Indian politician, independence activist, lawyer, writer and statesman. Rajagopalachari was an accomplished writer who made lasting contributions to Indian English literature asit das gupta mathematics pdf is also credited with composition of the song Kurai Onrum Illai set to Carnatic music. Rajagopalachari was born to Chakravarti Venkataryan, munsiff of Thorapalli Village and Chakravarti Singaramma on 10 December 1878 in Thorapalli, Madras Presidency.
A weak and sickly child, Rajagopalachari was a constant worry to his parents who feared that he might not live long. As a young child, he was admitted to a village school in Thorapalli then at the age of five moved with his family to Hosur where Rajagopalachari enrolled at Hosur R. Ramaswami—and two daughters—Lakshmi Gandhi née C. Rajagopalachari’s interest in public affairs and politics began when he commenced his legal practice in Salem in 1900.
After Mahatma Gandhi joined the Indian independence movement in 1919, Rajagopalachari became one of his followers. In the early 1930s, Rajagopalachari emerged as one of the major leaders of the Tamil Nadu Congress. Rajagopalachari issued the Temple Entry Authorization and Indemnity Act 1939, under which restrictions were removed on Dalits and Shanars entering Hindu temples. He also introduced prohibition, along with a sales tax to compensate for the loss of government revenue that resulted from the ban on alcohol. Rajagopalachari’s tenure as Chief Minister of Madras is largely remembered for the compulsory introduction of Hindi in educational institutions, which made him highly unpopular. Some months after the outbreak of the Second World War, Rajagopalachari resigned as premier along with other members of his cabinet in protest at the declaration of war by the Viceroy of India.
Rajagopalachari was arrested in December 1940, in accordance with the Defence of India rules, and sentenced to one-year in prison. Following the end of the war in 1945, elections followed in the Madras Presidency in 1946. Maulana Abul Kalam Azad to make Rajaji the Premier of Madras Presidency. Kamaraj, President of the Tamil Nadu Congress Committee, was forced to make as Chief Ministerial candidate, by the elected members, to prevent Rajagopalachari from winning. Rajaji was instrumental in initiating negotiations between Gandhi and Jinnah.
In 1944, he proposed a solution to the Indian Constitutional tangle. From 1946 to 1947, Rajagopalachari served as the Minister for Industry, Supply, Education and Finance in the Interim Government headed by Jawaharlal Nehru. When India and Pakistan attained independence on 15 August 1947, the British province of Bengal was partitioned into two, with West Bengal becoming part of India and East Bengal part of Pakistan. Supported by Jawaharlal Nehru, Rajagopalachari was appointed first Governor of West Bengal. Disliked by Bengalis for his criticism of the Bengali revolutionary Subhas Chandra Bose during the 1938 Tripuri Congress session, Rajagopalachari’s appointment was unsuccessfully opposed by Bose’s brother Sarat Chandra Bose. I see that you are not able to restrain the policy of agitation over inter-provincial boundaries. It is easy to yield to current pressure of opinion and it is difficult to impose on enthusiastic people any policy of restraint.
But I earnestly plead that we should do all we can to prevent ill-will from hardening into a chronic disorder. We have enough ill-will and prejudice to cope with. Must we hasten to create further fissiparous forces? Despite the general attitude of the Bengalis, Rajagopalachari was highly regarded and respected by Chief Minister Prafulla Chandra Ghosh and the state cabinet.
By the end of 1949, an assumption was made that Rajagopalachari, already governor-general, would continue as president. He was elected to the Constituent Assembly from Madras. He was a part of Advisory Committee and Sub-Committee on Minorities. He debated on issues relating to rights of religious denominations. At Nehru’s invitation, in 1950 Rajagopalachari joined the Union Cabinet as Minister without Portfolio where he served as a buffer between Nehru and Home Minister Sardar Patel and on occasion offered to mediate between the two. By the end of 1951, the differences between Nehru and Rajagopalachari came to the fore. In the 1952 Madras elections, the Indian National Congress was reduced to a minority in the state assembly with a coalition led by the Communist Party of India winning most of the seats.
During Rajagopalachari’s tenure as Chief Minister, a powerful movement for a separate Andhra State, comprising the Telugu-speaking districts of the Madras State, gained a foothold. On 31 May 1952, Rajagopalachari put an end to sugar rationing and followed up by abolishing control over food supplies on 5 June 1952. He also introduced measures to regulate the running of universities in the state. Following his resignation as Chief Minister, Rajagopalachari took a temporary break from active politics and instead devoted his time to literary pursuits. He wrote a Tamil re-telling of the Sanskrit epic Ramayana which appeared as a serial in the Tamil magazine Kalki from 23 May 1954 to 6 November 1955. He outlined the goals of the Swatantra Party through twenty one “fundamental principles” in the foundation document.
The party stood for equality and opposed government control over the private sector. Rajagopalachari’s efforts to build an anti-Congress front led to a patch up with his former adversary C. Annadurai of the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam. India’s use of military force against Portugal to capture the Portuguese enclave of Goa was criticised by Rajagopalachari who said of the operation and subsequent acts of international diplomacy, “India has totally lost the moral power to raise her voice against the use of military power. On 26 January 1950, the Government of India adopted Hindi as the official language of the country, but because of objections in non-Hindi-speaking areas, it introduced a provision tentatively making English the second official language on a par with Hindi for a stipulated fifteen-year period to facilitate a switch to Hindi in non-Hindi speaking states.