Bipin Chandra Pal was born on November 7, 1858 in Habiganj District, (now presently in Bangladesh) & died on May 20, 1932, was an Indian nationalist. He was among the triumvirate of Lal Bal Pal.
Bipin Chandra Pal was born in a wealthy Hindu Vaishnava family. His father was Ramchandra Pal, a Persian scholar and small landowner. His son was Niranjan Pal, one of the founders of Bombay Talkies. B.C. Pal is known as the ‘Father Of Revolutionary Thoughts’ in India and was one of the freedom fighters of India.
Bipin Chandra Pal was a teacher, journalist, orator, writer and librarian, he was famous as one of the triumvirate of three militant patriots of the Congresses – the “Pal” of Lal Bal Pal. The trio was responsible for initiating the first popular upsurge against British colonial policy in the 1905 partition of Bengal, before the advent of Gandhi into Indian politics. Pal was also the founder of the journal Bande Mataram.
Even though he understood the positive aspects of Empire as a `great idea’, the `Federal-idea is greater’. In both public and private life he was radical. He married a widow (he had to sever ties to his family for this). At the time of B. G. Tilak’s (“Bal”) arrest and government repression in 1907, he left for England, where he was briefly associated with the radical India House and founded the Swaraj journal. However, political repercussions in the wake of Curson Wyllie’s assassination in 1909 by Madanlal Dhingra lead to the collapse of this publication, driving Pal to penury and mental collapse in London.
In the aftermath, he totally moved away from his ‘extremist’ phase and even nationalism, as he contemplated an association of free nations as the great federal-idea. His plea for a transcendence to a broader entity than nation derived from the notion of the sociability of human beings, which he thought would create a common bond between nations. He was among the first to criticize Gandhi or the ‘Gandhi cult’ since it `sought to replace the present government by no government or by the priestly autocracy of the Mahatma.’ His criticism of Gandhi was persistent beginning with Gandhi’s arrival in India and open in 1921 session of the Indian National Congress he delivered in his presidential speech a severe criticism of Gandhi’s ideas as based on magic rather than logic, addressing Gandhi: ‘You wanted magic.
I tried to give you logic. But logic is in bad odour when the popular mind is excited. You wanted mantaram, I am not a Rishi and cannot give Mantaram…I have never spoken a half-truth when I know the truth…I have never tried to lead people in faith blind-folded’, for his ‘priestly, pontifical tendencies’, his alliance with pan-Islamism during the Khilafat movement, which led to Pal’s eclipse from political life from 1922 till his death in 1932 under conditions of abject poverty. Comparing Gandhi withLeo Tolstoy during the year he died, Pal noted that Tolstoy ‘was an honest philosophical anarchist’ while Gandhi remained in his eyes as ‘a papal autocrat’ Firm and ethically grounded, not only did he perceive the ‘Congress Babel’ in terms of its shortsightedness in late 1920s or, Congress as an instance of repudiating debt’s folly, composed of a generation ‘that knows no Joseph’, Pal’s critical comments should be located in context, since nobody can jump out of his skin of time. An estimation of Bipin Chandra Pal’s entire corpus and the depth of his published writing cannot produce a fair idea or provide due justice if that is produced with the benefit of post-independence hindsight.
Though there are many articles and books written about him from India and Europe, most of which is not hagiographical, his ‘pen played not an inconsiderable part in the political and social ferments that have stirred the aters of Indian life’, as the Earl of Ronaldshay wrote in 1925, what Nehru said in a speech during Pal’s birth centenary in 1958 surmises ‘a great man who functioned on a high level on both religious and political planes’ opens a gate for enquiring this high-minded yet anomalous persona.
The trio had advocated radical means to get their message across to the British, like boycotting British manufactured goods, burning Western clothes made in the mills of Manchester or Swadeshi and strikes andlockouts of British owned businesses and industrial concerns.
He came under the influence of eminent Bengali leaders,not as a hero-worshipper or somebody looking for a guru for guidance, of his time such as Keshab Chandra Sen and Sibnath Sastri, as his family were in Brahmo Samaj. He was imprisoned for six months on the grounds of his refusal to give evidence against Sri Aurobindo in the Vande Mataram sedition case.