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Chittaranjan Das

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Chittaranjan Das (November 5, 11870 June 16, 1925), Indian politician, leader of the Swaraj party in Bengal province under British rule, an eminent lawyer of Calcutta. He presided over the Congress session at Gaya in 1922.

Sri Aurobindo met him while both were students in England. Two decades later Das successfully defended Sri Aurobindo from the charge of conspiracy to wage war against the King in the Alipore Bomb Case (1909-10). He devoted himself for months to the defence of Sri Aurobindo in the Alipore Bomb Case.

In 1913, learning that Sri Aurobindo was in financial need, Das offered him Rs. 1000 in exchange for a translation of Das's book of poems Sagar-Sangit (Sea-Songs). Sri Aurobindo agreed and completed the translation, which eventually was published, along with Das's prose translation, by Ganesh and Co., Madras, around 1923. Twenty-five years later Sri Aurobindo wrote of his rendering:

I was not... self-moved to translate this work, however beautiful I found it: I might even be accused of having written the translation as a pot-boiler, for Das knowing my impecunious and precarious situation at Pondicherry offered me Rs. 1,000 for the work. Nevertheless I tried to dive his beautiful Bengali lines as excellent a shape of English poetry as I could manage.

In 1925, Das`s health began to fail and in May he withdrew to a mountain home in Darjeeling, where Mahatma Gandhi visited him. On 16 June 1925, with a severe fever, he died.

 

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Bibliography

In English

Das, Chittaranjan

In English

Freedom through Disobedience

   Madras: Arka Publishing House, 1922

Das, Chittaranjan

In English

Sea Songs

   / Translated into English by Sri Aurobindo

In Russian