Apr 22, 2012

Portrait of K. M. Pannikar - 1946

Sardar Kavalam Madhava Panikkar (or K. M. Panikkar) (June 3, 1895[1] – December 10, 1963) was an Indian scholar, journalist, historian, administrator and diplomat. He was born to Puthillathu Parameswaran Namboodiri and Chalayil Kunjikutti Kunjamma in the Kingdom of Travancore, then a princely state in the British Indian Empire on June 3,1895.

He entered political life in the service of the Indian princes, becoming secretary to the chancellor of the Chamber of Princes (organization of rulers of the princely states). He also served as the foreign minister of the state of Patiala and as foreign minister and later as chief minister of the state of Bikaner (1944–47).

After India gained its independence, he was entrusted with greater responsibilities as ambassador to China (1948–52), Egypt (1952–53), and France (1956–59). He was a member of the States Reorganisation Commission.Regarding State Reorganization K.M Panicker said "The newly fashioned units,it is true, have a self conscious coherence, but they are willing, thus equipped, to work as parts of a whole that is India" Late in life, he returned to academia and was vice-chancellor of the University of Mysore until his death.

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Photographer: Margaret Bourke-White
Source: Life Archive hosted by Google