J.B. KRIPALANI -Indian Freedom Fighters Biography


J.B. KRIPALANI -Indian Freedom Fighters Biography

J.B. KRIPALANI -Indian Freedom Fighters Biography

Patriot and intellectual, Acharya Kripalani was a Gandhian all his life and a critic of the establishment.

Born in 1888 in an upper class family in Hyderabad, he had his education in Karachi. He made a mark even as a student leader. He was professor of English and History at the Muzzaffarpur College in Bihar for five years from 1912; he also taught for a year at the Banaras Hindu University (1919-20). From 1920-27 he became a member of the Gujarat Vidyapith founded by Mahatma Gandhi. It was as the Principal of the Vidyapith that he was hailed as “Acharya.” He was married to Sucheta Kripalani who later became the first female Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh in 1936.

Kripalani became President of the Congress at its Meerut session in 1946, just a year before Independence. He steered the organization through those critical days of the transfer of power with great skill. Kripalani differed from the other leaders of the Congress in his insistence on the supremacy of the organizational wing of the Congress. He parted company with the Congress and founded a political party known as Krishak Mazdoor Praja Party (KMPP) which subsequently merged itself into the Praja Socialist Party (PSP). He resigned from the PSP in 1954. He was closely associated with the Janata Party which came to power in 1977.

While remaining active in electoral politics, Kriplani 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 the what remained of the Gandhian faction in society. He was active, along with Acharya Bhave, in preservation and conservation activities throughout the 1970s.

His crusading instincts were aroused for the last time in 1972-73 by Indira Gandhi, then in power and increasingly _ authoritarian in style. Kripalani and Narayan felt that Gandhi's rule had become dictatorial and anti-democratic. When the Emergency was declared as a result of the vocal dissent he helped stir up, the octogenarian Kriplani was among the first of the Opposition leaders to be arrested on the night of 26th June 1975. He lived long enough to survive the Emergency and see, as one of its two moral helms, the first non-Congress government since Independence in the 1977 polls.


He died on March 19, 1982, at the age of 94. 

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