A. K. Antony Age, Caste, Family, Biography & More

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Religion: Atheism
Wife: Elizabeth Antony
Age: 83 Years

A. K. Antony

Full nameArackaparambil Kurian Antony [1]The Times of India
Names EarnedSt Antony [2]The New Indian Express
Physical Stats & More
Height (approx.)in centimeters- 163 cm
in meters- 1.63 m
in feet & inches- 5’ 4”
Eye ColourBlack
Hair ColourBlack (half-bald)
Political Party• Indian National Congress (INC) (Before 1978; 1982–present)
Indian National Congress
• Indian National Congress-Urs (1978–1980)
• Indian National Congress-A (1980–1982)
Political Journey• President of Kerala Pradesh Youth Congress Committee, 1966-69
• General Secretary of Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) (1969-73)
• Convener of State Liaison Committee of the Ruling Coalition, Kerala, 1970-77
• Elected as MLA from Cherthala Assembly constituency in 1970
• Served as Member of Parliament, Rajya Sabha for five times between 1985 and 2022
• President of KPCC, 1973-77, 1978-82, and 1987-92
• Chief Minister of Kerala (27 April 1977 – 27 October 1978, 22 March 1995 – 9 May 1996, 17 May 2001 – 29 August 2004)
• General Secretary of All India Congress Committee (AICC) (1984-87)
• Became Member of Congress Working Committee (CWC) in 1992
• Served as the Minister for Civil Supplies, Consumer Affairs and Public Distribution for a year in 1994 as MP, Rajya Sabha during the tenure of Prime Minister P. V. Narasimha Rao
• Treasurer (Acting) of AICC (1994-95)
• Became Member of Central Disciplinary Action Committee, AICC in 1993
• Became Member of Central Election Committee, AICC in 2001
• Elected as MLA from the Kazhakoottam assembly constituency in by-elections in 1977
• Elected as MLA from Cherthala Assembly constituency in 1996
• Leader of Opposition in Kerala Legislative Assembly from 20 May 1996 to 13 May 2001
• Elected as MLA from Cherthala Assembly constituency in 2001
• Defence Minister of India (26 October 2006 – 26 May 2014)
Personal Life
Date of Birth28 December 1940 (Saturday)
Age (as of 2023) 83 Years
BirthplaceCherthala, Travancore, British India (now Cherthala, Kerala, India)
Zodiac signCapricorn
SignatureA. K. Antony's signature
HometownCherthala, Kerala, India
School• Holy Family Boys High School, Cherthala, Kerala
• Government Boys High school, Cherthala, Kerala
College/University• Maharaja’s College, Ernakulam
• Government Law College, Ernakulam
Educational Qualification• Bachelor of Arts from Maharaja’s College, Ernakulam
• Bachelor of Law from Government Law College, Ernakulam
Religion/Religious ViewsA. K. Antony is a self-proclaimed atheist. [3]The Times of India He often advocates the philosophies of the spiritual leader and social reformer Sree Narayana Guru, who led a movement against injustice in the caste-ridden society of Kerala. [4]The News Minute
EthnicityA. K. Antony belongs to a Syrian Christian family.
Food HabitNon-vegetarian [5]The Times of India
AddressAnjanam, Easwara Vilasam Road, Thiruvananthapuram, Pincode: 695014, Kerala, India
Relationships & More
Marital StatusMarried
Wife/SpouseElizabeth Antony (Kerala High Court lawyer)
A. K. Antony with his family
ChildrenSon(s)- Anil Antony (tech entrepreneur and politician), Ajith Paul Antony (actor) (image in Parents section)
Daughter- None
ParentsFather- Arackaparambil Kurien Pillai (deceased)
Mother- Aleykutty Kurian (deceased)
SiblingsBrother- A. K. Thomas
Money Factor
Assets/PropertiesMoveable Assets
Cash: Rs. 8,000
Deposits in Banks: Rs. 30,48,503
Bonds, Debentures and Shares: Rs. Rs 35,750
LIC or other insurance Policies: Rs 70,772
Motor Vehicles: Rs 1,50,000
Jewellery: Rs. 3,50,000
Other assets: Rs. 4,00,000

Immovable Assets
Agricultural Land: Rs 10,00,000
Residential Buildings: Rs 30,00,000

Note: The given estimates of moveable and immovable assets are as of 2016. It includes assets owned by his wife. [6]MyNeta
Net Worth (as of 2016)Rs. 80,00,025

Note: It includes his wife's net worth. [7]MyNeta

Defence Minister A.K. Antony with his Chinese counterpart General Chang Wanquan in Beijing in 2013

Some Lesser Known Facts About A. K. Antony

  • A. K. Antony is an Indian politician and the longest-serving Defence Minister of India. [8]The New Indian Express He was a Member of Parliament in the Rajya Sabha from Kerala for five terms (2005–2022), and he has served as the Chief Minister of Kerala for three times.
  • He inclined towards politics during his formative years. While attending Government High School in Cherthala, he was the School Union Councillor from 1956 to 1957 and the Students Union Secretary from 1957 to 1958. From 1962 to 1963, he was the General Secretary of the College Students Union at Maharajas College, Ernakulam.
  • An ardent supporter of the Nehruvian socialist ideals, he actively participated in student, youth, and labour movements. Twice, he went on Hunger March by foot from Kasaragod to Thiruvananthapuram. He was also seriously injured and hospitalised due to Police Lathi Charge while participating in a fishermen’s agitation in Veluthulli near Cherthala.
  • His association with Congress began as a student leader and activist of the Kerala Students Union (KSU), the student wing of the INC, in Cherthala under the guidance of MA John. He was the General Secretary of KSU in Cherthala from 1957 to 1958. He was the Treasurer of KSU from 1963 to 1964 and its State President from 1964 to 1966.
  • At 32, AK Antony became the youngest-ever president of the KPCC. [9]Economic Times
  • In 1992, Antony was defeated in the election to the KPCC presidentship.
  • In 1975, Indira Gandhi declared Emergency in India. The tenure of the Kerala Legislative Assembly which was elected in 1970 was extended on three occasions during the Emergency. In 1977, K. Karunakaran of Congress was sworn in as the Chief Minister of Kerala under the coalition government United Front, but he had to resign within a month due to the controversial Rajan case. P. Rajan was an engineering student who was tortured during the Emergency when Karunakaran was the Home Minister. Consequently, A.K. Antony was sworn in as the CM of Kerala on 27 April 1977. To fulfil his role as CM, he was elected as an MLA from the Kazhakoottam assembly constituency in by-elections. At 37, he became the youngest CM of Kerala ever. [10]Economic Times

    A. K. Antony swearing in as the Chief Minister of Kerala in presence of Governer N. N. Wanchoo on 27 April 1977

    A. K. Antony swearing in as the Chief Minister of Kerala in presence of Governer N. N. Wanchoo on 27 April 1977

  • In the late 1970s, Antony became one of the most uproarious opponents of Indira Gandhi. He immensely criticised the implication of Emergency in the country and the rise of the “Sanjay wave.” The Congress split into two factions around 1978-79, one was Indira Gandhi-led Congress (I) and another was Devaraj Urs-led Congress (U). Karunakaran joined Congress (I), while Antony was a part of Congress (U).
    An old image featuring Congress leaders A K Antony and Indira Gandhi

    An old image featuring Congress leaders A K Antony and Indira Gandhi

    Antony resigned as CM of Kerala on 27 October 1978 when his Congress faction decided to support Indira Gandhi in the Chickmagalur bye-election. The United Front which won the 1977 election dissolved in 1979 leading to the creation of two long-running alliance formulas in the state, The United Democratic Front (UDF) consisting of the INC (I), and The Left Democratic Front (LDF) comprising INC (U). Later, A. K. Antony split from Congress (U) and formed his own party, Congress (A), in Kerala. Congress (A) joined the LDF ministry headed by CPI(M) leader E. K. Nayanar. On 25 January 1980, Nayanar was sworn in as the Chief Minister of Kerala. Antony’s antipathy to Congress softened with the entry of Rajiv Gandhi into politics. The two soon formed a friendship following which Antony abandoned Nayanar. In October 1981, LDF lost their majority in the assembly when the Congress (A), the Kerala Congress (M) and the Janatha (Gopalan) withdrew support for the government to join the UDF, which led to the fall of the Nayanar ministry. An eight-member ministry was formed on 28 December 1981 with K. Karunakaran of Indira-Congress at the helm, but it dissolved on 17 March 1982. The state came under President’s rule for the eighth time which led to an interim election in 1982. In the elections, the UDF government was formed with K. Karunakaran as CM in association with Congress (A) and various other parties. Later, Congress (A) merged with INC (I). However, when again Karunakaran had to resign as CM in connection with the ISRO espionage scandal, Antony was sworn in as the CM of Kerala for the second time on 22 March 1995. He contested and won the Tirurangadi Assembly seat in 1995 by-elections to fulfil his role as CM. He remained CM till 9 May 1996.

    An old image of A. K. Antony (in red circle) with other Congress leaders

    An old image of A. K. Antony (in red circle) with other Congress leaders

  • In 1994, he resigned as food minister on moral grounds when his ministry was involved in a sugar import scandal, although there were no allegations against him.
  • Antony took over the reins of the Defence Ministry following a cabinet reshuffle by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh after the then Defence Minister Pranab Mukherjee had to take over the Ministry of External Affairs from Natwar Singh, who lost his portfolio following the ‘Oil for food scam.’ Antony retained the portfolio of Defence after the 2009 general elections and became the longest-serving Defence Minister of India for his continuous stint of 8 years.

    A. K. Antony with service Chiefs, General V.K. Singh, Admiral Nirmal Verma and Air Chief Marshal P.V. Naik at the Amar Jawan Jyoti to mark Vijay Diwas, 39th anniversary of the victory day of the 1971 India-Pakistan war

    A. K. Antony with service Chiefs, General V.K. Singh, Admiral Nirmal Verma and Air Chief Marshal P.V. Naik at the Amar Jawan Jyoti to mark Vijay Diwas, 39th anniversary of the victory day of the 1971 India-Pakistan war

  • Antony’s tenure as a defence minister was filled with scams, crises, and unpreparedness for which he was immensely criticised. [11]India Today The Armed Forces were hit by the Sukna land scam, the Adarsh Housing Society Scam, and the age row of Army Chief General V K Singh.
  • He was elected as a Member of Parliament, Rajya Sabha for the fifth time on 3 April 2016. After his tenure ended on 2 April 2022, he also announced that he had quit parliamentary politics.
  • For his non-controversial and clean political image, A. K. Antony is often referred to as ‘St Antony.’ In contrast to other politicians, who often come under public scrutiny for using public money for pleasure trips abroad, Antony did not make any foreign trips during his tenure as the 6th Chief Minister of Kerala though his cabinet colleagues travelled extensively. He also announced that he would not accept any awards during his tenure, but he welcomed cash prizes, which he directed everyone to divert to the chief minister’s relief fund. Interestingly, he always accepted gifts; however, none of the gifts he received as chief minister travelled to his home. All of them were taken to the state museum, where a separate cupboard was set up to showcase the gifts he received. [12]The Times of India
  • Antony is a spondylitis patient, and he takes 10 days off every year in the month of Karkidakam to undergo an ayurveda treatment for it; Karkidakam is a period between July and August according to the Malayalam calendar
  • He is a philanthropist who founded the benevolent organisation Vidyadhanam Trust. The trust organizes education promotional activities to ensure equitable outcomes for underprivileged children. Its diversified charity projects include Vidyaposhanam-Poshakasamrudham (everyday nutritious mid-day meals), Vidyadhanam and Vidyalekshmi (educational sponsorship), Vijnanaveedhi (providing students with quality motivational books), Ambilikku Oru Veedu (building affordable homes for the underprivileged and low-income families), and Meet the Great Achievers (organising events for students to interact with men and women of eminence). As part of the Ambilikku Oru Veedu project, the Trust constructed a house for actress Molly Kannamaly in Chellanam. The trust also presents the N. N. Sathyavrathan Memorial Award to media students for outstanding journalism in Kerala.
  • He can speak four different languages, Malayalam, English, Tamil, and Hindi.
  • In 2007, he became the recipient of the Malayali of the Year award, which was instituted by Asianet.
  • Antony edited the Malayalam weekly Kalasala during 1964-65 and the Malayalam daily Veekshanam from 1978-1982.
  • In 2017, he suffered from a minor brain haemorrhage after he fell inside his house.