Chakravarti Rajagopalachari was an Indian politician, independence activist, lawyer, writer, historian and statesman. He was the last Governor-General of India, as India soon became a Republic in 1950. He pioneered temperance and temple entry movements in India and advocated Dalit upliftment. He founded the Swatantra Party and was one of the first recipients of India’s highest civilian award, the Bharat Ratna.
About C. Rajagopalachari in brief
Chakravarti Rajagopalachari was an Indian politician, independence activist, lawyer, writer, historian and statesman. He was the last Governor-General of India, as India soon became a Republic in 1950. He also served as leader of the Indian National Congress, Premier of the Madras Presidency, Governor of West Bengal, Minister for Home Affairs of Indian Union and Chief Minister of Madras state. He founded the Swatantra Party and was one of the first recipients of India’s highest civilian award, the Bharat Ratna. During his lifetime, he also acquired the nickname ‘Mango of Salem’ He died on 25 December 1972 at age 94. He pioneered temperance and temple entry movements in India and advocated Dalit upliftment. He has been criticised for introducing the compulsory study of Hindi and the controversial Madras Scheme of Elementary Education in Madras State. Critics have often attributed his pre-eminence in politics to his standing as a favourite of both Mahatma Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru. He is also credited with composition of the song Kurai Onrum Illai set to Carnatic music. He described himself as the ‘keeper of my conscience’ and was described by Gandhi as the ‘‘keeper of the nation’s conscience’’. He died at the age of 94 on December 25, 1972, at his home in Chennai, Tamil Nadu. He had five children, three sons and two daughters: C.
R. Krishnaswamy, Lakshmi Ramwami and C.R. Ramaswamy. He married Alamelu Mangalam in 1897 and the couple had five sons, three daughters, two sons, two daughters and two grandsons. His last child was Rajaji, a son-in-law of C. N. Annadurai, who died in 1998. He left behind a wife and a son, Rajaji R. Narasimhachari, a lawyer and a father-of-five. He lived in a village in the Hosur taluk in the Krishnagiri district of Tamil Nadu and was educated at Central College, Bangalore, and Presidency College, Madras. In 1900’s he started legal practice at the Salem court. On entering politics, he became a member and later President of the Salem municipality. He participated in the agitations against the Rowlatt Act, joining the Non-Cooperation movement, the Vaikom Satyagraha, and the Civil Disobedience movement. He later advocated co-operation over Britain’s war effort and opposed the Quit India Movement. He favoured talks with both Muhammad Ali Jinnah and the Muslim League and proposed what later came to be known as the C. R. formula. In 1959, he resigned from theIndian National Congress and founded theSwatantr Party, which fought against the Congress in the 1962, 1967 and 1971 elections. In 1946, he was appointed Minister of Industry, Supply, Education and Finance in the Interim Government of India.