Celebrating life and legacy of Acharya Narendra Dev

OV Digital Desk
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Acharya Narendra Dev

Acharya Narendra Dev (31 October 1889 – 19 February 1956) was a prominent socialist leader, nationalist, and educationist.

Life and Career

Acharya Narendra Dev was born on 31 October 1889 in Sitapur, Uttar Pradesh.

He completed his M.A., Ph.D., and D.Litt. from Lucknow University, where he studied Sanskrit, Hindi, and English literature. He was influenced by leaders like Bal Gangadhar Tilak, Aurobindo Ghosh, and Bipin Chandra Pal. He joined the Home Rule League in 1916 and became an active participant in the Indian freedom movement. He was arrested several times and spent many years in prison with Jawaharlal Nehru.

He was one of the founding members of the Congress Socialist Party in 1934 and advocated democratic socialism based on satyagraha and non-violence. He was also a leader of the peasant movement and served as the president of the All-India Kisan Congress. He was elected to the Uttar Pradesh legislative assembly in 1937 and 1946. He was a critic of the partition of India and opposed the communal politics of the Muslim League and the Hindu Mahasabha. He remained associated with the Socialist Party and its successor, the Praja Socialist Party, until his death.

He was also a distinguished scholar and educationist. He wrote many books and articles on various aspects of Indian culture, history, and literature. He received the Sahitya Akademi Award in Hindi in 1956 for his book Boddh Dharma-Darshan, which was a study of Buddhism and its philosophy. He was a professor and head of the Department of Art and Architecture at Banaras Hindu University from 1951 to 1954. He also served as the vice-chancellor of Lucknow University from 1947 to 1951, and Banaras Hindu University from 1951 to 1954. He initiated many projects for the expansion and development of the universities.

He died on 19 February 1956 in Madras.

Award and Legacy

He received the Sahitya Akademi Award in Hindi in 1956 for his book Boddh Dharma-Darshan, which was a study of Buddhism and its philosophy.

His legacy is that of a visionary leader, a socialist thinker, and a cultural icon who contributed to the fields of politics, literature, and education. He was also a vice-chancellor of Lucknow University and Banaras Hindu University and a founding member of the Congress Socialist Party.

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