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Rajaji’s contribution to freedom struggle recalled

Saturday 28 May 2005

Special Correspondent

"He was the intellectual forerunner of the process of economic liberalisation"

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K.V. Srinivasan
BOOK ON STATESMAN: C. Rangarajan, chairman, Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister, releasing a publication of Rajaji’s writings at a function in Chennai on Friday. (From left): G.K. Sundaram, chairman of Lakshmi Group of Companies, C.R. Ke savan, Rajaji’s great grandson, R. Desikan, chairman, The Catalyst Trust.

CHENNAI: C. Rangarajan, chairman of the Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister, urged historians on Friday to reflect whether Rajaji’s (C. Rajagopalachari) role in the country’s freedom struggle had been adequately recognised.

"Part of the reason [for not adequate recognition] may be that his [Rajaji’s] appeal was more intellectual than emotional. Perhaps his sharp intellect was mistaken as arrogance," Dr. Rangarajan said, releasing a set of four volumes of the late leader’s writings at a function organised here by The Catalyst Trust.

`Shining chapter’

Rajaji’s services to the nation constituted a "shining chapter" in the history of the freedom struggle and he should be remembered for his "signal contribution and services" to the national movement.

Dwelling on two aspects of the life of the leader - as an economic thinker and an administrator, Dr. Rangarajan said that after 1960, Rajaji emerged as a strong opponent of the economic policies of the government. He strongly argued that the concentration of powers in the hands of the state in economic matters and the consequent emergence of a control regime could only result in misdirection of resources and growing corruption. "In this sense, he was the intellectual forerunner of the process of economic liberalisation," Mr. Rangarajan said.

The chairman of the Lakshmi Group of Companies, G.K. Sundaram, who, as a school student, took part in the Vedaranyam march led by Rajaji 75 years ago, recalled his association with the late leader. Many of Rajaji’s suggestions on economics that he made decades back were being implemented, Mr. Sundaram said.

The great-grandson of Rajaji and vice-president of the Rajiv Gandhi National Trust of Youth Development, C.R. Kesavan, received the book `Satyam Eva Jayathe.’

N. Sivanesan, former Indian Administrative Service officer, wanted Rajaji’s writings in English to be translated into Tamil.

R. Desikan, chairman of the Catalyst Trust, urged the State Government to make the book available at every library.

N.L. Rajah, secretary of the Trust, said the organisation, along with others, was working on electoral reforms.

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