of 1942, Prakasam was arrested by the British Indian Police and was imprisoned for almost 3 years. He was released in the year 1945.
Tanguturi Prakasam as Chief Minister of Madras Presidency
After the victory of the Indian National Congress Party in the elections in Madras Presidency in the year 1946, Tanguturi Prakasam Pantulu was appointed as the Chief Minister of Madras Presidency on 30th April 1946. But the government remained in authority for only 11 months. During his tenure as the Chief Minister, he publicly announced his decision to discard all textile industries in the region and substitute it with khadi manufacturing and weaving units. This resulted in a revolt organized by the Communists in February 1947.
Tanguturi Prakasam as Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh
After Andhra Pradesh was established on 1st October 1953, Prakasam, who was a member of the Praja Socialist Party, was offered the position of the Chief Minister of the state by the Indian National Congress Party; only if he left the Praja Socialist Party and joined the Congress party. He eventually left the Praja Socialist Party and became a member of the Indian National Congress in order to become the Chief Minister of the state. He served in office from October 1, 1953 to November 15, 1954.
Death of Tanguturi Prakasam
During his visit to Ongole, Tanguturi Prakasam Pantulu suffered from sunstroke and became severely ill. Prakasam was admitted in a hospital in Hyderabad where he died on 20th May 1957.
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