V. S. Srinivasa Sastri was well known through out the world for his dexterity in the English language. He was a follower of Gopal Krishna Gokhale and was also a close associate of Mahatma Gandhi. Valangaiman Sankaranarayana Srinivasa Sastri was conferred the Freedom of the City of London in 1921. In the year 1930, Srinivasa Sastri was appointed as Companion of Honour. Later in 1931, he was bestowed the Freedom of the City of Edinburgh.
Early Life of V. S. Srinivasa Sastri
Valangaiman Sankaranarayana Srinivasa Sastri was born on 22 September 1869 in Valangaiman town, Madras Presidency in British India. Vaidik Sankaranarayana Sastri, his father was a poor temple priest. He received his education from the Native High School in Kumbakonam and completed his graduation from Government Arts College, Kumbakonam with a first class degree in English and Sanskrit in the year 1887. Later he worked as a teacher at Municipal College in Salem. V. S. Srinivasa Sastri became the headmaster of Hindu High School, Triplicane in 1894. He served the position for a period of 8 years until the year 1902.
Political Career of V. S. Srinivasa Sastri
V. S. Srinivasa Sastri founded the Madras Teachers Guild while he served as the headmaster of Triplicane High School. He also established the Triplicane Urban Co-operative Society (TUCS) in the year 1904, which was the first co-operative society in the country. Sastri was regarded as one of the pioneers of the Co-operative movement in India. Hr was a follower of the principles of Gopal Krishna Gokhale, a renowned Indian freedom fighter, and joined his association Servants of India Society. Srinivasa Sastri became the President of the Society in 1915. He also became a member of the Indian National Congress in the year 1908. Later in the year 1911, he was appointed as the Secretary of the Madras District Congress Committee.
In the year 1913, V. S. Srinivasa Sastri was nominated to the Madras Legislative Council and later in 1916 he was nominated to the Imperial Legislative Council of India. He firmly opposed the Rowlatt Act and delivered a much appreciated speech in the Imperial Legislative Council disapproving the bill. In the year 1919, Sastri became a member of the Privy Council of the United Kingdom. Valangaiman Sankaranarayana Srinivasa Sastri resigned his membership of the Indian National Congress in the year 1922, after contradicting with the leaders on the subject of non-cooperation. Eventually he, along with Sir Tej Bahadur Sapru, founded the Liberal Party of India. Later he served as a President of the Indian Liberal Federation. Srinivasa Sastri went to visit England with Annie Besant in 1924 in order to demand Home Rule for India. V. S. Srinivasa Sastri also participated in the 1st and 2nd round table conferences.
International Delegations of V. S. Srinivasa Sastri
V. S. Srinivasa Sastri was in the delegation of Indian moderates who visited England in the year 1919. Moreover he was a part of the Indian delegation to the Imperial Conference in 1921, as well as the Second session of the League of Nations that was conducted in the same year. In the year 1919, along with Sir Benjamin Robertson, he went to the Republic of South Africa. According to the instructions of the British Government of India, in 1922, V. S. Srinivasa Sastri was sent on delegations to Canada, New Zealand and Australia to assess the state of the Indians who reside in those territories. Later in 1937, Valangaiman Sankaranarayana Srinivasa Sastri was sent to the Federated Malay States to investigate the situation of the Indian labourers in the nation.
Later Life of V. S. Srinivasa Sastri
Srinivasa Sastri became a member of the Royal Commission on Labour in India in 1930. He also actively participated in the Round Table Conferences in London during 1930 to 1931, to discuss about the future of India. During his later life, he was appointed as the Vice Chancellor of the Annamalai University.
Personal Life of V. S. Srinivasa Sastri
V. S. Srinivasa Sastri was married with his wife Parvathi in the year 1885. Valangaiman Sankaranarayana Srinivasa Sastri's health started to decline during 1946 and in January 1946, he was admitted to the General Hospital in Madras (now Chennai). He died at the age of 76, on 17 April 1946.