Bharat Ratna award winners in 1961

Purushottam Das Tandon -( 1882-1962)

Purushottam Das Tandon was an Indian freedom fighter and he worked to make Hindi as the official language of India. He was called as Rajarshi meaning Royal Saint. He received Bharat Ratna, the highest civilian award of India in the year 1961 from Government of India.

He was born on 1st August 1882 at Allahabad. After getting degree in law and masters’ degree in history, he started his career as a lawyer in 1906. In the year 1908 he joined the bar of Allahabad. He practiced as the junior of Tej Bahadur Sapru. He gave up the profession and joined active politics in 1921.

He became a member of the Congress Party in the year 1899. He was a part of Lok Sevak Sangh. He was arrested for taking part in the Non-cooperation movement and Salt Satyagraha. He served as the President of Bihar Provincial Kisan Sabha in 1934. He served as the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly of Uttar Pradesh for 13 years from 1937 to 1950. He was elected to the Constituent Assembly of India in the year 1946.

He was elected to the Lok Sabha in the year 1952 and then to Rajya Sabha in 1956. Due to his ill health, he had to retire from active life. He had good relationship with Nehru. Later he started No Tax campaign in 1930 and due to this in 1940s there was a split in the relationship. In 1950 he contested for the post of Congress President against Acharya Kriplani.

He was a staunch believer of Ahimsa. So he started using rubber chappals instead of that made of leather. He donated the entire four hundred rupees that he got as an allowance for the Member of Parliament to the Public Service Fund. It was due to his selfless nature that he was called as Rajarshi. He died on 1st July 1962.


Bidhan Chandra Roy – ( 1882-1962)

Bidhan Chandra Roy

Bidhan Chandra Roy was the Indian politician who served as the second Chief Minister of West Bengal. He served in this post for 14 years from 1948 to 1962. He was a member of Indian National Congress. He was a doctor by profession. He was also a freedom fighter of India. He had great part in constructing West Bengal. He founded the three important cities namely Durgapur, Kalyani and Bidhannagar.

He was born on 1st July 1882 in Bankipore in Patna in Bihar. His father was Prakash Chandra. He was the youngest of five children. He lost his mother when he was 14 and he had to look after himself. He studied I. A. at Presidency College at Calcutta and B. A. from Patna College and got Honors degree in Mathematics. He then joined Calcutta Medical College and continued his education. He had to study with scholarship.

He joined Provincial Health Service and showed great dedication towards his profession. He charged the patients only Rs. 2 for his service. He went to England in February 1909 and joined St. Bartholomew’s Hospital for higher studies. He completed F. R. C. S. and M. R. C. P. at the same time. He returned back in 1911 and served as the mentor in the Calcutta Medical College and then at the Campbell Medical School and Carmichael Medial College.

He established the Jadavpur T. B. Hospital, R. G. Kar Medical College, Kamala Nehru Hospital, Victoria Institution, Chittaranjan Seva Sadan and Chittaranjan Cancer Hospital. He also opened nursing institute for women. His contribution during the Japanese bombing on Rangoon on 1942 gave him Doctorate of Science degree in 1944. He had treated Gandhiji when he went on fast in 1933 during the Quit India Movement.

He entered politics in 1925 and was elected to the All India Congress Committee in 1928. When he was given the chance to act as the Chief Minister of Bengal, he wanted to pursue his profession. However according to the advice of Gandhiji he accepted the position. He received the Bharat Ratna award on 4th February 1961. He died on 1st July 1962. His birthday is celebrated as the National Doctor’s Day.