Role in India’s Independence Movement
Purnima Banerji was involved in the freedom struggle along with Sucheta Kripalani, Vijaylakshmi Pandit, and Uma Nehru. She took part in the individual Satyagraha and Quit India movements.
She was a member of the Congress Socialist Party and the Indian National Congress. As a Secretary of the Allahabad City Congress Committee, Banerji worked towards creating rural engagement. She also conducted meetings with kisans and trade unions.
Contribution to Constitution Making
Banerji was appointed to the Constituent Assembly from the United Provinces. In the Assembly, she intervened in discussions around the Preamble, preventive detention and qualifications of Rajya Sabha members.
- Banerji argued that the preventative detention clause in Draft Article 15A (Article 22 of the Constitution of India) must prescribe time limits beyond which a person cannot be detained. Further, she went on to assert that the detained person, if they are the earning member of their family, must be given maintenance allowance.
- When the Assembly was discussing the Preamble, Banerji sought to expressly state in the Preamble that ‘sovereignty’ is derived from the people of India.
- During the discussion around the qualifications of Rajya Sabha members, Banerji believed that the age limit should be reduced from 35 to 30 years.