Chennai

Rajaji’s contribution lay in combining politics, ethics: Krishna

S.M. Krishna, Minister for External Affairs pays a floral tribute to Rajaji in Chennai on Sunday. Managing Director, The Hindu and President, Music Academy N.Murali, B.S. Raghavan, Former Chief Secretary ,Tripura Music Academy, C.R. Kesavan, Trustee, Rajaji Foundation, (Right) are in the picture. Photo: R. Shivaji Rao

S.M. Krishna, Minister for External Affairs pays a floral tribute to Rajaji in Chennai on Sunday. Managing Director, The Hindu and President, Music Academy N.Murali, B.S. Raghavan, Former Chief Secretary ,Tripura Music Academy, C.R. Kesavan, Trustee, Rajaji Foundation, (Right) are in the picture. Photo: R. Shivaji Rao  

Rajaji’s greatest contribution while leading the freedom struggle was his intertwining of politics and ethics, External Affairs Minister S. M. Krishna said on Sunday.

Delivering the Rajaji memoral lecture to mark the 131st birth anniversary of C. Rajagopalachari under the auspices of the Rajaji Foundation, Mr. Krishna said that as one of its enduring figures, Rajaji had spearheaded a movement that went hand in hand with promoting the best in Indian tradition and civilisation.

The struggle against colonialism was waged on the basis of a moral horizon of equality, justice and truth and in “that horizon, politics and ethics were intertwined and they supported each other,” he said.

According to Mr. Krishna, Rajaji saw this liberation not merely in its political, economic and social dimensions. Rajaji argued that modern education was the sine qua non for achieving liberty beyond political and economic spheres. He not only linked education to creation of citizenry but reinforced the idea that education provided autonomy and equality and was also a means of radical social transformation. The mid-day meal scheme, where children of all castes sat and ate together, not only reflected Rajaji’s intellectual foresight but also his keen understanding of the social architecture, Mr. Krishna said.

Briefly digressing to the contemporary election scene, Mr. Krishna remarked that the might of money, muscle and the State was a deadly combination that was often used to perpetuate oneself in power, though there were honourable exceptions. “I am no more going to contest any election, so I can be frank with you,” Mr. Krishna said.

B. S. Raghavan, former civil servant, called for perpetuating the legacy of Rajaji by upholding clean politics.

N. Murali, president, The Music Academy, and Managing Director, The Hindu, said Rajaji, who excelled in various facets as freedom fighter or as administrator, had succeeded in making his public life an echo of his private life.

Remarkable prescience

As a man whose remarkable prescience led him to be termed the wisest man in public life in India, Rajaji was a champion of free enterprise.

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Printable version | Apr 8, 2020 9:14:07 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/Rajajirsquos-contribution-lay-in-combining-politics-ethics-Krishna/article16814574.ece

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