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When North Indians didn't let Rajaji become President of India

But If only Nehru had listened to C. Rajagopalachari, India would be a different country today

Author Mohan Guruswamy
On December 25, when we celebrate Christmas, few recall that it is also the death anniversary of Chakravarti Rajagopalachari, India’s first Indian Governor General (1948-50) and its original liberalizer. Liberalization now has many fathers. PV Narasimha Rao, Manmohan Singh and even Rajiv Gandhi, according to some.
 
Rajagopalachari, popularly known as Rajaji, is today more remembered for his elegant and simple rendering in English of the Mahabharata  (1951) and Ramayana (1957). But Rajagopachari should be known today as the first one to sound the warning against a state controlled and centrally planned economy, and naïve notions of Fabian socialism. To be sure, central planning did us a great deal of good, but we could very well argue that we might have been even better off without it.
 
Before he broke with Jawaharlal over the economic and political direction was taking at his behest, Panditji and were close. In 1950 Rajagopalachari was Nehru’s initial choice for President. But this candidature was opposed by a group of powerful north Indian politicians and Rajendra Prasad became President. Rajagopalachari was immediately inducted in the cabinet as Minister without portfolio. Rajaji played a key role in ironing out differences between Nehru and Patel, and succeeded Patel after his death.
 
As Home Minister, he differed with the Prime Minister on who the main enemy was – the Hindu Mahasabha or Indian communists? He also disagreed with Nehru’s fascination with the Soviet Union and the creation of linguistic states. The following year he quit the government and returned to Madras, where he became the Chief Minister in 1952.
 
In 1957 Rajaji formally broke with Jawaharlal Nehru over his economic and political prescriptions for India. India after the Avadi resolution of the Indian National consequently came to be governed by a combination of protectionist, import substitution, Fabian socialism and social democratic inspired policies.

Read on next page : When Nehru said to JRD Tata that "Profit is a dirty word!"
Widgets Magazine
Widgets Magazine
Widgets Magazine