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Balkrishna Sharma
1897

Early Life:

Balkrishna Sharma was born on 8 December 1897 in Bhyana village in Madhya Pradesh. He completed his matriculation from Ujjai High School in 1917. Sharma studied Arts at Christ Church College in Kanpur.

 

Role in India’s Independence Movement:

Sharma began his political career while  he was still a final-year college student. He participated in the Non-Cooperation Movement and dropped out of college (1921) to become involved in the freedom movement. Sharma was imprisoned by the British government six times (between 1921 and 1944), and was one amongst many of those declared as dangerous prisoners.

 

Contribution to Constitution Making:

Sharma was elected to the Constituent Assembly from the United Provinces through a Congress party ticket. Sharma intervened in debates around Article 18. He also spoke in favour translating the Draft Constitution to Hindi.

 

Later Contributions:

In the first General Elections, Balkrishna Sharma was elected to the  Lok Sabha from Kanpur constituency and he later became a member of the Rajya Sabha (1957). He was given the title ‘Lion of Kanpur’ for his oratory skills.

 

He served as a member of the Official Language Commission and the Cultural Delegation, which represented India in a number of European countries. In appreciation of his literary contributions he was awarded the Padma Bhushan.

 

Key Writings:

Sharma composed several poems when he was a student. Some of his renowned works include 'kumkum,' 'Rashmirekha,' 'Apalak,' 'Kwasi,' 'Vinoba Stavan,' and 'Urmila'. Gyanpeeth released a collection of his works titled 'Hum Vishpaee Janam Ke’ posthumously.

Sharma was not a member of any Assembly Committee.

  • Sharma asked for setting up a sub-committee to translate the Draft Constitution into Hindi. He wanted this to be done so that the Assembly could debate the Draft Constitution in Hindi and the English language could be done away with. 
  • He defended the Constitution a day prior to its adoption agaist criticism by other members. He stated that the Constitution was right in creating strong Centre and placing restrictions on Fundamental Rights. Sharma also believed that the Constitution was the solution for various issues.
  • Sharma opposed the inclusion of Article 18 in the Cosntituion which abolished the use of titles in India. He believed that titles were a way of honouring leaders. He argued that titles were an inextricable part of our culture and hence should not be done away with.