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Subhas Chandra Pattanayak
Gouranga Charan Das, eminent freedom fighter, was born in Bagalpur, the village of Karana aristocracy in the district of Cuttack in Orissa on 26 January 1899. He was physically handicapped by birth with his right hand critically crippled. But in early youth he joined the freedom movement and soon led the people whose sacrifice made India a Sovereign Republic on his 50th birth anniversary.
Imprisoned for more than five years by the British authorities he had started his first journey to jails on 13 April 1930 by leading the salt movement at Inchudi, a movement that was meant to make people of India self-dependant.
He was the man who made history by changing aristocrat Karans of his village to allow Harijans into the famous Dadhibamana temple.
A legendary Gandhian, he was simple in nature but strong in decisions. He was deeply involved with Charakha movement but one of the stalwart organizers of Congress socialist party.
He had been elected uncontested to Orissa Assembly in 1945 and was chairman of Cuttack district Board from 1961 to 1967.
He breathed his last on 19 February 1972. But despite holding positions of power, he was without any money in his possession as always.
Gouranga Charan Das, who fought for India’s freedom from colonialism is today ever more relevant in people’s struggles against Free Market Capitalism imposed upon them by the ruling political combines.