Born On: 1899
Died In: 1974
Tiruvellore Thattai Krishnamachari or T.T. Krishnamachari, was a man most noted for being the Finance Minister of the Union Government of India. T.T. Krishnamachari, however, distinguished himself as an economics genius and this was mostly because he enjoyed not one, but two terms of power as the Finance Minister of India. As far as his name goes, he was popularly known as TTK and hardly ever referred to as Tiruvellore Thattai Krishnamachari. As a politician, T.T. Krishnamachari owed his loyalties to the 'Indian National Congress' and he remained faithful to this party to the very end. Many people know that T.T. Krishnamachari was the Finance Minister of India, but not too many people that he was also a visiting professor at the 'Department of Economics' in 'Madras Christian College'. Apart from being noted for being the national Finance Minister, T.T. Krishnamachari was also recognized for being the member of the drafting committee, a successful entrepreneur and a prominent Congress leader.
Not too many details are known about the early life of Tiruvellore Thattai Krishnamachari but, from what is known, it is easy to establish that he was born into a Tamil Brahmin family. Post his initial years of schooling, T.T. Krishnamachari went on to study and graduate from the Madras Christian College or MCC as it is popularly known.
T.T. Krishnamachari was mostly known for being one of the most prominent founders of modern India. He proved extremely helpful in drafting the constitution as a very prominent member of the 'Drafting Committee' and also helped build the economic and industrial infrastructure of the country. Such accomplishments, under no means, can be considered ordinary. Speaking strictly in terms of a career, T.T. Krishnamachari began his career as a businessman, in the strictest sense of the term. He started off small, but went on to plant the foundation of the vastly successfully consumer goods firm called "TT Krishnamachari & Co." in 1928 in Chennai. The business he established is now popularly known as the 'TTK Group' and deals with a wide array of products including kitchenware, personal care, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, baby care, etc. Soon after the company began to flourish, in spite of the competition, T.T. Krishnamachari shifted his focus to politics, and here too he managed to earn an enviable reputation for himself.
For T.T. Krishnamachari, it all began when he was initially elected to the 'Madras Legislative Assembly' as an independent member. From here on there was no looking back for him and he went on to join the 'Indian National Congress'. In 1946, he was made a part of the 'Constituent Assembly' at the Centre. From 1952 to 1965, he enjoyed the responsibility of being Central Minister twice. He was made the first Minster of Commerce and Industry and then actually went to become the finance minister.
Apart from the key positions mentioned above, T.T. Krishnamachari was made and remained in charge of the steel ministry for a considerable amount of time. He became minister again in 1962, but this time around he was not handed any portfolio. But within a short span of time, he was made the Minister for Economic and Defense Corporation. Right after this responsibility was given to him, it was withdrawn and T.T. Krishnamachari was made the Finance Minister for the second time.
As far as achievements are concerned, T.T. Krishnamachari had quite a lot of them under his belt. He proved to be extremely useful in the setting up of some of India's biggest steel plants. This notwithstanding, he also played a very prominent role in the setting up of financial institutions like IDBI, UTI and ICICI in the country. During his two stints as the Finance Minister of India, T.T Krishnamachari introduced quite a number of path breaking reforms that, to this very day, are still looked up to.
T.T. Krishnamachari was a major believer and activist of social security measures that needed to be taken every now and then to ensure equitability in the country. He expanded pension schemes to help provide cover for the family members of deceased government servants and introduced this concept as the 'Family Pension Scheme' in 1964. If you look back now, you will realize that beneficial schemes such as the 'Rajasthan Canal Schemes', 'Damodar Valley Project' and even the 'Dandakaranya Valley Project' can all trace their roots to T.T. Krishnamachari. A great man indeed!
Sadly though, just like some of the greatest men of his times, T.T. Krishnamachari also found himself involved in a scandal called the Mundhra scandal. Although he didn't really have a large or obvious role to play in it, this scandal scarred the image of T.T. Krishnamachari, ultimately forcing him to let go off his responsibilities.
Later Life And Death
In spite of being as active as he was in politics, T.T. Krishnamachari decided to hang his gloves for good when he resigned from the post of 'Minister' in 1965. This he did when his term as 'Member of Parliament' was over. After bidding adieu to politics, he continued to lead an intellectually stimulating life. Not once did he make it seem like he resigned from his important post for recreational purposes. Sadly however, age and illnesses caught up with T.T. Krishnamachari and he breathed his last in 1974.
1899: Born into an orthodox Tamil Brahmin family
1928: Started off T.T. Krishnamachari & Co.
1946: Was made a part of the Constituent Assembly at the Centre
1956: Was made Union Finance Minister of India for the first time
1964: Was made Finance Minister for the second time
1965: Resigned from the post of Finance Minister
1974: Breathed his last at the age of 75