Sunday, November 27, 2011

Great Mohyal : Ram Bhaj Dutt Chaudhri

RAM BHAJ DUTT CHAUDHARI (OF LAHORE). Born about 1867. Son of Radha Kishen, M OHYAL Brahmin of the Gurdaspur District. Educated at the Forman Christian College, Lahore ; B. A. of Punjab Univer- sity ; Pleader of the Chief Court, Lahore. Ram Bhaj Dutt is a leader of the local Arya Samaj for which he has often worked as Secretary. In October 1905 married Sarala Devi (q.v.) who was already prominent in Nationalist circles in Calcutta. Thereafter Ram Bhaj Dutt became a more iealous politician. Ram Bhaj Dutt was proprietor of the Hindustan newspaper, of which Amba Parsad (q.v.) was for a time sub-editor. The Press and the paper were purchased by him from Dina Nath and Ishri Parshad In July 1907, when Dina Nath was convicted of sedition. In July 1908 it was privately reported that bpth Ajit Singh and Amba Prasad were receiv- ing pecuniary assistance from Ram Bhaj Dutt. In August 1908 Ram Bhaj Dutt, then Secretary of the Arya Pratinidhi Sabha (the controlling body of the Arya Samaj for the Punjab) left for England. He did not do much there that was noticeable. He returned to Lahore in November 1908, and on 1st March 1909 he presented himself before Mr. Fenton, Chief Secretary to Government, saying that he con- templated applying for the vacant Governorship pf Jammu, and inquiring whether, if the Maharajah referred to the Punjab Government the question of his loyalty, satisfactory assurances would be given pn the point, as he had a misgiving that some of his Beeches had been subject to misconception. Since then he and his wife have been taking a loyalist line and mixing in European society. Ram Bhaj Dutt of Lahore should not be confused with Pandit Bhoj Dutt Sharma of the Masafir of Agra. SARALA DEVI (wife of Ram Bhaj Dutt). Born about ,1882. Daughter of Mr. J. Ghosal of Calcutta, an old leader of the National Congress party. Has a brother Mr. J. Ghosal in the I. C. S. (Collector of Ratnagiri, Bombay 1910) who is married to the Princess Sukriti, daughter of the Maharajah of Cooch Behar. Sarala Devi's mother was Secretary of the Ladies' Theosophical Society of Calcutta, and Babu Rabindranath Tagore, a well-known Bengali poet, is her uncle. Sarala Devi was not married at the customary early age, as her parents desired that she should devote her life to the service of the country. She was one of the originators of the Swadeshi movement in Calcutta long before the partition, and tried to rouse the people by reviving old festivals, starting music clubs for the cultivation of national songs, and setting up a kind of ' Hero- worship' by means of plays describing the doings of the Hindu heroes of the past. She was one of the first to start lathi-play and sword exercise in Bengal, and from 1902 to 1904 she had an athletic club where these exercises were taught at her father's house at Baliygunge. The teacher was a certain ' Pro- fessor' Murtaza. There can be no doubt that she was a thorough extremist, and that the object of all these movements was to rouse the national spirit and the national strength in Bengal, with a view eventually to driving the English out. The later agitation and disturbances in Bengal were simply the natural development of her work. It has long been recognised in Bengal that no rising in India has any chance of success without the 99 co-operation of ihe Punjab, which was the great stumbling-block to the mutineers in 1857. It is possible that Sarala Devi's marriage with Ram Bhaj Dutt of Lahore in October 1905 was arranged partly with a view to provide a link in the agitation between the two Provinces, and for a year or two afterwards there were indications that it was being used fer this end. Lately, however, as has been noticed above, Ram Bhaj Dutt has begun to come round to the side of Government and Sarala Devi is apparently following the same course as her husband.

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Arya samaj said...
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