Pushpa Lata Das was a veteran freedom fighter, a former parliamentarian and an eminent social worker from Assam.
Life of Pushpa lata Das
Pushpa Lata Das was born on 27th march 1915 in North Lakhimpur to Late Rameswar Saikia and Smt. Swarnalata Saikia of Jorhat.
She was on independent nature and extrovert from her childhood and in the age of six, she joined the ‘Banar Sena’ to popularize the Khadi among the people and organized Chakra Sangha.
Being inspired by her mother, she took pledge for freedom and never looked back ever since. She has strong faith in the power of women.
Pushpa Lata Das was thrown out of her school, Panbazar Girls High School, at the age of 14 years because she was the secretary of the Mukti Sangha and along with her inmates she tried to record a protest in the school against the hanging order of freedom fighter Bhagat Singh.
Pushpa Lata Das passed her matriculation examination as a private candidate in the year 1934 and went to Banaras Hindu University from where she passed Intermediate. She then enrolled her name with the Andhra University for her graduation.
After that, Pushpa Lata Das got her Masters Degree in political Science in the year 1938 from the same university. Later she joined Earle Law College in Guwahati and was selected the secretary of the College Union in the year 1940.
But during that time, her study in law came to an end when she was jailed for ‘Individual Satyagraha’. Pushpa Lata Das married Omeo Kumar Das, a true Gandhian and social worker in the year 1942, despite strong opposition from some of her relatives and shifted from Guwahati to Tezpur.
Pushpa lata Das's Role in Indian Freedom Movement
From the year 1940 to 1942, Pushpa Lata Das was in Bombay as a member of the Women Sub Committee of the National Planning Committee. During that period, she worked with Mridula Sarabhai and Vijay Laxmi Pandit for development and constructive works.
She after her marriage, along with Jyoti Prasad Agarwala and others prepared a team of workers for organizing people. She organized the Shanti Bahini and Mrityu Bahini with her co workers in Tezpur and was supposed to lead the procession to put the National Tricolor Flag on the compound of Gohpur Police Station.
However, at that time fate intervened and Kanaklata Barua took charge over the procession from Pushpa Lata Das and got bullets from the British rulers. Pushpa Lata Das opposed Jawaharlal Nehru on the question of dragging Assam into grouping.
As a member of the AICC and the convener of the women’s wing of the Assam Congress Committee, she delivered a remarkable speech on that special session and succeeded in getting an amendment moved by Shri Puruishottam Das Tandon.
Works of Pushpa lata Das
Pushpa Lata Das was elected as a member of the Rajya Sabha in the year 1951 and retained it for the next term till 1961. In the year 1958, she was the member of the All India Congress Working Committee. She visited a number of East European countries as a member of Parliamentary delegation in the year 1959.
She was also a member of Assam Legislative Assembly she was also associated with a number of other organizations like All India Khadi Board (Chairperson of Assam Branch), Central Social Welfare Board, Planning Committee of Congress (Women Section), East India Motion Pictures Censor Board among others.
She was also the Chairperson of the State Bhudan and Gramdan Board. She was also the Chair person of Kasturba Memorial Trust, Assam Branch. She also worked as an editor of historically well known Assamese magazine ‘Jayanti’ for sometime.
Pushpa Lata Das was offered the Tampatra by the Indian Government for her services rendered during freedom movement. But she refused to accept the Tampatra and wrote about it to the then Assam Chief Minister, Shri Sarat Chandra Sinha.
Death of Pushpa lata Das
Pushpa Lata Das breathed her last on 9th November, 2003 at the age of 88 years.