Anugrah Narayan Sinha
Dr. Anugrah Narayan Sinha (18 June 1887 – 5 July 1957), known as Bihar Vibhuti, was an Indian nationalist statesman, participant in Champaran Satyagraha, Gandhian & one of the architects of modern Bihar, who was the first Deputy Chief Minister cum Finance Minister of the Indian state of Bihar (1946–1957). He was also a Member of the Constituent Assembly of India, which was elected to write the Constitution of India and served in its first Parliament as an independent nation. He also held a range of portfolios including Labour, Local Self Government, Public Works, Supply & Price Control, Health and Agriculture. A.N. Sinha, affectionately called "Babu Saheb", was a very close associate of Mahatma Gandhi during the freedom struggle movement and worked with Bihar Kesari Dr. Sri Krishna Sinha to lead the Gandhian movement in Bihar One of the leading nationalists in the Indian independence movement from Bihar after Dr Rajendra Prasad, he was elected as the Congress Party deputy leader in the state assembly to assume office as first Deputy Chief Minister cum Finance Minister of independent Bihar, and re-elected when the Congress Party won Bihar's first general election with a massive mandate in 1952.Loknayak Jay Prakash Narayan in his essay "Hamare Anugrah Babu" wrote that, "In modern times, there are only a rare few people who have been owed to Bihar as much as our Anugrah Babu. He was one of the leading makers of modern Bihar, and for many years Bihar got his leadership.The people of this state are indebted to this great son of Bihar's land.".
Dr. Anugrah Narayan Sinha
|Finance Minister of Bihar Province|
20 July 1937 – 31 October 1939
|Premier||Sri Krishna Sinha|
|Succeeded by||Governor's rule|
|Deputy Premier of Bihar Province|
20 July 1937 – 31 October 1939
|Preceded by||Position established|
|Succeeded by||Governor's rule|
|Member Of Constituent Assembly|
9 December 1946 – 26 January 1950
|Preceded by||Post Created|
|Succeeded by||Post Abolished|
|1st Finance Minister of Bihar|
2 April 1946 – 5 July 1957
|Preceded by||Position Created|
|Succeeded by||Sri Krishna Sinha|
|1st Deputy Chief Minister of Bihar|
2 April 1946 – 5 July 1957
|Chief Minister||Sri Krishna Sinha|
|Preceded by||Position Created|
|Member Central Legislative Council|
|Governor General||The Earl of Halifax|
|Preceded by||Maharaja Rameshwar Singh|
|Member Central Legislative Assembly|
|Governor General||The Earl of Reading|
|Preceded by||Ambika Prasad Sinha|
|Succeeded by||Badri Lal Rastogi|
|Born||18 June 1887|
Aurangabad, Bengal Presidency, British India
(now in Bihar, India)
|Died||5 July 1957 (aged 70)|
Patna, Bihar, India
|Political party||Indian National Congress|
|Alma mater||University of Patna|
Presidency College, Kolkata
|Nickname(s)||Bihar Vibhuti, Anugraha Babu|
|As of 12 July, 2006|
The qualities that gave Dr Anugrah Narayan Sinha a place among the eminent nationalists of his time were moral as well as intellectual. His genuineness, intensity, abhorrence of sham trickery and imposture and his dauntless determination to arrive at facts gave his action a ring of truth. He was born to Visveshwar Dayal Singh on 18 June 1887 in a family of Poiwan village of the erstwhile Gaya district (today known as Aurangabad) of Bihar. He belonged to the Rajput caste. As a lad his patriotic virtues were visible. A brilliant student from the beginning of his academic career, Dr. Anugrah Narayan Sinha obtained his initial education in the village school. From Junior school till graduation he topped the lists at every examination, obtaining an M.A. (History) in 1914 from the prestigious University of Calcutta. He became the Secretary of the Bihar Students Conference founded by Rajendra Prasad and the Chanakya Society of the Patna College. He served as a volunteer in the Patna Congress, With fever on he feverishly worked for its success. In 1915, he was appointed Professor of History at the T.N.B. college in Bhagalpur where he remained, known as an ideal professor, until 1916. He organised relief work when Bhagalpur was raved by floods. He began successfully practising law at Patna High Court.
In 1917, heeding the call of Mahatma Gandhi to the nation, he left his flourishing law practice to join the Champaran Satyagraha movement. The Champaran experiment formed a vital chapter in the development of the Gandhian method in India and he was catapulted to the national stage. He served as a teacher in "Bihar Vidyapeeth" founded by Dr. Rajendra Prasad for motivating young meritorious youths. Among his first students was young Jayprakash Narayan. In 1922 he organized the Gaya Congress. In the following year he became one of the General Secretaries of the All India Congress Committee (AICC). When Rajendra Prasad was elected Chairman of Patna Municipality, Dr. Anugraha Narayan Sinha was elected Vice-Chairman. As he was soon elected Chairman of the Gaya District Board, he resigned. He was the pivotal force behind the Civil Disobedience Movement led by M K Gandhi, in the year 1930 which is considered an important milestone in the history of Indian Nationalism.
His patriotism earned him 15 months of rigorous imprisonment in 1933–34. When the M8 Nepal–Bihar earthquake occurred on 15 January 1934, Bihar Central Relief Committee was set up on 17 January 1934, under the Presidency of Dr. Rajendra Prasad and Dr. Anugraha Narayan Sinha became its Vice-President. He took the task of raising funds to help the people and the relief and rehabilitation work was organised in an elaborate and efficient manner. He was elected as a member of the Central Council in 1935 from Sahabad-cum-Patna Constituency with a massive margin. He became a member of the Bihar Legislative Assembly in 1936. In the provincial autonomy granted by British, under the Government of India Act of 1935, the first Congress ministry was sworn in on 20 July 1937 and he became the Deputy Premier cum Finance Minister of Bihar province. He and Premier Dr. Sri Krishna Sinha disagreed with the then Governor Maurice Garnier Hallett on the issue of the release of political prisoners and both resigned. The Governor had to give in and they again resumed their offices. But they again resigned in 1939, as did all Congress governments in the country, over the question of involving India in the Second World War without the consent of the Indian people.
He was among the first freedom fighters to respond to Gandhiji's call for Satyagraha in 1940–41. He was arrested by the British authorities and imprisoned in the Hazaribagh Central Jail in 1942. In 1944 he was released and devoted himself to serving the epidemic-ridden people.
The first Bihar Government, both in 1937 and 1946, was characterized by the values of the Mahatma Gandhi. Its two eminent leaders Sri Babu (Dr. Sri Krishna Sinha) and Anugrah Babu (Dr. Anugrah Narayan Sinha) were nationalists of unimpeachable integrity and great public spirit. They ran an exemplary government in Bihar. Almost all the development projects needed for the state of Bihar were done by the leadership pair of Sinha and Dr A N Sinha. It included several river valley projects right from Koshi, Aghaur and Sakri to other such river projects. The first five-year plan period was given to the development in rural development works mainly in the agricultural sector. In fact, Bihar became the top state in the country's first five-year plan and it was announced by Dr. A. N. Sinha in the assembly. The then Prime Minister of India Jawaharlal Nehru sent Paul H. Appleby to assess the administration in states and in his famous report, he described Bihar as the best governed state in India mostly due to the excellent leadership of Dr. S. K. Sinha and Dr. Anugrah Narayan Sinha.
Since the second five-year plan period, Anugrah Babu spearheaded the process of rapid industrialization of Bihar and bought several industries for the all round development of the state. He served India's international interests. He successfully led the Indian Food and Agriculture delegation to Nepal and also the Indian delegation to the International Labour Organization (ILO) in Canada and Switzerland. He also actively led a number of Government and voluntary organizations in India and abroad.
Along with his close colleague in the Indian independence movement Bihar Kesari Dr. Sri Krishna Sinha, the first Chief Minister of Bihar, he is considered one of the architects of modern Bihar. His younger son Satyendra Narayan Sinha (who was affectionately called "Chhote Saheb") also became a prominent freedom fighter leader and later became Chief Minister of Bihar. His grandson Nikhil Kumar, a former IPS, has served as the Governor of Kerala. Dr. Sinha served the state continuously, barring war years(Second World War 1939–1945), as the Deputy Chief Minister cum Finance Minister from the time of the first Congress Ministry in 1937 till his death on 5 July 1957. Loknayak Jayaprakash Narayan served as the Chairman of Anugraha Smarak Nidhi(Anugrah Memorial Fund). The Department of Posts released a commemorative stamp in his memory.The 125th birth anniversary of Anugrah Babu was also celebrated by a state level committee headed by Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar.In 2013, various programmes were organised throughout the year and biographies of Shri babu and Anugrah Babu were included in the school syllabus.
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|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Anugrah Narayan Sinha.|
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- Dr. Rajendra Prasad-Correspondence and Select Documents:Letters to Anugrah Narayan Sinha
- The Constituent Assembly of India
- Description of Lok Sabha on website of Parliament of India
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- Official website of S.N.S.I.B.M., Ranchi
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