Bhupendranath Datta
শ্রী ভূপেন্দ্রনাথ দত্ত
Bhupendranath Datta (brother of Swami Vivekananda).png
Sri Bhupendranath Datta
Born
Bhupendranath Datta

(1880-09-04)4 September 1880
Died25 December 1961(1961-12-25) (aged 81)
NationalityIndian
EducationNew York University
Brown University
University of Hamburg
OccupationRevolutionary
Freedom Fighter
Biological Anthropologist
Known forBeing Brother of Swami Vivekananda
Notable workBaishnaba Sahitye (in Bengali)
Bharatera Dvitiya Svadhinatara Samgrama:Aprakasita Rajanitika (in Bengali)
Bharatiya Samaja-Paddhati (in Bengali)
Dialectics of Hindu Ritualism
Studies in Indian Social Polity
Swami Vivekananda, Patriot-prophet:A Study
Political partyJugantar
Ghadar Party
Communist International
AITUC
MovementIndian Independence Movement
Parents
RelativesSwami Vivekananda (12 January 1863 — 4 July 1902), Mahendranath Datta (1 August 1869 — 15 October 1956 (both elder brother), Sarnabala Devi (1860 — 16 February 1932) (elder sister), Vishwanath Datta (father), Bhuvaneshwari Devi (mother), Durgaprasad Datta (paternal grandfather), Raghumani Basu (maternal grandmother)

Bhupendranath Datta (4 September 1880 – 25 December 1961)[1] was an Indian revolutionary and later a noted sociologist and anthropologist. He associated Rishi Aurobindo in his political works. In his youth, he was closely associated with the Jugantar movement, serving as the editor of Jugantar Patrika till his arrest and imprisonment in 1907. In his later revolutionary career, he was privy to the Indo-German Conspiracy. His elder brother was Swami Vivekananda. The Asiatic Society today holds the Dr. Bhupendranath Datta memorial lecture in his honour.

Datta was a writer too. He wrote several books on Indian culture and society. He wrote a book named "Swami Vivekananda, Patriot-prophet".

Early life and education

Datta was younger brother of Swami Vivekananda. Datta wrote a book Swami Vivekananda, Patriot-prophet in which he discussed Vivekananda's socialist view.[2]
Datta was younger brother of Swami Vivekananda. Datta wrote a book Swami Vivekananda, Patriot-prophet in which he discussed Vivekananda's socialist view.[2]

Datta was born on 4 September 1880 in the town of Calcutta, the capital of Bengal Presidency, the largest province of British India at that time. His parents were Vishwanath Datta and Bhuvaneshwari Datta. He had two elder brothers, Narendranath Datta (later known as Swami Vivekananda) and Mahendranath Datta. Vishwanath Datta was an attorney of Calcutta High Court and Bhuvaneshwari Devi was a housewife.[3] Datta was enrolled in Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar's Metropolitan Institution from where he passed entrance examination. In his youth, he joined Brahmo Samaj led by Keshub Chandra Sen and Debendranath Tagore. Here he met Sivanath Sastri who deeply influenced him. Datta's religious and social beliefs were shaped by Brahmo Samaj which included belief in a caste-less society, in a single God and revolts against superstitions.[4]

Revolutionary activities

In India

Datta decided to join Indian independence movement, and joined Bengal Revolutionary Society formed by Pramathanath Mitra in 1902. In 1906, he became the editor of the newspaper Jugantar Patrika. This newspaper was the mouthpiece of the Revolutionary Party of Bengal. In this period he became a close associate of Sri Aurobindo and Barindra Ghosh.[5]

In 1907, Datta was arrested by British police with the charge of sedition and was sentenced to one year's imprisonment.[4][6]

In USA

After release in 1908 he left India for the United States. After his arrival, he stayed at the "India House" for a while.[4][6] He finished his post-graduate studies and obtained an M.A. degree from Brown University.[6]

In Germany

Datta joined Ghadar Party of California and there he studied about socialism and communism.[4] During World War I, he went to Germany and started revolutionary and political activities there. In 1916, he became the secretary of Indian Independence Committee in Berlin.[6] He remained the secretary of this organisation till 1918. He took memberships of German Anthropological Society in 1920 and German Asiatic Society in 1924.[4]

In 1921 Datta went to Moscow to join Comintern. Manabendra Nath Roy and Birendranath Dasgupta also attended this year's Comintern. During the visit Datta presented Vladimir Lenin a research paper on political condition of contemporary India. He obtained a doctorate degree in Anthropology from the University of Hamburg in 1923.[4]

Back in India

Then he returned to India and decided to join Indian National Congress.[6] He became members of Bengal Regional Congress in 1927—28 and All India Congress Committee in 1929. In the annual conference of Indian National Congress organised in Karachi in 1930, he proposed a fundamental right for Indian farmers and had it accepted by the Congress Committee led by Jawaharlal Nehru. He chaired two All India Trade Union Congress' annual conference. He was arrested for his political activities.[4]

Bhupendranath returned to a much-changed India after 16 long years, in April 1925. He fully cooperated with the newly formed Communist Party of India, established in Kanpur, and took part in the Workers’ and Peasants’ Party (WPP). His first political activity was participation in Political Sufferers’ Conference in Gauhati in December 1926, presiding over it. Bhupen said that not only the Indian bourgeoisie but also the common masses had joined the struggle for freedom.

Bhupendranath at- tended the annual conference of WPP in 1927, where he met Nalini Gupta. He spread ideas of socialism and Marxism among youth, speaking about Russian revolution. Veteran Communist and TU leader Dr Ranen Sen re- called that Dr Bhupendranath used to take political classes among young revolu- tionaries on Marxism. Many of them later joined the CPI under his influence.

Famous Communist historian Chinmohan Sehanavis recalls his indebtedness to Bhupendranath for his training in Marxism thus: “I came in contact with Shri Bhupendranath Dutta during 1933-34. When I expressed my desire to study socialism and Marxism from him”, he asked whether it was for becoming a scholar or a mass worker. Sehanavis told him he wanted to work among workers and peasants.

Organizer of Students, Youth

Bhupendranath was a much sought after leader. He delivered presidential address at DaccaDistrict Youngmen’s Conference in 1927. In a letter to SA Dange, on November 12, 1927, on the proposed first all In- dia Socialist Youth Congress, Bhupendranath wrote: “This Congress is in- tended for those young men and women of India who hold Marxist world- view, and they only are welcome to be the del- egates of the Congress.”

Socialist Youth Con- gress was held on December 27, 1927, in Calcutta. Bhupendranath as chair- man of reception committee drew atten- tion of youth to Marxism and suggested formation of study circles. Jawaharlal Nehru presided over. All Bengal Youth Association was formed at the beginning of 1928, with Bhupendranath as the president of the organization and as the main speaker at its conference.

Bhupendranath also spoke at the conference of Young Comrades’ League at Rajshahi in April 1930. His speech helped many young men to give up anarchism and come over to communism.

Bhupen presided over Khulna district students’ conference on May 5, 1929, Burdwan district students’ conference on August 17, 1929, Faridpur students’ con- ference in June 1931, and others. He urged upon the students to follow Marx. Famous Communist leader Benoy Krishna Choudhury remembers that his acquaintance with Bhupenda began in Hooghly district students’ conference in 1928.

He along with Hiren Mukherjee and Humayun Kabir attended BPSF conference on October 12, 1936.

WPP and TU Movement

During Meerut Conspiracy Case (1929-33), the Communists outside were in disarray. In Calcutta, an ‘Indian Pro- letarian Revolutionary Party’ was formed, with Panchu Gopal Bhaduri, Kali Ghosh, Bankim Mukherjee and others. Bhupenda was closely associated. This party worked with Workers’ Party, which it recog- nized as a branch of CPI. It got in touch with Bombay Group of Sardesai, Ranadive and Kulkarni, and helped Meerut prisoners. It expressed desire to join Calcutta Committee of CPI and were given membership individually. Bishwanath Mukherjee also belonged to this group.

Bhupendranath was active in almost all the major movements: of Kharagpur railways workers, BNR railway workers, TISCO in Jamshedpur, May Day rallies in Calcutta in 1928, etc. He attended Jharia session of AITUC (1928) and was elected its vice-president. He orga- nized a number of trade unions at local and all India levels.

Other Mass Organizations

Bhupendranath Dutta was the first president of Friends of Soviet Union (FSU), formed in 1941 at the initiative of Prof Hiren Mukherjee and others. Bhupesh Gupta, Chinmohan, Gopal Haldar, Jyoti Basu and others were also present. Bhupenda also took part in the PWA.

Not a Member, But with CPI

Dr Bhupen Dutta was never a formal member of CPI, but for all practi- cal purposes he functioned as one. He encouraged and re- cruited members to the party, among them Somnath Lahiri. He translated important Marxist classics. Among his famous works is the ‘Aprakashita Rajnitik Itihas’ (unpublished po- litical history). He was an active propagandist of Marxism.

He was a great scholar in various fields, with many books and articles to his credit. He brought to light the social and mass aspects of Swami Vivekanand and Ramakrishna Mission, who advocated and worked for the well-be- ing of people.

Literary works

Datta wrote books on different subjects like sociology, history, politics etc. He was a linguist and wrote books in Bengali, Hindi, English, German, Iranian. Few of his notable books are—[4]

References

  1. ^ Chaturvedi, Badrinath (2006). Swami Vivekananda: The Living Vedanta. Penguin Books Limited. p. 444. ISBN 978-81-8475-507-7.
  2. ^ Narasingha Prosad Sil (1997). Swami Vivekananda: A Reassessment. Susquehanna University Press. p. 73. ISBN 978-0-945636-97-7. Retrieved 1 July 2013.
  3. ^ P. R. Bhuyan (2003). Swami Vivekananda: Messiah of Resurgent India. Atlantic Publishers & Dist. pp. 4–6. ISBN 978-81-269-0234-7.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h Sangsad Bangla Charitabhidhan Volume I. Balgla Sangsad.
  5. ^ Richard Sisson; Stanley A. Wolpert (1988). Congress and Indian nationalism: the pre-independence phase ; [rev. versions of papers presented at an international conference, held in March 1984 at the University of California, Los Angeles]. University of California Press. p. 64. ISBN 978-0-520-06041-8.
  6. ^ a b c d e Indian History. Allied Publishers. 1988. p. 3. ISBN 978-81-8424-568-4.