O. P. Ramaswamy
(1895 – 1970) – (Tamilnadu)
Omandur Ramasamy Reddiyar (Aged 85) was an Indian freedom fighter and politician of the Indian National Congress who served as the Premier of Madras Presidency from 23 March 1947 to 6 April 1949. He was born on 1 February 1895 in Omandur, Villupuram, Tamil Nadu, India, to a Reddiar family. Ramaswamy Reddy received his schooling at Walter Scudder School and entered the Indian independence movement at an early age. He was a devotee of Vallalar.
During his tenure as Chief Minister of Madras, from 23 March 1947 to 6 April 1949, the Madras Temple Entry Authorization Act of 1947 was passed, which gave Dalits and other prohibited Hindus full and complete rights to enter Hindu temples. The Devadasi Dedication Abolition Act of 1947, which put an end to the devadasi system that was in vogue in many Hindu temples, was also passed during his tenure.
India achieved independence from the United Kingdom during Reddy’s tenure. After independence and partition of India, there was a shortage of food grains, especially rice, in the province. To tackle this issue, Reddy ordered the purchase of a de Havilland Dove, the first airplane to be owned by the Government of Madras.
After his Premiership of Madras Presidency came to an end in April 1949, Reddy was elected to the Constituent Assembly of India. He passed away on 25 August 1970, in Vadalure, Cuddalore, Tamil Nadu, India. The complex of buildings that houses the Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly has been named after him, and a commemorative postage stamp was released in his honor on 25 August 2010.