C. Rajagopalachari was an Indian lawyer, activist for independence, politician, and author. He was India’s first and only Indian Governor General following Lord Mountbatten’s departure in 1948. Although Sardar Patel was the initial candidate, he was appointed Governor-General at the urging of then-Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru. He was a pre-independence leader of the Indian National Congress. He also served in a variety of other capacities, including Premier of the Madras Presidency, Governor of West Bengal, Minister of the Indian Union’s Home Affairs, and Chief Minister of the Madras State. Among the many things Rajagopalachari accomplished for the country, both before and after independence, he is best renowned for his work in Madras during his tenure as Chief Minister from 1952 to 1954. He established Andhra state, abolished sugar rationing, and instituted the ‘Modified System of Elementary Education. He was one of the country’s first recipients of the Bharat Ratna, India’s highest civilian honor.
Childhood & Adolescence
Chakravarthi Rajagopalachari was born to Chakravarti Venkataryan in 1878 in Thorapalli, Madras Presidency of British India (Now Tamil Nadu). He was a very frail boy who frequently became ill, which worried his parents.
He began his education at a local school and was enrolled in the Hosur R. V. Government Boys Hr Sec School at the age of five. In 1894, he graduated from Bangalore’s Central College. Following that, he attended Presidency College, Madras, where he graduated in 1897 with a degree in law.
A Later Years
Rajagopalachari, inspired by Bal Gangadhar Tilak, the leader of the Indian freedom struggle, entered politics in 1911, becoming a member of the Salem, Tamil Nadu, municipality. He also served as the municipality’s Chairman from 1917 until 1919.
Rajagopalachari became one of Mahatma Gandhi’s genuine disciples in 1919 when he joined the Indian independence cause. He also took an active role in the movement for non-cooperation. As a result, he was elected to the Congress Working Committee and later served as the party’s General Secretary.
He rose to prominence in Congress in 1922 as the leader of the “No-Changers” party, which campaigned against contesting elections for the Imperial Legislative Council established by the Government of India Act 1919.
During the years 1924–25, he was an ardent participant in the Vaikom Satyagraha movement against untouchability.
He rose to prominence as a leader of the Tamil Nadu Congress in the early 1930s. While Gandhi was on the Dandi march, he violated the salt rules in Vedaranyam, which is why the British later imprisoned him.
He was elected President of the Tamil Nadu Congress Committee and became the first Premier of the Madras Presidency following the 1937 Madras elections, which were held as a result of the Government of India Act’s enactment in 1935.
He initiated various ground-breaking steps during his two-year tenure as premier of the Madras Presidency (1937–1939). These include lowering barriers to entry for Dalits into Hindu temples, alleviating farmer loan burdens, mandating the introduction of Hindi in educational institutions, and instituting prohibition.
Rajagopalachari was imprisoned and sentenced to one year in prison in 1940 under Defense of India laws for resigning as Premier in protest over the Viceroy of India’s declaration of war at the outbreak of World War II.
He subsequently resigned from the party due to mounting disagreements with the Madras Congress parliamentary party’s resolutions and with the Madras Provincial Congress’s leader, K. Kamaraj.
Rajagopalachari served as Minister for Industry, Supply, Education, and Finance in Jawaharlal Nehru’s Interim Government from 1946 to 1947. He was named the first Governor of West Bengal following India’s independence.
He served as Governor-General of India from 1948 to 1950, following Lord Mountbatten’s permanent departure from the country. Vallabhbhai Patel was initially chosen for the post, but Jawaharlal Nehru insisted on him taking it. He was not only India’s final Governor-General but also the only Indian to hold the office.
He served as Home Minister for ten months following Sardar Patel’s demise in 1950. He resigned from the post due to ideological disagreements with Jawaharlal Nehru. He eventually made his way back to Madras.
In 1952, Madras governor Sri Prakasa nominated him Chief Minister of Madras. Although much occurred during his tenure—Andhra Pradesh was founded as a separate state, sugar rationing was abolished, and Madras’ education system was modified—he resigned after two years due to ill health.
Rajagopalachari now devoted his time to literary endeavors, writing a Tamil translation of the Sanskrit epic Ramayan that was serialized in the Tamil periodical Kalki.
In 1957, he resigned from the Congress party and co-founded the Congress Reform Committee with a number of fellow Congress dissidents.
He founded the Swatantra Party in 1959. The party was founded on the principles of equality and opposition to government domination of the private sector.
Rajagopalachari was able to build a united opposition to the Indian National Congress in the 1967 Madras Legislative Assembly elections by forging an alliance between the DMK, the Swatantra Party, and the Forward Bloc. As a result of this defeat, the Congress Party lost the election and the DMK-led alliance took power.
The Swatantra Party also emerged as the single largest opposition party in the 1967 national elections, obtaining 45 Lok Sabha seats.
In the 1971 general elections, the Swatantra Party suffered a dramatic decline in strength and was reduced to an inconsequential role.
His Significant Works
Among the many things Rajagopalachari accomplished for his country both before and after independence, he is best renowned for his work in Madras during his tenure as the state’s Chief Minister from 1952 to 1954. He established Andhra state, abolished sugar rationing, and instituted the ‘Modified System of Elementary Education.
Awards and Accomplishments
In 1954, he was given the Bharat Ratna for his remarkable contribution to Indian politics and literature.
Personal History and Legacies
In 1897, Rajagopalachari married Alamelu Mangamma and the couple had five children—three sons and two girls. His wife died when he was relatively young.
He was hospitalized in 1972, just after celebrating his 94th birthday. He had uremia, dehydration, and urinary infection. He succumbed to his injuries just days after being admitted to the hospital.
Estimated Net worth
C Rajagopalachari’s net worth is believed to be $ USD 10 million, with most of his income coming from his work as a translator, peace campaigner, composer, writer, politician, linguist, and lawyer. We lack sufficient facts regarding C Rajagopalachari’s automobiles and lifestyle.
Lakshmi, his daughter, was married to Devdas Gandhi, Mahatma Gandhi’s son. Among his grandsons are biographer Rajmohan Gandhi, philosopher Ramchandra Gandhi, and Gopalkrishna Gandhi, the former governor of West Bengal.