Varahagiri Venkata Giri

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Giri, Varahagiri Venkata

 

Born Aug. 10, 1894, in Berhampur. Indian political figure and statesman.

Giri received a legal education at the National University in Dublin. On his return to his homeland, he participated in the workers’ and national liberation movement and joined the Indian National Congress Party. In 1922 he became the general secretary and later the president of the All-Indian Federation of Railroad Workers. In 1926 he was elected president of the All-Indian Congress of Trade Unions, and in 1929 he participated in the creation of the All-Indian Federation of Trade Unions and became one of its leaders. From 1937 to 1939, Giri was minister of labor, industry, and cooperation in the government of Madras Province. During World War II (1939-45) he was imprisoned for his active role in the struggle against British colonial rule. In 1946 and 1947 he was minister of labor and industry in the government of the state of Madras.

From 1947 to 1951, Giri was the first ambassador from independent India to Ceylon, and from 1952 to 1954, minister of labor in the central government of India. From 1957 to 1960 he was the governor of the state of Uttar Pradesh, from 1961 to 1965 governor of the state of Kerala, and from 1965 to 1967 governor of the state of Mysore. From 1967 to May 1969 he was vice-president of India and chairman of the upper house of parliament (the Council of States). From May to July 1969 he carried out the duties of the president and since August 1969 has been president of India.