Anugrah Narayan Singh
1st Deputy Chief Minister of Bihar and Finance Minister of Bihar
In office
2 April 1946 – 5 July 1957
Chief MinisterSri Krishna Sinha
Preceded byPosition Created
Succeeded byVacant
Member Of Constituent Assembly
In office
9 December 1946 – 26 January 1950
Preceded byPost Created
Succeeded byPost Abolished
Deputy Premier and Finance Minister of Bihar Province
In office
20 July 1937 – 31 October 1939
Preceded byPosition established
Succeeded byGovernor's rule
Member Central Legislative Council
In office
Governor GeneralThe Earl of Halifax
Preceded byMaharaja Rameshwar Singh
Succeeded byVacant
Member Central Legislative Assembly
In office
Governor GeneralThe Earl of Reading
Preceded byAmbika Prasad Sinha
Succeeded byBadri Lal Rastogi
Personal details
Born(1887-06-18)18 June 1887
Poiwan, Bengal Presidency, British India
(present-day Bihar, India)
Died5 July 1957(1957-07-05) (aged 70)
Patna, Bihar, India
Political partyIndian National Congress
Alma mater
NicknameBihar Vibhuti
As of 12 July, 2006
Source: [1]

Anugrah Narayan Sinha (18 June 1887 – 5 July 1957), known as Bihar Vibhuti, was an Indian nationalist statesman, participant in Champaran Satyagraha, Gandhian & one[1] of the architects of modern Bihar, who was the first Deputy Chief Minister[2] and the Finance Minister of the Indian state of Bihar (1946–1957).[3] He was also a Member of the Constituent Assembly of India, which was elected to write the Constitution of India and served in its first Parliament as an independent nation.[4] He also held a range of portfolios including Labour, Local Self Government, Public Works, Supply & Price Control, Health and Agriculture.[5] A.N. Sinha, affectionately called Anugrah Babu, was a close associate of Mahatma Gandhi[6] during the freedom movement and worked with Bihar Kesari Sri Krishna Sinha to lead the Gandhian movement in Bihar.[7] One of the leading nationalists in the Indian independence movement from Bihar after Dr Rajendra Prasad, he was elected as the Congress Party[8] deputy leader in the state assembly to assume office as the first Deputy Chief Minister cum Finance Minister of independent Bihar, and re-elected when the Congress Party won Bihar's first[9] general election with a massive mandate in 1952.

Early life

The qualities that gave Dr Anugrah Narayan Sinha a place among the eminent[5] nationalists of his time were moral as well as intellectual. His genuineness, intensity, abhorrence of sham trickery and imposture and his dauntless determination to arrive at facts gave his action a ring of truth. Lok Nayak Jay Prakash Narayan in his essay "Hamare Anugrah Babu" wrote that:

"In modern times, there are only a rare few people who have been owed to Bihar as much as our Anugrah Babu. He was one of the leading makers of modern Bihar, and for many years Bihar got his leadership. The people of this state are indebted to this great son of Bihar's land".[10]

He was born to Visveshwar Dayal Singh on 18 June 1887 in a family of Poiwan village of the erstwhile Gaya district (today known as Aurangabad) of Bihar. He belonged to the Rajput caste,[11][12][13] his younger son Satyendra Narayan Sinha became chief minister of Bihar. As a lad his patriotic virtues were visible. A brilliant student from the beginning of his academic career, Sinha obtained his initial education in the village school. From Junior school till graduation[14] he topped the lists at every examination, obtaining an M.A. (History) in 1914 from the prestigious University of Calcutta. He became the Secretary[5] of the Bihar Students Conference founded by Rajendra Prasad and the Chanakya Society of the Patna College. He served as a volunteer in the Patna Congress, With fever[5] on he feverishly worked for its success. In 1915, he was appointed Professor of History at the T.N.B. college in Bhagalpur where he remained, known as[14] an ideal professor, until 1916. He organized relief work when Bhagalpur was raved by floods. He began successfully practicing law at Patna High Court.

Freedom movement

(LtoR)Rajendra Prasad, Jawaharlal Nehru, Anugrah Narayan Sinha and Sri Krishna Sinha at Anugrah Babu's residence

In 1917, heeding the call of Mahatma Gandhi to the nation, he left his flourishing law practice to join the Champaran Satyagraha movement.[6][4] The Champaran experiment formed a vital chapter in the development of the Gandhian method in India and he was catapulted to the national stage. He served as a teacher in Bihar Vidyapeeth[4] founded by Rajendra Prasad for motivating young meritorious youths. Among[5] his first students was young Jayprakash Narayan. In 1922 he organized the Gaya Congress. In the following year he became one of the General Secretaries of the All India Congress Committee (AICC). When Rajendra Prasad was elected Chairman of Patna Municipality, Sinha was elected Vice-Chairman. As he was soon elected Chairman of the Gaya District Board, he resigned. He was the pivotal force behind the Civil Disobedience Movement led by M K Gandhi, in the year 1930 which is considered an important milestone in the history of Indian Nationalism.[14]

His patriotism earned him 15 months of rigorous imprisonment in 1933–34. When the M8 Nepal–Bihar earthquake occurred on 15 January 1934, Bihar Central Relief Committee was set up on 17 January 1934, under the Presidency of Rajendra Prasad and Sinha became its Vice-President. He took the task of raising funds to help the people and the relief and rehabilitation work was organized in an elaborate and efficient manner. He was elected as a member of the Central Council in 1935 from Sahabad-cum-Patna Constituency with a massive margin. He became a member of the Bihar Legislative Assembly in 1936. In the provincial autonomy granted by British, under the Government of India Act of 1935, the first Congress ministry was sworn in on 20 July 1937 and he became the Deputy Premier cum Finance Minister of Bihar province. He and Premier Sri Krishna Sinha disagreed with the then Governor Maurice Garnier Hallett on the issue of the release of political prisoners and both resigned. The Governor had to give in and they again resumed their offices. But they again resigned in 1939, as did all Congress governments in the country, over the question of involving India in the Second World War without the consent of the Indian people.[4][5]

He was among the first[14] freedom fighters to respond to Gandhiji's call for Satyagraha in 1940–41. He was arrested[4] by the British authorities and imprisoned in the Hazaribagh Central Jail in 1942. In 1944 he was released and devoted himself to serving the epidemic-ridden people.

After independence he dedicated himself to the all round development of Bihar as Finance Minister and as the Deputy Chief Minister of Bihar.[14]

Exemplary government

The first Bihar Government, both in 1937 and 1946, was characterized by the values of the Mahatma Gandhi. Its two eminent leaders Shri Krishna Sinha and Anugrah Babu were nationalists of unimpeachable integrity and great public spirit. They ran an exemplary government in Bihar.[15] Almost all the development projects needed for the state of Bihar were done by the leadership pair of Shri Krishna Sinha and Anugrah Narayan Sinha. It included several river valley projects right from Koshi, Aghaur and Sakri to other such river projects. The first five-year plan period was given to the development in rural development works mainly in the agricultural sector. In fact, Bihar became the top state in the country's first five-year plan and it was announced by Sinha in the assembly. The then Prime Minister of India Jawaharlal Nehru sent Paul H. Appleby to assess the administration in states and in his famous report, he described Bihar as the best governed state in India mostly due to the excellent leadership of Shri Krishna Sinha and Anugrah Narayan Sinha.[16]

Since the second five-year plan period, Sinha spearheaded the process of rapid industrialization of Bihar and bought several industries for the all round development of the state. He served India's international interests. He successfully led the Indian Food and Agriculture delegation to Nepal and also the Indian delegation to the International Labour Organization (ILO) in Canada and Switzerland. He also actively led a number of Government and voluntary organizations in India and abroad.[14]

Political legacy

Anugrah Narayan Singh on a 1988 stamp of India

Along with nationalist Rajendra Prasad and his close colleague in the Indian independence movement Shri Krishna Sinha, the first Chief Minister of Bihar, Anugrah Narayan Sinha is considered one of the architects of modern Bihar.[17][18] His younger son[19] Satyendra Narayan Singh (who was affectionately called "Chhote Saheb") also became a prominent freedom fighter[20] and later became[21] Chief Minister of Bihar.[17] His grandson Nikhil Kumar, a former IPS, has served as the Governor of Kerala.[22] Sinha served the state continuously, barring war years (Second World War 1939–1945), as the Deputy Chief Minister cum Finance Minister from the time of the first[14] Congress Ministry in 1937 till his death on 5 July 1957.[23] Lok Nayak Jayaprakash Narayan[16] served as the Chairman of Anugraha Smarak Nidhi (Anugrah Memorial Fund). The Department of Posts released a commemorative stamp in his memory. The 125th birth anniversary[24] of Anugrah Babu was also celebrated by a state level committee headed by Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar. In 2013, various programmes were organized throughout the year in Bihar and biographies of Shri babu and Anugrah Babu were included in the school syllabus.

See also


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^ "Members of the Constituent Assembly Bihar". Parliament of India. Retrieved 20 May 2005.
  4. ^ a b c d e Dr. Rajendra Prasad's Letters (1984). First Finance cum Labour Minister. Rajendra Prasad's archive. p. 123. ISBN 9788170230021.
  5. ^ a b c d e f "Eminent Congressman-Anugrah Narayan Sinha". Kamat Research database. Archived from the original on 10 June 2007. Retrieved 25 June 2007.
  6. ^ a b "SATYAGRAHA LABORATORIES OF MAHATMA GANDHI". Archived from the original on 6 December 2006. Retrieved 8 December 2006.
  7. ^ "Great freedom Fighters". Kamat's archive. Archived from the original on 20 February 2006. Retrieved 25 February 2006.
  8. ^ Shankar Dayal Singh (1994). Surabhita smr̥tiyāṃ. Prabhāta Prakāśana. pp. 403–. ISBN 978-81-7315-034-0.
  9. ^ Shree Shankar Sharan (13 December 2005). "The Better Man Has Won". India Rights Online. Archived from the original on 27 May 2013.
  10. ^ Partheshwar, Ashutosh (2017). Rajneeti Aur Naitikta (Dr Anugrah Narain Singh ke Lekh Bhashano ka Sankalan). Patna: Prabhat Prakashan. pp. 296 (p. 220). ISBN 9789386300997.
  11. ^ F. Tomasson Jannuzi (2014). Agrarian Crisis in India: The Case of Bihar. University of Texas Press. ISBN 9781477300145. Retrieved 6 January 2019.
  12. ^ Arun Sinha (2011). Nitish Kumar and the Rise of Bihar. Penguin Books, India. p. 31. ISBN 9780670084593. Retrieved 6 January 2019.
  13. ^ "Rajputs fume as Anugrah Narayan Sinha's kin out of Aurangabad poll race | Patna News - Times of India". The Times of India.
  14. ^ a b c d e f g "Anugrah babu-first Bihar Deputy CM". Indian Post. Retrieved 16 December 2004.
  15. ^ S. Sharan (20 December 2005). "CHANGE IN BIHAR: The Better Man Has Won (Editorial)". The Statesman. India. Archived from the original on 3 October 2011.
  16. ^ a b Bihar Vibhuti's Legacy Drifting into Oblivion? Archived 25 January 2012 at the Wayback Machine. PatnaDaily (6 January 2012). Retrieved on 7 December 2018.
  17. ^ a b A.J. Philip (7 September 2006). "A gentleman among politicians:Anugrah babu-one of the makers of Bihar". The Tribune. India. Archived from the original on 13 October 2006. Retrieved 5 September 2006.
  18. ^ Bihar:First Five Year plan. "First Finance Minister". Archived from the original on 18 August 2010. Retrieved 5 December 2003.
  19. ^ "Vice-President Condoles death of former Bihar CM Satyendra Narayan Singh". Vice President's Secretariat. Retrieved 5 September 2006.
  20. ^ "Satyendra Narayan Sinha". One India. 4 September 2006. Retrieved 6 September 2006.
  21. ^ "Nitish Kumar Pays tribute to Late Satyendra Narayan Singh". Patna Daily. 4 September 2007. Archived from the original on 8 August 2008.
  22. ^ "Former Nagaland Governor Nikhil Kumar sworn in as Governor of Kerala". The Hindu. 23 March 2013.
  23. ^ Z.H. Faruqi (1999). Dr. Zakir Hussain, Quest for Truth. APH Publishing. pp. 287–. ISBN 978-81-7648-056-7.
  24. ^ Govt to make documentary films on Sri Babu, Anugrah Babu. Times of India (14 September 2012). Retrieved on 7 December 2018.