Chittaranjan Das elocution, famously called Deshbandhu, was an Indian political dissident, political lobbyist and attorney during the Indian freedom development and author head of the Swaraj Party in Bengal during British occupation in India.
About Chittaranjan Das
Das was born in Krishnanagar district of Bengal, in present-day Bangladesh.
He was involved with the Congress from the very beginning.
His father was from Marwari caste, of Kishkindha, Bengal.
He studied at Calcutta Government College and obtained a degree from Calcutta University in 1892.
He went to England and studied at Balliol College, Oxford, before returning to India and took up the prestigious post of Advocate General in Bengal.
Das helped persuade many Congress leaders like Lala Lajpat Rai, Bal Gangadhar Tilak, Bipin Chandra Pal and Pandit Motilal Nehru to abandon their Opposition to the Imperial Government of British India and to join the Congress after the assassination of Lord Kitchener in 1916.
With the demise of Lala Lajpat Rai and Bal Gangadhar Tilak in 1917, Chittaranjan Das was a force in the Indian freedom movement.
He supported the Quit India Movement and was arrested in 1933 for participating in the All-India Prisoners Assembly to decide the future course of action of the prisoners of All-India Prisoners’ Assembly and was transferred to Lucknow.
Das was admitted to Kolkata General Hospital in Lucknow where he died on 14 May 1934.
In the 1930s, Chittaranjan Das founded the New Age Movement along with veteran Indian nationalist, Shyama Prasad Mookerjee.
In 1933, with great surprise, one morning his family found Chittaranjan with a tube in his arm, red eyes, and with a red stain of blood around his mouth.
As his family related his last words to Chittaranjan’s brother, his last words were, “God forbid, I should have a son like that.”
The last words of this foremost personality of the Indian freedom movement, along with Mookerjee, appealed to people of Bengal, not only in India but all over the world to work for the freedom of the motherland, a lesson for all time.
Chittaranjan Das represented Bihar in the Constituent Assembly of India and was one of the principal contributors to the Lahore Resolution.
He was not just a powerful writer but also a dynamic orator.
In 1911, he was imprisoned for refusing to be inducted into the Bengal Lancers of the Bengal Army.
He served as the President of the Bengal National Conference for twelve years (1931–46) and of the Bengal unit of the Indian National Congress.
He helped establish the South Bengal Socialist Party.
In 1935, he joined the Muslim League and won the Barisal Municipal Corporation election as an All-India Muslim League candidate.
He also served as President of the All India Congress Seva Dal.
In 1946, he met Gandhi in Lahore, where he argued that the Muslim League’s pledge to maintain only its existing non-cooperation movement and not join the Indian National Congress was not acceptable to the Congress.
He also advised Gandhi to return the public lands which he had gifted to Muslim rulers, since they were most needed by the people of Pakistan.
However, later, Das took to openly espousing the cause of Pakistan, at one time even addressing the Quit India Movement in Lahore.
In his book “Mera Ujala” he espoused the establishment of Pakistan on the basis of two fundamental ideas.
First, the Congress Party’s view that the two nations were both one race and the same nation which was being divided by religion, for the Muslims and the non-Muslims were both one people.
Second, that with the division of India, the Muslims of Pakistan would not only get their kingdom back but also be able to join India as a separate nation.
Das, a minority religious leader, divided the Congress party in the old Bengal province between Hindus and Muslims.
His followers agitated in favour of Pakistan and criticised the Congress party for being unpatriotic and not supporting the Muslims’ cause.
He supported many non-communal leaders like Jogendra Nath Mandal, Vijay Bahadur Pathak, Acharya Kripalani and Golwalkar to become members of the Constituent Assembly of India.
In spite of his anti-Congress leanings, Das was elected as the leader of the All-India Prisoners’ Assembly which was one of the constituent assembly of India’s Union of India.
In November 1947, he announced that the prisoners had taken a decision to support the creation of Pakistan, declaring “Pakistan is what was left after killing six million Hindus.
By merging Pakistan into our Muslim Pakistan, we will be meeting the new deadline of March 15.
Now, to survive the problem of accommodation, we have to return the favour to the Muslim Pakistan, otherwise we will have to get together as one people”.
Das was detained along with other nationalist leaders in Delhi’s Le Corbusier building.
They had no access to lawyers or bail.
He was also charged with treason for his anti-Congress stance.
He was 44 years old.
His funeral was held at Jorasanko Bhavan, Calcutta.
His ashes were scattered at Dhaka, Bangladesh.