R. K. Shanmukham Chetty

R. K. Shanmukham Chetty

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R. K. Shanmukham Chetty

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Sir Ramasamy Chetty Kandasamy Shanmukham Chetty <small>KCIE</small> () (b. October 17, 1892 – d. May 6, 1953) was an Indian lawyer, economist and politician who served as independent India's first finance minister from 1947 to 1949. He also served as President of India's Central Legislative Assembly from 1933 to 1935 and Diwan of Cochin kingdom from 1935 to 1941.

Shanmukham Chetty was born in Coimbatore in 1892 and studied at Madras Christian College and Madras Law College. On completion of his education, Shanmukham Chetty joined politics and served both in the Indian nationalist Swaraj Party as well as the pro-British Justice Party. Shanmukham Chetty was elected to the Central Legislative Assembly of India and served as its Deputy President from 1931 to 1935. On losing the 1935 elections, Chetty returned to South India where he served as Diwan of Cochin kingdom from 1935 to 1941. On India's independence in 1947, Jawaharlal Nehru, the first Prime Minister of India controversially chose Chetty as his Finance Minister despite the latter's well known pro-British leanings. Shanmukham Chetty died on March 3, 1953.

During his public life, Chetty also identified with a number of social causes. He was a strong supporter of the Tamil Isai Movement. Shanmukham Chetty was the Finance Minister of India when the country's first budget was tabled in Parliament on November 26, 1947.

Early life

Shanmukham Chetty was born to Kandasamy Chetty in Vaaniar Street, Coimbatore on...
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