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Raja Sri Ravu Svetachalupati Sir Ramakrishna Ranga Rao KCIE (Telugu: రామకృష్ణ రంగారావు) (February 20, 1901 – March 10, 1978) was an Indian politician and zamindar who served as the Chief Minister of Madras Presidency from November 5, 1932 to April 4, 1936 and August 24, 1936 to April 1, 1937.

Ramakrishna Ranga Rao was born in the royal family of Bobbili zamindari in 1901. He succeeded his father Venkata Kumar Krishna to the throne of Bobbili and ruled as zamindar from 1921 to 1948 and as the titular "Raja of Bobbili" from 1948 to 1978. He set up trusts and patronized sports and education.

Ramakrishna Ranga Rao joined the Justice Party in 1930 and was elected to the Madras Legislative Assembly. He served as the Chief Minister or Premier of Madras Presidency from 1932 to 1936 and 1937. He resigned as Chief Minister in 1937 when the Justice Party lost the elections. From 1946 to 1951, he served as a member of the Constituent Assembly of India which framed India's Constitution. In his later years, he also served a term as a member of the Andhra Pradesh Legislative Assembly for the Bobbili assembly constituency.

Ramakrishna Ranga Rao married Lakshmi Subhadrayamma in 1921. He had a son Venkata Gopala Krishna Rao who succeeded him as Raja in 1978. Ramakrishna Ranga Rao is mostly remembered for his contribution towards framing India's constitution and for his service to society in establishing colleges. He is also held responsible by analysts for the defeat of the Justice Party in the 1937 assembly elections which is blamed upon his despotism and anti-people measures

EARLY LIFE-

Ramakrishna Ranga Rao was born in Bobbili in Madras Presidency (now a part of the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh) in the Bobbili royal family. The royal family belonged to the Padmanayak Velama community.[1] He was the son of the heir-apparent, Venkata Kumar Krishna Ranga Rao and the grandson of Raja Venkata Ranga Rao of the Bobbili zamindari.[2] He had an elder sister Victoria Venkata Ramanamma, born on October 10, 1899.[2]

In his childhood, he was tutored by H.C. Leclare, D. Gordon, F.H.J. Wilkinson and Ramalingaswamy.[3] He used to play badminton and billiards in the palace.[3]

Ramakrishna married Lakshmi Subhadrayamma, a princess of the Tallaprole Zamindari in 1921.[3] He succeeded to the throne as the 13th Raja of Bobbili.[3]

[edit] Early political career
Ramakrishna Ranga Rao made his entry into politics when he was nominated a member of the Council of State, the upper house of the Imperial Legislative Assembly of India in 1925.[2] He served as a member of the assembly till 1927.[2]

Ramakrishna Ranga Rao contested the Madras general elections of 1930 from the Vizagapatam constituency as a Justice Party (India) candidate against the Nationalist Party nominee, C.V.S. Narasimha Raju, and polled 28,000 more votes than his opponent.[3]

He also attended the second Round Table Conference held in London in 1931 as a representative of the Indian landholders.

Rise to leadership-

Bobbili rapidly rose in power and position during the tenure of B. Munuswamy Naidu. As Naidu began to alienate the zamindars by omitting eminent and powerful people like Muthiah Chettiar from his cabinet, these disgruntled zamindars favoured the Raja of Bobbili as an acceptable alternative.[4] Gradually, the leadership of the party passed on from Naidu to Bobbili.[5] When both his ministers in the cabinet resigned, Naidu was forced to step down as Chief minister.[4] Subsequently, the Raja of Bobbili took oath as Chief Minister on November 5, 1932.

During this period, The Raja of Bobbili became the Chief Minister on November 5, 1932 at the age of 31 and except for a short span of 4 months when he was on a trip to England, served as Chief Minister until April 1, 1937.[7] During his tenure, Madras was in the grips of the Great Depression. The Raja did introduce some measures in order to relieve the burden on the poor peasant. But by and large, the rapid depreciation of the economy remained unchecked and the government showed little concern towards the plight of the poor peasant. The Justice Party lost badly in the 1937 elections. The Raja's policies are believed to be the main reason.the Raja's personal secretary was C. N. Annadurai who later served as the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu from 1967 to 1969.

TENURE AS CHIEF MINISTER-

The Raja of Bobbili became the Chief Minister on November 5, 1932 at the age of 31 and except for a short span of 4 months when he was on a trip to England, served as Chief Minister until April 1, 1937.[7] During his tenure, Madras was in the grips of the Great Depression. The Raja did introduce some measures in order to relieve the burden on the poor peasant. But by and large, the rapid depreciation of the economy remained unchecked and the government showed little concern towards the plight of the poor peasant. The Justice Party lost badly in the 1937 elections. The Raja's policies are believed to be the main reason.

Revival of the mayoralty
The Mayoralty of Madras came into existence when the Corporation of Madras was established in 1688.[8] The first mayor was Nathaniel Higginson, who resigned after a period of six months to take over as Governor of Madras.[8] The post of mayor was abolished in 1801.[8]

The post of mayor was revived by the Raja of Bobbili government on January 17, 1933, by the City Municipal Act.[8] The first mayor after its revival was the prominent Justice Party Leader, L. Sriramulu Naidu who was followed by Raja Sir Annamalai Chettiar

Estates Land Act of 1933
In August 1933, despite the vehement opposition of Zamindars in the Madras Presidency, the Raja of Bobbili passed an amendment to the Estates Land Act of 1908 which safeguarded the rights of the cultivators and freed them from the bondage of middlemen or inamdars.[3] However, despite this legislation and a few others benefitting the cultivator, his regime was regarded as one which largely supported the interests of zamindars

1934 Assembly elections
The term of the legislature expired on November 5, 1933.[9] However, the elections to the Madras Legislative Council were delayed by an year.[9] Meanwhile, the Indian National Congress had decided to participate in the elections at a meeting in Patna in May 1934 and hence, when the elections took place in November 1934, the Justice Party lost miserably.[9] However, the Raja of Bobbili adopted contingency measures by immediately convening a meeting and conducting negotiations between the different factions of the party. The Swarajya Party which won a majority in the Assembly once again refused to form the government in accordance with its policy of wrecking the dyarchy. So, the Raja of Bobbili was elected Chief Minister for a second term though he did not command the majority of the house.

Justice Party stalwarts R. K. Shanmukham Chetty and Arcot Ramasamy Mudaliar had lost their seats as the chief whip of the party Muthiah Chettiar withdrew his support for their candidature.[10] Ramakrishna Ranga Rao responded by dismissing Muthiah Chettiar as the leader of the party in the Assembly.[10] Muthiah moved a no-confidence motion against the ministry but the motion was defeated.[10] However, the differences between the Raja of Bobbili and Muthiah Chettiar was soon patched up and the Raja made the latter a minister in the cabinet.[1

Changes in the ministry
Kumaraswami Reddiar resigned his ministry post due to ill-health in 1936 and he was replaced with Muthiah Chettiar in a move to wipe out differences in the party.[9] With the permission of the Governor, the Raja also created a new Ministry of Home in order to accommodate disgruntled factions in the party.[11] Mohammad Usman served as the first Minister of Home followed by Sir A. T. Paneerselvam

Separation of Ganjam district
On April 1, 1936, the Ganjam district was separated from Madras Presidency and constituted in the newly-created province of Orissa.

Policy during the Great Depression
The Great Depression struck the province at the fag end of P. Subbarayan's tenure and lasted the whole span of the Munuswamy Naidu and Bobbili governments. The policy of the Raja of Bobbili during the Depression was alleged to be one of the indifference to plight of the peasants and the poor. The government expressed its complete solidarity with the Governor and his executive council. As a result, while the Government endorsed the measures taken by the governor it did not criticize those that were detrimental to the common man. The ministry is alleged to have done little for the financial relief of the common man apart from making recommendations or expressing sympathy and grief. Moreover, the affluent lifestyle led by the ministers at the height of the Great Depression were sharply criticized. Madras ministers drew a salary of Rs. 4,333.60 per month as opposed to Rs. 2,250 per month that ministers in the Central Provinces received as salary.[12] This invoked the ire of the Madras press. The newspaper India wrote

In 1933, the Indian National Congress, represented by the Swarajya Party, brought forth a resolution demanding a decrease of 12.5 % in land revenue in non-Zamindari areas.[13] The Justice Party voted against the resolution.[13] Angered by the stand of the Justice Party, the Congress declared that November 26, 1933 be observed as Land Revenue Reduction Day.[13] Protests were organized all over the province. At a meeting organized on the Madras beach, Congress leader Sathyamurthy demanded that the land tax be reduced by 33.3 percent.[13] These demands were backed by the peasants in the province.[13] However, these demands went unheeded. On the eve of the 1937 elections, the South Indian Federation of Peasants passed a resolution.

Individual Congressmen launched agitations for the abolition of zamindaris. The Raja of Bobbili was against the movement as being a zamindar himself, he had pro-zamindar sympathies. He, therefore, considered it to be a law and order issue and order a crackdown leading to police firing in some areas.[14]

Lord Erskine, the Governor of Madras wrote to the Secretary of State for India, Lord Zetland in February 1937 that the peasants in South India were fed up with the Justice Party.

Alleged abuse of authority
Bobbili's rule was autocratic and he was highly inaccessible to party members.[16] The success of every previous government in the Presidency had been due to the support of the district boards.[17] However, the Raja of Bobbili, instead of appeasing the district-level politicians tried to destroy their power and influence.
This, along with Bobbili's autocratic rule and factionalism within the party, had disastrous effects for the fortunes of the Justice party.

1937 elections
The Justice Party contested the 1937 provincial assembly elections, the first according to the Government of India Act 1935, under the Raja's leadership and lost badly, winning just 18 out of 215 assembly seats and 7 out of 46 council seats.[18] The Raja, himself, lost his seat to Indian National Congress candidate V. V. Giri by over 6,000 votes, almost triggering the end of his political career.[18] Other prominent losers in the election were P. T. Rajan, Kumarraja of Venkatagiri and A. P. Patro.[18] The Justice Party ceased to be a major force and remained so until it was revived by E. V. Ramasami during the 1938 Madras Anti-Hindi agitations. The Raja led a much-weakened Justice Party until 1938, when he bowed out of politics.

Meanwhile, the Justice Party's opponents the Indian National Congress had decided to contest the elections at a rally in 1935. It was at this rally that the Swarajya Party formally merged with the Indian National Congress when Congress resolved to participate in the elections. The united Indian National Congress led by Chakravarti Rajagopalachari captured power in the province and ruled until the declaration of war in 1939

Retirement from politics
Following the defeat of the Justice Party in the 1937 elections, the Raja's participation in politics drastically decreased until the anti-Hindi agitations, when E. V. Ramasami was elected President of the Justice Party. The Raja temporarily bowed out of politics and devoted himself to social service and other public activities.

In 1946, the Raja was elected to the Constituent Assembly of India and was part of the team which wrote India's Constitution.[20] In 1948, following India's independence from British rule, Ramakrishna Ranga Rao lost his administrative rights over Bobbili and was reduced to the status of a titular "Raja" with some exclusive privileges.

The Raja was a great sportsman and his main interests were horse racing and polo. [3] He had imported many fine breeds of horses from the United Kingdom, France and Pakistan.[3] He had won a number of cups in horse racing.[3] He was an expert polo player and often played in the Dasara sports at Mysore and Jeypore besides Bobbili.[3]

He also contributed to Andhra University and Shantiniketan.[3] The Raja served as the Chancellor of Andhra University in 1930.[2] The Rajah R.S.R.K. Ranga Rao College was inaugurated at Bobbili on the occasion of his sixtieth birthday in 1961.
Later years and death
The Raja briefly returned to politics in his later years and contested as an independent from Bobbili assembly constituency in the 1967 elections to the Andhra Pradesh Legislative Assembly at the age of 66.[22] He was subsequently elected by a margin of 28,561 votes over his nearest rival, L. Thentu of the Indian National Congress. [22] The Raja served as a member of the Andhra Pradesh Legislative Assembly from 1967 to 1972. He did not stand for a re-election when his term came to an end in 1972.[23]

Ramakrishna Ranga Rao died on March 10, 1978 at the age of 77.[24] Ramakrishna Ranga Rao was succeeded as the titular Raja of Bobbili by his son Venkata Gopala Krishna Ranga Rao.

Successors
The incumbent Raja of Bobbili is Venkata Gopala Krishna Ranga Rao, son of Ramakrishna Ranga Rao while Ramakrishna Ranga Rao's grandson Venkata Sujay Krishna Ranga Rao is the heir-apparent. Sujay Krishna Ranga Rao also stood in the 2004 Andhra Pradesh Assembly elections as a candidate of the Indian National Congress and was elected to the Andhra Pradesh Assembly from Bobbili.


GENEOLOGY-

PRESENT RULER: Raja Sri Rao Venkata GOPAL KRISHNA Ranga Rao Ravu Bahadur, Raja of Bobbili since 1978 (The Palace, Bobbili - 535558, Vizianagram Dist., India)

married Rani Sri Mangatayaru, and has issue, two sons.

Raja Sri Rao Venkata Sujay Krishna Ranga Rao Ravu Bahadur, B.A. (Corp.), born 14th September 1969, M.L.A. (Andhra Pradesh) 2004/2009; interests and pastimes are cricket and sport and spending time with the family; married Sri Rani Venkata Anupama Rangarao, and has issue, one daughter and one son.
Raja Venkata S. Kumara Krishna Ranga Rao (Babu Nayana), elected to the post of Chairperson in Bobbili municipality.


PREDECESSORS AND SHORT HISTORY: Nirvana Rayappa, 15th Raja of Venkatagiri, was granted the estate of Rajam in 1652, which was later renamed Bobbili, leaving his son to rule there as the 1st Raja of Bobbili. Rulers were...
Raja LINGAPPA Ranga Rao Bahadur Garu, granted the additional title of Ranga Row by the Moghul Emperor, constructed a fort and town, originally called Pedda puli,

......

Raja VENGAL Ranga Rao Bahadur Garu

Raja RANGAPATI Ranga Rao Bahadur Garu

Raja RAYADAPPA Ranga Rao Bahadur Garu

Raja GOPALKRISHNA Ranga Rao Bahadur Garu, married Rani Mallamma Devi, died January 1757, and had issue. He died January 1757.

Raja CHINNA Ranga Rao Bahadur Garu (qv)

Raja CHINNA Ranga Rao Bahadur Garu 1757/-, he adopted one of the sons of Rao VENKATA SURYA Rao Garu of Pithapuram, who succeded as Raja SWETHA CHALAPATI Ranga Rao Bahadur Garu (qv)

Raja SWETHA CHALAPATI Ranga Rao Bahadur Garu, adopted from Pithapuram, died sp 18th August 1862.

Raja SITARAMA Ranga Rao Bahadur Garu 1862/1867, founded the Anglo-Vernacular School at Bobbili in 1864, married Rani Lakshmi Chellayamma Garu (qv). He died 1867 aged 23.

Rani Lakshmi Chellayamma Garu 1867/1887, she adopted Kumar Venkata Ranga Rao, the third son of Raja Velugoti Sri Raja Sarvagnya Kumarayachendra Naidu Bahadur Garu, Raja of Venkatagiri, as her successor in 1872; she was granted the title of Rani as a personal distinction in February 1876; married Raja SITARAMA Ranga Rao Bahadur Garu (see above), and had adoptive issue. She died sp 7th May 1887.

The Hounourable Maharaja Sri Sir VENKATA SWETA CHALAPATI Ranga Rao Bahadur Garu G.C.I.E. 1887/1926, born 8th September 1862 at Venkatagiri (#2), third son of Raja Velugoti Sri Raja SARVAGNYA KUMARA YACHENDRA NAIDU Bahadur Garu of Venkatagiri, educated by English and Indian tutors in history, economy and Sanskrit; installed on the gaddi on 30th November 1881; Member of the Legislative Council 1898/-; he constructed the Raj Mahal palace in Bobbili in 1888; during his reign he brought about a number of reforms, he raised the Middle School of Bobbili to a high school and also established schools for the poor and for the physically and mentally handicapped; he toured Europe in 1893, with his youngest brother, Venugopala Ranga Rao, and was granted audiences with the Duke of York, the Prince of Wales and HM Queen Victoria, in whose honour, he constructed the Victoria Town Hall (1894) in Bobbili; G.C.I.E. [cr.1911], K.C.I.E. [cr.1895], title of Raja recognized as hereditary in 1888, Maharaja [cr.1899]; married 1stly in 1878, Rani (name unknown), died 1880, married 2ndly, 1881, Rani (name unknown), sister of the first wife, died in childbirth 1883, married 3rdly, 1888, Rani (name unknown), and had issue. He died 1926 (or 1921).
Sri Raja Venkata Kumara Krishna Ranga Rao Bahadur Garu (by 1st wife), born 1880, married April 1898, Rani Laxmi Venkayamma, and had issue. He died September 1920.
Sri Victoria Venkata Ramanamma, born 22nd October 1899.
Raja Sir Sri Varu RAMAKRISHNA SWETHA CHALAPATI Ranga Rao Bahadur (qv)
Maharajkumar (name unknown) (by 2nd wife), born 1883, died 1887.
Sri Raja Rao Sri Rama Krishna Ranga Rao Bahadur (by 3rd wife), Zamindar Of Kirlampudi, born 29th August 1892, married and had issue. He died after 1938.

[?Sri Raja Rao Rangamannar Krishna Ranga Rao, Zamindar of Kirlampudi? fl.1992]

Raja Sir Sri RAMAKRISHNA SWETHA CHALAPATI Ranga Rao Bahadur Garu 1926/1978, born 20th February 1901 in Bobbili, Madras Presidency, K.C.I.E., privately educated by English and Indian tutors, Member of Council of State 1925/1927, Member of Madras Legislative Council 1930; served as Chancellor of Andhra University in 1931, he attended the second Round Table Conference held in London in 1931 as a representative of the Indian landholders; President of the South Indian Liberal Federation 1932/1938, 5th and 7th Chief Minister of Tamil Naidu (Madras) [5.11.1932] - [4.4.1936] and [24.8.1936] - [1.4.1937]; Member of the Constituent Assembly of India 1946/1951; M.L.A. (Andhra Pradesh) for Bobbili 1967/1972; his interests were horse racing (winning a number of cups) and polo; he married 1921, Rani Laxmi Subhadrayamma of the Tellaprole Zamindari family (#1), and had issue. He died 10th March 1978 in Bobbili, Madras.
Raja Sri Rao Venkata GOPAL KRISHNA Ranga Rao Ravu Bahadur (qv)

Raja Sri Rao Venkata GOPAL KRISHNA Ranga Rao Ravu Bahadur.