Seth Hukumchand

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Seth Hukumchand
Born 1874
Died 1959

Sir Seth Hukum Chand Jain (Kasliwal) of Indore, Holkar State, (1874–1959) thara of Indian industry and a prominent leader of the Jain community for about 50 years.

His ancestor Seth Pusaji had settled at Indore in 1787 under the patronage of the ruling Holkar Maratha clan of the Maratha Confederacy. His father Seth Sarup Chand was himself a successful businessman, however Seth Hukum Chand transformed the few lakhs inherited into a fortune of many crores. In his lifetime he donated various amounts amounting to about 8 million (US$120,000).

He was initially associated with the firm Trilok Chand Hukam Chand, set up by his father and two uncles, while he was only 6 years old. By 16 he had himself become a successful businessman.[1]

Industrial pioneer[edit]

Seth Hukam Chand became a leading business magnate of the country doing speculative and ready trade in commodities on a large scale. He was known as 'Cotton Prince of India' and had much credit even in some overseas countries. Hwere located in important cities of India.

He established cotton mills (Hukam Chand Mill and Raj Kumar Mill at Indore), and a large Jute Mill and Iron Mill at Calcutta, He was a pioneer in 'Swadeshi Industry'. He was the first Indian businessman to set up a Jute Mill[2]

Social contributions[edit]

He was champion of nationwide Khadi Movement initiated by Mahatma Gandhi in 1920 and a leader of the Swadeshi Movement of 1931 in Bombay.

He financially supported Hindi Sahitya Sammelan and was President of Madhya Bharat Hindi Sahitya Samiti.

He had an unparalleled record of religious and social service. He protected Jain Tirthas, constructed and repaired several Jain temples. He built the famous Kach Ka Mandir in Indore.

He served as

and Presided over numerous religious, social and political organizations.

With his influence he resolved major religious and social issues. He was a great devotee of Jain munis and went on several pilgrimages.

He was made Rai Bahadur in 1915 and honoured with the title of 'Sir' (Knight hood) in 1919. Maharaja of Gwalior had presented him Khilat and rulers of Indore had honoured him with the titles of Rajya Bhushan, Rao Raja and Rajya Ratna.

He established

  • Sir Hukam Chand Eye Hospital,
  • Kalyanmal Nursing Home,
  • Raj Kumar Singh Ayurvedic
  • Kanchan Bai Maternity Home,
  • Kanchan Bai Shravikashram,
  • Tukoji Rao Cloth Market,
  • Gaushala. Jain temple and boarding house in Banaras University.

On Mahatma Gandhi's visit to Indra Bhawan, Hukumchandji agreed to give him his 40 acres (160,000 m2) of farmland for building the Kasturbagram village.

He donated Rs. 400,000 for construction of Lady Hardinge Medical College and Hospital at New Delhi. He donated Rs. 200,000 for the welfare of agriculturists. He provided enormous financial assistance during the famine of 1899 and plague epidemics of 1903 and 1908.


In his later life, Seth Hukam Chand gave up wearing of expensive clothes, jewellery studded with precious gems etc., and switched to simple clothes.[3] He devoted most his time to religious activities. His family still resides in Indore, in the grand Palace Indra Bhawan popularly known as Hukumchand Ghantaghar.


  1. ^ 'Progressive Jains' by Mr. Satish Kumar Jain
  2. ^ Nationalism in Europe
  3. ^ Sir Seth Sarupchand Hukamchandji in his 'VAIRAGYA DASHA'

External links[edit]