Chakravarti Rajagopalachari was called as Rajaji or C.R. He was a lawyer by profession and contributed in independence activist. He used his skills in politics and was also a great writer. He was given a nickname as ‘Mango of Salem’ during his lifetime. He was the last Governor General of India. He is the person who founded the Swatantra Party.
Life of Chakravarti Rajagopalachari
He was born on 10th December, 1878 in Thorapali to Chakravarti Venkatarya Iyengar and Singaramma Iyengar. He had two brothers Narasimhachari and Srinivasa. He was admitted in a school in Thorapalli and then enrolled at R.V.Government Boys Hr sec school in Hosur. He graduated in arts and then studied law at the Presidency college, Madras.
He then was married to Alamelu Mangamma and had 5 children, three sons and 2 daughters. After his wife death he took the sole responsibility of the kids.
He was the person who opposed nuclear weapons and was a proponent of world peace and harmony. Rajagopalachari was elected as the chairman of the Municipality. He served as the leader of the Indian National Congress, Minister of Home Affairs of the Indian Union.
Premier of the Madras Presidency
In his tenure he issued the temple entry for Dalits and untouchables. He introduced the Agriculture Debt Relief Act, which ease the burden of debt on the peasant. He introduced Hindi as a compulsion subject in all the educational institutions.
Governor of West Bengal
During the Independence the British province of Bengal was partitioned in to two, with West Bengal becoming part of India and East Bengal becoming part of Pakistan. Rajagopalachari was appointed as the governor of West Bengal by the support of Jawaharlal Nehru. In his tenure his priorities were to deal with the refugees and to bring peace and stability after the Calcutta riots.
Chief Minister of Madras State
He served as a Chief Minister for two years spanning about five years. Rajagopalachari introduced measure to regulate the running of the Universities and a new education scheme known as “Modified System of Elementary Education” which reduced the schooling hours to three hours per day.
His contribution in literature and music
He was an accomplished writer in his mother tongue Tamil as well as in English. In 1922 he published “Siraiyil Tavam” which narrated his day to day account of his first imprisonment. He started the Tamil Scientific Terms Society in 1916, a group that searched new words in Tamil related to botany, chemistry, physics. He published a highly regarded, abridged edition of the Hindu epic Mahabharata and Ramayana in English.
Rajagopalachari also contributed in music and composed the song “Kurai Onrum Illai”, a devotional song devoted to Lord Venkateshwara. He even composed a hymn that was sung at the United Nations General Assembly in 1967 by M.S. Subbulakshmi.
He repeatedly denounced the government of India for corruption, inefficiency and lack of impartiality. He died in Madras on 26th December, 1972. The Indian government proclaimed seven days of mourning of his death.