Source: L. F. Rushbrook Williams, Great Men of India (Bombay: 1939)

V. S. Srinivasa Sastri

V.S. Srinivasa Sastri, Gopal KrishnaGokhale’s successor in the Servants of India Society, was born on September 24, 1869.

Sastri was a member of Gokhale’s society for a long time, while serving as headmaster in a reowned high school. He was shortlisted as Gokhale’s successor but Gokhale passed away because he could make a final decision. After a discussion, the decision that Sastri should become President of the Servants of India Society was unanimously reached.

Sastri was a member of the Madras Legislative Council and served on the Indian Railway Committee. Later, he was elected from Madras Presidency to the Imperial Legislative Council, where he served at from 1916 to 1920. Otherwise quiet, Sastri spoke with vehemence and fire in opposition to the Rowlett Act. His honesty was well received and he was later sent as a representative to the 1921 Imperial Conference in London. This was when he was first introduced to the problems of Indians abroad, particularly the problem of equal citizenship. That year, he was elected as member of the Council of state.

During his years of service, he was plagued with serious heart disease. However, he insisted upon speaking at Queen’s Hall, where the white paper of the rights on Indians in Africa was being discussed. On account of his services to the British Commonwealth, he was appointed Privy Councillorin 1921, earning the title of Right honourable. In 1922, he undertook a tour in the Dominions (except South Africa). From 1927 to 1929, Sastri served as high commissioner for India in South Africa. In 1929, he became a member of the Royal Commission for labour. He passed away the same year.

Sources: Sir Stanley Reed, K. T., K. B. E., LL. D. and Francis Low, Indian Year Book 1934-35: Volume XXI, (Bombay: Bennet, Coleman & Co., Ltd., 1935); L. F. Rushbrook Williams, Great Men of India (Bombay: 1939)

Works

Self-Government for India under the British Flag (Allahabad: Servants of India Society, 1900)

Ideas of IndiaIdeas of India