''Diwan Bahadur'' Sir Narasimha Ayyangar Gopalaswami Ayyangar, CSI, CIE (31 March 1882 – 10 February 1953), Member of the Drafting Committee of the Constitution, was a leader of the Rajya Sabha and a cabinet minister in the Government of India, first as a minister without portfolio but looking after Kashmir Affairs, and later as the railway minister. In his Kashmir Affairs role, he represented India at the United Nations Security Council and later drafted the Article 370 of the Indian Constitution that granted autonomy to Jammu and Kashmir.

Early Life and Education

Gopalaswami Ayyangar was born on 31 March 1882 in Tanjore District Madras Presidency. He studied at th
Wesley School
and at the Presidency and Law Colleges in Madras, whereafter, for a short period in 1904, he was an Assistant Professor in Pachaiyappa's College.


In 1905, Ayyangar joined the Madras Civil Service. He served as a Deputy Collector till 1919, and was promoted Collector and District Magistrate in 1920. He was the Registrar-General of Panchayats and Inspector of Local Boards for seven years from 1921. During this time many villages panchayats were organized in the districts of Ramnad and Guntur. Then for three years, he was Collector and District Magistrate in Anantapur. Following that he was Inspector of Municipal Councils and Local Boards till 1932. Mr. Ayyangar served as Secretary to Government in the Public Works Department from 1932 to 1934. Finally, he served as a member of the Board of Revenue until 1937. The second phase of his career was devoted to politics. He was Prime Minister of Jammu and Kashmir from 1937-1943 and was appointed Council of State from 1943-1947. During that time he was Chairman of the Committee for the Indianisation of Army. From 1947-1948 he served as Minister without Portfolio in the first cabinet under Jawaharlal Nehru. This was followed by his sojourn as Minister of Railways and Transport from 1948-1952, and finally, he served as Defence Minister from 1952-1953.

Prime Minister of Kashmir (1937-1943)

Ayyangar's political career gained prominence during his tenure as Prime Minister of Jammu and Kashmir (1937-43).

Government of India

Constituent Assembly of India

In 1946, Ayyangar was elected to the Constituent Assembly of India, which convened in December 1946 with Jawaharlal Nehru as its president. Ayyangar was appointed to the thirteen-member Drafting Committee that formulated the Indian Constitution.N. Gopalaswami Ayyangar
Constituent Assembly Debates web site, retrieved 4 January 2018.

Kashmir affairs

Soon after the accession of Jammu and Kashmir in October 1947, Nehru appointed Ayyangar as a cabinet minister without portfolio and asked him to look after Kashmir affairs, while Nehru himself held the overall charge for Kashmir. The move caused frictions with the home minister Vallabhbhai Patel, who should have normally been responsible for Kashmir along with all other princely states. Ayyangar led the delegation representing India in the United Nations over the Kashmir dispute in 1948. In 1952, Prime Minister Nehru appointed him as India's representative in the ongoing negotiations and discussions about Kashmir at the Geneva talks. Ayyangar was the chief drafter of Article 370 which granted local autonomy to the state of Jammu and Kashmir.Thalpiyal, Sheru, Maj. Gen.
"Article 370: The Untold Story."
''Indian Defence Review'' 26.1, 2011

Minister of Railways and Transport

During his tenure as Minister for Railways and Transport from 1948–52, the railways experienced considerable growth and expansion in services and equipment. He was the main architect in the regrouping of the Indian Railways into six zonal systems - Central, Eastern, Northern, North-eastern, Southern, and Western. Under his leadership, the operation of the railways was smooth and productive. The railway budget also reported surplus earnings at this time.

Reorganization of Government

In 1949, he presented his report on the "Reorganization of the Government Machinery" in an effort to streamline government services and maintain efficiency in the public sphere. He recommended the establishment of four standing committees, and, as a result of this report, the Defence Committee, the Economic Committee, the Parliamentary and Legal Affairs Committee, and the Administrative Organization Committee were formed by the Union government.


Ayyangar died in Madras at the age of 71 on 10 February 1953, and was survived by his wife, a son, G. Parthasarathy, who was then Assistant Editor of ''The Hindu'', and a daughter.


A distinguished administrator and a civil servant, Ayyangar held seven titles until 1947 including the title of Diwan Bahadur, the highest title awarded by a British viceroy. Other titles conferred on him by the British government were a Companion of the Order of the Indian Empire (CIE) in the 1935 Silver Jubilee and Birthday Honours list, a Companion of the Order of the Star of India (CSI) in the 1937 Coronation Honours list and a knighthood in 1941 New Year Honours list.London Gazette, 1 January 1941


External links

{{DEFAULTSORT:Ayyangar, N. Gopalaswami Category:Tamil civil servants Category:Members of the Constituent Assembly of India Category:Indian knights Category:Knights Bachelor Category:Companions of the Order of the Star of India Category:Companions of the Order of the Indian Empire Category:People of the Kashmir conflict Category:1882 births Category:1953 deaths Category:Politicians from Chennai Category:Permanent Representatives of India to the United Nations Category:Rajya Sabha members from Tamil Nadu Category:Dewan Bahadurs Category:Chief Ministers of Jammu and Kashmir Category:Railway Ministers of India Category:Defence Ministers of India Category:Members of the Cabinet of India