Statue of Goubert in Puducherry.
29 July 1894|
Pondichéry, French India
14 August 1979 (aged 85)|
Asho, Karnataka, India
Édouard Goubert (29 July 1894 – 14 August 1979) was former mayor and first chief minister of Puducherry between 1 July 1963 and 11 September 1964. Initially a strongly pro-French leader, he later shifted towards the pro-merger Indian National Congress, which ultimately became the death knell for the sovereignty of France's comptoirs (trading posts) in India. He and Lambert Saravane founded the French India Socialist Party in 1947.
Early life and career
Goubert was born in Pondicherry on 29 July 1894 to a French father and Franco-Indian mother. He received his education in French Indochina and in France. He began his career in the colonial administration and worked as a clerk at the Pondicherry Court. In 1951, he ran as a candidate of the Democratic and Socialist Union of the Resistance for the seat of French India in the French National Assembly (Assemblée Nationale). Goubert won the election with an overwhelming majority of 99.3% of the vote.
In a 1949 referendum held in French India, all French possessions in India except Chandannagar voted to remain with France. However, pro-Indian factions in French India gained the upper hand in the following year. Initially, Goubert attempted to negotiate a special status for French India that would make it autonomous from both France and India. However, neither the French nor Indian governments agreed to the demand. By 1954, Goubert shifted his loyalty towards the pro-India faction and supported the annexation of French possessions to the Indian Union. In March 1954, he traveled to Pondicherry and took part in an agitation demanding the merger of French India with the Indian Union. On 29 June 1954, his parliamentary immunity was abolished. On 1 November 1954, France signed treaties transferring sovereignty of French possessions to India, ending Goubert's tenure in the French National Assembly.
- Criminal Justice India Series Volume 20 – Page 16 D. Banerjea – 2002 -"The other group consisting of E. Goubert, Deivassigamany and Sivasoupiramaniapoulle insisted on holding the Elections as scheduled on 24 ... Mouttoupoulle, who was then Mayor of Pondicherry, extended his support to the Goubert faction."
- Kate Marsh Fictions of 1947: representations of Indian decolonization 1919–1962 Page 37 2007 – "Goubert's corruption was legendary, and he profited greatly from the trafficking of contraband goods, the sale of which "
- Les dernières années de l'Inde française – Page 241 Michel Gaudart de Soulages, Philippe Randa – 2005 "Après ce retournement, Édouard Goubert et ses partisans se refugient dans l'Union Indienne : « Les mesures prises à son égard ont obligé M. Goubert à quitter précipitemment Pondichéry et à se réfugier, en compagnie du maire, de l'autre.."
- Markovits, Claude, ed. (2002) [First published 1994 as Histoire de l'Inde Moderne]. A History of Modern India, 1480–1950. London: Anthem Press. p. 518. ISBN 978-1-84331-004-4.
- Varma, M. Dinesh (30 July 2014). "Edouard Goubert who holds a fascination for Francophiles in Puducherry". The Hindu. Retrieved 3 November 2016.
- Mansingh, Surjit (9 May 2006). Historical Dictionary of India. Scarecrow Press. p. 248. Retrieved 3 November 2016.
- Nationale, Assemblée. "Edouard Goubert". assemblee-nationale.fr. Archived from the original on 5 May 2010.
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