Dr Bhagwan Das [1869 - 1958]

Dr. Bhagwan Das was an Indian Freedom Fighter, a brilliant scholar, a Theosophist, and an important public figure. He was born on 12 January 1869 and died on 18 September 1958 aged 89 years. He was born in the city of Varanasi and belonged to a very rich zamindar family.

The topic has a high chance of being asked as a Modern India History Questions in IAS Prelims

Table of Contents:

  1. Facts About Bhagwan Das
  2. Life of Dr Bhagwan Das

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Facts About Bhagwan Das

  • He was honoured with the country’s highest civilian honour the Bharat Ratna Award in the year of 1958 for his contributions to education, philosophy, and social reform.
  • His son Sri Prakasa has also been the recipient of the prestigious Padma Vibhushan Award.
  • He completed his postgraduate degree by the time he was aged 18 years.
  • He was also an active member of the Hindustani Culture Society.
  • He actively advocated for Hindi language to be popularised and made a pan-India language.
  • He contributed immensely for the popularisation of the Sanskrit language.
  • For a brief period of time he has also served in the Central Legislative Assembly of British India.
  • Dr. Bhagwan Das also advocated for replacing Hinduism with Vedic principles in which he had very strong beliefs.
  • Bhagwan Das along with Annie Beasant founded the Kashi Vidyapeeth in Varanasi.
    • In the year of 1921, Dr. Bhagwan Das became the first Vice Chancellor of Kashi Vidyapeeth.
  • He also established Central Hindu College in the year of 1898 in Kashi.
  • A strong proponent of non-violence he was very vocal against the use of violence or rioting as a means of protest.

Note: Visit the attached link to read the difference between Padma Bhushan, and Padma Vibhushan Awards.

Life of Dr Bhagwan Das

Dr. Bhagwan Das was a liberal and secular Hindu who believed in inclusiveness. He was also a close associate of the likes of Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru and other popular freedom fighters of that era. In the year 1890, he became a government employee having the post of a Tehsildar, soon after that in 4 years he became the deputy collector and magistrate by means of promotion. Soon after that in the year of 1898 he resigned from the government services and permanently moved to Kashi.

In the year 1898, Dr. Bhagwan Das came in contact with Annie Beasant and got inspired by him to a great extent, this led to him working with her in many fronts and collaborating in some projects too.

In the year of 1916, Annie Beasant merged the Central Hindu College with the Banaras Hindu University (BHU) in collaboration with Mahamana Madan Mohan Malviya. This led to him being nominated to become one of the five honorary joint secretaries of the management committee of Banaras Hindu University (BHU). He was awarded with an honorary doctorate degree by Banaras Hindu University (BHU) in the year of 1929 and by Allahabad University (AU) in the year of 1937.

In the year of 1919, he became the president of the UP Social Conference marking the start of his political career. He presided over the UP Political Conference in the year of 1920. In August 1920, he took part in the non-cooperation movement launched by Mahatma Gandhi and became a member of the Indian National Congress (INC).

Dr. Bhagwan Das has also authored and co-authored many books and publications. The prominent ones include:

  • Sanatana Dharma: An Advanced Textbook of Hindu Religion, and Ethics.
  • Bhagavad Gita translation along with Annie Besant.
  • An Outline Scheme of Swaraj, along with C.R. Das.
  • The Essential Unity of all Religions.
  • Ancient Solutions for Modern Problems.
  • Social Reconstruction of Modern Societies.

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Related Links:

Raja Ram Mohan Roy – Indian Social Reformer Education System in India during British Rule
Legislations in British India – List of Acts Passed in British India Revolt of 1857 – India’s First War of Independence Against British
Popular Uprisings in the 18th and 19th Centuries – Politico-Religious Movements Popular Uprisings against British by Deposed Chieftains and Landlords
Peasant Movements in the 19th Century – Deccan Riots of 1875 Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan – Early Years, Partition, Arrest and Exile


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