Gokulbhai Daulatram Bhatt was born on 19 February 1898 in Sirohi, Rajasthan. He was actively involved in India’s independence movement and a social worker for over 50 years. Known as the ‘Gandhi’ of Rajasthan, he was involved in issues like prohibition, empowerment of women and depressed classes and promoting village industries.
He started his education in Bombay after his family moved there from Rajasthan.
Role in India’s Independence Movement:
Bhatt was inspired by Mahatma Gandhi and his values throughout his adolescence. In 1920, he left his undergraduate studies at St. Xavier’s College, Bombay and joined the Non-Cooperation Movement started by the Indian National Congress under Gandhi’s leadership in 1921. Later on, he was also a part of the Salt Satyagraha (1930) and the Quit India Movement (1942).
In 1939, he moved back to Sirohi, then a princely state in Rajasthan. He started the Sirohi Praja Mandal in the same year, along with seven others. The Praja Mandal was considered a separate unit of the Congress party that would organise the people from the Princely States in the demand for Purna Swaraj.
Contribution to Constitution Making:
He wasn’t a part of any Committees in the Assembly, but he was a fierce advocate for local democracy and decentralisation. He made several interventions on the integration of princely states, the debate on Sirohi’s inclusion in Rajasthan, village panchayats and the debate on Union powers.
Bhatt was a member of the All-India Khadi and Village Industries Board (1956-57) and was Chairman of its Rajasthan branch from 1977. He was awarded the Padma Bhushan in 1971 for his services in social work in the state of Rajasthan. However, he was arrested along with others because of protests against the Emergency in 1975.
He died on 6 October 1986.
- Shri Gokulbhai Daulatram Bhatt – Jamnalal Bajaj Foundation (1982)
- The People Versus Emergency: A Saga of Struggle by Pra. Ga Sahasrabuddhe, Māṇikacandra Vājapeyī (1991)