Why Rajagopal?

published on May 21, 2012

(Based on Article by Murali Parappuram in Janmabhumi)

People don’t have confusion as decays of Kerala politics and idealistic politics fight against each other in the Neyyattinkara by-election. The political past of the UDF and LDF candidates is a clear representation of opportunism, corruption and power politics followed by both fronts. When the UDF candidate R. Selvaraj joined Congress leaving CPI(M);  the LDF candidate F. Lorence joined CPI(M) from Kerala Congress. They don’t have the basic eligibility to face the people with this  color change by throwing away the flags they held in their hands and swallowing their loud slogans.

In this triangular competition the only candidate who has the eligibility and integrity to represent the people of Neyyattinkara is Rajagopal. His indestructible political legacy and ideological stands underlines this. People know him as the leader of BJP and Jana Sangh, member of Rajyasabha representing BJP in Kerala, Central minister for Railways, Defense and Law,  disciple of Mata Amritanandamayi etc.  If you picture all these things in a bigger canvas, it would become his life itself. When he was in middle school, he was attracted by Mahatma Gandhi and took part in Quit India movement at his own level. He volunteered in the freedom celebration when studying at Victoria College. Interestingly he kept a distance between the Pro-Congress and Pro-Communist student organizations. He was a student who was interested in his studies. “I took a different path after that period, inspired by some internal and external factors. When looking back, after traveling in that path for more than five decades, most of the things give fulfillment” He remembers in his autobiographical book “Jeevamrutham”.

Many of the events in his life are unknown even to his friends who know him very well. Rajagopal, who was born in 1929 as the son of both Neelakandapanikkar from Pandalam and Kunjikkav of Manappadam Olanchery family. He followed the footsteps of his father in reading newspapers and travels. His father was very much excited about Veera Savarkar, thus Savarkar became an idol in Rajagopal’s heart as leader. His father wanted his son to become an agriculturalist after completing intermediate, but Rajagopal landed at Madras Law College. Later, he married Shanta who was a Medical Student at Madras.

After completing his studies, he worked at an insurance company to earn the money needed for the enrollment. He attended the Congress meeting at Aavadhi attracted by its socialist declaration. Mannathu padmanabhan, Swamy Chinmayananda, Guruji Golwarkar, Pandit Dindayal Upadhyaya all these great personalities attracted him a lot. Their presence and influence opened up his way to start working for the people.
He became the secretary of Palakkad NSS unit, getting energized from the call for social goodness by Mannathu Padmanabhan. Rajagopal represented Palakkad at the “Shathaabhishekam” celebrations of Mannathu Padmanabhan at Changanassery. “Noble, dignified and graceful face. It was so charismatic. He spoke with simple and small sentences with heartfelt commitment” Rajagopal says about meeting Mannam for the first time at Pondicherry.

His relationship with Swami Chinmayananda was also similar. Rajagopal was one of the organizer of the “GitaJnanayagnam” conducted at Palakkad. The Triveni Sangamam at Kanyakumari was selected for the auspicious “Avabhrutha Snana” after the Gita-Yagnam. The reception to the Snana Yatra at Pandalam was organized by Mannathu Padmanabhan. It was the relation with Swami Chinmayananda, which bought Rajagopal near to Guruji  Golwalkar, the Sar Sangh Chalak of RSS. He was very much fascinated towards Guruji who was leading a ‘Rishi’’s life.

He got connected to the Bharathiya Jana Sangh, when he was the president of Palakkad Small scale farmer’s organization. Later the discussions he had with Pandit Dindayal Upadhyaya resulted in the resolution of ideological issues. Rajagopal says, “Dindayalji’s influence in my life as a person and as an ideologist was really big”.Tthe killing of Dindayalji in a train, when he was travelling to Patna was a shock in Rajagopal’s life,. It was on the 41st day of his election as the president of Jana Sangh. A meeting was organized at Palakkad in remembrance of Dindayalji, in which Rajagopal declared his decision to dedicate his life fully for the party activities abandoning his advocate job.  Jana Sangh worked in Kerala of around two decades. Learning the circumstances when he entered the politics would give as fair idea how agitated and politically intense the situation was. Rajagopal led the Kerala team, which travelled to Kutch in protest against Nehru’s decision to give Ran-of-Kutch to Pakistan. Another agitation was the secretariat march and picketing against Nehru’s Russian model five year plans. All the leaders who participated in this movement were arrested and sent to AttaKulangara Jail.

Kelappaji’s agitation against the formation of Malappuram district showcased the strength and importance of Jana Sangh as a political organization in Kerala. Jana Sangh led all the protests against the formation of a district based on religion. It was EMS Namboothirippad who took such a decision without hearing the voice of opposition including E Moudu Mowlavi. Rajagopal, as the secretary to the Action Committee, played an important role to bring national importance to the protest by extending the stages to Delhi, Madras and Mumbai. He also disclosed that the CPI leaders and ideologists K. Damodaran and M. Govindan were against the religion based Malappuram district formation. Rajagopal also mentions CPI(M)’s attempt to create communal issues at Thali temple by provoking a section of Muslims.

The legendry protest against national emergency led by RSS and JanaSangh was historical. We can see true colors of many of the Kerala politicians, in comparison to  the experiences of Rajagopal at Poojappura Central Jail and Viyyoor Jail. “EMS cunningly escaped by saying he was protesting agaist bonus reduction, but AKG supported the agitations. K Balakrishnapilla, borrowed a pen from Rajagopal to write an apology and then returned as a minister for Jails.” Rajagopal discloses all these things in his autobiography. There were 3500 Sangh activists among the 4645 people who got arrested.

Once he met Mata Amritanandamayi at Vallikkav ashram, which transformed his life and aim altogether. “Public service is needed” Amma said just like a monologue gazing at Rajagopal. He mentions, “I could not understand the depth of breadth of those words, unless I took more and more responsibilities in my public life.” Rajagopal together with his wife Shanta took Deeksha from Amma in the year 1992. He passionately remembers bringing so many eminent personalities like Atalji, L.K. Advani, Bhairon Singh Shekhavat, Rajamata Vijay Raja Sindhya, Shiela Dixit, Najma Heptulla, Sushama Swaraj, Uma Bharati, Ashok Singhal, Murali Manohar Joshi etc to Amma’s Ashram. When Ashok Singhal mentioned the difficulties faced by Hindus Amma said “When a flower blossoms the plant suffers a lot of pain. But, everyone becomes happy when it fully blossoms. Similarly Bharat too is blossoming. The pain we see in the society is a result of its expansion, just like labor pain.

Election of K. R. Narayanan and A.P.J. Abdul Kalam as the presidents of India caused a lot of confusions and claims. Rajagopal describes the crucial role he played to get support from BJP in his autobiography. He himself appointed a Hindi teacher from Banaras to teach Hindi to K. R. Narayanan. Only a very few people knows it was Rajagopal who suggested APJ Abdul Kalam’s name as the President of India when P.C. Alaxander’s candidature was opposed by Congress.

Kerala is the scape goat of opportunistic coalition politics as it thinks opposing BJP is profitable, as half of the population belongs to organized minority vote bank and other half is unorganized and split. The historic responsibility taken by Rajagopal at Neyyantikara is to end this cursed politics.

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