Chidambaram Subramaniam

Bharat Ratna
Chidambaram Subramaniam

C. Subramaniam at a felicitation function
Minister of Agriculture
In office
Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri
Preceded by Swaran Singh
Succeeded by Jagjivan Ram
Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission
In office
2 May 1971  22 July 1972
Prime Minister Indira Gandhi
Preceded by D. R. Gadgil
Succeeded by Durga Prasad Dhar
Minister of Finance
In office
Prime Minister Indira Gandhi
Preceded by Yashwantrao Chavan
Succeeded by Haribhai M. Patel
Minister of Defence
In office
28 July 1979  14 January 1980
Prime Minister Charan Singh
Preceded by Jagjivan Ram
Succeeded by Indira Gandhi
Governor of Maharashtra
In office
15 February 1990  9 January 1993
Preceded by Kasu Brahmananda Reddy
Succeeded by P. C. Alexander
Personal details
Born (1910-01-30)30 January 1910
Died 7 November 2000(2000-11-07) (aged 90)

Chidambaram Subramaniam (commonly known as CS) (30 January 1910 – 7 November 2000), was an Indian politician and Independence activist. He served as Minister of Finance and Minister of Defence in the union cabinet. He later served as the Governor of Maharashtra. As the Minister for Food and Agriculture, he ushered the Indian Green Revolution, an era of self-sufficiency in food production along with M. S. Swaminathan, B. Sivaraman and Norman E. Borlaug.[1]

Early life and education

Subramaniam was born on 30 January 1910 Senguttaipalayam near Pollachi in Coimbatore district, Tamil Nadu.[2] Subramaniam completed his early education in Pollachi before moving to Chennai where he did his B.Sc in Physics at the Presidency College, Chennai. Later he graduated with degree in law from Madras Law college, Chennai. During his college days, he started Vanamalar Sangam and published a magazine called Pithan from Gobichettipalayam along with Periyasaamy Thooran, K. S. Ramaswamy Gounder, O. V. Alagesan and Justice Palanisami.[3] His inspiration was his uncle Swami Chidbhavananda.

Political career

Early years

Subramaniam was an active member of the Civil disobedience movement against the British during his college days. He was imprisoned during the Quit India Movement in 1942.[2] He was later elected to the Constituent Assembly and had a hand in the framing of the Constitution of India. He was a minister of Education, Law and Finance for Madras State from 1952 to 1962 under chief ministers Rajaji and K. Kamaraj. He was the Leader of the House in the Madras Legislative Assembly for the entire duration. He was elected to the Lok Sabha in 1962 and was the Minister for Steel and Mines. Subsequently, he served as the Minister for Food and Agriculture. He also worked as the Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission from 2 May 1971 to 22 July 1972.

Green Revolution

Along with M. S. Swaminathan and B. Sivaraman, Subramaniam was the architect of India’s modern agricultural development policy, after the success of his programme which led to a record production of wheat in 1972 termed as the Indian Green Revolution. As Minister for Food and Agriculture, he introduced high-yielding varieties of seeds and more intensive application of fertilizers which paved the way for increased output of cereals and attainment of self-sufficiency in food-grains in the country. About his contribution, Dr. Norman E. Borlaug, writes: The vision and influence of Mr. Subramaniam in bringing about agricultural change and in the very necessary political decisions needed to make the new approach effective, should never be under-emphasized. The groundwork for this advance (in the production of wheat) was solidly laid during that period (1964–67) when Mr. Subramaniam was the guiding political force instituting change.[1]

He appointed M. S. Swaminathan, who played a major role in green revolution and Verghese Kurien as the chairman of National Dairy Development Board when he ushered the Indian White Revolution. Kurien says, that the key role played by Subramaniam in the whole thing (Operation Flood) is hardly mentioned. He founded the National Agro Foundation, Chennai and Bharathidasan Institute of Management, Tiruchirappalli.[4]

Finance ministry and emergency

When the Indian National Congress split in 1969, he became the interim president of Congress (I) started by Indira Gandhi. Later, he was appointed as Minister of Finance in the union cabinet by Indira Gandhi. He advised her to devalue Indian rupee and was the finance minister during the emergency in 1976.[3] After the emergency, he parted ways with Indira and joined the breakaway Congress faction led by Devraj Urs and Kasu Brahmananda Reddy.

Later years

He was appointed as the union Minister of Defence by Charan Singh in 1979. He became the Governor of Maharashtra in 1990. He resigned after his criticism of the style of functioning of the then Indian Prime Minister P. V. Narasimha Rao.[5]




A commemorative coin in his honour, was released by the Government of India in August 2010.[8] A commemorative postage stamp was also released in his honour, in 2010.[9]


  1. 1 2 3 "C. Subramaniam, bio data". Rajbhavan, Maharashra state, India. Archived from the original on 7 April 2013.
  2. 1 2 3 "CS ushered in Green Revolution". The Hindu. India. 8 November 2000. Retrieved 28 October 2011.
  3. 1 2 "A visionary and a statesman". Frontline. India. 20 March 1998. Retrieved 28 October 2011.
  4. "More light on personal facets of C. Subramaniam". The Hindu. Chennai, India. 31 October 2010. Retrieved 28 October 2011.
  5. "C Subramaniam resigns".
  6. "C.Subramaniam awarded Bharat Ratna". Rediff. 18 February 1998. Archived from the original on 3 February 2014. Retrieved 28 October 2011.
  7. "C Subramaniam passes away". Business Line. India. 8 November 2000. Retrieved 28 October 2011.
  8. "Yeoman services rendered by Subramaniam to nation recalled". The Hindu. India. 28 August 2010. Retrieved 28 October 2011.

External links

Political offices
Preceded by
Swaran Singh
Minister of Agriculture
1964 1966
Succeeded by
Jagjivan Ram
Preceded by
D. R. Gadgil
Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission
1971 1972
Succeeded by
Durga Prasad Dhar
Preceded by
Yashwantrao Chavan
Finance Minister of India
1975 1977
Succeeded by
H. M. Patel
Preceded by
Jagjivan Ram
Defence Minister of India
1979 1980
Succeeded by
Indira Gandhi
Preceded by
Kasu Brahmananda Reddy
Governor of Maharashtra
1990 1993
Succeeded by
P. C. Alexander
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