Name: Chittaranjan Das
Date of Birth: 5th November 1870
Died: 16th June 1925
Prominently known as: Deshbandhu
Political Party: Indian National Congress, Swaraj Party
Das popularly called as Deshbandu( friend of Nation) is a Bengali political
leader, a lawyer. He was an activist and also fought for the freedom of India
against British. He founded the Swaraj Party in Bengal when Bengal was under
Chittaranjan Das was born on 5th November 1870 at Dhaka now in Bangladesh. He was born in Baidya family and his father was Bahuban Mohan Das worked as a solicitor and a journalist who used to Edit the English Church Weekly and mother was Nistarani Devi. His grandfather was Kashiswar Das.
Das whole family were members of Brahmo Samaj
and he was the nephew of Brahmo Samaj social reformer Durga Mohan Das. During
Non cooperation movement that was launched by Mahatma Gandhi, Das was a
prominent follower of the movement. He was one of the first member who started
to boycott all the British products including clothes. Das was also jailed by
the British for taking part in the non cooperation movement.
Brahmo Samaj was a community which began as a monotheistic reformist’s movement of Hindu religion. It was one of the most influential religious movements in India. It was founded by Raja Ram Mohan Rai in 1828.
married to an Indian Independence activists Basanti Devi and had three children
with her Aparna Devi, Chiranjan Das and Kalyani Devi. Basanti Devi was a
activists who took part in various freedom movements like civil disobedience
movement, non cooperation movement. She was the first women to be arrested along
with her sister in law Urmila Devi in the year 1921. Through her speeches she
influenced people to join the agitation. She was awarded Padma Vibhushan in
Chittaranjan Das completed his higher education and went to Presidency College in Kolkata to complete his graduation. After completing his graduation in 1890, Das wanted to pursue his higher education in civil service and hence went to England to do his civil service.
Since he did not get admission for civil service he joined
Inner Temple to complete his graduation in Law and later was asked to join the
bar. Chittaranjan Das then came back to India to practice Law. He became one of
the prominent and successful lawyers at that time.
1909 when Aurbindo Ghosh was arrested in the Alipore bomb case Das successfully
defended Ghosh in the court. The Alipore Bomb case also called as Muraripukar
conspiracy was trial of number Indian revolutionaries in Calcutta under the
charges of “Waging war against the government” of the British Raj between 1908
and 1909.He also successfully defended freedom fighters like Brahmabandhab
Upadhyay and Bhupendranth Datta who were arrested on the charges of sedition.
Das was involved in politics since his college days. He was appointed as
student union during his college days and he also said to the usage of Bengali
language in the university examination. Chittaranjan Das and his wife
significantly contributed to non cooperation. He was arrested along with his
wife in the year 1921.
non cooperation movement Das became one of the symbols of patriotism and
courage. He asked all the Indians to ban British clothes and all other things
made by British. To set up an example he started wearing clothes made of hand
spun khadi. Like Mahatma Gandhiji even Das believed in nonviolence and
sacrificed all his luxuries to lead a simple life like Gandhiji.
pressed for Hindu Muslim unity cooperation among all over India to attain
independence. He also pressed for education. According to Das people should
attain basic education to need a normal and happy life. He also laid importance
for women’s freedom and helped Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar’s movement for widow
Das even started a newspaper called as Forward to fight against British
policies. He later changed the name of the paper as Liberty. He becomes the
first Mayor of the Calcutta Municipal Corporation. After resigning from the
Indian National Congress he founded Swaraj Party along with Motilal Nehru. The
Swaraj Party was formed on 9th January 1923.
Das became the President and Motilal Nehru became one of the secretaries.
Swaraj Party members were basically not satisfied with the working of Congress
to gain independence. The other group called as no changers were formed who
agreed to withdraw the non cooperation movement and follow other non violence
method. Some of the members from the Swaraj Party were elected to councils so
that they can raise voice against any wrong decisions.
legislatures had minimal powers and hence they apart from standoffs from the
British the main purpose of obstructing British in all task could not be done.
The Swarajist party was elected to Calcutta Corporation in the year 1924. Das
became the mayor and Subhas Chandra Bose was elected as chief executive
officer. Later after the death of Das his follower Bose continued his legacy.
1925 due to over burden of work Das health started to deteriorate. On 16th
June 1925 his condition became serious and he died due to high fever at
Darjeeling. Thousands of people took part in his funeral as a mark of respect
to the great leader.
Each province has got a speciality of its own, I admit, but over and above that, all these different provinces are bound together in one common culture… If the whole of the Hindu races are bond up in that way you must also realise that the whole of the Mahomedan races all over India are also similarly bound up together and we must not forget that the two great cultures must meet together, and the result will be a great culture which is not purely Hindu, not purely Mahomedan but something which is made up of the contact of these two great races. And that is the ideal of Indian Nationality which must be preserved and developed to the fullest extent.
Gentlemen, when I consider the objections put forward to the grant of self-government I can hardly keep my patience. What is it that they say? They say that we are not educated enough to get self-government. My answer is: whose fault is it? For the last 150 years you have been governing this country and yet you have not succeeded in educating the people of this country to such an extent that they may be fit for governing themselves.
Swaraj means that we
must live within ourselves, we must be self-contained. I tell you we are great
slaves to-day. Our economic slavery is greater than our political slavery… From
Manchester comes 60 crores rupees worth of cloth every year. You will not have
to pay these 60 crores rupees which go out of India. If a householder works by
Charkha for one o two hours a day at the end of the year he will find himself
with all the necessaries of his family.
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