About Rajarshi
Rajarshi Purushottam Das Tandon (August 1, 1882 – July 1, 1962), was a freedom fighter from Uttar Pradesh in India. He is widely remembered for his efforts in achieving the Official Language of India status for Hindi. He was customarily given the title Rajarshi(Etymology: Raja + Rishi = Royal Saint). He was awarded the Bharat Ratna, India's highest civilian award, in the year 1961.

Early life

Rajarshi Purushottam Das Tandon was born at Allahabad. After obtaining a degree in law and an MA in history he started practising in 1906 and joined the bar of Allahabad High Court in 1908 as a junior to Tej Bahadur Sapru. He gave up practise in 1921 to concentrate on public activities.

Freedom struggle

He was a member of Congress Party since his student days in 1899. In 1906, he represented Allahabad in the AICC. He was associated with the Congress Party committee that studied the Jallianwala Bagh incident in 1919. He was also a part of the Lok Sevak Sangh. In the 1920s and 1930s he was arrested for participating in the Non-Cooperation movement and Salt Satyagraha respectively. He and Nehru were among the people arrested even before Mahatma Gandhi returned from the Round Table Conference at London in 1931. He was known for his efforts in farmers’ movements and he served as the President, Bihar Provincial Kisan Sabha in 1934. He worked as the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly of the present-day Uttar Pradesh for a period of 13 years, from July 31, 1937 to August 10, 1950. He was elected to the Constituent Assembly of India in 1946.


He tried for the position of the President of the Congress Party unsuccessfully against Pattabhi Sitaramayya in 1948 but contested successfully against Acharya Kriplani in the controversial and difficult 1950 election to head the Nagpur session. He was elected to the Lok Sabha in 1952 and the Rajya Sabha in 1956. He retired from active public life after that due to indifferent health. He was awarded the Bharat Ratna, India’s highest civilian award in 1961.
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U.P. Rajarshi Tandon Open University, Allahabad
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