27 November 1888
First Lok Sabha Speaker G V Mavalankar was born.
On 27 November 1888, Ganesh Vasudev Mavalankar, the first Speaker of the Lok Sabha was born into a Marathi family in Baroda.
- Mavalankar grew up in different parts of the erstwhile Bombay Presidency.
- He moved to Ahmedabad in 1902 to pursue higher studies. In 1908, he passed out of Gujarat College with a BA in Science. In 1909, he was a Dakshina Fellow of the same college. After that, he shifted to law.
- Mavalankar started his legal career in 1913 and soon established a sound practice. At the same time, he was also keen on social work. His pursuit of social work enabled him to have contact with prominent national leaders of the time like Mahatma Gandhi and Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel.
- From his young age itself, Mavalankar was associated with several social organisations. He was the Honorary Secretary of the Gujarat Education Society. He was also appointed the Secretary of the Gujarat Sabha in 1916.
- He became a member of the Indian National Congress and took an active part in the freedom struggle in the thirties and forties. He was also imprisoned for a total of 6 years for these activities.
- In 1921-22, he became the Secretary of the Gujarat Provincial Congress Committee.
- He played a solid part in the Kheda Campaign, and was also involved in flood and famine relief works.
- From 1919 to 1937, he was a strong member of the Ahmedabad Municipality. He became its president in 1930-33 and then again in 1935-36.
- Apart from social work and politics, he was also an active contributor in the education sector. He worked as a professor of law for some time.
- He was the founder and President of the Ahmedabad Education Society. He also served as President of the Gujarat Vernacular Society. He also worked hard to mobilise resources for the Gujarat University.
- Mavalankar has also authored many books based on his huge life experience.
- In 1937, he was elected to the Bombay Legislative Assembly from Ahmedabad. He was made the Speaker of the Assembly in his first legislative stint itself. He was to remain the speaker till 1946.
- In 1946, he was elected the Speaker of the Central Legislative Assembly. He occupied that post till August 15th 1947 when the Central Legislative Assembly was dissolved and the Constituent Assembly was formed.
- Mavalankar again was made the Speaker of the Constituent Assembly (Legislative) on November 17, 1947.
- He was made the speaker of the Provisional Parliament which was formed in November 26, 1949. Until 1952, he occupied this chair.
- The first Lok Sabha was constituted in 1952. Mavalankar was the obvious choice of Speaker. He defeated the opponent to the post of speaker by a comfortable margin.
- As speaker, he made several innovations to the rules of the house. He was largely responsible for the ‘Question Hour’ session being a regular and significant aspect of the parliament. It was again Mavalankar who initiated the discussion on ‘President’s Address’ and ‘Motion of Thanks’.
- He also took initiatives to start committees like the Rules Committee, the Business Advisory Committee, the Committee of Privileges, the Committee on Subordinate Legislation, the Committee on Private Members’ Bills and Resolutions, the Committee on Absence of Members from the Sittings of the House, the Committee on Government Assurances, Joint Committee on Salaries and Allowances of Members of Parliament, etc.
- In fact, Mavalankar created and established many rules for procedure and conduct of the House which are followed to this day.
- He was nicknamed the ‘Father of the Lok Sabha’ by Jawaharlal Nehru. He was also fondly called ‘Dadasaheb’.
- As a Speaker, he was exemplary due to his non-partisanship despite his affiliations to the INC. Throughout his tenure as speaker he did not take an active part in party politics.
- In 1950, he represented India at the opening ceremony of the new House of Commons in London.
- Mavalankar had a cardiac arrest in January 1956 and a month later on 27 February 1956, he passed away in Ahmedabad. He had been serving as the Lok Sabha Speaker when he died. He was 67.
Also on This Day
1001: Battle of Peshawar in which Mahmud of Ghazni defeated the Hindu Shahi king Jayapala. 1907: Birth of eminent Hindi poet Harivansh Rai Bachchan. 2008: Death of former Indian Prime Minister V P Singh.
See previous ‘This Day in History’ here.