Leader remembered for outstanding statesmanship and knowledge of epics

Chakravarthy Rajagopalachariar, fondly remembered as Rajaji, whether in power or out of throne, was a saviour of common masses and was an epitome of simplicity and humility all through his life, said Tamil scholar Solomon Pappaiah.

Speaking after releasing a book on Rajaji's English lectures translated into Tamil by T.Ganesan, former station director of All India Radio, and brought out by Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Chennai, here on Saturday, Mr.Solomon Pappaiah drew audiences attention to a couple of instances in the life of the late leader. Rajaji, after being elected as Chief Minister of the then Madras Presidency responded to a letter from sanitary workers.

In the second occasion, Rajaji, shunned all inhibitions and visited the then Chief Minister's residence to plead for the re-introduction of dry law in the State. “No sooner the state government decided in favour of the sale of liquor for the first time, Rajaji, who had held key posts including that of Governor-General, argued for the cause of the common man, as he was fully aware of the evil impact of liquor,” he said.

Rajaji used to collect Rs.5 towards his autograph and the fund was utilised for the welfare of Harijans.

Describing Rajaji as an outstanding statesman and a ‘beaconing light,' Mr.Pappaiah specifically referred to his lectures on the atomic bombs during the World war-II. “Rajaji boldly supported the Soviet Union, setting at rest a myth that he was anti-USSR.

Mr.Pappaiah specifically referred to Rajaji's wisdom in Vedas, epics and Tamil literature including Tirukkural. “Despite his official and political responsibility, Rajaji brought out several books on Raamayanam and Mahabaratham in a simplified form to benefit common masses.

Mr.Pappaiah appreciated the efforts taken by the Bhavan in translating the English lectures by Rajaji. K.N.Ramaswamy, director of the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Chennai, recalled Rajaji's close association with the Bhavan. The Bhavan had brought out 18 books authored by Rajaji. He received the first copy of the translated copy of the book on the occasion.

Mr.Ganesan said that the lectures centred on a wide range of topics - home science, political science, religion, statesmanship, and personality development. T.V.Murali, secretary of the Bhavan's Tiruchi Kendra, said that these lectures were delivered by Rajaji between 1948 and 1954. S.Chandrakumar, chairman, Tiruchi Kendra of the Bhavan, said the release of the book marked a milestone for the Tiruchi Kendra which was floated only a few months ago.