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Thursday, March 3, 2011

First Woman Vice-Chairperson Of Rajyasabha

                                                               
Violet Alva (April 24, 1908 - November 20, 1969) was an Indian politician and Deputy Chairperson of the Rajya Sabha..She was married to freedom fighter and later parliamentarian married to Joachim Alva in 1937.The government issued a stamp on couple in 2008. The couple had two sons and a daughter, amongst them Niranjan Alva married Margaret Alva, parliamentarian and later Governor of Uttarakhand.

In 1952, Violet was elected to the Rajya Sabha, the Upper House of the Indian Parliament. She was Council_of_Ministers_of_the_Republic_of_India Ministers_of_State|Minister of State for Ministry of Home Affairs India from 1957-1962. In 1969 she resigned after Indira Gandhi backed someone else as Vice-President of the Nation. She was in race for nomination.

When Joachim married Miss Violet Hari, M.A. L.L.B, she was a professor of English at the St. Xaviers Indian Women's University College. While he was a Manglorean Catholic, she was a Gujarathi Protestant. This wasn't a socially acceptable marriage in those times. But they made their marriage work and achieved success personally and professionally.

Violet and Joachim Alva set up legal practice together in Mumbai, later deciding that they could make a more meaningful contribution to society in journalism.On August 9, 1943, the first anniversary of Quit India Day, the couple founded 'Forum', a weekly political news-magazine.Violet later founded a women's monthly 'Begum' renamed 'Indian Woman'.

After Independence, Joachim was appointed Sheriff of Bombay in 1949. In 1950, he entered the Provisional Parliament of India. He was also elected to the Lok Sabha in 1952, 1957 and 1962 from North Kanara. In 1952, Violet was elected to the Rajya Sabha making them the first couple to be elected to Parliament under adult franchise. Violet was even in contention for the Presidential post in 1969 before being overlooked in favour of V.V. Giri.

The official Rajya Sabha site lists the following information "ALVA, SHRI JOACHIM: B.A., LL.B.; (Nominated); s. of Anna and Piedade Salvadore Alva; b. January 21, 1907; m. Shrimati Violet Hari, 2 s. and 1 d.; Member, (i) Provisional Parliament, (ii) Lok Sabha, 1952—57, 1957—62 and 1962—67 and (iii) Rajya Sabha, 3-4-1968 to 2-4-1974; Died. Obit. on 9-7-1979. " and "ALVA, SHRIMATI VIOLET: M.A., LL.B.; Congress (Mysore now Karnataka); b. April 24, 1908; m. Shri Joachim Alva, 2 s. and 1 d.; Member, (i) erstwhile Bombay Legislative Council, 1947—52 and (ii) Rajya Sabha, 3-4-1952, 10-2-4-1880, 3-4-1960 to 2-4-1966 and 3-4-1966 to 20-11-1969; Vice-Chairman, Rajya Sabha, 1953-54; Union Deputy Minister of Home Affairs, 1957—62; Deputy Chairman, Rajya Sabha, 1962—86 and 1966—69;Chairman, Committee of Privileges, Rajya Sabha, 1962—6& and 1966—69; Died. Obit. on 20-11-1969. "

A commemorative stamp of late Joachim and Violet Alva was released by President Pratibha Patil in New Delhi in November 2008, coinciding with the birth centenary year of the couple.

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