V. V. Giri

Varahagiri Venkata Giri commonly known as V. V. Giri was the fourth president of India from 24 August 1969 to 24 August 1974.

Updated: June 16, 2022

Varahagiri Venkata Giri commonly known as V. V. Giri was the fourth president of India from 24 August 1969 to 24 August 1974. As president, Giri was the only person to be elected as an independent candidate.


In 1967, he was elected Vice President of India. When President Zakir Husain died two year later, he became Acting President and decided to contest for Presidency. Supported by the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, he won the position by a narrow margin. He was later succeeded in office by Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed. He was born on August 10th, 1894 and died on June 24th, 1980. 


Childhood of V. V. Giri:

Varahagiri Venkata Giri was born on 10 August 1894 in Berhampur, Odisha, into a Telugu speaking Brahmin family. His father, V. V. Jogayya Pantulu, was a prominent lawyer and political activist while his mother, Subhadramma was active in the national movement as well. 


Education of V. V. Giri:

He completed his initial education at the Khallikote College in Berhampur. In 1913, he went to Ireland to study law at University College Dublin. In Dublin, he was deeply influenced by the Irish fight for independence.  


Family of V. V. Giri:

V.V. Giri was married to Saraswati Bai and had a big family. The couple had 14 children together.


Some facts about V. V. Giri:

  • He was a key figure in the trade union movement of India. It was due to his efforts that the labour force could demand and acquire their rights. He not only organised the labour force of India and improved their condition, but also included them in the national struggle for independence.
  • From June 1957-1960, he was Governor of Uttar Pradesh, from 1960-1965, he was Governor of Kerala and from 1965-1967, he was Governor of Karnataka.
  • As Governor of three different states, he started new activities and emerged as a guide for the new generation. In the meantime in 1958, he was elected as the President of the Indian Conference of Social Work.
  • In May 1967, he was elected the third Vice President of India and remained in office for the next two years. When President Zakir Hussain died on 3rd May, 1969 he was elevated to the office of Acting President the same day.
  • As he wanted to become President, on 20 July 1969 he resigned from the post of Acting President to contest elections as an independent candidate. However, before resigning, he circulated an ordinance that nationalised 14 banks and insurance companies.
  • Giri was sworn in as President of India on 24 August 1969 and he held office for a full term of five years.
  • He wrote two important books, one on 'Industrial Relations' and the other on 'Labour Problems in Indian Industry'. These books highlighted his practical yet human approach in organising labour forces.
  • The Government of India honoured Giri with India's highest civilian award, the Bharat Ratna, in 1975, for his contributions in the area of public affairs.
  • The National Labour Institute was renamed after him in 1995 to honour his contribution to the labour movement in India. It is now known as V.V Giri National Labour Institute.
  • A commemorative postage stamp on V.V Giri was released by the Indian Posts and Telegraphs Department in 1974.
  • Giri's hometown of Berhampur has a major road, a secondary training school and a market that are named after him.
  • He died of a heart attack in Chennai on 24 June 1980.



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