C. Rajagopalachari was an Indian politician, independence activist, and lawyer. His full name is Chakravarti Rajagopalachari. He served as India’s first governor-general and preserver until 1948. Rajagopalachari also led the Indian independence movement against the British Empire in the 1930s and 1940s. Rajagopalachari is considered to be one of the important figures in Tamil history. He has also been recognize as one of the most influential Indians in history.
Chakravarti Rajagopalachari who was also known as Rajaji was born on a Thursday, June 1, 1878. He was born to Chakravarti Venkata Subbarao and Durgamma in Cholapuram near Madras city, British India (now Chennai). His father was an advocate who served as the Subordinate Judge of Tinnevelly town.
Chakravarti Rajagopalachari started his career with the Indian National Congress and became one of its key activists. He built many organizations promoting and supporting the Indian independence movement which included Hindu Mahasabha, Ramakrishna Mission, Theosophical Society, etc.
Personal Life of C. Rajagopalachari
Chakravarti Rajagopalachari wrote many books. Some of his famous books are The Great Hindu Awakening, The Spirit of the Upanishads, India’s Love Lyrics, The Mahabharata: As it was, The Ramayana and Revolution, and Other Essays.
Chakravarti Rajagopalachari was married to Padmaja who was born on June 22, 1894, in Madras city. They had two children, Ramana Bharti and Shanti Bharti.
Summary of Achievements of C. Rajagopalachari
C.Rajagopalachari was an important figure during World War I and the Indian independence movement against the British Empire. He was a lawyer and also served as a diplomat to Europe and British India after independence in 1947. His ideas revolved around patriotism, nationalism, cultural awareness, social reform, etc. He built many organizations promoting and supporting the Indian independence movement which included Hindu Mahasabha, Ramakrishna Mission, Theosophical Society, etc.
He wrote many books promoting Indian independence including The Great Hindu Awakening, The Mahabharata: As it was, India’s Love Lyrics, The Spirit of the Upanishads and Revolution, and Other Essays. Rajagopalachari also participated in Indian Politics from an early age and became an important political leader. He served as the Governor-General of India from 1948 to 1950.
Rajagopalachari led the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam along with C N Annadurai from 1948 to 1969. In 1954, Rajaji formally merged his party with Annadurai’s Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam with the latter assuming leadership of the resulting party.
Rajagopalachari in the Independence movement
Rajagopalachari took a United Provinces (present-day Uttar Pradesh) provincial session of Congress in 1926. In 1930, he became the president of the Indian National Congress. He led the Civil Disobedience Movement which fought against British Raj rule in India. Civil Disobedience Movement was an extension of the non-violence movement and was started due to the passage of the Public Safety Bill and the ChauriChaura incident which supported the movement. Rajagopalachari served as an important figure during the Quit India Movement in 1942 and also joined as a delegate in talks between Gandhi and Mohammed Ali Jinnah on June 2, 1944, for building better relations between Muslim League and Indian National Congress. Rajagopalachari was among those who led the movement against the Indian Independence Act in August 1947 and refused to swear in the oath. He also signed the agreement and became a member of the Constituent Assembly of India.
Rajagopalachari’s Ideological views
Rajagopalachari was a staunch nationalist who believed that all the communities in India should be united under one country, one constitution, one flag, etc. Rajagopalachari strongly opposed racism and discrimination based on religion, caste, etc. He always emphasized cultural unity among people. Rajagopalachari firmly believed that only cultural unity can bring respect among countries and nations.
Madras Presidency from 1937 to 1939
Rajagopalachari took charge as the Governor of Madras Presidency from 1937 to 1939. His administration was very much concerned about the education sector and made efforts to improve it by establishing many new educational institutions. Rajagopalachari also provided an important speech that introduced the concept of free education in India.
Later, he became the President of the Indian National Congress between 1940 and 1941.
Appointment as Governor-General
In 1942, Lord Mountbatten appointed Rajagopalachari as Governor-General of India which he held until 1948. He made many proposals to improve the living standards in India. During his tenure but none was accept by the British Government. C. Rajagopalachari also offered to the British Government to accede to the Indian union but they flatly rejected his proposal. He resigned from his position as the Governor-General and signed the agreement which gave Indian Independence. He then elected as a member of the Constituent Assembly which adopted the Constitution of India in 1950.
Become Governor of West Bengal
Rajagopalachari became the Governor of West Bengal in 1948 and held this position until 1950. He served as a member of the Constituent Assembly which framed the Indian Constitution.
In 1948, he merged his party, Dravidar Kazhagam with Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam with C N
Leading Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam
C.Rajagopalachari led Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (Dravidian Federal Party) along with C N Annadurai after independence until 1969. However, they merged their party with Kamaraj’s Congress in 1954. Britain declared Annadurai a traitor and banned his party.
Rajagopalachari died in Madras, on December 27, 1972, at the age of 90. His life an example of simplicity and responsibility which is needed by all the citizens of India. Therefore, he worked a lot for the freedom of India and to improve its economy. He wanted to serve his countrymen till his last breath but he fell sick before his death and died very early in age.