Chittaranjan Das was a noted freedom fighter and social activist. He was titled Deshbandhu (having kinship with the Country) for his service to the people.
Chittaranjan Das was born on November 5, 1870 in Calcutta (now Kolkata). Das joined the Bar and the Inner Temple in London. He became a barrister in 1893. Das started his practice in the Calcutta High court, where he fought cases for revolutionary leaders like Bipin Chandra Pal and Aravinda Ghosh, at his own expense. He initiated the ‘Boycott movement’ in Calcutta, which resulted in a mass boycott of various British institutions. He gave up his own successful law practice to support the movement.
Deshbandhu, along with another freedom fighter Motilal Nehru, founded the Swaraj Party in 1923. The party was recognized as the parliamentary wing of the Congress. Deshbandhu was elected mayor of Calcutta in 1924, after the Swaraj Party gained majority in the elections. During his tenure as the mayor, he brought greater efficiency to the administration and implemented many welfare projects.
Chittaranjan Das later established the Deshbandhu Memorial Fund to build a temple, establish an orphanage and provide education to the masses. Besides being a shrewd lawyer, Das was also a literary person. He wrote collections of poems like ‘Mala’ and ‘Antaryami’ and ‘Kishore Kishori’. Along with another revolutionary leader, Aravinda Ghosh, he founded the famous journal ‘Bande Mataram’. He also served as the editor-in-chief of the journal ‘Forward’, which was the mouthpiece of the Swaraj party. Chittaranjan Das died on June 16, 1925.