प्रफुल्लचंद्र सेन (मृत्यु- 25 सितम्बर,1990)

September 25, 2017

प्रफुल्लचंद्र सेन ( जन्म-10 अप्रैल 1897, हुगली ज़िला; मृत्यु- 25 सितम्बर,1990, कलकत्ता) बंगाल के प्रमुख कांग्रेसी नेता, गांधी जी के अनुयायी और स्वतंत्रता सेनानी थे। प्रफुल्लचंद्र सेन 1961 से 1967 तक पश्चिम बंगाल के मुख्यमंत्री थे। ग्राम विकास के कार्यों और हरिजनोद्धार में योगदान के कारण उन्हें 'आरामबाग का गांधी' कहते थे। स्वतंत्रता आंदोलन में प्रफुल्लचंद्र सेन ने 11 वर्ष तक जेल की सज़ा भी भोगी थी।

प्रफुल्लचंद्र सेन का जन्म 10 अप्रैल, 1897 ई. में हुगली ज़िले के आरामबाग नामक स्थान में एक गरीब परिवार में हुआ था। अपने पिता की हस्तांतरणीय सेवा के कारण उन्होंने पूर्वी भारत के बिहार प्रांत में अपना बचपन बिताया। प्रफुल्लचंद्र ने बिहार के देवघर में आर मित्रा इंस्टीट्यूट से अपनी मैट्रिक परीक्षा उत्तीर्ण की थी। इसके बाद उन्होंने कलकत्ता के स्कॉटिश चर्च कॉलेज़ में विज्ञान का अध्ययन किया। फिर कोलकाता विश्वविद्यालय से विज्ञान में स्नातक हुए । गांधी जी के भाषण से प्रभावित होकर प्रफुल्लचंद्र सेन ने विदेशों में अध्ययन की सभी योजनाओं को त्याग दिया और अंग्रेज़ों के खिलाफ एक जन गैर सहयोग आंदोलन के लिए महात्मा गांधी का साथ दिया। प्रफुल्लचंद्र सेन उदार जीवन शैली के साथ जीवन व्यतीत करते रहें।

प्रफुल्लचंद्र सेन के ऊपर आरंभ से लाला लाजपतराय, बालगंगाधर तिलक और विपिन चंद्र पाल (लाल बाल पाल) के विचारों का प्रभाव था। रामकृष्ण परमहंस और स्वामी विवेकानंद से भी वे प्रभावित थे। बाद में जब गांधी जी से संपर्क हुआ तो वे सदा के लिए उनके अनुयायी बन गए। प्रफुल्लचंद्र सेन खादी उद्योग के समर्थन में थे।

प्रफुल्लचंद्र सेन स्वतंत्रता आंदोलन में सदा सक्रिय रहे। 1921, 1930, 1932, 1934 और 1942 में उन्होंने कैद की सजा भोगी और कुल ग्यारह वर्ष तक जेल में बंद रहे। रचनात्मक कार्यों में प्रफुल्लचंद्र सेन की बड़ी निष्ठा थी। ग्राम विकास के कार्यों और हरिजनोद्धार में योगदान के कारण ओग उन्हें 'आरामबाग का गांधी' कहने लगे थे।

प्रफुल्लचंद्र सेन के राजनैतिक जीवन का आरंभ 1948 में डॉ. विधान चंद्र राय के मंत्रिमंडल में मंत्री के रूप में सम्मिलित होने के साथ हुआ। 1962 में बिधान चंद्र राय की मृत्यु के बाद वे पश्चिम बंगाल के मुख्यमंत्री बने और 1967 तक इस पद पर रहे। इस वर्ष के निर्वाचन में कांग्रेस पराजित हो गई थी। इसके बाद का प्रफुल्लचंद्र सेन का समय रचनात्मक कार्यों में ही बीता। 1968 के कांग्रेस विभाजन में इंदिरा जी के साथ न जाकर प्रफुल्लचंद्र सेन ने पुराने नेतृत्व के साथ ही रहने का निश्चय किया। इस प्रकार उनकी राजनैतिक गतिविधियाँ समाप्त हो गईं।

प्रफुल्लचंद्र सेन का 25 सितंबर 1990 को कलकत्ता में निधन हो गया।

Prafulla Chandra Sen (10 April 1897 – 25 September 1990) was a Bengali politician and freedom fighter. He was the Chief Minister of West Bengal from 1961 to 1967.Prafulla Chandra Sen was born in the Khulna District of Bengal, on the 10th of April 1897. Most of his childhood was spent in Bihar, Eastern India. He started his education in Bihar and passed the entrance exam to attend the R. Mitra Institute in Deoghar. He then went on to receive a Bachelor of Science degree from Scottish Church College, in Calcutta. After graduating, he joined an accounting firm and aspired to move to England in order to become an articled clerk. His ambitions changed upon hearing Mahatma Gandhi's speech at the Calcutta session of the Congress Party during the year 1920.

Influenced by Gandhi's speech, Sen abandoned his plans of studying abroad and rallied to Mahatma Gandhi's call for a mass non-co-operation movement against the British. In 1923, Sen shifted to the remote area of Arambagh in the Hooghly district, which became his laboratory for Gandhian experiments on Swadeshi and Satyagraha.

Sen plunged headlong into the freedom struggle. He was one of the staunchest supporters of the Indian National Congress Party and led the freedom struggle against the British. He was a die-hard nationalist and was committed to Mahatma Gandhi's philosophy of grass-roots democracy and a self-reliant rural economy. Gandhi's influence on Sen was so pervasive that, in the 1920s, he shifted his area of social and political activity to Arambagh, an under-developed and malaria-infested area of West Bengal and worked ceaselessly for its betterment. For his efforts, Sen earned the sobriquet Gandhi of Arambagh. he was thought to have been encouraged by the then president of the union and the noted academic (headmaster of Arambagh High School) Nagendranath Chatterjee whom interestingly he defeated in a poll, but they never lost mutual admiration. It is reported that Sen offered a pranam to Chatterjee every time they met, long after he became a national figure.

Sen threw himself into the freedom struggle and spent over 10 years in various jails between 1930 and 1942 for anti-British activities. During that time period, the Congress Party office at Serampore was his home and he earned virtually nothing, simply possessing one home-spun dhoti (sarong) and kurta. In the partial exercise of democracy permitted by the British in the 1940s, Sen was elected to the Bengal Assembly from Arambagh in 1944 and was deputy leader of the Opposition.
In 1948, he was inducted by then Chief Minister Dr. Bidhan Chandra Roy into the West Bengal Cabinet as Minister of Agriculture. This was a portfolio he held until 1967. He also functioned as Roy's Deputy Minister and was acknowledged as his political heir.

After Dr. Roy's death in 1961, Sen became West Bengal's third Chief Minister. Three years later, his regime faced a drastic food shortage in the state following countrywide drought. At a Food Ministers' conference in Delhi, Sen advocated introducing the politically unsound measure of food rationing in urban areas. Within months, he had introduced food-grain rationing in the state, a system which has continued with minor modifications to this date.

To build food stocks, he imposed a heavy levy on rice mills. In the process, he alienated the business community. Shortages of essentials led to anti-Congress Party strikes. This was followed by violence and police excesses which further isolated Sen's government. In 1967, the Congress lost the West Bengal election to the Marxists with Sen losing his Arambagh seat in the West Bengal Legislative Assembly as well.

After this setback, Sen, although re-elected to the West Bengal Assembly, never recovered high political office. In the 1980s he fruitlessly espoused the cause of party-less democracy and although he had left the Congress (I), having little sympathy for its leaders, came around to publicly supporting the party at public forums.To his last, he remained a bachelor with an undemanding lifestyle. He passionately championed the upliftment of village industry including home-spun cloth or khadi. For most of his later life, Sen wore only khadi and a week before he died, sold khadi from a newly opened shop to inaugurate its sale.

He died in Calcutta on 25 September 1990.According to The Independent dated 28 September 1990, Sen was,a fiery freedom fighter from Bengal state in Eastern India and later the state's Chief Minister practiced a selfless and principled brand of politics long forgotten in India today.