Image Credit: BetterIndia
Deshbandu Gupta
1901 - 1951

 

Early Life:

Rati Ram Gupta was born on 14 June 1901 in Panipat. He was given the title ‘Deshbandhu’ by MK Gandhi and Swami Shradhanand.

 

He completed his early education at a Madrasa in Panipat and then went on to study at St. Stephens College. Here he met with and joined various revolutionary leaders. He actively campaigned for the separation of Haryana and Punjab. He also spoke about the upliftment of Dalits and removal of untouchability.

 

Gupta was elected to the Punjab Legislative Assembly where he served for seven years.

 

Role in India’s independence movement:

Gupta was an active member of the Arya Samaj. The Jallianwala Bagh Massacre (1919) had a huge impact on him and the incident drove him to become more actively involved in the freedom struggle. He joined the Indian National Congress (INC) and was responsible for organizing Congress committees in Karnal.

Gupta took active part in the ‘Quit India’ movement. He was arrested by the British for his involvement various freedom struggles.

 

Contribution to Constitution Making:

Gupta was elected to the Constituent Assembly from Delhi through a Congress ticket. Gupta believed passionately in the importance of newspapers and other forms of print media and made pertinent arguments in their favour. He pushed strongly for Delhi to have more representation in the Parliament.

 

Later Contributions:

Gupta made vital contributions to Indian journalism. Along with other senior members of the INC, Swami Shraddhanand and Gupta started a newspaper called the Rozana Tej. He expanded this newspaper by buying another publication: The Indian News Chronicle. He also began working with Ramnath Goenka. After his death in 1951, Ramnath Goenka renamed the newspaper to the Indian Express.

 

  1. Member, The Committee of Chief Commissioners Provinces
  2. Member, The House Committee

  • Gupta argued for the increase of representation of Delhi in the Parliament. He presented figures depicting Delhi’s exponential population growth and contended that the number of representatives from Delhi should be increased.

  • He outlined the importance of newspapers in shining light on happenings of a country. He believed that levying unnecessary taxes on newspapers will pose a hindrance to the very purpose that newspapers serve.