Friday, March 4, 2016

NEHRU , RAJATARANGINI AND RANJIT SITA RAM PANDIT


                                                                                 


JAWAHAR LAL NEHRU AND RANJIT SITARAM PANDIT (HIS BROTHER IN LAW ) INSIDE NAINI PRISON


RANJIT SITA RAM PANDIT ( 1893-1944 )


Ranjit Sita Ram Pandit ( 1893-1944 ) was a successful Barrister and classical sanskrit scholar from Kathiawad in Maharashtra . He became a favourite of Pandit Moti Lal Nehru ( 1861-1931) who had seen this young Barrister arguing a case . In 1921, he married jawahar lal Nehru’s sister Vijay Lakshmi . Ranjit was a freedom fighter who suffered several imprisonments along with many congress leaders.

RAJATARINGINI TRANSLATION

In 1930 , he and Jawahar Lal Nehru were together lodged in Naini Central jail when Sita Ram pandit expressed a desire to translate Kalahana’s Rajtarangini to English. As a matter of fact , he wanted it to be presented to his father in law Pandit Moti Lal Nehru . He also wanted Moti Lal Nehru to write the foreword to this proposed Book . It took him more than 4 years of dedicated labour mostly inside various jails and finally the Book saw the light of the day in 1935. In the meantime , Moti Lal Nehru was no more around and Jawahar Lal had to write the foreword. The book wAs dedicated to the memory of Pandit Moti lal Nehru . To this day , this book , that was also published by Sahitya Academy New Delhi , remains much sought after as a Reference work by people interested in History of kashmir .

Ranjit Sita Ram Pandit died of inadequate medical attention in Lucknow Central Jail after he was arrested during the freedom struggle, leaving behind his wife Vijay Lakshmi and three talented Daughters ; Chanderlekha , Rita and Nayantara . Rita was married in a kashmiri Dar ( Husband’s name Avtar Krishen Dar ) Family while Chanderlekha and Nayantara were married in Non kashmiri Mehta and Sehgal families respectively. Nayantara is a successful writer and lives in her mother ‘s house at Rajpura Road Dehradun.Nayantara’s daughter Gita Sehgal is also a successful writer and Human rights activist .

Ranjit Sita Ram Pandit was a paternal uncle to Sharda Pandit ( Later Sharda Mukherjee ) who married India's first Air chief Marshal Subroto Mukherjee. Sharda Mukherjee was later Governor of Gujrat and and Andhra Pradesh.And Sharda Pandit’s mother ( Sarswati Bai Pandit ) was real sister of actress Durga khote ( 1905-1991).

It appears that the services of Nehru’s two brothers in law namely Gunottam Hutheesing and Ranjit Sita Ram Pandit have been underplayed as country ’s Freedom Fighters .


( Autar Mota )
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