Sarangadhar Das, was born on 17 October 1886 in Dhenakana, Orissa. He graduated from Ravenshaw College in Cuttack and later traveled to Japan to study at the Tokyo Institute of Technology. Two years later, Das studied Sugar Technology at the University of California, Berkeley (1909).
Role in Indian Independence Movement
Das resigned from the Congress Party to join the Socialist Party and was an active participant in the All-Orissa States’ Peoples’ Movement. The All-Orissa States’ Peoples’ Movement demanded a responsible government in all Princely States. This movement gave momentum to Das’s leadership. He also worked on upliftment of tribal groups and lower caste communities.
Das was elected as the President of the Orissa and Central Provinces States Regional Council (1946-1947). He also served as the member of the Standing Committee of the All-India States People’s Conference (1939-1943) and a member of the All-India Congress Committee (1939-1945).
Contribution to Constitution Making
Das represented the Eastern Princely States in the Assembly. He was not an active participant in the Assembly debates. However, he did make a few interventions on the control of Princely States by the President.
Das had an active political career. He served as a member of the Orissa Legislative Assembly (1946-1949) and India’s Provincial Parliament. Das was the Chairman of the Socialist Party (Utkal- 1951-1952) as well as the Deputy Leader of the Praja Socialist Party (1952-1953).
He passed away at the age of 70 on 19 September 1957, in Cuttack.
Das regularly wrote about various struggles of the masses in the journal Krushak. Two of his published works include The Development of Sugar Industry in India and Bikaner— a Political and Economic Survey.
Das objected to the inclusion of Draft Article 306B (Article 371, Constitution of India 1950) which stated that the Government of a Princely State will be under the general control of the President and should comply with their general directions for a period of 10 years from the commencement of the Constitution. He argued that the Draft Article was against the principle of democracy and that such a provision could lead to bureaucratic governance.
Socialist Movement and Sarangadhar Das by Akshaya Kumar Patra (Odisha Review, April 2012).