India's first Governor-General after independence from Britain, was cremated with full state honours in Madras city, India, on Tuesday (December 26).
India's first Governor-General after independence from Britain, was cremated with full state honours in Madras city, India, on Tuesday (December 26). Mr. Chakravarti Rajagopalachari, Rajaji as he was affectionately known, died on December 25 at the age of ninety-four. He was involved in Indian politics for well over half a century and was active as a writer until a week before his death. He succeeded Lord Mountbatten as Governor General in 1948. He held the position until India became a republic in January 1950. Since then he had been active in politics, holding minist???al posts with national and Madras governments. The Indian Government ???red one week of state mourning on the death or the former Governor-General. In the last few years of his political career, he was one of the Indian Government's most vocal critics.
Large numbers of people filed past the body which lay in state at Madras's Rajaji Hall before the funeral. An escort party of five hundred servicemen accompanied the body from Rajaji Hall to the Krishnampet cremation grounds. Among those attending the funeral was a former president of the Indian National Congress, Mr. K. Kamaraj. India's President, Mr. Varahagiri Venkata Giri, place a wreath on the body as it lay on the gun carriage before the cortege left Rajaji Hall.
SYNOPSIS: The funeral of one of India's most revered statesmen was held inn Madras on Tuesday. Mr. Rajagopalachari, affectionately known as Rajaji, was India's only native-born Governor General. Among the crowds which queued to file past his body in Rajaji Hall, was former President of the National Congress, Mr. K. Kamaraj. At times the queues outside the building stretched for more than a mile.
The statesman had died the day before, aged ninety-four. Although in his later years he was a vocal critic of the Government, he was afforded full state honours. He was involved in Indian politics for well over half a century, and held ministerial posts in both the Madras and national governments. The Indian President, Mr. Giri, paid his last respects before the cortege left Rajaji Hall.
The Indian Government ordered a week of state mourning after the death. He was a devoted follower of Mahatma Gandhi and was sometimes called the keeper of his conscience. He was imprisoned five times by the British before India's independence.