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Deshbandhu Chittaranjan Das
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Deshbandhu Chittaranjan Das
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About the Book

The appearance of Deshbandhu Chittaranjan Das on the political firmament of India during the second decade of the 20th century, marked a new epoch in our freedom struggle. A Poet, lawyer and a figure of high standing, C.R. Das wanted "Swaraj for the masses, not for the classes." He gave up a lucrative practice at the bar and gifted his entire property to the service of Nation.

Though he died young, his name will ever shine among the great builders of modern India.

The author, Dr. Hemendranath Das Gupta, who knew him personally has rendered a great service by presenting his short biography.

 

Introduction

Every great national movement throws up a number of resplendent personalities who are partly its creators and partly its creation. They are its creation, for without the background and impulse provided by the movement, their thought and action could not have taken shape, or even if they did, would have remained stillborn and ineffective. They are also its creators, for they help to give form and direction to urges and impulses which till their emergence had stirred only in the subconscious mind of the people. Great men help to formulate and express the hopes and aspirations of an age, and in doing so, bring their realisation within the range of practical politics.

The non-cooperation movement of 1919 was one such upsurge of the people's spirit in India. Many great men had worked to prepare the stage for the emergence of a world figure like Mahatma Gandhi. Without the contribution and the services of his forerunners, he could not have played the role that destiny allotted to him. Nor did he emerge like a solitary peak that thrusts upward in the midst of an unbroken plain. When the earth heaves with turmoil and unrest, a whole mountain range rises, even though some peaks may be taller than others. Those were heroic days and, throughout the length and breadth of India, thousands of ordinary men and women were touched with a new spirit of hope and endeavour. India produced a galaxy of stars in which Mahatma Gandhi was the brightest, but there were also others of the first magnitude. And what a galaxy it was which contained stars like Mahatma Gandhi, Pandit Motilal Nehru, C. R. Das, Maulana Mohammed Ali, Hakim Ajmal Khan, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, Dr. Rajendra Prasad, Maulana Abul Kalam Azad and Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru.

C.R. Das was in active politics for barely six years, and yet he established himself in the heart of the Indian people as one of their greatest leaders. What is still more remarkable, he rose within the brief period from agitational politics to statesmanship of the highest order. This seems surprising only to those who do not know that his whole life had been a preparation for this consummation. C.R. Das was a great lawyer, but his most successful cases were those in which he used the instrument of British law to advance India's national interests. He was also a poet and literacy figure of high standing and higher promise. All his writings were, however, directed to one end: the conservation and enrichment of Indian culture and the liberation of her spirit from the domination of the West. C.R. Das had also worked for social and economic uplift of India, for he believed that only in this way could India achieve her liberty.

Once politics claimed him, C.R. Das threw himself heart and soul into the struggle for India's emancipation. He gave up overnight his princely practice at the Bar and change from one of the richest men in India to one who had hardly anything which he could call his own. With his instinctive sympathy for the poor, he declared that Swaraj must mean a richer and better life for the masses of India and not merely the acquisition of additional rights for some privileged classes. He brought to the Indian national struggle a poet's passion and a lawyer's analytical mind. It was not surprising that his services and his renunciation should win the heart of the people throughout the country. Almost overnight, Mr. C.R. Das, Barrister-at- Law, became Deshbandhu Chittaranjan, the friend and servant of his country and his people.

It is one of the tragedies of Indian politics that Deshbandhu Chittaranjan died in the prime of life. He was hardly fifty-five when death put an end to his struggle and his services. And this happened at a time when, mainly through his efforts, a change had taken place both in the Indian approach and the British response. Within India, his work had created an atmosphere of understanding and cordiality between the two major communities of the country. No other Indian leader till then had been able to capture so fully the imagination of Muslims and Hindus alike. It seemed likely that under his inspired leadership, united India would place united demands before a British Government that had been shaken by the impact of the First World War followed by the Khilafat and the Non-cooperation movements.

What the outcome would have been nobody can say, but the manner in which Deshbandhu Das had converted the Congress to his point of view in spite of the initial opposition of many of the outstanding leaders of the day was a measure of his courage and his tenacity. It was also evidence of his resourcefulness and skill in negotiation and demonstration of his hold upon the mind and heart of the Indian people. With these qualities of Deshbandhu Das and with the support of his friend and colleague, Pandit Motilal Nehru, it is permissible to hope that he might have found a way out of the impasse which then faced the British and the Indian people.

Deshbandhu Das was a practical idealist who knew how to combine what is desirable with what is possible. He was never a slave to slogans and had an uncommon power of separating the essentials from the irrelevant and the peripheral. He knew that in a long-drawn-out political struggle, there must be changes in strategy and tactics from time to time. He allowed no false sense of pride to stand in the way of such changes. As a realist, he also knew that when freedom is sought through methods of negotiation and compromise, it can come only in gradual stages. He repeatedly declared that it was the task of statesmanship to consolidate every gain and use it as a base for further advancement towards the goal. It is a measure of his sagacity and vision that more than ten years before the enactment of the Government of India Act, 1935, he had clearly foreseen that the next advance on the political front would be the achievement of provincial autonomy and a federal central government.

Political leaders have unprecedented popularity in their days and overshadow men of equal or even greater distinction in other spheres of life. The intensity of their fame, however, is often matched by its shortlivedness. With the passage of years, political leaders who were preeminent in their day fade away, while scientists, writers or artists who had been overshadowed in their lifetime shine with increasing brightness. Many of the giants of the Indian struggle are today almost forgotten names. It is however, in the national interest to recognise the services of all of them. A nation that forgets past heroes and honours only those who now stand upon the stage suffers from impoverishment of inspiration and faces the risk of sudden upheaval and change. It would be a sign of political immaturity if the services of the stalwarts who built up the Indian National Congress and gave direction and strength to the Indian National Movement are forgotten and the younger generations of today grow up without knowledge of their contribution and regard for their services.

Dr. Hemendranath Das Gupta deserves our thanks and congratulations for his effort to make Deshbandhu Das and his days live once again in our memory. Dr. Das Gupta is one of Deshbandhu's lieutenants and friends. He has shared Deshbandhu's hopes and struggles and stood by him through adversity and success. He writes about his leader with a devotion and faith born of lifelong regard and personal knowledge. One may not agree with every one of Dr. Das Gupta's judgements, but nobody can deny that he has rendered a real service to India by presenting this short biography of Deshbandhu Chittaranjan Das.

 

Contents

 

Surroundings and Percentage 1
Early Life and Education 4
Early Struggle and Success 8
Poet and Literary Figure 22
Early Political Life 26
Amritsar Congress and Jalianwala Bagh 39
Chittaranjan Becomes Deshbandhu 49
Visit of Prince of Wales 59
Trial and Prison Life 72
Gaya Congress 80
Swarajya Party 85
Delhi Congress 91
Calcutta Corporation 95
The Bengal Pact 98
Tarakeshwar Satyagraha 103
Belgaum Congress 105
The Last Testament 114
The Last Days 124
Appendices  
Culture of Bengal 138
Meaning of Freedom 144
Non-Cooperation and Council Entry 152
Swaraj and Dominion Status 198
Chronology 218
Select Bibliography 220
Index 221
Sample Page

Deshbandhu Chittaranjan Das

Item Code:
NAI439
Cover:
Paperback
Edition:
2011
ISBN:
9788123016818
Language:
English
Size:
8.5 inch X 5.5 inch
Pages:
236
Other Details:
Weight of the Book: 260 gms
Price:
$16.00   Shipping Free
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About the Book

The appearance of Deshbandhu Chittaranjan Das on the political firmament of India during the second decade of the 20th century, marked a new epoch in our freedom struggle. A Poet, lawyer and a figure of high standing, C.R. Das wanted "Swaraj for the masses, not for the classes." He gave up a lucrative practice at the bar and gifted his entire property to the service of Nation.

Though he died young, his name will ever shine among the great builders of modern India.

The author, Dr. Hemendranath Das Gupta, who knew him personally has rendered a great service by presenting his short biography.

 

Introduction

Every great national movement throws up a number of resplendent personalities who are partly its creators and partly its creation. They are its creation, for without the background and impulse provided by the movement, their thought and action could not have taken shape, or even if they did, would have remained stillborn and ineffective. They are also its creators, for they help to give form and direction to urges and impulses which till their emergence had stirred only in the subconscious mind of the people. Great men help to formulate and express the hopes and aspirations of an age, and in doing so, bring their realisation within the range of practical politics.

The non-cooperation movement of 1919 was one such upsurge of the people's spirit in India. Many great men had worked to prepare the stage for the emergence of a world figure like Mahatma Gandhi. Without the contribution and the services of his forerunners, he could not have played the role that destiny allotted to him. Nor did he emerge like a solitary peak that thrusts upward in the midst of an unbroken plain. When the earth heaves with turmoil and unrest, a whole mountain range rises, even though some peaks may be taller than others. Those were heroic days and, throughout the length and breadth of India, thousands of ordinary men and women were touched with a new spirit of hope and endeavour. India produced a galaxy of stars in which Mahatma Gandhi was the brightest, but there were also others of the first magnitude. And what a galaxy it was which contained stars like Mahatma Gandhi, Pandit Motilal Nehru, C. R. Das, Maulana Mohammed Ali, Hakim Ajmal Khan, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, Dr. Rajendra Prasad, Maulana Abul Kalam Azad and Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru.

C.R. Das was in active politics for barely six years, and yet he established himself in the heart of the Indian people as one of their greatest leaders. What is still more remarkable, he rose within the brief period from agitational politics to statesmanship of the highest order. This seems surprising only to those who do not know that his whole life had been a preparation for this consummation. C.R. Das was a great lawyer, but his most successful cases were those in which he used the instrument of British law to advance India's national interests. He was also a poet and literacy figure of high standing and higher promise. All his writings were, however, directed to one end: the conservation and enrichment of Indian culture and the liberation of her spirit from the domination of the West. C.R. Das had also worked for social and economic uplift of India, for he believed that only in this way could India achieve her liberty.

Once politics claimed him, C.R. Das threw himself heart and soul into the struggle for India's emancipation. He gave up overnight his princely practice at the Bar and change from one of the richest men in India to one who had hardly anything which he could call his own. With his instinctive sympathy for the poor, he declared that Swaraj must mean a richer and better life for the masses of India and not merely the acquisition of additional rights for some privileged classes. He brought to the Indian national struggle a poet's passion and a lawyer's analytical mind. It was not surprising that his services and his renunciation should win the heart of the people throughout the country. Almost overnight, Mr. C.R. Das, Barrister-at- Law, became Deshbandhu Chittaranjan, the friend and servant of his country and his people.

It is one of the tragedies of Indian politics that Deshbandhu Chittaranjan died in the prime of life. He was hardly fifty-five when death put an end to his struggle and his services. And this happened at a time when, mainly through his efforts, a change had taken place both in the Indian approach and the British response. Within India, his work had created an atmosphere of understanding and cordiality between the two major communities of the country. No other Indian leader till then had been able to capture so fully the imagination of Muslims and Hindus alike. It seemed likely that under his inspired leadership, united India would place united demands before a British Government that had been shaken by the impact of the First World War followed by the Khilafat and the Non-cooperation movements.

What the outcome would have been nobody can say, but the manner in which Deshbandhu Das had converted the Congress to his point of view in spite of the initial opposition of many of the outstanding leaders of the day was a measure of his courage and his tenacity. It was also evidence of his resourcefulness and skill in negotiation and demonstration of his hold upon the mind and heart of the Indian people. With these qualities of Deshbandhu Das and with the support of his friend and colleague, Pandit Motilal Nehru, it is permissible to hope that he might have found a way out of the impasse which then faced the British and the Indian people.

Deshbandhu Das was a practical idealist who knew how to combine what is desirable with what is possible. He was never a slave to slogans and had an uncommon power of separating the essentials from the irrelevant and the peripheral. He knew that in a long-drawn-out political struggle, there must be changes in strategy and tactics from time to time. He allowed no false sense of pride to stand in the way of such changes. As a realist, he also knew that when freedom is sought through methods of negotiation and compromise, it can come only in gradual stages. He repeatedly declared that it was the task of statesmanship to consolidate every gain and use it as a base for further advancement towards the goal. It is a measure of his sagacity and vision that more than ten years before the enactment of the Government of India Act, 1935, he had clearly foreseen that the next advance on the political front would be the achievement of provincial autonomy and a federal central government.

Political leaders have unprecedented popularity in their days and overshadow men of equal or even greater distinction in other spheres of life. The intensity of their fame, however, is often matched by its shortlivedness. With the passage of years, political leaders who were preeminent in their day fade away, while scientists, writers or artists who had been overshadowed in their lifetime shine with increasing brightness. Many of the giants of the Indian struggle are today almost forgotten names. It is however, in the national interest to recognise the services of all of them. A nation that forgets past heroes and honours only those who now stand upon the stage suffers from impoverishment of inspiration and faces the risk of sudden upheaval and change. It would be a sign of political immaturity if the services of the stalwarts who built up the Indian National Congress and gave direction and strength to the Indian National Movement are forgotten and the younger generations of today grow up without knowledge of their contribution and regard for their services.

Dr. Hemendranath Das Gupta deserves our thanks and congratulations for his effort to make Deshbandhu Das and his days live once again in our memory. Dr. Das Gupta is one of Deshbandhu's lieutenants and friends. He has shared Deshbandhu's hopes and struggles and stood by him through adversity and success. He writes about his leader with a devotion and faith born of lifelong regard and personal knowledge. One may not agree with every one of Dr. Das Gupta's judgements, but nobody can deny that he has rendered a real service to India by presenting this short biography of Deshbandhu Chittaranjan Das.

 

Contents

 

Surroundings and Percentage 1
Early Life and Education 4
Early Struggle and Success 8
Poet and Literary Figure 22
Early Political Life 26
Amritsar Congress and Jalianwala Bagh 39
Chittaranjan Becomes Deshbandhu 49
Visit of Prince of Wales 59
Trial and Prison Life 72
Gaya Congress 80
Swarajya Party 85
Delhi Congress 91
Calcutta Corporation 95
The Bengal Pact 98
Tarakeshwar Satyagraha 103
Belgaum Congress 105
The Last Testament 114
The Last Days 124
Appendices  
Culture of Bengal 138
Meaning of Freedom 144
Non-Cooperation and Council Entry 152
Swaraj and Dominion Status 198
Chronology 218
Select Bibliography 220
Index 221
Sample Page

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