C. Rajagopalachari

C. Rajagopalachari or Chakravarti Rajagopalachari, informally called Rajaji or C.R., was an Indian politician, independence activist, lawyer, writer, historian and statesman

Updated: June 16, 2022

C. Rajagopalachari or Chakravarti Rajagopalachari, informally called Rajaji or C.R., was an Indian politician, independence activist, lawyer, writer, historian and statesman. Rajagopalachari was the last Governor-General of India, as India soon became a Republic in 1950. He was also the first Indian-born governor-general, since before him the posts were held by British nationals. He served as leader of the Indian National Congress, Premier of the Madras Presidency, Governor of West Bengal, Minister for Home Affairs of the Indian Union and Chief Minister of Madras state. 


Rajagopalachari founded the Swatantra Party and was one of the first recipients of India's highest civilian award, the Bharat Ratna. He vehemently opposed the use of nuclear weapons and was a proponent of world peace and disarmament. He also acquired the nickname 'Mango of Krishnagiri'. He was born on December 10th, 1878 and died on December 25th, 1972.


Childhood of C. Rajagopalachari:

Chakravarthi Rajagopalachari was born in 1878 in Thorapalli, Madras Presidency of British India (Now Tamil Nadu) into a Iyengar family to Chakravati Venkataryan. He was a very fragile child, used to fall sick very often which used to make his parents very worried.


Education of C. Rajagopalachari:

Chakravarthi Rajagopalachari started his schooling from a village school. At the age of 5, he was enrolled into the Hosur R. V. Government Boys Hr Sec School. He graduated from the Central College, Bangalore in 1894. After that he went on to study law from the Presidency College, Madras, from where he graduated in 1897.


Family of C. Rajagopalachari:

Rajagopalachari got married to Alamelu Mangamma in 1897 and the couple had five children together. The couple had three sons and two daughters. His wife died at quite a young age.


His daughter Lakshmi was married to Devdas Gandhi, son of Mahatma Gandhi. His grandsons include biographer Rajmohan Gandhi, philosopher Ramchandra Gandhi and former governor of West Bengal Gopalkrishna Gandhi.


Some facts about C. Rajagopalachari:

  • Rajagopalachari plunged into politics inspired by Bal Gangadhar Tilak, in 1911 by becoming a member of the Salem, Tamil Nadu, municipality. He also served as the Chairman of the municipality from 1917 to 1919.
  • He is most remembered for the work that he did in Madras while he was the Chief Minister of the state from 1952 to 1954. He passed the legislation to create Andhra state, put an end to sugar rationing, and introduced the 'Modified System of Elementary Education'.
  • The Madras Scheme of Elementary Education have both been extensively criticised while his pacifist stance during the Quit India Movement and his 'C. R. formula' angered the majority of his colleagues in the Indian National Congress.
  • He was awarded with Bharat Ratna in 1954 for his outstanding contribution to Indian politics and literature.
  • Mahatma Gandhi referred to him as the 'keeper of my conscience'.
  • His private papers are part of the Archives at the Nehru Memorial Museum & Library, at Teen Murti House, Delhi.
  • He was admitted to hospital right after he celebrated his 94th birthday in 1972. He was suffering from Uraemia, dehydration and urinary infection. He died in a few days after being admitted into the hospital.



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