Violet Alva

Violet Alva

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Category: Politics

Violet Alva Profile

  • Name:
  • Violet Alva
  • Father:
  • Laxman Hari
  • Spouse:
  • Joachim Alva

Violet Alva Biography

Violet Alva was an Indian lawyer and politician of Indian National Congress. She has served as the Deputy Chairperson of the Rajya Sabha in 1962 thereby becoming the first female to preside over the Rajya Sabha in its history. She was married to famous politician, lawyer and journalist, Joachim Alva who was also one of the prominent freedom fighters of Christian community. She along with Joachim Alva was the first married couple in the Indian Parliament. Their son, Niranjan is married to Margaret Alva, former General Secretary of the All India Congress Committee and Governor of Uttarakhand and presently Governor of Rajasthan. Niret Alva- an entrepreneur is their grandson. The Government of India issued a stamp commemorating Violet and Joachim Alva in November 2008.


Alva was born Violet Hari on April 24, 1908 in Ahmedabad. Her father, Reverend Laxman Hari, was one of the first Indian pastors of the Church of England. She lost both her parents at the age of 16 and her education was later provided by her elder siblings. She was the eighth of 9 children. She completed matriculation at Bombay's Clare Road Convent and later graduated from St. Xavier's College, Bombay and Government Law College. She has served as the professor of English at St. Xavier's Indian Women's University College. In 1937, Violet married Joachim Alva and started legal practice together. In 1943, Violet Alva was arrested by British Indian authorities while she was pregnant.


In 1952, Violet was elected to the Rajya Sabha. She got elected for the second time in 1957 where she was appointed as the Deputy Minister of State for Home Affairs. In 1962, Alva became the Deputy Chairman of the Rajya Sabha and in 1969 Alva resigned after Indira Gandhi declined to back Alva as Vice-President of India. Three days later, she suffered a fatal cerebral hemorrhage and passed away.

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Updated: February 13, 2014

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