• Recently, C. Rajagopalachari is remembered on his 143rd birth anniversary.


  • Having studied law from the Presidency College in Madras (now Chennai), Rajagopalachari began practice in Salem in the year 1900. He became the chairperson of the municipality of Salem in 1917 and served there for two years.
  • In 1916, he formed the Tamil Scientific Terms Society, an organisation that translated scientific terms of chemistry, physics, mathematics, astronomy and biology into simple Tamil words.
  • He joined the Indian National Congress and acted as a legal advisor. Rajagopalachari defended Indian Independence activist, P. Varadarajulu Naidu against charges of sedition in 1917.
  • When Mahatma Gandhi led the Dandi March in 1930, Rajagopalachari did the same at Vedaranyam, near Nagapattinam in the then Madras Presidency and broke the salt law. He also became the Editor of Mahamta Gandhi’s newspaper, Young India.
  • Following the Madras Elections in 1937, the Congress came to power in Madras Presidency (now a part of Tamil Nadu). Rajagopalachari was elected as the first Premier of the Madras Presidency from the Congress party.
  • In 1939, Rajagopalachari issued the Temple Entry Authorization and Indemnity Act, under which Dalits and Shanars were allowed to enter temples. This was a major boost to abolish untouchability and caste prejudice.
  • After Independence, Rajagopalachari was chosen to be the last Governor-General of India, in the absence of Lord Mountbatten. His tenure lasted from June 21 in 1948 to January 26 in 1950.
  • He was also made the Governor of West Bengal during the time of partition. His criticism of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose and proposal to include Bihar and Odisha into the state of West Bengal faced stark criticism from the people and the cabinet. His appointment was protested by Netaji’s brother, Sarat Chandra Bose.
  • He had sworn in as the Chief Minister of Madras on April 10 in 1952. His policy of introducing Hindi as a compulsory language in schools was highly protected by the people of Madras.
  • Rajagopalachari had eventually resigned from the post of Chief Minister on April 13, 1954. Following this, he started focusing on writing. He wrote a Tamil translation of the Ramayan, which was later published as ChakravarthiThirumagan. The book won the Sahitya Akademi Award in Tamil language in the year 1958.

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