Jivatram Bhagwandas Kripalani (11 November 1888 – 19 March 1982) known as Acharya Kripalani, was an Indian politician, noted particularly for holding the presidency of the Indian National Congress during the transfer of power in 1947. He was the husband of Sucheta Kripalani. He was an environmentalist, mystic, and independence activist who was long a Gandhian socialist, before joining the economically right-wing Swatantra Party later in life.
He was born on 11 November 1888 in Hyderabad which was part of the Bombay Presidency then. He completed his education at Fergusson College in Pune. Later, he worked as a schoolteacher before joining the freedom movement in the wake of Gandhi’s return from South Africa. From 1912 to 1917 Kripalani worked as a lecturer of English and history at L.S. College (then known as Grier BB College), Muzaffarpur, Bihar.
Kripalani was involved in the Non-Cooperation Movement of the early 1920s. He worked in Gandhi’s ashrams in Gujarat and Maharashtra on tasks of social reform and education, and later left for Bihar and the United Provinces in northern India to teach and organize new ashrams. He courted arrested on numerous occasions during the Civil Disobedience movements and smaller occasions of organizing protests and publishing seditious material against the British Raj.
He joined the All-India Congress Committee and became its general secretary in 1928–29 and served in that role for a decade. He was the President of the Indian National Congress during the transfer of power. Patel’s candidate Purushottam Das Tandon defeated Acharya Kripalani despite the support of Shree Pandit Nehru. Bruised by his defeat and disillusioned by what he viewed as the abandonment of the Gandhian ideal of a countless village republic, Kripalani left the Congress and became one of the founders of the Kisan Mazdoor Praja Party.
The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi has paid tributes to Acharya JB Kripalani on his birth anniversary.
The Prime Minister posted on X;
“I pay homage to Acharya JB Kripalani on his birth anniversary. He is widely respected as a true beacon of India’s fight against colonialism. His tireless work to strengthen democracy and social equality has etched a permanent mark on our nation’s fabric. His life and work was always about upholding the values of liberty and justice.”
I pay homage to Acharya JB Kripalani on his birth anniversary. He is widely respected as a true beacon of India’s fight against colonialism. His tireless work to strengthen democracy and social equality has etched a permanent mark on our nation’s fabric. His life and work was…
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) November 11, 2023