Showing posts with label Chhabilal Upadhyaya. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Chhabilal Upadhyaya. Show all posts

Gorkhas So far...: No Land’s Wo/men in India (Part-III)

8:11 AM
Writes Tikendra Kumar Chhetry
Department of Peace and Conflict Studies
Sikkim University

"I believe slogans like Bharat ki barbaadi or Gorkhaland should be treated as an attack on the integrity of India. I can't say whether its sedition or not but its definitely an attack on India and steps should be taken to curb it."
-Chandra Kumar Bose, A Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) leader

“My blood and sweat smell the soil of this land. My body is painted of the soil of this land. I am born and shall die in this country. Assam is my motherland. I cannot leave this struggle which is for the freedom for crores of people like me in this country”.
-Chhabilal Upadhyaya,The First President of Indian National Congress Assam Provincial Committee

“Though I am overjoyed on the occasion of my country’s long awaited Independence, at the same time thinking about the future of the thirty lakh Gorkhas spread all over India makes me deeply concerned and worried”.
-Damber Singh Gurung, Leader of All India Gorkha League, 15th August, 1947

Second and third of the above placed statements were made by two ardent Gorkha freedom fighters of Indian freedom struggle in two different situations.  The second one was by Chhabilal Upadhyaya as mentioned above, the valorous freedom fighter from Assam and, one who is claimed to be the first president of Assam provincial congress committee. He was found making this statement while he was interrogated by colonial Police superintendent in relation to his (Chhabilal’s) efforts to organise a meeting to commemorate Mahatma Gandhi’s first ever Assam visit. Chabilal Upadhyaya had attended the meeting at Tezpur polo ground, Assam organized on occasion of Mahatma Gandhi’s visit in August 1921 as a part of Non-Co-operation Movement. After the adjournment meeting, the district Police Superintendent (SP) of colonial administration took Upadhyaya to Hazarpar Park in his own (SP’s) car and made lucrative offers to him. Police officer said, “Do not oppose the Government. I will pay you Rs. 500/- per month, I will return your seized gun.” Upadhyaya boldly replied: “I am born in Assam and shall die in Assam, Assam is my motherland. I cannot leave the Congress”. At that juncture, Gandhi was resting in Parmananda Agrawalla’s house. When these words reached to Gandhi, he appreciated Upadhyaya in two valuable words- “Achchha Kiya”.
Chandra Kumar Bose - Gorkhaland an attack on the integrity of India
Chandra Kumar Bose - Gorkhaland an attack on the integrity of India
The third one, as mentioned, was by Damber Singh Gurung, the then leader of All India Gorkha League (AIGL). Gurung had made this statement while he was addressing the triumphant crowed on occasion of freedom of India on 15th August 1947.

Apart from above mentioned two different moments, Damber Singh Gurung and Chhabilal Upadhyaya led Gorkha community had a great contribution in keeping the then Assam which comprises considerably a large part of present northeast intact within present boundary of India. In the year of 1946, when at the threshold of moment of free sky, India was encountering oversized problem created by proposal of Cabinet Mission. On proposal of Cabinet Mission subscribing Jinnah’s ‘two nation theory’, the colonial government wanted to club up the then Assam with East Bengal (the then proposed east Pakistan and presently Bangladesh). To counter the proposal, some local congress leaders attempted to convince national leaders as well as tried to mobilize all sections of people in region against the move. Gorkhas stood by the side of whole community with all lovely attachment to region. The Assam Provincial committee of All India Gorkha League (AIGL) opposed the colonial plan. Damber Singh Gurung the central president of AIGL gave a written assurance in support of Congress. Gopinath Borodoloi sent two Congressmen, Vijoy Chandra Bhagawati and Mahendra Mohan Choudhury to meet Mahatma Gandhi to avoid Assam’s inclusion into East Pakistan. Gandhi replied, “Assam’s quietness would finish it. Only Assam can do what it wants”. Assam stood at a critical juncture. By the time, Chhabilal Upadhyaya, a Gorkha of the affected region was selected as the president of central body of the AIGL in its 4th central conference held at Tezpur of Assam in April, 1947. Under his leadership, the Gorkha League strictly denounced the inclusion of Assam into the Eastern part of proposed Pakistan that was being designed under Jinnah’s ‘two nation theory’. Chhabilal declared “Jinnah would not be allowed to decide the future of Assam. The AIGL opposes Jinnah’s plan of Pakistan and inclusion of Assam. And to avoid it, if necessary, thirty lakh Gorkha wrists with khukuris would be used to save our motherland India”.

The first one of above statements is by Chandra Kumar Bose, known to be the grand Nephew of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, a Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) candidate who is probably contesting against present West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Benerjee during the upcoming Assembly election that is going to be held in five states in India including West Bengal.

The second statement portrays that how Gorkhas were committed for the freedom of the land being visionary for self and community while country of love was in the jog of freedom struggle. The third statement reveals that how a Gorkha leader, an ardent freedom fighter of country foresaw the possible status of the community that he belonged, on the very first day of the Independence of country. It is difficult to grasp that what were the circumstances those compelled Damber Singh Gurung to depict his frustration about future of a community that he belonged. Whatever might be the situation, Gurung’s forecast about the future of Gorkhas that he made at the first day of exultant free India slowly started to be proved. The first of the statements above ( which is very recent one) is one of the evidences that how contribution of Gorkhas in architecting India has been disregarded time and again causing misery, adversaries and on the top, no land’s people in own country.

 Aggravating situations against Gorkhas in free India started to undervalue the vision and sacrifice of leader like Chhabilal Upadhyaya. The members of community that freedom fighters like Chhabilal Upadhyaya and Damber Singh Gurung belonged gradually started to face the rejection and reduction in own country where lakhs of their ancestors sacrificed pouring sweat and blood to paint the colour of freedom. In this regards, so-called leaders like Chandra Kumar Bose, times and again, are deliberately creating situation for let Gorkhas’ be excluded and attacked in every sphere of state’s every day practices.

However, in a long list of the messiahs of divisive politics in India, Chandra Kumar Bose is not the only face but just a new face to provoke the some ill-minded citizenry to attack Gorkha community in India.

The initial defamation that came to Gorkhas was from none other than the first Deputy prime minister of country, Sardar Ballavbhai Patel on 14th December 1949. On question of Pandit Thakurdas regarding the creation of a province with Gorkha populace Darjeeling, Patel had made a very numb and insensible reply. Patel’s argument deemed his derogatory and suspicious perception on Gorkhas when he said that proposal to create Darjeeling as a province was harmful for the welfare and integrity of country but, he failed to explicate his argument in parliament and baselessly crushed the proposal.

The misdemeanor that Sardar Ballavbhai Patel made against Gorkhas was followed by the office of National language commission. Anand Singh Thapa, the chief editor of Jagrat Nepali, a magazine, and his two associates Bir Singh Bhandari and Narendrasingh Thapa had submitted a memorandum to Dr. Rajendra Prasad, the first president of Indian republic demanding the constitutional recognition of Nepali language under Eight Schedule of the constitution in January 18, 1956. But, B. G. Kher, the then chief of National Language Commission of India had made a controversial remark against Nepali speakers.  B.G. Kher in his reply to memorandum of Anand Singh Thapa, Bir Singh Bhandari and Narendrashingh Thapa remarks that Nepali is a foreign language; hence it cannot be recognized as a language under the eight schedule of the constitution of country.

Even the some prime ministers of country had very discriminatory and indifferent attitude towards the bona-fide Gorkhas, the Nepali speaking citizens. In 1979, Morarji Desai, the then Prime Minister of India had placed ridiculous and irresponsible commentary backlashing Nepali as foreign language when a delegation of Akhil Bharatiya Nepali Bhasa Samiti was tabling a demand to include Nepali language under eighth schedule of Indian constitution. Morarji Desai responded discourteously stating that the Gorkhas can be thrown into the Indian Ocean when the said delegation was trying to draw his attention to the contribution of Gorkhas, the Nepali speakers in country, particularly in protecting country as crucial custodian of defense sector of country. Also Indira Gandhi had very vague and insensitive outlook over Gorkhas in country. Ms. Gandhi tried to ignore the issue that pertained to demand for inclusion of Nepali language in eighth schedule of constitution and she rhetorically stated “vehicle is moving forward’. It is difficult to decode the rhetoric phrase she used as reaction over the demand of Akhil Bharatiya Nepali Bhasa Samiti but, a common and laymen understanding can interpret it as reduction of the value of Gorkhas’ contribution in building this nation. During 80s of last century when the Gorkhaland Movement was on its peak the then ruling left front in West Bengal, using all tools, tried to brand the Gorkhaland movement an anti-national upsurge. Attempts were seen to provoke non-Gorkha people against Gorkhas in West Bengal labeling a constitutional demand of Gorkhaland as an anti-national insurgency or foreigners’ shakeup. With the motive to brutally crush a popular movement for a constitutional demand, the Left Front West Bengal government put pressure on Rajib Gandhi, the then Prime Minister of India to consider the movement a threat to India. He did not give any heed to the staging of West Bengal government. However, the Prime Minister gutted his sympathy, while he also fall in Gorkha (Nepali speakers) slurring convoy while he lost the balance of his tongue and lips and made the ‘Nepalese of Darjeeling are foreigners, thus some political arrangement to be made’. Undeniably, despite the fact that his initial response towards Gorkhas was not concrete but it was somehow compassionate latter. Though he did not sort out any plan over the demand of Gorkhaland (the aspiration of all Gorkhas living across the country for the identity of their inclusiveness in India) yet his moral commiseration towards the issue of Gorkha community was someway reflective.

Sardar Ballavbhai Patel, B.G. Kher, Morarji Desai, Indira Gandhi and Jyoti Basu led Left Front West Bengal Government are only a few examples in a long cue who enjoyed and roasted their political bread glooming the glorious history of Indian freedom struggle while they excluded, demeaned and rejected derecognizing Gorkhas’ nationality in their own land. In the pace of time in Indian politics, leaders with insufficient knowledge of Indian history appeared and left in pages of past and, avatar of similar leaders in face like Chandra Kumar Bose is still occurrence to disregard the Indian history worsening the nationality status of Gorkhas. In relation to Chandra Kumar Bose, it may observably be added that in BJP too he is a next name after standing PM Narendra Modi and Rahul Sinha who are playing with the innocence of Gorkhas. In a mass gathering at Darjeeling Lok Sabha constituency during Lok Sabha election 2014, PM Narendra Modi had assured that the issue of Gorkhas would be taken into consideration after BJP acquires parliamentary power. Gorkhas trusted him/his party throughout the country rightly starting from Darjeeling constituency. It is now two years of BJP’s power in parliament. Modi is not seen flipping back the page of his assurance to Gorkha. After few days of his assurance, the then president of West Bengal unit of BJP openly declared BJP’s disagreeable position on Gorkhaland. Rahul Sinha is beating the same anti-Gorkha aspiration drum still, and now, Chandra Kumar Bose projects constitutional demand of Gorkhas as threat to the country.

As mentioned here, these are only few names from a large cue of national leaders in India who disgustingly design/designed the tickets for minority Gorkha community in national political circle to roast their political breads defaming national history of India. Apart these mentioned figures, there is another large cue of journalists, film stars, columnists, civil servants, social workers local political leaders in various parts of country and so on, who glue/glued stickers of foreign nationality on the forehead of Gorkhas in India. These maturely immature bunches of people hoodwinking the rest mass of citizens in India while they talk/write/work in the fields academics on nationalism/constitutionalism, politics, journalism, film, performing arts, civil services, social services, games and sports and so on, in one hand and, glued/glue stickers of foreign nationality on the forehead of Gorkhas in India in other. For every conscious/concerned citizen of India these bunches of citizens are maturely immature because, talking/writing/working on these fields cannot be completed without placing the names of Gorkha ancestors like Durga Malla, Khadga Bahadur Bista, Dal Bahadur Giri, Indreni Thapa, Sabitri Thapa, Damber Singh Gurung, Ari Bahadur Gurung, Sitara Devi, Laxman Shrestha, Shasi Shekhar Jung Bahadur Rana, Chandra Singh Rawat, Bir Bahadur Gurung, Amar Bahadur Gurung, Upendra Singh Rawat, U B Thapa Shyam Thapa and so ahead… Some of readers might be curious to know these people are about. Definitely, contribution of these historical figures will be discussed in next number of this series.

There is a large list of Gorkha names pending in the history of India who had contributed firmly to prepare India to the present stand. Right now, before quieting the key board and cursor here, it is to add, some so-called Indian citizens like Chandra Kumar Bose, time and again make/made mockery of Indian history gluing stickers of foreign nationality on the forehead of Gorkhas in India. The glory of India is severely incomplete until Gorkhas contributions are mentioned.

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Gorkhas So far...: The No Land’s Wo/men in India (Part-I)

Chhabilal Upadhyaya (Nepali:छबिलाल उपाध्याय) Indian Gorkha freedom fighter

8:00 PM
Indian Gorkha freedom fighter Chhabilal Upadhyaya (Nepali:छबिलाल उपाध्याय), popularly known as Chhabilal Babu was a prominent leader of the Indian Freedom Movement from Assam. He was the first president of the Assam Pradesh Congress Committee.He presided the historic meeting of the Assam Association held at Jorhat on 18 April 1921 which decided to convert itself to Assam Pradesh Congress Committee.Upadhyaya played an important role in the education of the indigenous Gorkha community of Assam to which he belonged to by establishing many schools and libraries.Chhabilal Upadhyaya set up Behali School at Tezpur in Assam in 1941. It was Chabilal Upadhyay under whose presidentship the then Assam Association was converted into now Assam Pradesh Congress Committee(APCC)
Chhabilal Upadhyaya (Nepali:छबिलाल उपाध्याय)
Chhabilal Upadhyaya (Nepali:छबिलाल उपाध्याय) 

CHABILAL UPADHYAYA'S EARLY LIFE

Babu Chhabilal Upadhyaya (Ghimire) was born in 1882 A.D. He is the second son of Late Kashinath Upadhyaya (Ghimire) and Late Bishnumaya Devi. At the time of his berth his parents were residing at Burigang area near Biswanath Chariali of present day Sonitpur District of Assam. Like other Assamese-Gorkhali people they were also in search of a suitable place preferably a high land for their residence and a grazing land for their cattle. The primary source of income of such Gorkhali people was cattle farming and cattle rearing and as the time passes they started cultivation. Upadhyaya’s family also falls in the same stream. Chabilal Upadhyayas shifted from Burigang area to Borgang Sukansuti area and finally came to Mazgaon (Gangmouthan).This was some time in 1886 when Chabilal was at the age of four. It is said that his primary education started at Hatibondha Primary School in Bengali medium. But this Hatibondha Primary School was not there in present day location; rather it was in old Hatibondha village which was located about two to three miles distance in the south-east direction from the present School. The village was eroded by the river Brahmaputra or washed away and the school was later shifted to present day location.  As there was no other higher educational institution in the nearby locality, he had to finish his academic studies just in his primary level. But his alert and kind father had searched for a teacher to give him knowledge of Sanskrit, Assamese and also for English language. He also got necessary knowledge of arithmetic and geography by the same teacher. Meritorious master Chabilal was extra-sharp and equipped himself with moralities. He studied Amarkosha, he learned the Anhik Padhati, he recited the morning prayers and he practiced Karmakandas (from the Yayur Veda). He was so eager to acquire knowledge that despite of the evils created by his age, when there was British Raj flourishing everywhere in India, when it was not easy even to listen a radio, or to go to a library to read a book or a paper, he somehow managed to read few Bengali daily newspapers: “The Ananda Bazar Patrika” and a weekly Bengali medium newspaper “Basumati”. He collected these papers from a Bengali gentleman Post Master of Behali Post Office though these were stale enough. He also showed his interest in studying Bengali novels. He got those novels from a kind and generous Bengali doctor of Borbheel Tea Estate. He had his family like relations with these gentlemen, for all of them used to come and go to the houses of one another for quite a long time. And in the process Chabilal was well versed with Bengali language and literature and Bengali people around him, As he was in the threshold of his manhood he was well acquainted with different news papers of the said language, he had studied the works of Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyaya , Saratchandra, the essays and novels of Kamaladevi Chattopadhyaya,  the Lives of Swami Vivekananda and Raja Ram Mohan Roy. He studied the Bengali version of Krittibasi Ramayana and Kashidasi Mahabharata.  He was able to feel the taste and the usefulness of literature, and he felt the need of social reform from his above reading. He had also formed for himself a good concept of Hindu religion.

He bore practical worldly knowledge. He had a good number of companions with whom he practiced swimming, rowing boats, catching and transhipping wood and logs that were brought by the flooded water of Borgang and the Brahmaputra river, to the river bank and so on. His long limbs and tight muscles, his big forehead, his long and not a small nose, his bright eyes and a pleasant face with manly moustache fit his tall and healthy figure. It well expressed his personality. He was brave and intelligent, he could think and analyze and could give decision and accordingly he could lead his companions, and on the other side he belonged to a well-to-do family. And that’s why he was invited and he was obeyed with honor.

The mighty Wheel of the Time revolves round. During the year 1919 the Upadhyaya family was residing in permanent nature at Mazgaon (Gangmouthan) but their buffalo farm (locally called Goth or Khuti) was in Kaziranga Reserve Forest with due Professional Grazing Permit. There were many other graziers of different communities, namely, Miri, Assamese and Gorkhali; with due permits. As in the case of the landed property was brought to book to for primary purpose of collecting taxes rather than to regulate it, the cattle property was also brought within the purview of The permit system by the British Administration to levy taxes. Before this system, graziers were asked now and then to shift their farm to other locations called “tapu”- the river island or char area of the river Brahmaputra, on the plea that their present Char area falls in the Kaziranga Game Reserve, which was whimsical, wantonness and unlawful. And hence, the graziers bowed their head on the system for they thought that if they would pay the Grazing Tax they would not be disturbed. The time wheel was moving smoothly, but how could an ill habit of evil spirit calm down merely for a system! Under the influence of such uncalled-for spirit, suddenly a bolt was thrown from the blue with a thundering sound “Be off with your buffaloes! This is only for wild animals!” The Administration not at all considered that these graziers have their due permits issued by the administration itself, the tyrants burnt their Khutis to ashes. The blazing flames of the fire not only laughing arrogantly by burning their Khutis but also burnt their sense of security, hopes and aspirations. The simple shepherd like people cried for help. All the people came to Chabilal, who himself was suffering from the atrocities of the British administration. He thought the action was illegal and interference on the means of livelihood. So he discussed with his people and decided to fight against the unlawful act of the government. He moved for Justice. He met Chandra Nath Sharma, an intelligent and patriot advocate. Upadhyaya briefed the matter to Sharma and Sharma in turn gave him solace. Chandra Nath also talked about how people of all over India are going against British rule. He also stated Upadhyaya how Gorkhali people can participate and contribute to the mother land. Chabilal realized that time has come to serve the Mother land and he too gave his commitment that all the Gorkhali people residing in Behali and other adjoining areas will come forward. Chabilal came out successfully in the case that graziers could continue to keep their buffaloes in their own place. Now, Chabilal explained people how British Raj is doing wrong to Indian People and the public in turn dissatisfied, stand against British Raj and how they are willing to get freedom from the foreign rule. He stated that all these movements were under the leadership of Gandhiji who was later known as Bapu and Mahatma Gandhi. It is worthy to mention here that Gangmouthan-Mazgaon became residential area prior to 1886 and at the end of the nineteenth century Gorkhali people were inhabiting in villages and localities like Batiamari, Kamal Pokhari (now Kamar Pukhuri as Revenue village), Kouri Pathar, Gomiri, Teleni, Dipura in the eastern side of Mazgaon, and Burigang, Pani Bhoral, Bhanganbari, Panpur,Gorpal, Koldarighat, Lokhra (Lakhara), Bura chapari, Bhurbandha, Naubil (Nabil),Teligaon, Singri, Sittalmari in the west, that is to say, everywhere there is in the then sub-division of Tezpur, Gorkhali people were mixing themselves with Assamese, Missing, Boro, Koch and Rajbanshi people. So, after his victory in the case as stated, Chabilal, irrespective of any race, visited the areas, informed the people and motivated them to come forward in the National interest. The public, as they realized that it is a chance to do something for the mother land extended their full support.

Chabilal Upadhyaya went to Jorhat,1921.

Chabilal Upadhyaya was already in the field of Non-Cooperation movement lead by Mahatma Gandhi and was known among the leading personalities of greater Assam. He was invited with his colleagues to Jorhat conference of Assam Association representing the people of the Kaziranga Game Reserve viz. the Khuti people irrespective of all races as well as all other people of Tezpur Sub-Division including Nepali community. There were many other people in the leading role in the area and all had supported Babu Chabilal on the great cause of National Freedom Movement. The Assam Association was the first and foremost political organisation of Assam at that time. Many talented leaders from different parts of Assam, to name few of them were – Tarun Ram Phukan, Nabin Chandra Bordoloi, Dr. Hem Chandra Barua, Amiyo Kumar Das, Kuladhar Chaliha, Faiznur Ali, Prasanna Kumar Barua, Lakheswar Barua,, Lakhidhar Sharma, Gopinath Bordoloi, Bishnuram Medhi were devoted to the cause of National Interest and except Tarun Ram Phukan all were present in the conference venue in Jorhat. The above conference of the Assam Association was presided over by Babu Chabilal Upadhyaya. That was the last meeting of the said Association and by the Resolution taken on the meeting making it a historical event, the Assam Association was merged for ever into Indian National Congress. Karmabir Chandra Nath Sharma thought that the Graziers’ problem should be treated as the problem of the state and all the Khuti People should be made active member of the nation wide Non-Cooperation movement. As he thought, so was the declaration of Chabilal that “I would try my best until my death” to bring the problem out from its miniature state to the level of provincial problem. Accordingly all the Nepali people joined as active members in that great cause of Nation. The thoughts and feelings and endeavours of Chandra Nath Sharma were expressed and executed and the conference achieved its aims and objectives.

If the soul of Mahatma Gandhi was in search of freedom from the tyranny of British people and British Rule against fellow Indians, the heart of Chabilal Upadhyaya cried for the cruelty of British Administration and British machinery on Kaziranga people. Both of them thought for their people. Chabilal with all the leaders in Assam joined actively with the non-cooperation movement lead by Gandhiji.  He did not leave any stone unturned in the nation wide non-cooperation movement. The blazing flame of brute fire of Kaziranga turned into ever greatest protest as Non-cooperation movement against the British Empire. And Chabilal, was sent to imprisonment for three months. To keep him away from the movement and pro people activities, they tried to tempt him, they tried to divide him with his leaders and followers, they tried to punish him, but of no avail, he remained unmoved in his decision. For his capacity to take right decision in right time, for his heroic manner and bravery, for his pains taking attitude and for his patriotism he became popular among the people and in the state and national level elite society.

He actively participated in the Swaraj Fund of Lokmanya Tilak, and gave company to Karmabir Chandra Nath Sharma. There was a requirement to be fulfilled by the people of Assam which was known as ‘quota’ of the Fund. It was fulfilled before the due time. The British administration could not help itself but snatched back his gun with cartridges and a notice of expulsion was served under the Foreigner’s Act stating Chabilal is a Nepali of Nepal. Chandra Nath Sharma felt sorry for such an act of ‘immorality’ and ‘meanness’ of British bureaucrats. Chabilal exclaimed with joy in such action and said, “   ” meaning “I become happy” (for I have done something for my motherland).

Chabilal thought it appropriate the call of Non-cooperation after the incident of Kaziranga embezzlement and massacre of Jalianwala Baugh. He started with devotion to enlarge the books of record with the new name of volunteers, to boycott the foreign garments, to motivate and emphasize the people to give up the habit of intoxicant material like ale and liquor, puppy and ganja    etc. and to start establishing Swadeshi schools. To help him his companions were Bogiram Saikia, Molan Chandra Sharma, Powal Chandra Bora, Pandit Duttaram Das, Ramlal Upadhyaya, Hari Prasad Upadhyaya, Tikaram Upadhyaya, Brihaspati Upadhyaya, Hari Prasad (Ram Babu) Upadhyaya, Bhishma Prasad Upadhyaya, Troilokyanath Sharma, Kanak Chandra Sharma, Bijoy Sharma, Ram Prasad Agarwala, Jwala Prasad Agarwala, Nabin Chandra Bhattacharya and many more willing workers. To give him timely advice and blessings there were district level leaders and well-wishers who were Chandra Nath Sharma, Lakhidhar Sharma, Amiyo Kumar Das, Mahadev Sharma and Gunabhiram Barua.

Chabilal, when he was in his manhood, full of his morals and creative ideals, his life was moulded and prepared for the benefit of all. He learnt from and experienced with the environment of the state that what was the value of education and culture. He realized that education and culture could only improve the condition of Nepali as well as the greater Assamese community. As was thought, so was the action. With the help of his friends and fellows, he had taken steps to improve the No. 41 Hatibondha Primary School to Hatibondha Combined Middle School. He then took next step to give education for girls and in 1935 Gangmouthan Girls’ M.V. School was established. To give the taste of education and culture he encouraged the youth who were educated and set up an institution called Mazgaon Nepali Theatre Party in 1929, a full- fledged platform with a library which was at that time the second only in the entire North Bank of Brahmaputra leaving Baan Theatre at Tezpur (1901). Step by step he forwarded, he thought, there were no higher education centre from Boronga Bari to Biswanath Chariali. Without a higher educational institution the people could not go ahead. So he thought of a High School and discussed the matter with local people. He explained the need of a high school. He had to appease and convince them all. He proposed to donate the Mazgaon Nepali Theatre Party with its well furnished library for the school, the fiscal value of which at present day would be Rs. 2.5 lakhs . After flowing much water on the subject, a General Body Meeting was held on 26th of February, 1941 at Hatibondha CM School and it decided unanimously to establish “Gangmouthan High school”. Later this was renamed as Behali High School and was upgraded in 1985 to Behali Higher Secondary School. He further added a feather to it by constructing an auditorium in memory of his parent – “Kashi-Bishnu Prekshyagriha”. He extended his help to Biswanath college with a purse of Rupees Thirty thousand only.
He worked for society. In 1928 with the help of his good guys a committee called Abhyuthan Samity was in existence. It cordially received Godan, Bhumi Daan, artha daan or Bastra daan (donation of cows, land, money and clothes respectively) and such donated amount and materials were used for schools, library, theatre and rest was treated as contingency amount for the society. He worked to stop child marriage system from the society. He also acted for women education.

Behali High School had just been completed its first anniversary, on 8th of August,1942, the Congress , at Birla Bhawan, Bombay declared its Quit India Movement. On the way to imprisonment Gandhiji raised his slogan “do or die” to get freedom.

Chabilal Upadhyaya too took the chance. There was movement everywhere in the country. The Second World War was opposed. The demand for freedom was seen everywhere. The teachers and students of Behali High School also went on strike. Village level Primary committees became active. The training of Shanti Sena (Peace Keeping Force of public) started in different places. The Mrityu Bahini or Death Squad were formed and trained in different remote places. They all decided to hoist three numbers of the Congress flags bearing the symbol of Charkha from three different directions. Yet there was non-violent motive. For the people thought if the police or military force peacefully allow them they would offer them garlands and do their pious work of hoisting their beloved Flag  and if any bullet hurt them they would still unfurl the Flag at the roof of the Behali Police Station. So on 20th September,1942 they started for Behali Police Station. The Mrityu Bahini was in the front followed by Shanti Sena and thousands of village people moved with a garland in one hand and a placard on other and on their tongue “Vande Mataram” , “Inclub, Zindavad”, “Swadhin Bharat Ki Jai”. At that time in different parts of India people had a very popular patriotic song which they used to sing  – “Kadam Kadam Badhaye Ja,/ Khusi Ke Geet Gaye Ja, / Yah Zindagie Hai Koum Ki, Tu Koum Par Lagaye Ja….”. Unlike Gohpur nothing unwanted was happened at Behali. People won their coveted victory. But the joy and happiness of this victory could not last long. The police started to suppress the movement. On the day of Bhatri Dwitiya (Just a day after Deepawali) the police arrested Chabilal Upadhyaya, his two brothers Ramlal and Hari Prasad followed by Bogiram Saikia, Kumud Chandra Sharma, Rabiram Saikia, Molan Sharma, Dr. Ananda Prasanna Dutta, Sarada Prasanna Dutta, Magur Barua, Baliram Duara, Nandeswar Barua, Roopram Barua, Budheswar Bora, Bishnulal Upadhyaya, Keshab Chandra Sharma, Punyadhar Bora, Baneswar Saikia, Kamala Kanta Bora etc. But others like Lakheswar Hazarika, Mitralal Upahdyaya, Jagannath Bhattarai, Debidutta Poudel, Durga Sharma, Debi Prasad Sharma etc. were working underground.
       
It would not be out of place to mention here that the three first ladies who joined the Mrityu Bahini (Death squad) and they were Tileswari Mahanta, Gujeswari Devi and Padma Saikia. One Jaman Singh Gole was accused and escaped from the Police custody. He was, it is said, himself a “Platoon”.
       

Such a great soul of this part of land, Babu – Father of All Assamese-Nepali of the state, left us all on 24th of January,1980. We all the public,  pay our deep regards on this auspicious moment of Platinum Jubilee, 2015-16 of BEHALI HIGHER SECONDARY SCHOOL.


“ I have many things to do. I hope, I would come again to complete my work.” – CHABILAL UPADHYAYA


Ref. Chabilal Upadhyaya- by Late Bishnulal Upadhyaya,
        Shailaputri- Ed. Uma Pokhrel, Gangmouthan
        Behali Darpan-  Behali HS School, Golden Jubilee , Ed-Renu Saharia
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Prepared by: Kishore Khatiwarah, Gangmouthan                                                    


Sources - behalihss.org , Wiki
   
 
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