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Speaker

Alphons Kannanthanam

Alphons Joseph Kannanthanam is an Indian civil servant, advocate, and politician. He is currently serving as the Union Minister of State for Electronics and Information Technology, Culture, and Tourism, in office since 3 September 2017 under the B.J.P. Government of Narendra Modi.

Alphons’s life is nothing short of a miracle. Having passed his high school with 42% from a non electrified village Malayalam medium school, he became one of the toppers of the 1979 batch of the IAS. He vowed that he would never be a door mat for the politician, but would be a voice of the hapless citizen. For 27 years he was their voice, running pitched battles against the corrupt system. He was rated to be one of the most competent officers in the history of the civil service. He was in TIME magazine’s list of 100 young global leaders in 1994. He is an inspirational orator and has spoken to over three million people, mostly students, in the past 35 years. In 2006, he quit IAS, contested as an independent from Kanjirappally constituency and got elected as an MLA on 32nd day with a huge majority, spending less than Rs10 lakhs. He decided that he wanted to be a different kind of an MLA. He drove his own car and lived in a tiny room in the rest house and got allocated Rs 350 crores for the constituency and won the best MLA award.