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Biography: C. Rajagopalachariar

C.Rajagopalachariar (a.k.a Rajaji) is the finest embodiment of Gandhiji's ideal politician.

A scholar by nature, a tactician in politics, and a fighter by temperament, his vigor and decisiveness can bring credit to any age.

Under his wise leadership the congress has nourished in Madras, daily growing in its splendor. The drive of his buoyant spirits is irresistible. The weird spell he casts is compelling. And the finest attribute to him is in his deeds.

Rajaji is a stern moralist. His moral thought attains an austere beauty. Like his mystic master he has sought the tranquility of soul in the subjugation of desire.

He is a political-stoic. Iron discipline is the first tenet in his political code. His stoicism is the result of his severe penance for freedom. He is a warm-hearted friend. His shrewd wisdom creates panic among the opposing forces.

C. Rajagopalachariar was born at Hosur in 1879. He was educated at the Central College, Bangalore and Presidency and Law College, Madras. He joined the Bar in 1900 and had a lucrative practice in Salem.

He joined the Rowlatt Satyagraha Campaign in 1919. In 1920 he participated in the Non Cooperation movement and courted imprisonment in 1921. He played an invaluable part in organizing the congress movement.

As the chief of a coterie of young patriots he burked reactionary forces. During Gandhiji's imprisonment he ably edited "Young India". His writings stirred all the best in a Nation cowed down by oppression.

In 1921 he was elected the General Secretary of the Indian National Congress. It was impossible t over estimate the value of his services rendered at such an important period in the Nation's History. He was a selfless patriot inspiring in others a sublime devotion to liberty. He was a member of the Congress Working Committee throughout the Non cooperation movement.

He was a member of the council of the All India Spinners Association from its inception. He was the member in charge of the Anti-Drink Campaign of the Indian National Congress. For many years he was the Director of the Dakshina Bharat Hindi Prachar Sabha. He was conducting a village Ashram for the revival of Hand-Spinning and the abolition of untouchability. These varied activities are an expression of his mighty energy.

In 1930 he participated in the Civil Disobedience Movement. He was imprisoned for and released in 1931 as a preliminary to the trace ending in the Gandhi-Irwin Pact. Again he was arrested and released in 1932 after the expiry of the term. Then he became the Acting President of the Indian National Congress. He was arrested and sentenced. In all he was for 21 months in prison. Till 1936 he was the President of the Tamil Nadu Congress Committee. He is now a member of the Working Committee.

By a thumping majority he was elected to the Assembly from the University Constituency. He was unanimously elected leader of the Congress Party in the Madras Legislature.

As premier his fame is great. his piety and patriotism have set examples in virtue to his countrymen. His titanic spirit and unimpeachable honesty have made him the glory of his age.

His bold prohibition drive in Salem has made the world look on and wonder. This magnificent achievement will reveal the real greatness of the man.

He has produced some works of high literary merit. He has written some Tamil short stories and books on Socrates, Marcus, Aurius, Bhagavad-Gita, Upanishads and Kurul. His talks to fellow Satyagrahis are published styled "Chats behind Bars". He has also written a "Prohibition Manual".

His style is both simple and clear. It excites feeling and influences thought. He is the forceful exponent of great ideas. His fame as political leader has obscured his literary importance.

Source: Haripura Congress Souvenir, 1938

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