Sarat Chandra Bose was born in Calcutta on
7 September 1889 and died there on 20 February
1950. He belonged to old and aristocratic
Kayastha family of Kodalia in the 24 Parganas
district (West Bangal). His father, Janaki
Nath Bose, was a leading lawer at lawyer at
Guttack (Orissa). His mothers name was
Prabhabati Devi. He married Bibhabati Devi.
Subhas Chandra Bose was one of his younger
Educated in Cuttack and Calcutta, Sarat Chandra
left for England in 1911 after graduation.
There he was called to the bar. Returning
home in 1913, he joined the Calcutta High
Court Bar and gradually rose to the top of
the legal profession. Despite his preoccupation
with public work in many fields and interruptions
to legal practice caused by terms of imprisonment
for services to the nation, he commanded high
fees and earned almost a fabulous income.
Drawn in early life to political activities,
Sarat Chandra started his active political
career under the leadership of C. R. Das and
became after his death a stalwart of the Congress
in Bengal. He worked in close co-operative
with Dr. Bidhan Chandra Toy, Nalini Rajan
Sarkar, Nirmal Chandra Chunder and Tulsi Charan
Goswami. Indeed, the Big Five
dominated Congress politics and the affairs
of the Calcutta Corporation for many years.
He joined the Civil Disobedience Movement.
Inspite of his firm faith in non-violence
he had sympathy for the revolutionary fighters
for freedom. He rendered free service to the
accused as defence counsel in the Chittagong
Armoury Raid Case.
The years 1937-1946 represent the peak of
Sarat Chandras political career. As
a member of the Congress Working Committee
(1937-39) he was a powerful force in determining
the general policies of the Congress during
a crucial period. As leader of the Congress
Parliamentary Party in the Bengal Legislative
Assembly he brought into prominence his great
gifts as a parliamentarian, as an orator and
as a political strategist. He tried to check
the rising tide of communalism under Muslim
League administration in Bengal.
He joined the Interim Government formed at
the Centre in August 1946, in pursuance of
the Cabinet Mission Plan, but resigned soon
afterwards (November 1946).
Sarat Chandra had his differences with the
Congress High Command on some previous occasions,
but the parting of the way came towards the
close of 1946. He resigned from the Congress
and formed a new party called the Socialist
Republican Party. He opposed the partition
of Bengal and tried, in co-operation with
Sahid Suhrawardy, to make individual Bengal
State outside India and Pakistan. But the
political tide was against him; the partition
of Bengal could not be prevented. In 1949
he secured a resounding victory over a Congress
candidate in a contest for election to the
West Bengal Legislative Assembly, But death
put a premature end to his political career.
Sarat Chandra was closely associated with
two successive organs of Congress Politics,
the Forward and the Advance, which were leading
English dailies for a few years. Later after
his breach with the Congress, he started in
1948 an English daily, the Nation, to propagate
his own political views.
Political leadership in Bengal brought Sarat
Chandra into close contact with the all-India
and Provincial leaders of the period 1920-1950,
including Mahatma Gandhi, G.T. Das, Motilal
Nehru, Jawaharlal Nehru, C. Rajagopallchari,
Dr. Rajendra Prasad, Maulana Abdul Kalam Azad,
Maulvi Fazlul Huq and a host of others. He
had also friendly contacts with some revolutionary
leader whom he gave financial and legal assistance.
Complete independence for India was Sarat
Chandras basic political ideal. The
independendence won in 1947 did not satisfy
him fully. The objective of the Nation was
stated to be the propagation of the ideal
of Complete Independence of India,
Independence undiluted and undefiled, free
from British or any foreign influence and
control, beyond the reach of any power on
earth. In the last years of his life
he dreamed of transforming India into a Union
of autonomous Socialist Republics.
In 1949 he declared: Socialism alone
is the cure for our countrys ills; the
Right-Wing Congress leaderships blundering
policy has led the country from one fold of
slavery to another and is sure to bring complete
political and economic ruin of the country
. He always thought of India as one,
resisting regionalism and communalism whenever
he found these monsters raising their heads.
Although he never formally left the fold of
Hinduism, he was an ardent liberal in social
matters in thought and conduct. He spared
no efforts to warn his countrymen against
the evils of caste and untouchability.
Although he did not sever his official link
with the Congress till the closing years of
life, Sarat Chandra was throughout his long
political career a more or less restless spirit,
full of ideas, impatient for action, and distrustful
of compromises. Had he chosen to extend his
field of action outside Bengal, he might have
left a much more fruitful and abiding impression
on our national history.