Prime Minister Narendra Modi paid tribute to statesman and freedom fighter Chakravarti Rajagopalachari today, 10 December, on his 143rd birth anniversary.
PM Modi remembered Rajagopalachari, who was fondly known as Rajaji, for his contributions to the freedom struggle. He was also the first, and only, Indian to hold the post of Governor-General of the country.
He tweeted: “Tributes to Shri C. Rajagopalachari on his Jayanti. He is remembered for his contributions to the freedom struggle, administrative and intellectual prowess.”
“Sharing a glimpse of Rajaji taking oath as Governor-General and the notification of him being awarded the Bharat Ratna.”
In another tweet, Modi shared a letter Patel had written to Rajaji when he took over as the Governor-General of India.
“Rajaji was a widely admired statesman. One of his most ardent well-wishers was Sardar Patel.”
“Here is a part of a letter Sardar Patel penned to Rajaji when he took over as Governor-General of India.”
Here are some facts about Rajagopalachari:
- He studied law from the Presidency College in Madras (currently Chennai). In the year 1900, he began his practice in Salem. In 1917, he also became the chairperson of the municipality, which he served for two years.
- In 1916, Rajagopalachari formed the Tamil Scientific Terms Society. It is an organisation that translates scientific terms from subjects including mathematics, astronomy, chemistry, physics, and biology into simple Tamil words.
- After joining the Indian National Congress, he acted as a legal advisor for them. During his professional career in 1917, Rajagopalachari fought for Indian Independence activist, P Varadarajulu Naidu against charges of sedition.
- In the year 1930, when Gandhi led the Dandi March in the country, Rajaji did the same at Nagapattinam and broke the salt law. Following this incident, he became the editor of Young India, Mahatma Gandhi’s newspaper.
- In 1937, when Congress came to power after the Madras Elections, Rajagopalachari was selected as the first Premier of the Madras Presidency from the party. Two years later, he issued the temple entry authorisation under which Dalits and Shanars were allowed to enter temples.
- In 1952, he was sworn in as the chief minister of Madras, now Tamil Nadu. Later on in 1954, Rajagopalachari resigned from the post to focus on his writing.
- He later founded the Swatantra Party, which opposed the Congress and its policies statism and socialism. However, the party faded out after his death in 1978. It promoted a market-based economy, which was a vision far ahead of its time.