Omandur Ramaswamy Reddiar was born in 1895 in the village of Omandur near Tindivanam in the then South Arcot district of Madras Presidency. He belonged to a Telugu Reddy family domiciled in the Tamil country. He had his schooling at Walter Scudder School and entered the Indian independence movement at an early age.
Omandur Ramasamy Reddiar was the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu from March 23, 1947 to April 6, 1949. He belonged to Viluppuram district in Tamil Nadu. He was nominated by K. Kamaraj for the CM position. When he showed signs of independence, Kamaraj engineered his removal through a vote of no-confidence in the congress legislature party in 1949 and replaced him with P S Kumaraswamy Raja another ethnic telugu from southern Tamil Nadu (Rajapalayam).
During his tenure, the Madras Temple Entry Authorization Act 1947 was passed This act was intended to give Dalits and other prohibited Hindus full and complete rights to enter Hindu temples.This was approved by the Governor on May 11, 1947 and passed as Madras Act 5 of 1947.The Devadasi Dedication Abolition Act of 1947 put an end to the devadasi system that was in vogue in many Hindu temples.
It was during Reddiyar’s tenure that India achieved independence from the United Kingdom. Soon after independence and partition of India, there was a shortage of food grains, especially rice, in the province.In 1948, Reddiyar ordered the purchase of a de Havilland Dove, the first aeroplane to be owned by the Government of Madras.
Ramaswamy Reddiar was a devotee of Sri Ramana Maharshi. It was believed that O.P. Ramaswamy Reddiar was not interested in the Chief Minister post, when he was asked to assume the office; since huge pressure was mounting on him to take sworn as CM, he vanished from Madras (capital of Tamil Nadu before renamed as Chennai). He silently went to thiruvannamalai to meet Ramana Maharishi and explained what is happening and asked what he should do? It is believed that only after Ramana Maharishi’s consent O.P. Ramaswamy Reddiar sworn has Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu.