Chakravarthi Rajagopalachari (December 10, 1878 - December 25, 1972), known as Rajaji, was an Indian lawyer, writer and statesman. He was the second Governor-General of independent India. Later he became the Chief Minister of Madras State, and was one of the first recipients of India`s highest civilian award, Bharat Ratna (in 1954).
He had his college education at Madras (Chennai) and Bangalore. Rajaji started to take part in politics in the beginning of the 1900s. In the year 1919, Rajaji chose to follow Mahatma Gandhi. In the year 1921, Rajaji was selected as the General Secretary of the Congress Party and he came into close contact with Jawaharlal Nehru, Vallabhbhai Patel, Maulana Azad, Anugrah Narayan Sinha, Rajendra Prasad. Rajaji was also connected by marriage to Mahatma Gandhi, as his daughter married the Mahatma`s third son, Devdas Gandhi.
Though he was active in Congress for nearly 50 years, Rajaji was not Congress president even once. After Indian independence was attained, he replaced Mountbatten to become the only Indian Governor-General of India, in which post he continued until the Republic was declared on January 26, 1950.
Rajaji became a member of Jawaharlal Nehru's cabinet, first without portfolio, then, after Patel's death, as Home Minister. He was chief minister of Madras from 1952 to 1954. On leaving the government, he was among the first recipients of the Bharat Ratna, the Indian government's highest civilian award.
He also made several literary contributions. His works in Tamil are recognized as modern classics. After his break with politics, he started on the massive task of translating the Hindu Scriptures from Sanskrit to Tamil; and later into English. He also translated the Tirukkural from Tamil to English. Some of his poetry was set to music and sung by Carnatic music`s dominant personality M S Subbulakshmi at several occasions of importance.