Bipin Chandra Pal was an orator, writer, teacher, journalist and most importantly, popular extremist freedom fighter of India. His logical thinking recognized the advantages that the British rule offered to his country but he was in favor of having a federal India. He practiced his radical beliefs in his public as well as private life. He expressed his disapproval of the foreign rule through extreme actions. He did not mince his words in condemning Gandhi’s way of leading the national struggle.
On November 7th 1858 he was born in Habibganj (Assam). This place is a part of Bangladesh now. He belonged to a wealthy family. His father was a landlord, who exercised significant clout in the neighboring areas. In contrast to the norm of sending children to pathshalas, his father taught him at home. He learnt Persian from a maulavi. He received formal education in Church Mission Society College where later, he became a teacher.
He did not shy away from practicing his progressive views. In order to show his support for widow remarriage, which at the time was a very sensitive issue, he married a widow, Nrityakali Devi in 1881. After her untimely death, he remarried. This time too, the bride was a Brahmin widow, Birajmohini Devi.
Meeting With Eminent Personalities
While he was a student, he got the opportunity of meeting several distinct personalities. These people helped him formulate his radical viewpoints. Anandmohan Bose, Aghoreenath Chatterjee, Dr. Sundarimohan Das and Dwarkanath Ganguli acted as his associates while Keshabchandra Sen led him towards the Brahmo Samaj principles.
Role in Inculcating the Feeling of Nationalism
Bipin Chandra Pal was amongst the first few Indians, who saw through the British policy of Divide and Rule. He joined the Indian National Congress in 1886. In 1905, the British Government divided Bengal. The ostensible purpose was easy administration of the region, as it was too big to be managed under a single one. However, Bipin Chandra Pal along with Lala Lajpat Rai and Bal Gangadhar Tilak (together popularly known as Lal Bal Pal) severely criticized this act of the Government. They knew that the British Raj wanted to extinguish the feeling of nationalism in the people of Bengal. That is why it divided the region to break their unity based on their religions.
Radical Views Clashing with Gandhi’s Non-Violent Methods
Bipin Chandra Pal took drastic measures to revolt against the British. He openly boycotted foreign goods by burning them and wholeheartedly, took part in the lockouts in government factories. Along with other national leaders, he launched the Swadeshi Movement. Its motto was to encourage Indians to use products made of domestic produce. He was also a strong supporter of education, as it would have helped remove social evils.
He was a well-known personality of the Indian National Movement when M.K Gandhi joined it. Gandhi’s non-violent ways of nationalism did not appeal to him at all and he criticized him on many occasions, once openly in 1921.
The last six years of his life were spent in poverty and utter loneliness. Actually, his closeness to the Khilafat Movement alienated him from the Congress. He passed away in 1932.