Sir M & Lady Andal

sirM SIR. M. VENKATASUBBA RAO - A Beautiful Life

Sir M. Venkatasubba Rao was born on 18th July, 1878. After a brilliant academic career, he graduated from Madras Christian College. On securing his B.L. Degree, he became apprenticed to Sir. C.V. Kumaraswamy Sastri. He was enrolled as a Vakil in July 1903. In July 1904, he formed a partnership with Mr. Radhakrishnaya, his collegemate, and they practiced under the name of Venkatasubba Rao and Radhakrishnaya.

In the space of few years, Sir. M. Venkatasubba Rao became one of the leaders of the Bar. His forte was on the Original Side.

He was appointed Judge of the Madras High Court in 1921. His appointment was unique in two ways. He was the first practitioner on the Original Side to be appointed a Judge. Secondly, he was the youngest person to sit on the bench of the Madras High Court.

In the year 1922, he married Andalamma. This marriage was a milestone in his life, in as much as together with her, he was able to implement his passion for social welfare and reform, in founding the Madras Seva Sadan.

For his outstanding ability as a Judge, he was knighted in 1936.

After serving as a Judge for about 17 years, he retired in 1939 as the acting Chief Justice of the Madras High Court.

Later in 1939, he was appointed as the Agent for Berar of the Nizam of Hyderabad. This choice fell on him and it was given to him as the first agent to lay the foundation, to divise the pattern and set the tradition of the hig and unique office which had no precedence to fall back on.

He will always be remembered first and foremost as one of the greatest who adorned the Madras High Court.
Sir. h1. Venkatasubba Rao’s judicial career was marked by his passion farjustice, complete independence of outlook and adherence to the truth as he saw it. He had an iron will and never accepted conformity or ready acquiescence as a principle of action. As a result, his long judicial career was one of the most successful and eventful in Madras Legal History. Sir M. Venkatasubba Rao had a passion for thoroughness which he carried into his everyday life. He hated shoddines and disorder. He was scrupulously particular about dress and food. Cleanliness was to him a part of Godliness. Then again, in his public activities, he was equally thorough. He could not tolerate anything slipshod, anything vague and equivocal or anything which was underhand. He was always kind and courteous. He was a great philanthropist, giving away a great part of his wealth for social causes, in particular to the Madras Seva Sadan.
Another great passion of his was for Social Reform. He stood for the rights of women and their status in Hindu Society. The Madras Seva Sadan is a standing monument of his zeal and enthusiasm to uplift Indian women.

At the age of 82 years, on 30th December 1960, he reached the lotus feet of the Almighty, ending a glorious and beautiful life.
To commemorate the name of the Founder, the Madras Seva Sadan started the Sir. Sir. M. Venkatasubba Rao Matriculation Higher Secondary School at T. Nagar in 1971.

(Padma Bhusan)

One hundred years ago, Madras was, as you can imagine, a very different place, where huge, shady trees formed lovely avenues, very few vehicles were seen on the road, and people led gracious, simple lives.

It was, in other ways, not an idyllic place. There were many injustices in those days, especially against women, who were not treated well at all.

It was into that world that our founder, Andalamma, was born in the year 1894. Since she came from a well-to-do family, she had the benefit of good education (not many girls did, in those days). She went to St. Thomas Convent, Mylapore and the Presidency High School, Madras and she learnt all the crafts and skills of a young lady of her time. Andalamma, as she grew up, was also learning something else that no school taught, but everyone needed. That special `something’ was Social Awarness-the ability to feel compassion for the poor, helpless and less fortunate and the desire to some day do something to change their plight.

Little did she realise how her opportunity would come. At a very young age, Andalamma became a widow and thought she must now accept a life of seclusion-for widows in those days could not remarry or mingle in society.

It was then she met the person who would change her life the Hon’ble Justice M. Venkatasubba Rao, a brilliant and much respected judge who was determined to make Andallama his wife-a brave gesture in those times! Justice Venkatasubba Rao was a very special man-learned, courageous and upright in his beliefs. He deeply wished to trasform the ills of society and in his young wife he found the ideal partner. Together, they set out to brighten the lives of hundreds of under-previleged people.