Biren Dutta

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Birendra Chandra Dutta was an Indian communist politician. He founded the communist movement in Tripura.[1][2] Dutta was a member of the 1st Lok Sabha (lower house of the parliament of India, 1952-1957), the 3rd Lok Sabha (1962-1967) and the 5th Lok Sabha (1971-1977).[3]

Dutta was born in Agartala in 1910, son of Jogneswar Dutta. He studied at Calcutta University. He was linked to the Anushilan Samiti revolutionary movement.[3] He was arrested in 1933.[4] Just before his arrest he had come into contact with the communist movement.[4] Dutta was released from jail in May 1938, after which he travelled back to Tripura to build a branch of the Communist Party there.[4] His work was conducted under supervision of the Comilla Divisional Committee of the Communist Party.[4] Dutta and his associated founded the Janamangal Samiti ('People's Welfare Association') in 1938.[4] Dutta served as assistant secretary of Janamangal Samiti and was the editor/publisher of its publication Projar Katha.[5]

When the Janshiksha Samiti ('People's Educational Association') was founded in 1945, Dutta played a key role as an organizer, albeit not officially being part of the leadership of the movement.[4] Dutta obtained full membership in the Communist Party of India just before the 2nd party congress held in Calcutta. Dutta attended the congress.[4] After party congress, Dutta sought to build a movement amongst the tribal people of Tripura. But soon the Tripura Government began a crack-down against the nascent communist movement. Dutta left for the hills, where he began to build a revolutionary movement, the Mukti Parishad ('Liberation Council'). Whilst Dutta was a key organizer of the movement, he did not join the executive of the organization as it was an organization of tribal people.[4] Dutta and others in the leadership were arrested.[6]

At the end of the armed struggle of Mukti Parishad, the ban on the Communist Party was lifted.[4] Dutta was released from Tezpur Jail in 1950.[7] CPI fielded him as its candidate in the Indian general election, 1952for the Tripura West constituency.[4][8] CPI contested the elections in Tripura on a 4-point program: abolition of the Chief Commissioner's administration, rehabilitation schemes for both Bengali refugees and tribals, land reform and an end to repressive laws.[4] He won the seat, obtaining 53,592 votes (68.84%).[8]

By the Indian general election, 1957 Tripura West and Tripura East had been merged to a two-seat constituency. Dutta lost his parliamentary seat, obtaining 119,798 votes.[9]

Dutta returned to the Lok Sabha in the Indian general election, 1962, winning the Tripura West seat with 86,084 votes (52.12%).[10]

Dutta lost the Tripura West seat in the Indian general election, 1967, now standing as a candidate of the Communist Party of India (Marxist). He finished in second place with 92,143 votes (42.25%).[11] The result was challenged, with accusations of rigging, but the Supreme Court of India awarded the victory to the Indian National Congress candidate.[7]

He returned to parliament in the Indian general election, 1971, obtaining 88,264 votes (45.18%).[12]

Dutta contested the Ramnagar seat in the Tripura Legislative Assembly election, 1977. He won the seat with 8,420 votes (63.41%).[13] After the election Dutta urged the party leadership to install tribal leader Dasarath Deb as Chief Minister. Instead the party selected Bengali Nripen Chakraborty, a move Dutta called 'a big mistake'. Dutta later argued that had the party selected a tribal Chief Minister at this juncture, the violent upheaval that Tripura experienced could have been avoided.[1][14]

Dutta was a minister in the Tripura state government between 1978 and 1985.[6] He retained the Ramnagar seat in the Tripura Legislative Assembly election, 1983, obtaining 8,026 votes (50.80%).[15]

Dutta served as the state secretary of the Centre of Indian Trade Unions between 1970 and 1990.[6]

Dutta married Saraju Dutta in 1945, and the couple had five children (three sons and two daughters). He served as commissioner of Agartala Municipality.[3] Over the years he worked as editor of many newspapers, such as Tripura Rajaer Katha, Tripurar Katha, Desher Dak and Desher Katha.[3][6]

In 1991 Dutta's health deteriorated and he was relieved of party duties. He died on 18 December 1992.[6]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Charanjit Chanana; Indian Council for South Asian Cooperation (2005). South Asian Survey. Sage. p. 291.
  2. ^ Seminar. R. Thapar. 2002. p. 69.
  3. ^ a b c d Lok Sabha. Members Bioprofile: DUTTA, SHRI BIREN
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Subir Bhaumik (1996). Insurgent Crossfire: North-East India. Lancer Publishers. pp. 90–92, 94, 120. ISBN 978-1-897829-12-7.
  5. ^ Economic and Political Weekly. Sameeksha Trust. 1990. p. 2211.
  6. ^ a b c d e Communist Party of India (Marxist) Tripura State Committee. Com. Biren Dutta
  7. ^ a b Benimadhab Majumder (1997). The Legislative Opposition in Tripura. Tripura State Tribal Cultural Research Institute & Museum, Government of Tripura. pp. 19, 45.
  8. ^ a b Election Commission of India. STATISTICAL REPORT ON GENERAL ELECTIONS, 1951 TO THE FIRST LOK SABHA – VOLUME I (NATIONAL AND STATE ABSTRACTS & DETAILED RESULTS)
  9. ^ Election Commission of India. STATISTICAL REPORT ON GENERAL ELECTIONS, 1957 TO THE SECOND LOK SABHA – VOLUME I (NATIONAL AND STATE ABSTRACTS & DETAILED RESULTS)
  10. ^ Election Commission of India. STATISTICAL REPORT ON GENERAL ELECTIONS, 1962 TO THE THIRD LOK SABHA
  11. ^ Election Commission of India. STATISTICAL REPORT ON GENERAL ELECTIONS, 1967 TO THE FOURTH LOK SABHA
  12. ^ Election Commission of India. STATISTICAL REPORT ON GENERAL ELECTIONS, 1971 TO THE FIFTH LOK SABHA
  13. ^ Election Commission of India. STATISTICAL REPORT ON GENERAL ELECTION, 1977 TO THE LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY OF TRIPURA
  14. ^ Ranabir Samaddar (3 March 2016). Government of Peace: Social Governance, Security and the Problematic of Peace. Routledge. p. 82. ISBN 978-1-317-12538-9.
  15. ^ Election Commission of India. STATISTICAL REPORT ON GENERAL ELECTION, 1983 TO THE LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY OF TRIPURA