Vizagites of Substance

The Quintessential Vizagite: Mr. D.V. Subba Rao
(Courtesy: Prof. A. Prasanna Kumar/ The Hindu)
Mr. D.V. Subba Rao

Mr. D. V. Subba Rao is the first mofussil lawyer to make it as the Chairman of the Bar Council of India. He is a soft-spoken man whose views are nevertheless heard with respect and admiration because beneath the eloquent and skilful presentation is his unwavering adherence to high ideals. Which is the reason why eminent judges and jurists hold him in great esteem. Says the former Chief Justice of India, P. N. Bhagawati, "He is a man of high integrity and and diligence and exceptional character, with large experience in public life and breadth of vision which is not confined to law but extends to a wide range of activities."

He has done Andhra and in particular Vizag proud by being a member of the prestigious Justice V. S. Malimath Committee on reforms of the criminal justice system and the Justice M. Jagannadha Rao Committee constituted by the Apex court to suggest ways for effective implementation of Section 89 (2) of the Code of Civil Procedures.

All this, is in addition to being the Bar Council of India (BCI) Chief and shouldering the arduous task of laying down the standards of legal education and initiating steps for inculcating discipline in the legal profession. Under his able leadership, the BCI has embarked upon several procedures to improve the overall image of the legal profession and by organising seminars and workshops for a start.

While in college, he was the President of the Andhra University Law College as well as the Captain of the A.U cricket team that won the inter-collegiate championship for the Tirumurthi Shield in 1955. He displayed excellent leadership qualities years later as a Lion Governor.

He made a conscious decision to plunge into politics much against the advise of many of his friends. He became the Chairman of the Visakhapatnam Urban Development Authority and two years later he fought a hard election to become Mayor in 1987. He proved all his friends and critics wrong by demonstrating that honesty and integrity does count in public life, if one had a vision or goal and the will to achieve it. His term as a Mayor saw the city being beautified along the beach and as well as the other environs. The completion of the Corporation Stadium for the international cricket matches, launching of projects like Gurazada Kalakshetram, Vizag Museum, Appu Ghar, Indoor Aquarium, widening of the roads and greening the hill range of Vizag are a few to reckon with. He is the only mayor selected from India, to participate in the UNICEF Conference held at Dakar (Senegal) in 1991 known as 'Mayors as Defenders of Children'.He has headed the Cricket Association of Vizag for the last 12 years and went to the West Indies in 1997 as the Administrative Manager of the Indian Cricket Team. Perhaps his only disappointment could be, his inability to get elected to the Parliament to represent the city he loves so much.

"Mr. Durvasula Venkata Subba Rao is the quintessential Vizagite. His rise in public life coincided with the city's rise to national and international prominence. Fame and exalted positions have failed to corrode his innate goodness just as age has not dimmed his capacity for hard work. He embodies the spirit of Vizag marked by cultural catholicity and vibrancy of outlook and enduring humility".