Two leaders from the same family who did an enormous service at different points of times. India’s first cabinet was a special moment for all Indians, it had the biggest names, the progressive reformers, one of the best economists and many more. One among the first cabinet was John Mathai who was in charge of the railway ministry and subsequently the Finance ministry. Before we go into the roles and responsibilities John Mathai held, it is worth noting that John Mathai’s nephew Verghese Kurien would go on to spearhead the Milk revolution of India, the benefits of which is still being reaped.
The first cabinet
John Mathai, a graduate of the Madras Christian College in economics joined the cabinet shortly after the first budget of post-independent India was formed. He was also a part-time teacher at his alma mater Madras Christian College. John Mathai, however, would resign from his office due to the alleged increase in the concentration of power of Planning Commission and then renowned economist Mahalanobis. Some suggest, Nehru had pressurized John Mathai into resignation, however, there is no substantive evidence for the same.
The famed nephew
John Mathai’s nephew would go on to spearhead one of the most celebrated success stories of post independent India i.e the White Revolution, the world’s biggest dairy development program, a revolution that transformed India from being a milk-deficient nation to the world’s largest producer of milk by surpassing the USA in 1998.