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JB Kripalani, veteran Congress leader, party president, and eventually forming the breakaway Praja Party, passed away today in 1982.
A postage stamp released in celebration of Jivatram Bhagwandas Kripalani; Source: Public Domain

Died on 19th March 1982

Jivatram Bhagwandas Kripalani, or Acharya Kripalani as he was better known, was born in 1888, and became one of the most prominent Congress leaders in the Independence and post Independence era, also becoming its President for a while.

Politically, he was active since childhood - he had to move college to college as they would oust him for his radical behavior.

First, he raised a rabble at Wilson College, and then, he moved to DJ Sindh College. The Principal over at the latter institution would make a snide remark about Indian students being liars - and this Kripalani took offense to. He would be leading a strike against that very principal soon enough.

He would then move on to become a teacher at the Gujarat Vidyapeeth from 1920-27, thus earning his nickname, Acharya. His association with Gandhi als developed during this time, he would volunteer again and again in the satyagrahas being held around the country.

Rising in Congress ranks as a member, he would soon enough face himself at odds with Nehru and Patel. He served as the President of Congress from 1947 to 1950, and was ideologically opposed to the Prime Minister and Home Minister respectively. However, he wanted a centralised Congress party, where decisions would be based on the party’s views, while Nehru and Patel argued that it would take too long, and instead said that broad principles and guidelines might be directed by the party, but day to day affairs must be reserved for the government only, even if the party was in power.

Kripalani broke from the Congress soon enough, and would form his own Praja Socialist Party, initially called Kisan Mazdoor Praja Party, in 1950. He would remain opposed to both the Congress and his own wife - who had also joined the Parliament, but on the Congress’ side.

He would pass away on the 19th of March, 1982.

Chaitanya Rawat Author
Hello! I'm Chaitanya. Among the interests already mentioned, I also like video gaming and idle traveling around the city, for food and sights! History is my passion, and if you want to talk about my work, do drop me an email!

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