N. Ram, Chairman, Kasturi and Sons Limited, delivered the Rajaji Endowment Memorial Lecture on ‘Relevance of Rajaji’s thoughts in the present day politics’ at the National College in Tiruchi

Chakravarthi Rajagopalachari was far ahead of his peers on big ticket ideas on communalism, federalism, nuclear disarmament and conduct of the media in a crystallizing society — all of which are relevant in today’s political environment, N. Ram, Chairman, Kasturi and Sons Limited., said on Tuesday.

Rajaji was a remarkable, yet complex, personality who did not believe in rigid thinking, but was clear in his views on holding India together, he said, delivering the Rajaji Endowment Memorial Lecture on ‘Relevance of Rajaji’s thoughts in the present day politics’ at the National College here.

Observing that the country today lacked leaders of the kind of Rajaji, Mr. Ram said the statesman’s political thought and idea had no shyness and shone through to promote friendship and communal harmony.

Having a grasp of the pluralistic nature of Indian civilisation, Rajaji never shied away from dealing with communalism. Observing that asserting majoritarianism was the worst crime, Rajaji strived for inclusive growth. That was reflected in his wish for deepening trade and economic relations with Pakistan. He knew the ways of dealing with linguistic and ethnic groups and religious minorities, Mr. Ram said.

He said communalism was being used as a political mobilisation strategy. Rajaji would have never stomached the butchering of Sikhs in 1984 and the Gujarat pogrom against Muslims in 2002.

Rajaji was for a progressive Centre-State relationship, arguing that it was crucial for a healthy federal establishment. No other leader before and after Independence came close to Rajaji in respect of his understanding of the horrors of a nuclear catastrophe and the need for a comprehensive nuclear disarmament, Mr. Ram said. Realising the threat of nuclear annihilation, Rajaji wanted an end to testing and deployment of nuclear weapons, issues that were supremely important today.

Although Rajaji’s political thought had faded in public perception and knowledge, his big ticket ideas were still relevant in today’s politics, Mr. Ram said.

N.L. Raja, executive committee member, Academy of Higher Education, National College, said Mr. Ram’s was the fourth in the annual endowment lecture series organised by the college.

Principal K. Anbarasu said the earlier lectures were delivered by eminent persons, including C. Rangarajan, Chairman, Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister.