From February 28, 1979 to February 17, 1980…11 days less to complete a year…Babu Banarsi Das, who was famous for his impeccable style, took the chair of the 11th Chief Minister of UP for only this time. At the tender age of only 15, he had spoken against the British rule. He joined the freedom movement and went to jail several times. The British tortured him in jail, but Babu Saheb neither bowed down nor broke. The more the British officers tortured him, the more his popularity outside the jail would increase. How popular Babu Banarasi Das was among the general public and the revolutionaries can be gauged from the fact that he was elected unopposed from Bulandshahr in the 1946 assembly elections. In the same year he also became the President of Bulandshahr Congress Committee.
Born on July 8, 1912 in Bulandshahr, Babu Banarasi Das went to jail four times between 1930 and 1942. In August 1942, he was put under house arrest in Bulandshahr Jail, considering him dangerous. There he was tortured so much that his name became famous everywhere. During that time the British Collector Hardy, who was posted in Bulandshahr, beat up Banarasi Das under the Prisoners Act. On the night of February 5, 1943, he was taken out of the barracks and tied to a jamun tree in the jail campus. The collector, along with his soldiers, lashed out at Banarasi Das. He took off his clothes and beat him till he fell to the ground, half dead.
Governance run from home instead of government kothi
Banarasi Das, who was made the Chief Minister after the departure of Ramnaresh Yadav, was the first CM who preferred to live in his private house instead of the government kothi. He loved simplicity and had a strong hold in the organisation. It was always his endeavor that the common man could easily meet him. For the first time, he ordered an audit of the Chief Minister’s discretionary fund to make it transparent. During his stay in jail, he was introduced to big leaders like Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, Lal Bahadur Shastri, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, Sarojini Naidu and Maulana Azad. Having a strong hold on Hindi, Urdu and English, Das Babu also had knowledge of Gita and Upanishads.
Story of Uttar Pradesh: The gang war of 500 bullets, after which Mulayam government went
If there was no one, then he became the translator of the President
It is said that once the then President Dr. Radhakrishnan was giving a speech in English somewhere but there was no one present to translate it. In such a situation, Banarasi Das took this responsibility. Later the President also praised him. Between 1962 and 1966, Banarsi Das also held the post of Minister of Information, Cooperation, Labour, Power, Irrigation besides Parliamentary Affairs. On his orders, the Information Department published the district wise details of freedom fighters. In other departments also he started many new schemes.
CM Sampoornanand’s candidate was ‘beaten’ in the election
Such an incident happened in the 60s that everyone had to accept the political ability of Babu Banarasi Das. In fact, at that time the camp in the Congress was at its peak. Elections were about to be held for the post of UP Congress President. It is said that Dr. Sampoornanand, who was the CM of UP at that time, had full faith that only his candidate Munishwar Dutt Upadhyay would win in this election. Sampurnanand had even publicly said that if Munishwar Dutt lost the election, he would resign from the post of Chief Minister. Eventually Upadhyay lost the election and Sampurnanand had to resign because of this. Chandrabhanu Gupta then won the election of the UP Congress President. The mastermind behind all this was none other than Babu Banarasi Das. He had mastery over the grassroots politics of the Congress.
When opposing PM Nehru became an advantage
Banarasi Das had to face defeat in the 1980 assembly elections. After this, in 1984, he retired from politics. He died the next year on August 3, 1985 at the age of 73. Akhilesh Das, who was a minister in the Manmohan Singh government, was his son. Babu Saheb, who had visited countries like America, Italy, England, used to insist on implementing the administrative methods there as well. He had also been a journalist. It is said that once in the open session of Congress, Banarasi Das had suggested all the ministers including the Prime Minister to live in small houses instead of kothis. Due to his impeccable style, he also got political advantage many times. In 1952, he opposed any policy of Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru. After this, Nehru had asked the then UP CM Govind Ballabh Pant to make this boy the Parliamentary Secretary.