K. R. Narayanan

Kocheril Raman Narayanan famously known as K. R. Narayanan was the tenth President of India and ninth Vice President of India.

Updated: June 16, 2022

Kocheril Raman Narayanan famously known as K. R. Narayanan was the tenth President of India and ninth Vice President of India. During the course of his service he distinguished himself as one of the best diplomats of the country. He joined politics on the request of Indira Gandhi and served as a minister in Rajiv Gandhi's cabinet. Elected as the ninth Vice President in 1992, Narayanan went on to become President in 1997. He was the first member of the Dalit community to hold the post. He was born on October 27th, 1920 and died on November 9th, 2005.


Childhood of K. R. Narayanan:

K.R. Narayanan was born on October 27, 1920 in Travancore, Kerala to Kocheril Raman Vaidyar and Punnaththuraveettil Paappiyamma. He was born into a very poor Dalit family and was the fourth among the seven siblings. His family suffered the backlash of the prevalent caste system of those times.


Education of K. R. Narayanan:

He received his early education from Government Lower Primary School, Kurichithanam and later got enrolled at Our Lady of Lourdes Primary School at Uzhavoor, in 1931. He did his B.A. and M.A. in English Literature from the University of Travancore (presently known as the University of Kerala), in 1943. He topped the university and became the first Dalit to pass his degree with first class in Travancore. He had to walk for miles to reach his school only to stand outside the class to attend the lecture as his fees was always due. Even with such hardships, Narayanan finished his post graduate studies from the University of Kerala with first position.


Narayanan went to England in 1945 and studied Economics and Political Science at the London School of Economics (LSE) after getting a scholarship from J.R.D. Tata which he had apporached. He completed his B. Sc. (Economics) honors degree with specialization in Political Science in 1948 and returned to India.


Family of K. R. Narayanan:

Narayanan met an activist named Ma Tint when he was posted in Burma during his IFS days and they got married on 8 June 1951. She became an Indian citizen and adopted the name Usha. The couple had two daughters together.


Some facts about K. R. Narayanan:

  • Narayanan went to Delhi to pursue a career as a journalist after finishing his studies. He worked for the famous newspapers like, The Hindu and The Times of India from 1944-45.
  • Narayanan joined IFS in 1949. He worked as a diplomat in Rangoon, Tokyo, London, Canberra, and Hanoi. He also served as India's ambassador to Thailand, Turkey, and the People's Republic of China.
  • He played a key role in improving India's relations with China and the United States, respectively. He retired from IFS in 1978.
  • As a President, he brought a new dignity to the office. He was not a 'rubber stamp' president and judiciously exercised the discretionary powers vested in the office of the President. He explained to the nation about his decisions, and brought openness and transparency in the functioning of the President.
  • His wife was the only woman of foreign origin who became the First Lady of India.
  • K.R. Narayanan died on 9 November 2005, at the age of 85, due to pneumonia and renal failure.



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