About the Series
This series is intended to record for posterity the story of the struggles and achievements of the disinguished sons and daughters of India who have been mainly instrumental in our national renaissance and the attainment of Independence.
The biographies under this series, arc planned as handy volumes written by knowledgeable people. The object is to give a brief account, in simple words, of the life and activities of the eminent leaders and of their times. They neither claim to be comprehensive studies nor a replacement of the more detailed biographies.
The work of writing these biographies has to be entrusted to different people. It has, therefore, not been possible to publish the biographies in a chronological order. It is hoped, however, that all eminent national
personalities will figure in this series shortly.
In every sense, 19th century was the most important period that gave rise to the great personalities who were the pioneers of public welfare work in modem India. From religion to philosophy and society to culture and in the fields of the art and literature, great people were born in this land who aroused the latent inner awareness of India's Independence. The beginning of the era of Indian Independence has acquired the lustre and brilliance because of the Sadhana of these indomitable Sadhakas. Whoever was born in that age, was original, unique and top most in his field and had raised the country and society through his determination to devote himself to the welfare of the people and dedicated work. Pandit Pant too was one of those outstanding personalities. Because of the originality of his character, he deserves a place of great honour in the history of modem India.
The Himalayas have always enriched ·the Indian soil through the wisdom of seers and sages, men of learning and Sadhakas. But Pandit Pant, brought glory even to politics. He was the greatest gift to Indian politics from the Himalayas. He was not a person to get entangled in the maze of principles and ideologies, but a great son of the land whose actions led to public welfare. He is remembered in history as the builder of modem Uttar Pradesh*, the connecting link that joined the hill region of Uttar Pradesh with the national mainstream, the statesman who aroused the emotions of the people with the sanctifying ideas of Mahatma Gandhi, an incomparable orator in Parliament, an ideal leader of the Opposition, a dedicated man with a constructive attitude and for his attainment as a parliamentarian. But his greatest quality was his ability to give his best to society by accepting the basic conceptual consciousness of Indian life in modern perspective. He worked with devotion and persistence for his avowed objective of public welfare throughout his life. Home and family were not his priorities. He was the leader of a vast, poor and miserable and downtrodden society. Till the last moment, he lived for the country.
Pandit Pant was .an accomplished lawyer. He had earned wealth and means of comfortable life through his legal practice. But he was an outstanding man of learning who sacrificed everything for the sake of the country. He was a staunch idealist who believed in action. When he took part in the boycott of the Simon Commission along with Jawaharlal Nehru, he suffered terrible physical injuries which left him with a trembling body for the rest of his life. But without bothering about his physical condition, he courted imprisonrnentduringall the national movements since 1930. As the first Chief Minister of U.P. he consolidated Congress in such a way that everyone came to the conclusion that the Indians were capable of ruling better than the British. In the field of administrative set up too he had the ability to propose constructive legislations for the welfare of the people of the country. He laid the foundation of a successful tradition of democratic rule in Uttar Pradesh.
He presents himself with his original personality and action at every important turning point in the national history. That was his special characteristic. Born in a distant hill area, he impregnated the politics of the whole country with his own fragrance.
Under his leadership, Uttar Pradesh was in the forefront in all constructive and creative fields, and in his absence, it gradually started lagging behind. This is the evidence of the contribution he made in that State. The Congress pledged both for the language and the nation. The manner in which he carried out the resolution of the linguistic states was something like giving the finishing touch to the unfinished task of Sardar Patel. On the one hand, he was the carrier of the Gandhian ideology, and on the other, he combined it with the diligence of Sardar Patel. More than anything else, he had a tremendous faith in Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, the symbol of India's hope and aspirations, and he cherished for him lifelong love and actively co-operated with him in all fronts. As a result he acquired a personality absolutely distinct from others. He was not merely a great political leader and a statesman, but also the builder of a future generation. We do not find another such conjunctive leader in this age who could bring together mutually opposed forces and put their essentially good qualities to proper use. He could go along with persons like Rafi Ahmed Kidwai, Babu Sampurnanand, Krishna Dutt Paliwal, Ajit Prasad Jain and Charan Singh and chanalise their qualitative attainments to pubic welfare. This was his unique characteristic.
Being a genuine politician is a great characteristic. But even greater is to sacrifice one self for the sake of ideals, society and the country. And still the greater quality is not to lose one's sense of judgement while doing those things. And the greatest quality is to remain a human being "in spite of all those virtues, to recognize human qualities and never allow those values to be eclipsed from one's personality which are the great attributes of our tradition and our land.
He was not obdurate, but was an Indian in the true sense of the term. Under no circumstances did he allow humanness to be insulted. That was exactly why he earned honour and respect from the contemporary leaders of Uttar Pradesh like Acharya Narendra Dev, Babu Purushottam Das Tandon, Babu Sampurnanand, Acharya Kripalani etc. Through his contacts with such people, he not only carved out a path for himself, but also left an imprint of his radical personality on Indian politics. This was because he was competent, diligent and indomitable. A politician breaks, but a builder connects. Pantji was a great Sadhaka. He was a person with a great sense of duty and possessed qualities that bring people together. It is great to be a dreamer, but greater still to translate those dreams into reality. He was not only a dreamer but also a creator who turned his dreams into action.
Life becomes spiritless without politics, literature, culture and music. He was a lover of classical music and also a champion of Hindi. The story of his campaign for according the status of official language to Hindi lies hidden in history. He extended the scope of service in his life through "Prem Sabha" which was a branch of the Nagari Pracharini Sabha of Kashi. He himself maintained his association with the Nagari Pracharini Sabha till the last moment. The Nagari Pracharini Sabha was resurrected during his president ship. He had planned and directed the book series like Vishvakosh, Sliabda Sagar, Hindi Sahitya Ka Itihas etc. He not only called the meetings of the Sabha at his residence, but very often went to the office of the Sabha to attend to its work. He believed that Hindi was the link that would unite the nation and only that type of Hindi could grow and develop which was accepted by the entire nation. He regarded language, literature and culture as the media that unite but not disintegrate. He was a staunch believer in building up national unity through language. His work for promoting Hindi would particularly be remembered as a matter of great honour.
For fifty years, he consistently and devotedly served the nation, society and the Hindi language. Wherever and whenever necessary, he offered guidance and made sacrifice. He was a born political leader who cherished faith in the Indian culture that laid stress on giving and not taking. Because of his efficacy and hard work, he always succeeded in attaining his ideals.
He was an individual with his own stance and was on the high peaks of Indian politics. He would always be remembered in the history of India for his extraordinary and constructive ability which had its own brilliance and was backed by a sense of determination. In the present situation, by bowing respectfully to his great virtues, we would be blessed and inspired and thereby would acquire strength to make our country great.
Childhood and Education
Legal Practice and Public Service
Pandit Pant and the Kumaon Parishad
Beginning of Political Career
Leader of the United Provinces
Freedom Struggle and Pandit Pant
Elections to the Central Legislative Assembly
Tripuri Congress Session
Participation in Freedom Struggle
The Dawn of Freedom
Builder of Uttar Pradesh
Pantji at the Centrel
Pantji's Contribution to Independent India
Speech in Parliament
Responsibility towards Hindi
A letter from Prison
Pantji in the eyes of his contemporaries
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