Bipin Chandra Pal

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
This article is about the Indian nationalist leader. For the Indian historian, see Bipan Chandra.
Bipin Chandra Pal
Born November 7, 1858
Habiganj, Sylhet, Assam, British India
Died May 20, 1932
Organization Indian National Congress, Brahmo Samaj
Movement Indian Independence movement
Signature Bipin Chandra Pal Signature.jpg

Bipin Chandra Pal About this sound pronunciation  (Bengali: বিপিন চন্দ্র পাল; November 7, 1858–May 20, 1932) was an Indian nationalist. He was among the triumvirate of Lal Bal Pal.

Early life and background[edit]

Bipin Chandra Pal was born in Poil Village, Habiganj District, Bengal state of British India now part of Bangladesh, in a wealthy Hindu Vaishnava family. His father was Ramchandra Pal, a Persian scholar and small landowner. His son was Niranjan Pal, one of the founders of Bombay Talkies. He studied and taught at the Church Mission Society College (now the St. Paul's Cathedral Mission College), an affiliated college of the University of Calcutta.[1] B.C. Pal is known as the 'Father of Revolutionary Thoughts' in India and was one of the freedom fighters of India.[2]


Bipin Chandra Pal was a teacher, journalist, orator, writer and librarian, he was famous as one of the triumvirate of three hard faction patriots of the Congresses - the "Pal" of Lal Bal Pal. The trio was responsible for initiating the first popular upsurge against British colonial policy in the 1905 partition of Bengal, before the advent of Mohandas K. Gandhi into Indian politics. Pal was also the founder of the journal Vande Mataram.

Even though he understood the positive aspects of Empire as a `not a great idea, the `Federal-idea is greater'.[3] In both public and private life he was radical. He married a widow (he had to sever ties to his family for this). At the time of B. G. Tilak's ("Bal") arrest and government repression in 1907, he left for England, where he was briefly associated with the radical India House and founded the Swaraj journal. However, political repercussions in the wake of Curson Wyllie's assassination in 1909 by Madanlal Dhingra lead to the collapse of this publication, driving Pal to penury and mental collapse in London.[4] In the aftermath, he totally moved away from his 'extremist' phase and even nationalism, as he contemplated an association of free nations as the great federal-idea. His plea for a transcendence to a broader entity than nation derived from the notion of the sociability of human beings, which he thought would create a common bond between nations.[5][6][7] He was among the first to criticize Gandhi or the 'Gandhi cult' since it `sought to replace the present government by no government or by the priestly autocracy of the Mahatma.'[8] His criticism of Gandhi was persistent beginning with Gandhi's arrival in India and open in 1921 session of the Indian National Congress he delivered in his presidential speech a severe criticism of Gandhi's ideas as based on magic rather than logic, addressing Gandhi: 'You wanted magic. I tried to give you logic. But logic is in bad odour when the popular mind is excited. You wanted mantaram, I am not a Rishi and cannot give Mantaram...I have never spoken a half-truth when I know the truth.... I have never tried to lead people in faith blind-folded',[9] for his 'priestly, pontifical tendencies'. Comparing Gandhi with Leo Tolstoy during the year he died, Pal noted that Tolstoy 'was an honest philosophical anarchist' while Gandhi remained in his eyes as 'a papal autocrat'[10][11][12] Firm and ethically grounded, not only did he perceive the 'Congress Babel' in terms of its shortsightedness in late 1920s or, Congress as an instance of repudiating debt's folly, composed of a generation 'that knows no Joseph', Pal's critical comments should be located in context, since nobody can jump out of his skin of time. An estimation of Bipin Chandra Pal's entire corpus and the depth of his published writing cannot produce a fair idea or provide due justice if that is produced with the benefit of post-independence hindsight. Though there are many articles and books written about him from India and Europe, most of which is not hagiographical, his 'pen played not an inconsiderable part in the political and social ferments that have stirred the aters of Indian life', as the Earl of Ronaldshay wrote in 1925, what Jawaharlal Nehru said in a speech during Pal's birth centenary in 1958 surmises 'a great man who functioned on a high level on both religious and political planes'[13] opens a gate for enquiring this high-minded yet anomalous persona.

The trio had advocated radical means to get their message across to the British, like boycotting British manufactured goods, burning Western clothes made in the mills of Manchester or Swadeshi and strikes and lockouts of British owned businesses and industrial concerns.

His family were members of Brahmo Samaj and he came under the influence of eminent Bengali leaders of his time such as Keshab Chandra Sen and Sibnath Sastri but not as a hero-worshipper or somebody looking for a guru for guidance. He was imprisoned for six months on the grounds of his refusal to give evidence against Sri Aurobindo in the Vande Mataram sedition case.

He died on May 20, 1932. He was an extremist voice in the party.

Role in congress[edit]

  1. In 1886 he joined the Indian National Congress. At the Madras session of congress held in 1887,Bipin Chandra made a strong plea for repeal of the Arms Act which was discriminatory in nature.
  2. Along with Lala Lajpat Rai and Bal Gangadhar Tilak he belonged to the Lal,Bal and Pal trio that was associated with revolutionary activity. In fact Aurobindo Ghosh and Pal were recognised as the chief exponents of a new national movement revolving around the ideals of Purna Swaraj, Swadeshi, boycott and national education.
  3. His programme consisted of Swadeshi, Boycott and national education. He preached the use of Swadeshi and the Boycott of foreign goods to eradicate poverty and unemployment.
  4. He wanted to remove social evils from the form and arouse the feelings of nationalism through national criticism.
  5. He had no faith in mild protests in the form of Non-Cooperation with the government. On that one issue, the Assertive nationalist leader had nothing common with Gandhi.
  6. During last six years of his life he parted company with the Congress and led a secluded life. Sri Aurobindo referred to him as one of mightiest prophets of nationalism.


  1. ^ List of distinguished alumni
  2. ^ "Bipin Chandra Pal". 
  3. ^ B C Pal, Nationality and empire, Swaraj, April, 1909
  4. ^ Owen 2007, p. 73
  5. ^ Territorial vs extra-territorial patriotism', The Bengali, Feb. 3, 1925
  6. ^ Union of East and West, The Bengalee, October 22
  7. ^ Suffergate Revolution, Hindu, April–May 1913
  8. ^ The Hindu, English supplement, March 5, 1932
  9. ^ Magic preferred to Logic, The Statesman, March 29, 1921
  10. ^ Hindu, vol46, March 12, 1932, p.12
  11. ^ Mr Gandhi : Politician or Prophet?, The Bengalee, September 17, Editorial, 1924
  12. ^ Open letter to Gandhiji, The Englishman, May 7, 1924
  13. ^ Hindustan Standard, November 8, 1958
  • Owen, N (2007), The British Left and India, Oxford University Press, ISBN 0-19-923301-2 .

External links[edit]

{{Persondata <!-- Metadata: see Wikipedia:Persondata. --> | NAME = Pal, Bipin Chandra | ALTERNATIVE NAMES = | SHORT DESCRIPTION = | DATE OF BIRTH = November 7, 1858 | PLACE OF BIRTH = Habiganj District, (now presently in Bangladesh | DATE OF DEATH = May 20, 1932 | PLACE OF DEATH = }}