C. Rajagopalachari

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Premier Rajagopalachari at a rally in Ootacamund, 1939

Chakravarti Rajagopalachari (10 December 1878 – 25 December 1972), informally called Rajaji or C.R., was an Indian lawyer, independence activist, politician, writer and statesman. Rajagopalachari was the last Governor-General of India. He also served as leader of the Indian National Congress, Premier of the Madras Presidency, Governor of West Bengal, Minister for Home Affairs of the Indian Union and Chief Minister of Madras state.


Gandhi and Rajagopalachari conferring, 1944
  • The tradition in Hinduism is that it is not open to any Hindu, whatever be the name and mental image of the Supreme Being he uses for his devotional exercises, to deny the existence of God that others worship. He can raise the name of his choice to that of the highest, but he can not deny the divinity or the truth of the God of other denominations. The fervor of his own piety just gives predominance to the name and form he gives for his own worship and contemplation, and he treats the other gods as deriving the divinity therefrom. This reduces all controversy to a devotional technique of concentration on a peculiar name and mental form or concrete symbol as representing the supreme being. It makes no difference in the contents of Vedanta to which all devotees equally subscribe… ‘just as all water raining from the skies goes to the ocean, worship of all gods go to Keshava.’
  • There is no reality in the fond expectation that Britain will leave the country in simple response to a Congress slogan. Besides, by asking the British to leave, the Congress was issuing an open invitation to a colonising power more brutal by far, the Japanese.
    • Rajagopalachari (1942) quoted in: Ramachandra Guha (2 February 2003). "Gandhi and Rajaji". The Hindu. Retrieved on 26 November 2013. 
    • Rajaji opposing Gandhi on the Quit India movement in 1942.
  • Do not demand love. Begin to love. You will be loved. It is the law and no statute can alter it. If we do not follow the law, and let the law die with the teacher, we shall become accomplices to the murderer. But if follow the law with our hearts, [Bapu] will live with us and through us.
    • Rajagopalachari (12 February 1949), quoted in Rajmohan Gandhi (1997). Rajaji: A Life. Penguin Books India. ISBN 978-0-14-026967-3. 
    • Spoken by C.R when Mahatma Gandhi (Bapu) was assassinated.
  • If civilization is to be bound up with material advancement, we must accept its inevitable consequence, loss of freedom in enact proportion to the forward march.
    • Chakravarti Rajagopalachari (1960) The voice of the uninvolved: speeches and statements on atomic warfare and test explosions. p. 167
  • What is wanted to save parliamentary democracy is an opposition that will operate not privately and behind the closed doors of the party meeting, but openly and periodically through the electorate.
    • Rajagopalachari, quoted in: ‎Myron Weiner (1961) Introduction to the civilization of India: developing India. University of Chicago. College, p. 271
    • His advocacy of right-wing alternative to the Congress.
  • If we believe that God is everywhere… why should we not believe He is in objects to which so much concentrated devotion is attached? Christians believe in the doctrine of original sin. Hindus believe in the doctrine of acquired sin. But all of us believe that God, by whatever name we call Him, is in the world.
    • Rajagopalachari, quoted in: Monica Felton (1962) Rajaji, p. 57
  • The most urgent reason for prohibition is the good of these depressed classes. No other single measure of reform can help these people, and at once raise them economically and socially as total prohibition can. The rich and the educated may be indifferent about this reform. It is most necessary for saving the poor and the lowly.
    • Rajagopalachari, quoted in: Tek Chand (1972) Liquor Menace in India, p. 116
  • We must learn two things. One is to see ourselves as others see us. We apply one yardstick when we wish to appraise other people. Secondly, we cannot succeed in anything if we act in fear of other people's opinions.
    • Rajagopalachari, quoted in: R. K. Murthi (1979) Rajaji, life and work, p. 155
  • You must learn how to marry and live a married life. That is true Home Science. Home is made by ma-ried people and children and the science deals with that subject. Please remember that Home Science is not preparation for a profession or a trade; but it is preparation for marriage.
    • Rajagopalachari, quoted in: Shiri Ram Bakshi (1990) C. Rajagopalachari, p. 160
  • “It seems, you expect from me an expression of my views on the specific question: What type of missionary workers are wanted in India, rather than on the question whether any missionary workers should come at all to India? I shall respectfully speak my opinion on the latter point. I feel it is not really possible on the ground of logic or on the evidence of miracles to hold that amongst the religions known as Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, and Christianity, anyone is nearer the truth than any other. You will permit me to object to the exclusive claims for Truth made on behalf of any one of these faiths. If this my first point is granted, the only justification for missionary work is proselytism. But is it good on the whole for men and women to change from one religion to another? I think it is not desirable to make any effort at proselytism. I feel that such efforts undermine the present faith of the people, which is good enough for promoting right conduct in them and to deter them from sin. They tend to destroy family and social harmony, which is not a good thing to do.”
    • The National Christian Council Review, December 1956, p. 490. quoted from Madhya Pradesh (India), Goel, S. R., Niyogi, M. B. (1998). Vindicated by time: The Niyogi Committee report on Christian missionary activities. ISBN 9789385485121

Quotes about Rajaji[edit]

  • His conscience-keeper.
    • Gandhi (1933) referred to Rajaji, as quoted in V. Venkatesan. "Political pragmatist" on frontline.in, 2009. Accessed 26 November 2013.
    • Gandhi referred to Rajaji, on the eve of his 21 days fast in May 1933, because of the latter’s questioning spirit.
  • C. Rajagopalachari, Gandhi's southern commander
    • Booktitle Antony R. H. Copley C. Rajagopalachari, Gandhi's southern commander, Indo-British Historical Society, 1986; Quoted in: Ramachandra Guha (2001) An Anthropologist Among the Marxists and Other Essays. p. 39
  • Probably the ablest and certainly one of the most intransigent' of Gandhi's followers.
    • Collector of Tanjore at the time of Salt Satyagraha (March 1930); Quoted in: Ramachandra Guha (2001) An Anthropologist Among the Marxists and Other Essays. p. 39

External links[edit]

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