Born 1878 in a village near the city of Hosur, Madras Province; died 1972. Indian political figure and statesman.
The son of a well-to-do Brahman, Rajagopalachari was educated as a lawyer. In 1919 he joined the national liberation movement. He was secretary-general of the Indian National Congress in 1921 and 1922 and a member of the working committee of the party between 1922 and 1942 and in 1946 and 1947. He belonged to the party’s extreme right wing. Rajagopalachari was chief minister of Madras Presidency from 1937 to 1939. From 1948 to 1950, after India’s independence (1947), he was governor-general of the dominion of India. In 1950 and 1951 he was first minister without portfolio and then minister of the armed forces. From 1952 to 1954 he was chief minister of the state of Madras. Rajagopalachari founded the extreme right-wing Swatantra party in 1959 and remained its leader until the end of his life.