Friday, September 21, 2012


Couple of readers after reading the last article on 'History of India', commented back saying that they wanted to have more information about Rajaji, Shri.Rajagopalachariar. Thus this piece of writing. Several writings have helped me to obtain authentic and relevant information:

Shri.Chakravarthi Rajagopalachariar was born on December 8, 1878 near Hosur in the then Salem District. He did his schooling in Hosur, Arts Graduation in Bangalore and law education in Law College, Madras. When Swami Vivekananda went to Madras, he visited the Law College, entered into Shri.Rajagopalachari's room and they had a brief conversation. 

After obtaining his graduation in law he went back to Salem to begin his private practice as a lawyer. Soon he was acclaimed as one of the most efficient criminal lawyers in the town. And at that point in time, he was just 21 years old. Varadarajulu Naidu was a patriot and was prosecuted in Salem for speaking against the British Government. Rajagopalachariar took this high profile case and was successful in getting his acquittal. 

After this incident, so far a lawyer and a professional was inspired to contribute to the society by participating in various social reformation programs. He was in the year 1917, elected as the President of the Salem Municipal Council. He started night schools for the uneducated adults and factory workers. Schools for Harijans were opened under his administration. He ensured water supply to Harijans' locality in his town. Even many elderly people whom he respected opposed him. But he did not relent. 

Then happened a major event. Annie Besant was arrested and taken by train which crossed Salem. A large number of people gathered at the station to see Annie Besant. Rajagopalachariar, disciplined the crowd, ensured orderly behavior and avoided untoward incidents, as the Collector of Salem was preparing to give shooting orders to his police force. Later he represented Annie Besant and got her acquittal from the charges the British Government had made. 

While Gandhi made the Dandi Salt Satyagrah in Gujarat, Rajagopalachariar organized and executed the Vedharanyam Salt Satyagrah. He joined Congress and entered into active politics. When for the first time Congress participated in General Elections and won, he became the Chief Minister of the Madras Province.

On the eve of Indian Independence, he was a Central Minister when Nehru was the Prime Minister, later the Governor of West Bengal. He was of course the first Indian Governor General. He occupied that position till the day of declaration of the Repulic of India on January 26th, 1950.
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