Sachchidananda Sinha (10 November 1871 – 6 March 1950) was an Indian lawyer, parliamentarian, and journalist. He was the first President of the Indian Constitutional Assembly which drafted the Constitution of India.[1]

Sachchidananda Sinha
President of Constituent Assembly (Temporary Chairman)
In office
9 December 1946 – 11 December 1946
Succeeded byDr. Rajendra Prasad
Personal details
Born(1871-11-10)10 November 1871
Bengal Presidency, British India
Died6 March 1950(1950-03-06) (aged 78)
Patna, Bihar, India
Alma materPatna University

He,along with Mahesh Narayan, is considered to be the main architects of the modern state of Bihar.[2][3]

Early life edit

Sinha was born on 10 November 1871 in Arrah, in Bengal Presidency (in present-day Bihar) into a well-to-do Srivastava Kayastha family who had served for several generations for Dumraon Raj estate.[4] Sinha's grandfather, Bakshi Shiva Prasad Sinha, was the Chief Revenue office for the Dumraon Raj.[5]

Sinha's father sent him to be educated in Patna and later City College, Calcutta. Later, he moved to the United Kingdom and studied law in Inner Temple, London to become a barrister. Following his return from London, Sinha began a movement for a separate province of Bihar with a small group of others. It was realized in 1912 with the formation of the Bihar and Orissa Province.[6]

Career edit

Sinha began his career as an advocate in 1893 practicing in the Calcutta High Court. He subsequently practiced in the Allahabad High Court starting in 1896 where he met Justice Khuda Bakhsh Khan who gave him the responsibility to run the Khuda Bakhsh oriental public library as its secretary from 1894 - 1898[7] and became one of his mentor, He started practicing in Patna High Court starting in 1916.[8]

In his early years, Sinha was a member of the Indian National Congress, from 1899 till 1920, serving one term as secretary.[9] He participated in the Home Rule League Movement.

He was one of the vice-chancellors of Patna University and held the post from 1936 to 1944. He built the Sinha Library in 1924 in memory of his wife, Radhika.[6][10]

He was a member of the Imperial Legislative Council from 1910 to 1920 and the Indian Legislative Assembly. He became the first Deputy President (Deputy Speaker) of the Assembly in 1921, after the Government of India Act 1919 institutionalised President and Deputy President to preside over the meetings of Central Legislative Assembly, a role previously played by Governor-General of India over the proceedings of the unicameral Imperial Legislative Council (1861-1920).[9] He also held the office of the President in the Bihar and Orissa Legislative Council. He was appointed Executive Councillor and Finance Member of the Government of Bihar and Orissa, and, thus, was the first Indian who was ever appointed a Finance Member of a Province.[9] Later, he also was a member of the Bihar Legislative Assembly..

On 9 December 1946, after the first Constituent Assembly election, the first meeting of Constituent Assembly was held in which Sinha was appointed as the temporary President of Constituent Assembly as he was the eldest member,[11] following the French Practice.

A constituent college in Aurangabad is dedicated to him and was named Sachchidanand Sinha College, which was founded by Akhouri Krishna Prakash Sinha along with eminent Gandhian Anugrah Narayan Sinha before independence,[12] in 1943, who named it after Sinha, as a living tribute to him, who was at that time 72 years of age.[13] Sinha died on 6 March 1950 at his residence in Patna.[14]

In January 2015, when US President Barack Obama visited India, he was presented with a copy of the first telegram sent from the US to India. It was sent by then acting secretary of state Dean Acheson to Sinha.[15]

Author edit

Sinha was a journalist and a writer. He was the publisher of the Indian Nation and editor of Hindustan Review. His works included Some Eminent Indian Contemporaries and Iqbal: The Poet and His Message (1947).

References edit

  1. ^ "The Indian Express - Google News Archive Search". Retrieved 23 February 2023.
  2. ^ PRASAD VARMA, VISHWANATH (1987). "The Political System of Bihar". The Indian Journal of Political Science. 48 (4): 506–511. JSTOR 41855334.
  3. ^ Bhaskar Sinha, Pabitra (1971). "Sachchidananda Sinha's Role in the Creation of the Province of Bihar". Proceedings of the Indian History Congress. 33: 507. JSTOR 44145386.
  4. ^ Pratyush Kumar, Madan Mishra (2022). Recollections and Reminiscences of a Long Life by Dr. Sachchidanand Sinha. New Delhi, India: Anamika Publishers Pvt. Ltd. ISBN 978-9391524098.
  5. ^ Sinha, Bagishwar (1969). Sachchidananda Sinha. Publications Division, Ministry of Information & Broadcasting, Government of India. pp. 9–15.
  6. ^ a b Dr. Sachchidananda Sinha: a maker of Bihar and modern India. by Kumar Himansu Madhukar.
  7. ^ Sagar, Umang (15 September 2021). "Biography Of Sachchidanand Sinha | Who Was Sachchidanand Sinha? | Know Everything About Sachchidanand Sinha- 13angle | नई उमंग". 13angle. Retrieved 12 March 2023.
  8. ^ "Sachidananda Sinha Dead". The Indian Express. 7 March 1950. p. 1. Retrieved 17 May 2017.
  9. ^ a b c Constituent Assembly of India Archived 6 July 2016 at the Wayback Machine
  10. ^ "Sinha library a victim of neglect". The Times of India. Archived from the original on 5 November 2011. Retrieved 20 June 2012.
  11. ^ "A Brief On The History Of Indian Constitution". Lawyers Troop. 5 June 2020. Retrieved 5 June 2020.
  12. ^ Congress a divided house in Anugrah babu’s hometown
  13. ^ Sachchidanand Sinha College, Aurangabad has a proud history and bears the name of Dr. Sachichidanand Sinha.. Akhouri Krishna Prakash Sinha, the founder of this college.. Archived 18 August 2010 at the Wayback Machine
  14. ^ "Sachidananda Sinha Dead". The Indian Express. 7 March 1950. Retrieved 8 May 2023.
  15. ^ "First Telegram From US to India". The Hindu. 25 January 2015.

Further reading edit

  • Pratyush Kumar, Madan Mishra (eds.), Recollections and Reminiscences of a Long Life by Dr. Sachchidanand Sinha (Foreword by: Domenico Francavilla; Afterword by: Mahendra Prasad Singh), New Delhi: Anamika Publishers, 2022.