C Rajagopalachari was the first and only Indian Governor General of India. He was popularly known as ‘Rajaji’. He was an inspired patriot and social reformer. He distinguished himself as a statesman and able administrator. He was an ideal example of simple living and high thinking.
Rajagopalachari was born on December 10, 1878 in Tamil Nadu. He had his education at Bangalore and Madras (now Chennai). He studied law and was very successful as a lawyer. He met Gandhiji for the first time in 1919. He participated in the non-cooperation movement in 1920 and led the Salt
Satyagraha Campaign in South India in 1930.
Rajaji became the Prime Minister of Madras Presidency in 1937. He became a member of the temporary Government setup in 1946 at
Delhi. After India’s Independence, he became the Governor of West Bengal. He was appointed the first Indian Governor General in 1948. He was the Chief Minister of Madras from 1952 to 1954. He was awarded the ‘Bharat Ratna’, the highest civilian honor of the Indian Government, in 1954.
Rajaji fought for the cause of free enterprise, prohibition and disarmament. He was the leader of the Indian delegation that went to the US in 1962, to plead against nuclear proliferation. Rajaji had the rare talent of re-telling stories from the Indian epics. He was an accomplished writer and speaker in English and Tamil. He wrote a number of books emphasizing the values in the great Indian epics like the
Mahabharata, Bhagavad Gita and the Upanishads. Rajaji died in 1972.