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Shree C. Rajagopalachar

The first Governor General of free India | Shree C. Rajagopalachar Biography

The first Governor General of free India | Shree C. Rajagopalachar Biography

Governor General of India was originated in the British Rule Period. It used to carry the honour of the head of the Administration of India. In the era of British Rule, the head of the British Administration of India was said to the Governor General of India. After independence Shree C. Rajagopalachari had become the first Governor General of Free India in the year 1947.

Shree C. Rajagopalachar

Governor General of India – Pre-independence

  • In the year 1773 the office for the Governor General was established. The office was then called the Governor General of the Presidency of Fort William. At that point of time the administration and activities under this office was fully supervised by the East India Company. The Indian officials of EIC and the director had the control of the office and the administration.
  • In the year 1833 the British India had got the complete authority of the office and the administration of India. From then the officials under the administration were called the Governor General of India. In the year 1858 all the territories and authorities under East India Company had come under the complete rule of British Government. From then onwards the Governor General of India had changed to Viceroy of India. The first Viceroy of India was Lord Canning, the English Statesman.

Governor General of Independent India

After independence the title Viceroy was abolished completely from India. However the office of Governor General of India was still in existence under the supervision of the first Governor General of India Shree Chakravarty Rajagopalachari. The office was in action till the independent Indian constituents had been established in the year 1950.

Till 1858, the Governor General used to be appointed by the Directors’ Court of The East India Company. After 1858, the Secretary of the State for India used to appoint Governor General of India. Post independence the decision was taken by the sovereign like before but since 1947, the sovereign had to seek the permission from Indian Government before appointing the Governor General of India.

There was a Governor General Executive Council under which members served as the officials of the administration of India. After establishing Government of India Act in 1858, there were 6-12 more members added to the council to look after the responsibilities of the Governor General.

History and Political Career

Chakravarty Rajagopalachari was born in the year 1878 in Madras. He was a lawyer by profession but keen to serve the country. He was hugely inspired by the social activists and freedom fighter Shree Bal Gangadhar Tilak while he was practicing as a lawyer in Salem. Then in the year 1911 he had joined the Salem Municipality and with this his political career was started. Later on he had left his immense contribution to different independence movements occurred across the nation at that point of time.

He was one of the leading contributors in Satyagraha Movement. Rajaji had joined Mahatma Gandhi in the year 1919 and followed his path in independence movements. When Gandhiji was in prison, with his followers and members of the no-changer group, he led the movements. He was one of the most common men from India. He used to do all his daily domestic activities like washing clothes, cleaning, polishing shoes and such on his own. Even when he had become one of the biggest names in Indian Politics he continued doing the same.

Chakravarty Rajagopalachari aka C.R. was the first Governor General of free India. He had served as the Governor General in the year 1947 for few days when Lord Mountbatten was absent. After his returning back C.R. had quit the position. In the year 1948 when Mountbatten left the country he appointed C.R. as the Governor General of the independent India after Vallabhbhai Patel denied taking the position. He served as the Governor General of free India from 1948 to 1950, until the Indian constituents had been established.

Governor General of the West Bengal

Before appointed as the Governor of India, Rajagopalachari was appointed as the Governor of West Bengal in the year 1947. After serving as Governor of India for few days he had become the governor of West Bengal and served there till 1948 until he became the governor of India again.

During this one year, he was prioritised some of the sensitive issues in Bengal. He wanted to sort out the refugee problems and also wanted to bring peace in the state after Calcutta Riots. He had taken a lot of initiatives to make things possible. Needless to say he had faced a lot of opposition as well during his service in Bengal. He had also taken movements against making Bihar and Orissa parts of West Bengal territory.

Responsibilities and Contribution

Despite being a lawyer by profession, his contribution to the world of literature was immense. He had translated Mahabharata and Ramayana in English in late 1890s. He had started Salem Literary Society in 1922. Apart from this he had also written many songs in Tamil for the independence movements.

As mentioned Rajaji was a great follower of Mahatma Gandhi and contributed a huge part of his life to India’s independence. He had to face a lot of problems while serving as the laureate and also as Governor of the Bengal and India. He had a conflict with Subhas Chandra Bose during sometimes in 1938. Due to this conflict he had to face a strong oppose by Bose’s brother Sarat Chandra Bose in the year 1947. However the younger Bose could not make the movement against C.R. successfully. Also some of the critics had said that some of his decisions towards Hindi and Tamil literature were wrong but his popularity in the state levels were huge.

He was a major part in Congress party but later in his life he left the group. Since his birth he was weak and sick but he not only stood strong for the nation but fought till his last breath. After a weak of battling with the health he dies in the year 1972 at the age of 94.

Chakravarty Rajagopalachari – Life at a glance

Full NameChakravarty Rajagopalachari
Born on1878
Born inMadras
Governor General of India (first Indian)1948 – 1950
Governor General of West Bengal1947 – 1948
ProfessionLawyer
Political CareerSince 1911

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