Full Name of ‘C. Rajagopalachari’ was ‘Chakravarti Rajagopalachari’. He was born on 10 December 1878 at Thorapalli in the Madras Presidency, His father’s name was Chakravarti Venkataryan, who was munsiff of Thorapalli Village. His mother’s name was Singaramma.
C. Rajagopalachari passed his matriculation examinations in 1891 and graduated in arts from Central College, Bangalore in 1894. He also studied law at the Presidency College, Madras, from where he graduated in 1897. He married to Alamelu Mangamma in 1897 and the couple had five children – three sons and two daughters.
C. Rajagopalachari entered the political forefront after meeting Mahatma Gandhi in 1919. His political career is marked with a number of achievements. He gave up his practice in response to the non-cooperation call by Gandhi. In 1921-1922, he became the General-Secretary of the Indian National Congress and from 1922 to 1924, he was a member of the Congress Working Committee.
C. Rajagopalachari was arrested in April 1930 for leading a salt march from Trichinopoly to Vedaranniyam on the Tanjore coast. He led the Congress to victory in Madras in the 1937 elections. He later prepared the CR Formula for Congress-League cooperation, which, however, was rejected by the Muslim League.
C. Rajagopalachari served as the Governor of Bengal from August to November 1947. He was a member of the Governor-General’s Executive Council (1946-47). He was the first and last Indian Governor-General of India (1948-50). He became the Minister for Home Affairs in the Central Government (1951). He died on 25 December 1972 at the age of 94.
C. Rajagopalachari was a great socialist and an erudite scholar. He condemned orthodox religious and social customs. He was also an outstanding intellectual. He was one of the first recipients of India’s highest civilian award, the ‘Bharat Ratna’. C. Rajagopalachari was described by Gandhi as the ‘keeper of my conscience’.