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Chakravarti Rajagopalachari Biography


Chakravarti Rajagopalachari, also called as Rajaji or C.R., was an independence lawyer, politician, writer, statesman and independence activist. He was the last Governor-General of India, a leader of the Indian National Congress, Governor of West Bengal, Premier of the Madras Presidency, Chief Minister of of Madras state and Minister of Home Affairs of the Indian Union. He is the founder of the Swatantra Party. He acquired the nickname ‘Mango of Krishnagiri’.

Early Life

Rajagopalachari was born on 10 December 1878 to Chakravarti Venkataryan and Singaramma in Thorapalli in the Madras Presidency. He had two siblings Narasimhachari and Srinivasa. He did his schooling from Hosur R.V.Government Boys Hr sec School and graduated in arts from Central College, Bangalore in 1894. He studied law at the Presidency College, Madras and completed in 1897.

In 1897, Rajagopalachari married Alamelu Mangamma. The couple had three sons and two daughters.


He was interested in politics when he was studying law. Rajagopalachari was much inspired by the great freedom fighter Bal Gangadhar Tilak. He was also fascinated by Gandhiji’s principles of non-violence and non-co-operation to British Rules. He joined Indian National Congress and played a vital role in the Indian freedom struggle. In 1930, he took part in the Dandi march organised by Mahatma Gandhi, and was imprisoned by the British government.

Rajagopalachari became the first Premier of Madras Presidency when the Indian National Congress came to power in Madras Presidency in 1937. During second world war, Rajaji was arrested and sentenced to one year imprisonment as he with his cabinet protested the declaration of war.

Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru appointed him as the Governor of West Bengal after Indian independence. He was also the acting Governor General of India for sometime. He became the Home Affairs Minister in 1950. In 1952, Rajaji became the Chief Minister of Madras Legislative Council. He resigned from his post on 13 April 1954 due to his poor health condition. He passed away at the age of 94 on 25 December 1972.