Deshbandhu Chittaranjan Das: A Visionary Leader Who Shaped India’s Destiny
Table of Contents
Early Life and Education
Legal Career and Political Involvement
Contribution to Literature and Journalism
Freedom Struggle and Role in the Indian National Congress
Non-Cooperation Movement and Sacrifices
Social Welfare Initiatives and Public Life
The Legacy of Deshbandhu Chittaranjan Das
Deshbandhu Chittaranjan Das, a prominent figure in India’s struggle for independence, played a pivotal role in shaping the destiny of the nation. His remarkable personality, relentless struggle, selflessness, and dedication earned him the admiration of countless individuals. This article delves into the life and achievements of Deshbandhu Chittaranjan Das, highlighting his significant contributions to the nation.
2. Early Life and Education
Chittaranjan Das was born on November 5, 1870, in Central Calcutta (now Kolkata), to Bhuban Mohan Das and Nistarini Devi. Renowned for his scholarly endeavors, his father served as an esteemed solicitor at the prestigious Calcutta High Court.”. Chittaranjan Das attended the London Missionary Societies Institution and later joined Calcutta University’s Presidency College. He developed a keen interest in literature, drawing inspiration from renowned poets like Rabindranath Tagore, Keats, Shelley, and Browning. In 1890, he graduated from Presidency College before embarking on a journey to England to compete in the Indian Civil Service. However, he shifted his focus to law and was called to the English Bar in 1893.
3. Legal Career and Political Involvement
Returning to India in 1894, Chittaranjan Das enrolled as a Barrister at the Calcutta High Court. His career took a significant turn in 1908 when he successfully defended Aurobindo Ghose in the Alipore Bomb Case, leading to Aurobindo’s acquittal. This triumph catapulted Chittaranjan Das into the limelight, both professionally and politically. He showcased his expertise in civil and criminal law, quickly establishing a highly lucrative legal practice.
4. Contribution to Literature and Journalism
From a young age, Chittaranjan Das displayed a deep affinity for Vaishnava poetry. He began writing Bengali poetry at the age of sixteen and published notable works like “Sagar-Sangit” (The Songs of the Sea) in 1913, “Antaryami” (The All-Perceiver) in 1914, and “Kishor-Kishori” (The Youth) in 1915. Chittaranjan Das also founded and edited the esteemed literary journal “Narayan,” which featured his own poems alongside contributions from other writers.
5. Freedom Struggle and Role in the Indian National Congress
Chittaranjan Das actively participated in India’s freedom struggle. He joined the Indian National Congress as a delegate in 1906 but remained relatively inactive until 1917 when he presided over the Bengal Provincial Conference of the Congress in Calcutta. He worked tirelessly to secure Mrs. Annie Besant’s election as the Congress President during its Calcutta Session in 1917. In subsequent years, Das played a pivotal role in opposing the Montagu-Chelmsford Reforms and the repressive Rowlatt Act of 1919. He ardently advocated for non-violence and emphasized the need for unity among Indians.
6. Non-Cooperation Movement and Sacrifices
In 1920, Mahatma Gandhi presented the policy of Non-Cooperation with the Government at a special Congress Session in Calcutta. Initially, Chittaranjan Das disagreed with this approach, favoring obstruction from within the Legislature. However, he eventually embraced the Non-Cooperation Movement wholeheartedly and renounced his lucrative legal career. From that point forward, he dedicated his life to the cause of Indian independence, adopting a simple and ascetic lifestyle.
7. Social Welfare Initiatives and Public Life
Chittaranjan Das’s commitment to the nation extended beyond politics. He selflessly contributed his entire property to the establishment of a medical school and hospital for women. His residence became a hub for political consultation, organization, and propaganda. As the first Mayor of Calcutta, Das formulated an extensive program of work for the Corporation, encompassing primary education, medical relief, affordable food, and milk supply, improved water and sanitation systems, housing for the underprivileged, suburban development, transportation enhancements, and administrative efficiency.
8. The Legacy of Deshbandhu Chittaranjan Das
Deshbandhu Chittaranjan Das’s selfless service and sacrifices left an indelible mark on India’s history. He tirelessly worked towards Hindu-Muslim unity, and his Hindu-Muslim Pact aimed to foster harmony and joint action. Despite facing opposition, his unwavering determination played a crucial role in solidifying the Bengal Congress’s acceptance of the Pact. Chittaranjan Das’s untimely demise on June 16, 1925, was a profound loss for the nation, but his contributions continue to inspire generations.
Deshbandhu Chittaranjan Das was a visionary leader, legal luminary, accomplished writer, and dedicated social reformer who played an instrumental role in India’s struggle for independence. His commitment to non-violence, unity, and the welfare of the nation remains an enduring legacy. Deshbandhu’s exemplary life and sacrifices continue to inspire individuals to strive for a better and more equitable society, keeping alive his vision of a free and united India.