J. B. Kripalani

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Jivatram Bhagwandas Kripalani
Acharya Kripalani 1989 stamp of India.jpg
Kripalani on a 1989 stamp of India
Born(1888-11-11)11 November 1888
Died19 March 1982(1982-03-19) (aged 93)
NationalityIndian
OccupationPolitician
Political party Indian National Congress
Praja Socialist Party
Movement Indian Independence Movement
Spouse(s) Sucheta Kripalani

Jivatram Bhagwandas Kripalani (11 November 1888 – 19 March 1982), popularly known as Acharya Kripalani, was an Indian politician, noted particularly for holding the presidency of the Indian National Congress during the transfer of power in 1947 and the husband of Sucheta Kriplani. Kripalani was a Gandhian socialist, environmentalist, mystic and independence activist.

India Country in South Asia

India, also known as the Republic of India, is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh largest country by area and with more than 1.3 billion people, it is the second most populous country as well as the most populous democracy in the world. Bounded by the Indian Ocean on the south, the Arabian Sea on the southwest, and the Bay of Bengal on the southeast, it shares land borders with Pakistan to the west; China, Nepal, and Bhutan to the northeast; and Bangladesh and Myanmar to the east. In the Indian Ocean, India is in the vicinity of Sri Lanka and the Maldives, while its Andaman and Nicobar Islands share a maritime border with Thailand and Indonesia.

Indian National Congress Major political party in India

The Indian National Congress(pronunciation ) is a broadly based political party in India. Founded in 1885, it was the first modern nationalist movement to emerge in the British Empire in Asia and Africa. From the late 19th century, and especially after 1920, under the leadership of Mahatma Gandhi, Congress became the principal leader of the Indian independence movement. Congress led India to independence from Great Britain, and powerfully influenced other anti-colonial nationalist movements in the British Empire.

Sucheta Kriplani Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh and Indias first woman Chief Minister

Sucheta Kriplani was an Indian freedom fighter and politician. She was India's first woman Chief Minister, serving as the head of the Uttar Pradesh government from 1963 to 1967.

Contents

He grew close to Gandhi and at one point, he was one of Gandhi's most ardent disciples. Kripalani was a familiar figure to generations of dissenters, from the Non-Cooperation Movements of the 1920s to the Emergency of the 1970s.

Early life

Jivatram (also spelled Jiwatram) Bhagwandas Kripalani was born in Hyderabad in Sindh in 1888. Following his education at Fergusson College in Pune, he worked as a schoolteacher before joining the freedom movement in the wake of Gandhi's return from South Africa. From 1912 to 1917 Kripalani worked as a lecturer of English and history in L.S. College (then known as Grier BB College), Muzaffarpur, Bihar. Kripalani was involved in the Non-Cooperation Movement of the early 1920s. He worked in Gandhi's ashrams in Gujarat and Maharashtra on tasks of social reform and education, and later left for Bihar and the United Provinces in northern India to teach and organise new ashrams. He was court arrested on numerous occasions during the Civil Disobedience movements and smaller occasions of organising protests and publishing seditious material against the British raj.

Sindh Province in Pakistan

Sindh is one of the four provinces of Pakistan, in the southeast of the country, and the historical home of the Sindhi people. Sindh is the third largest province of Pakistan by area, and second largest province by population after Punjab. Sindh is bordered by Balochistan province to the west, and Punjab province to the north. Sindh also borders the Indian states of Gujarat and Rajasthan to the east, and Arabian Sea to the south. Sindh's landscape consists mostly of alluvial plains flanking the Indus River, the Thar desert in the eastern portion of the province closest to the border with India, and the Kirthar Mountains in the western part of Sindh.

Fergusson College College in Pune, India

Fergusson College (FC), now Fergusson University is an Autonomous public educational institution offering courses in the streams of Arts and Science in the city of Pune. It was founded in 1885 by the Deccan Education Society. Professor Vaman Shivram Apte was its first principal. Social reformer, journalist, thinker and educationist Gopal Ganesh Agarkar served as the second principal from August 1892 till his death in June 1895.

Pune Metropolis in Maharashtra, India

Pune, is the second largest city in the Indian state of Maharashtra, after Mumbai. It is the ninth most populous city in the country with an estimated population of 3.13 million. Along with it’s proudly extended city limits Pimpri Chinchwad and the three cantonment towns of Pune, Khadki and Dehu Road, Pune forms the urban core of the eponymous Pune Metropolitan Region (PMR). According to the 2011 census, the urban area has a combined population of 5.05 million while the population of the metropolitan region is estimated at 7.27 million.

Congress leader

Kripalani joined the All India Congress Committee, and became its general secretary in 1928–29.

All India Congress Committee central decision-making assembly of the Indian National Congress Party

The All India Congress Committee (AICC) is the Presidium or the central decision-making assembly of the Indian National Congress. It is composed of members elected from State-level Pradesh Congress Committees and can have as many as a thousand members. It is the AICC that elects members of the Congress Working Committee and the Congress President, who is also the head of the AICC. The organisational executives of the AICC are several general-secretaries selected by the Congress President and the members of the Congress Working Committee.

Kripalani was prominently involved over a decade in top Congress party affairs, and in the organisation of the Salt Satyagraha and the Quit India Movement. Kripalani served in the interim government of India (1946–1947) and the Constituent Assembly of India. During this time he rejected the proposal of United Bengal from Abul Hashim and Sarat Bose and called for the division of Bengal and the Punjab. [1] [2]

Quit India Movement Katra Neel Chandni Chowk Delhi

The Quit India Movement, or the August Movement, was a movement launched at the Bombay session of the All-India Congress Committee by Gandhi on 8 August 1942, during World War II, demanding an end to British Rule of India.

Constituent Assembly of India

The Constituent Assembly of India was elected to write the Constitution of India. Following India's independence from Great Britain in 1947, its members served as the nation's first Parliament.

United Bengal political ideology

United Bengal is a political ideology for a unified Bengali-speaking nation in South Asia. The ideology developed among Bengali nationalists after the first partition of Bengal in 1905. The British-ruled Bengal Presidency was divided into Western Bengal and Eastern Bengal and Assam to weaken the independence movement; after much protest Bengal was reunited in 1911.

As Congress President and the election of 1950

Acharya J. B. Kripalani (left), Vallabhbhai Patel (center),with his daughter Manibehn Patel outside the home of G. D. Birla after a press conference in 1946 J. B. Kripalani, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel and Manibehn Patel.jpg
Acharya J. B. Kripalani (left), Vallabhbhai Patel (center),with his daughter Manibehn Patel outside the home of G. D. Birla after a press conference in 1946

In spite of being ideologically at odds with both Vallabhbhai Patel and the left-wing Jawaharlal Nehru – he was elected Congress President for the crucial years around Indian independence in 1947. After Gandhi's assassination in January 1948, Nehru rejected his demand that the party's views should be sought in all decisions. Nehru, with the support of Patel, told Kripalani that while the party was entitled to lay down the broad principles and guidelines, it could not be granted a say in the government's day-to-day affairs. This precedent became central to the relationship between government and ruling party in subsequent decades.

Vallabhbhai Patel Indian freedom fighter and politician

Vallabhbhai Patel, popularly known as Sardar Patel, was an Indian politician. He served as the first Deputy Prime Minister of India. He was an Indian barrister and statesman, a senior leader of the Indian National Congress and a founding father of the Republic of India who played a leading role in the country's struggle for independence and guided its integration into a united, independent nation. In India and elsewhere, he was often called Sardar, meaning "chief" in Hindi, Urdu, and Persian. He acted as Home Minister during the political integration of India and the Indo-Pakistani War of 1947.

Jawaharlal Nehru first Prime Minister of India

Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru was a freedom fighter, the first Prime Minister of India and a central figure in Indian politics before and after independence. He emerged as an eminent leader of the Indian independence movement under the tutelage of Mahatma Gandhi and served India as Prime Minister from its establishment as an independent nation in 1947 until his death in 1964. He has been described by the Amar Chitra Katha as the architect of India. He was also known as Pandit Nehru due to his roots with the Kashmiri Pandit community while Indian children knew him as Chacha Nehru.

Nehru, however, supported Kripalani in the election of the Congress President in 1950. Kripalani, supported by Nehru, was defeated by Patel's candidate Purushottam Das Tandon. Bruised by his defeat, and disillusioned by what he viewed as the abandonment of the Gandhian ideal of a countless village republics, Kripalani left the Congress and became one of the founders of the Kisan Mazdoor Praja Party. This party subsequently merged with the Socialist Party of India to form the Praja Socialist Party.

For a while it was even believed that Nehru, stung by the defeat, was considering abandoning the Congress as well; his several offers of resignation at the time were all, however, shouted down.[ citation needed ] A great many of the more progressive elements of the party left in the months following the election. Congress's subsequent bias to the right was only balanced when Nehru obtained the resignation of Tandon in the run up to the general elections of 1951.

1961 Candidacy

In October 1961, Kripalani contested the Lok Sabha seat of V.K. Krishna Menon, then serving as Minister of Defence, in a race that would come to attract extraordinary amounts of attention. The Sunday Standard observed of it that "no political campaign in India has ever been so bitter or so remarkable for the nuances it produced". Kripalani, who had previously endorsed Menon's foreign policy, devoted himself to attacking his vituperative opponent's personality, but ultimately lost the race, with Menon winning in a landslide.

Socialist Party

Kripalani remained in opposition for the rest of his life and was elected to the Lok Sabha in 1952, 1957, 1963 and 1967 as a member of Praja Socialist Party. His wife since 1938, Sucheta Kripalani, remained in Congress and went from strength to strength in the Congress Party, with several Central ministries; she was also the first female Chief Minister, in Uttar Pradesh.

The Kripalanis were frequently at loggerheads in Parliament.

One matter they agreed on was the undesirability of vast parts of the Hindu Marriage Act, particularly the controversial 'Restitution of Conjugal Rights' clause. By this clause a partner who had survived an unsuccessful filing for divorce could move the courts to return to the status quo ante in terms of conjugal interaction. Kripalani, horrified, made one of his most memorable speeches, saying "this provision is physically undesirable, morally unwanted and aesthetically disgusting."[ citation needed ]

Kripalani was also concerned with the privilege of parliament over the press. During Nehru's premiership, the Lok Sabha called the Chief Editor of the weekly Blitz , the well-known Russi Karanjia to the bar and admonished him for "denigration and defamation of a member of parliament" for calling Kriplani Cripple-loony. This was despite Karanjia's closeness to and Kripalani's estrangement from, Nehru.

Kripalani moved the first-ever No confidence motion on the floor of the Lok Sabha in August 1963, immediately after the disastrous India-China War.

Later life

Kripalani remained a critic of Nehru's policies and administration, while working for social and environmental causes.

While remaining active in electoral politics, Kripalani gradually became more of a spiritual leader of the socialists than anything else; in particular, he was generally considered to be, along with Vinoba Bhave, the leader of what remained of the Gandhian faction. He was active, along with Bhave, in preservation and conservation activities throughout the 1970s.

In 1972-3, he agitated against the increasingly authoritarian rule of Nehru's daughter Indira Gandhi, then Prime Minister of India. Kripalani and Jayaprakash Narayan felt that Gandhi's rule had become dictatorial and anti-democratic. Her conviction on charges of using government machinery for her election campaign galvanised her political opposition and public disenchantment against her policies. Along with Narayan and Lohia, Kripalani toured the country urging non-violent protest and civil disobedience. When the Emergency was declared as a result of the vocal dissent he helped stir up, the octogenarian Kripalani was among the first of the Opposition leaders to be arrested on the night of 26 June 1975. He lived long enough to survive the Emergency and see the first non-Congress government since Independence following the Janata Party victory in the 1977 polls.

He died on 19 March 1982 at the Civil Hospital in Ahmedabad, [3] at the age of 93.

In the 1982 film Gandhi by Richard Attenborough, J.B. Kripalani was played by Indian actor Anang Desai.

His autobiography My Times was released 22 years after his death by Rupa publishers in 2004. In the book, he accused his fellow members of Congress (except Ram Manohar Lohia, Mahatma Gandhi and Khan Abdul Gaffar Khan) of "moral cowardice" for accepting or submitting to plan to partition India.

A stamp was issued on 11 November 1989 by the Indian Postal Department to commemorate the 101st anniversary of his birth. [4]

Trivia

Acharya Kripalani was born on the same day as Maulana Azad, who also was prominent freedom fighter. Kripalani succeeded the latter as the President of Indian National Congress at the Meerut session in 1946.

See also

Biography

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References

  1. Kabir, Nurul (1 September 2013). "Colonialism, politics of language and partition of Bengal PART XVI". The New Age. The New Age. Retrieved 14 August 2016.
  2. Bose, Sugata (1987). Agrarian Bengal: Economy, Social Structure and Politics: 1919–1947. Hyderabad: Cambridge University Press, First Indian Edition in association with Orient Longman. pp. 230–231.
  3. Bhavana Nair and Sudha Sanjeev, ed. (1999). "J.B. Kripalani". Remembering Our Leaders. Vol. 9. Children Book Trust. ISBN   81-7011-842-5.
  4. "J.B. Kriplani". Indianpost.com. 19 March 1982. Retrieved 21 January 2012.