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Charu Chandra Datta

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Charu Chandra Datta (Dutt) (1877-1952), member of the I.C.S., appointed at first as magistrate and then as judge in Bombay. Sri Aurobindo met him in 1904 in Thane (Maharashtra). Charu Chandra joined the revolutionary party.

Charu Chandra had already, while in England during the period 1896-99, established contact with the Irish revolutionaries, and was a member of a group of Indians who had pledged themselves to work secretly for the liberation of their country. He continued his secret activities even after joining the Indian Civil Service.

Charu Chandra passed ICS examination in 1899 and was posted as District Judge and Magistrate in Bombay Presidency. He married Lilabati Basu Mallik, daughter of Hemchandra Basu Mallik and Bhubanmohini. They had daughter, Lilabati, and son Arindham Dutta.

“Once Sri Aurobindo came to Thana, a town in Gujarat, where I was posted. It was raining heavily on that day. As we could not stir out, we fell to target-shooting to beguile the time. My wife proposed that Sri Aurobindo should be given the rifle so that he might also have a try, but Sri Aurobindo refused, saying that he had never handled a rifle. But because we insisted, he agreed. We had only to show him how to hold the rifle and take aim. The target was the black, tiny head of a match stick, hung at a distance of ten or twelve feet. Aurobindo took aim, and, lo and behold! the very first shot flew the stick into the target, and the first hit was followed up by the second, and the second by the third! It took our breath away. I remarked to my friends: «If such a man doesn’t become a siddha (spiritually perfect), who would become — people like you and me?»” (Puranokatha-Upasanhara by Charu Chandra Datt.)

In 1906 he helped to reorganize Bande Mataram and form a joint-stock company for the paper. He was implicated in the Manicktolla Bomb Case, but no charges were brought against him.

After retiring in 1925 he stayed for some time at Santiniketan. In 1928 he retired from service and came back to Calcutta. In 1932, at the request of Rabindranath, he joined Visvabharati as Vice-President.

In 1940 joined the Sri Aurobindo Ashram, where he used to give lessons to the children in his room.

In Russian