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Freedom Fighter : Tej Bahadur Sapru

~Hemangee Sharma

Sir Tej Bahadur Sapru , was born on ( 8 December 1875 – 20 January 1949). He was an Outstanding Indian Freedom Fighter, a Politician and a Lawyer. He was known as a Key Figure in India’s Struggle for Independence and he also helped in Drafting the Indian Constitution. He was the leader of the Liberal party in British-Ruled India. 

Sapru was the only son of Ambika Prasad Sapru, a zamindar, and his wife Gaura Sapru (née Hukku). Sapru’s mother Gaura was the sister of Niranjan Hukku , whose daughter Uma was married to Shyam lal Nehru, a first cousin of Jawaharlal Nehru. Sapru and his wife were the parents of five children. Their three sons were Prakash Narain Sapru , Trijugi Narain Sapru, and Anand Narain Sapru , and their daughters were named Jagdam bashwari and Bhuvaneshwari. Sapru was the grandfather of Jagdish NarainSapru, former chairman of British Oxygen and of ITC Limited.

An Outstanding Indian Freedom Fighter, a Politician and a Lawyer

Sir Tej Bahadur Sapru died on 20 January 1949 in Allahabad, seventeen months after India gained independence.

He was born in Aligarh in Uttar Pradesh. He was born in Kashmir Hindu Family. He educated at Agra College. He worked at Allahabad High Court as a Lawyer where Purushottam Das Tandon, a Nationalist leader, worked as his Junior. Sapru served in the Legislative Council of the United Provinces (1913-1916) and the Imperial Legislative Council (1916-1920) and as a member for law affairs in the Viceroy’s Council (1920-1923). He and many Indian Liberals Collaborated with Congress after the ascent of Mahatama Gandhi, who advocated Non-Violent Civil Disobedience against British Rule. Sapru supported the Non-Cooperation Movement (1920-1922). He was Knighted as a Knight Commander of the Order of the Star of India in the 1923 King’s Birthday Honours list, As early as 1927, Sapru organized an All Party Conference to begin drafting the Indian Constitution. In 1928, he helped draft the Nehru Committee Report on Constitutional Reforms. It is acknowledged as the most important document related to the evolution of the Indian Constitution.

Sapru Committee Report

In 1944, the Standing Committee of the Non-Party Conference adopted a resolution to appoint a committee that would make recommendations on constitutional principles, taking into particular account issues of communal division in India. Sapru was invited to head the committee and to appoint members representing various communities to participate in the preparation of its report. This report, titled ‘Constitutional Proposals of the Sapru Committee’, came to be commonly known as the Sapru Committee Report, and contained 21 recommendations pertaining to constitutional questions that concerned the governance and politics of India. The Report was published along with a detailed exposition of the reasoning behind these recommendations and included a number of notes of dissent from committee members, as well as details of correspondence regarding their deliberations between the committee and political figures such as B.R. Ambedkar, Gandhi, and others.

The Sapru Committee Report rejected the proposal for the division of the Indian sub-continent into the two states of India and Pakistan and made a number of recommendations for the protection of minorities in a unified state. While the Report did not receive much attention or consideration when it was published, it was cited and considered a number of times by the Constituent Assembly of India when drafting the Constitution of India.

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