Source: C. F. Andrews, “Sir Tej Bahadur Sapru: Greatest Authority on Indian Constitutional Law”, Great Men of India, ed. L.F. Rushbrook Williams (The Home Library Club: 1939), 394

Tej Bahadur Sapru

Tej Bahadur Sapru was born in 1875. He became interested in public issues at a tender age and became a member of the All Indian Congress Committee in 1906. In 1916, along with eighteen other elected members of the Imperial Legislative Council, he submitted a memorandum proposing a reform of the constitution after the war to the Government of India. Yet, he left the National Congress as soon as the Non-Co-Operation movement began, never having had support even during the earlier extremist position held by the Congress during 1907-1916.

Despite Sapru’s interest in public affairs, his terse oratorical style did not endear him as a politician. It was law that captivated him, not politics, which interested him only insofar as it concerned problems of the Indian Constitution.

He had a strong interest in the treatment of Indians abroad and championed their cause for equal citizenship. He chaired the All-India Liberal Conference at Poona in 1923, expressing strong indignation at the inferior racial treatment of Indians abroad. The wretched condition of Indians in South Africa, Kenya and Fiji along with the nation-wide tumult and strong repression convinced him of the incapability of the Montford Constitution and the urgent need for full self-government. He thus eagerly joined the Nehru Committee when it was formed the following year. Sapru was however, not a supporter of Gandhi’s ideas.

He also initiated movements for social reform and set an example of religious tolerance. He was particularly concerned with the student community and was pronouncedly troubled by the problem of unemployment among educated youths.

Sources: C.F Andrews, “Sir Tej Bahadur Sapru: Greatest Authority on Indian Constitutional Law”, Great Men of India, ed. L.F. Rushbrook Williams (The Home Library Club: 1939), 394-399; Ranajit Ghosh, “Tej Bahadur Sapru”, Eminent Indians Vol. 1, ed. Ermine A. Brown (Calcutta: Shanti Mitra, 1948), 110-120

 

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