Biography of S. Shungrasoobyer

Indian Administrator S. Shungrasoobyer Biography
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S. Shungrasoobyer (1836-1904) CIE, also known as Sankara Subha Iyer, was an Indian administrator who served as the Dewan of Travancore state from 1892 to 1898.

S. Shungrasoobyer Early life

Shungrasoobyer was born in 1836 in Travancore. His maternal grandfather was a pundit of the Appeal Court. Shungrasoobyer had his schooling at the Rajah’s Free School, Trivandrum. On completion of his schooling in 1853, Shungrsoobyer joined the Travancore state service as a teacher on a monthly salary of Rs. 5.

S. Shungrasoobyer Civil service

Shungrasoobyer’s talents were spotted by the then Diwan, Sir T. Madhava Rao who appointed him Deputy Sheristadar of Police. Shungrasoobyer served as the Director of Vernacular education and as Boundary Commissioner, helped resolve a boundary dispute between the Travancore and Cochin states.

In 1882, Shungrasoobyer was appointed Settlement Diwan Peishkar of the Revenue Settlement by the then Diwan V. Ramiengar. Shungrasoobyer performed his job well and successfully completed the settlement of Najanad, Trivandrum and Chirayinkil taluks. In 1888, Shungrasoobyer was nominated to the Travancore Legislative Assembly.
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Tenure as Dewan

Travancore was witnessing a movement for Dalit upliftment at the time Shankara Subba Iyer became Dewan in 1892. There was no representation for the low-caste Hindu community Ezhavas in the Travancore Legislative Council, constituted in 1888.

Hence, in 1895, the Ezhavas presented a memorial to the Dewan demanding more political representation.  However, the Ezhavas received no response.

Later life and death

Shungrasoobyer retired as Diwan in April 1898 on a monthly pension of Rs. 800. The Government of British India recognized his services by making him a Companion of the Order of the Indian Empire. Sir Arthur Havelock, the Governor of Madras appointed him a non-official member of the Madras Legislative Council.

Shungrasoobyer died in September 1904.