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Thakur Dass Bhargava Sr. Sec. Model School, Hisar(Haryana) India

Founder of School

Pandit Thakur Dass Bhargava, the son of Munshi Badri Prasad, was born at Rewari in an upper class Brahmin family on 15 November 1886. With the passage of time, his family settled at Hisar permanently. Thakur Dass passed his matriculation from the Government High School, Hisar. After completing his schooling, he proceeded to Lahore for higher education from where he passed his Intermediate examination from the DAV College, B.A. and M.A (Sanskrit) from the Foreman Christian College and LL.B. from the University Law College. He Stood First in the LL.B. examination. He passed his M.A. and LL.B. examinations simultaneously. From Lahore he went to Calcutta where he joined the Presidency College and took his master's degree in History. Thakur Dass was married thrice. His first two wives died even before attaining the age of puberty. In 1907 he married his third wife Smt. Roop Rani, a daughter of civil officer of U.P. The couple was blessed with five sons and three daughters namely, Jagdish Prasad, Anand Prakash, Keshab Prasad , Ishwar Chandra, Subhash Chandra, Shanti Devi, Sushila Devi and Sharda Devi.

Thakur Dass Started his career as a lawyer in 1909 at Hisar. He shifted to Delhi when it became the capital of India in 1911. As soon as he realised that so far as litigation was concerned, Delhi had only District and Sessions Judge Court which Hisar too had, he returned to his native place. On coming to the Hisar Bar, Thakur Dass established himself as a reputed lawyer in criminal cases. In his profession, he earned fame and wealth by sheer ability and hard work coupled with his legal acumen. He became the Bar President thrice i.e. in 1940-41,1941-42 and 1952-53. He was probably the most highly educated member of the Bar.

Thakur Dass was not only prominent lawyer but a great parliamentarian too. He was elected to Legislative Council(Centre) in 1926, representing the non-Muslim Ambala Division constituency, on the Independent Congress Party ticket. In 1928 he was taken as a member of the Age of Consent Committee which prepared the draft for the forthcoming Sharda Act to which Thakur Dass made notable contribution. When the two Revolutionaries, Bhagat Singh and Batukeshvar Datta, dropped bombs in the Assembly Hall on 8 April 1929, Thakur Dass was also attending the session. In 1934 Thakur Dass contested , in vain, elections against Lala Sham Lal of Rohtak on the ticket of Congress Nationalist Party, founded by Pandit Madan Mohan Malviya. In 1946, Thakur Dass successfully contested the elections for the Central Legislative Assembly on the Congress ticket. In accordance with the Cabinet Mission Plan, a Constituent Assembly was formed in December 1946, and he became its member. When India adopted its Constitution on 26 January 1950, he became a member of Provisional Parliament. During the first and second general elections of 1952 and 1957, he was elected to the Lok Sabha from the Gurgaon and Hisar Parliamentary constituencies respectively on the congress ticket.

During his carrer as a parliamentarian Thakur Dass made his mark while contributing to the enactments of the Criminal Procedure Code, the Civil Procedure Code the Limitation Act, etc. The clause on cow's protection, incorporated in Indian Constitution, is chiefly due to the efforts of Thakur Dass and Dr. Rajendra Prasad. Being a fearless parliamentarian,Thakur Dass never hesitated in criticising the Government as and when he felt that she was on the wrong track. Despite his being a Congress M.P. he was often loudest on several occasions while attacking the Congress Government. That is why, the Indian Prime Minister Jawahar Lal Nehru, while introducing him to Chinese Premier, Chou En-Lai, who visited india in June 1954, rightly remarked: Pandit Thakur Dass Bhargava is the de-facto leader of the Opposition. Keeping his services as a parliamentarian in view, Thakur Dass was not only taken as a member of the Age of Consent Committee, but he was also elevated to Rehabilitation Advisor of the Punjab Government, the Chairman of the Jails enquiry Committee, the senior most member of the Panel of Chairmen in the first and second Lok Sabha and a member of the Estimates Committee, the Public Accounts Committee and the Defence Committee. He was also nominated as Secreatry of the Congress Parliamentary Party.

Apart from being a learned parliamentarian, Thakur Dass was also social reformer of commitment, To promote the cause of education he, along with Pandit Neki Ram Sharma and Lala Hardev Sahai, established the Vidya Pracharini Sabha at Hisar in 1923 Thakur Dass was its President. Under the auspices of this Sabha, sixty five primary schools were set up in different villages of Hisar District where in Indian culture through Hindi medium was imparted to students. Thakur Dass promoted the cause of higher education too. He encouraged several youngmen to get higher education by financially supoorting them. He was instrumental in starting the Fateh Chand College for Women at Hisar in 1954. Besides collecting handsome amounts from different donors, he himself donated twenty five thousand rupees for establishing the college. Furthermore, Thakur Dass wanted to open an educational institution in his region where students could get that type of education which should be the synthesis of Western and the Gurukul patterns. With this view he got established the Public High School, Now known as Senior Model School, at Hisar in 1957.This living monument,raised by Thakur Dass is still serving the people of Hisar. Thakur Dass also founded the Educational Relief Trust at Hisar which used to financially help the poor students of the district . Furthermore, while speaking from the floor of Parliament, he frequently advocated the free and compulsory primary education throughout the country.

Thakur Dass role in other social welfare activities was equally commendable. He worked hard in getting the Churamani Vishnudevi Maternity Hospital constructed at Hisar. Whenever any calamity fell on the people of his region, he readily came forward to support the sufferers. Because of the total failure of rains, the district of Hisar and its surrounding area, known as Baagar Pradesh, was worst hit during the years 1938-40. To help the victims a relief committee was formed with Thakur Dass as its Vice President. He donated five Thousand rupees towards the relief fund. As a result of ceaseless efforts made by Thakur Dass and other social workers, the relief committee collected Rs.350000/-. 2,880 maunds of corn and 56881 garments which were distributed among the needy. The committee also opened ten welfare centres for famine-stricken people and cattle.

Thakur Dass had a soft corner for the weaker sections of society, especially the Harijans. He actively associated himself with Mahatma Gandhi Anti-Untouchability campaign. To ameliorate the pitiable conditions of Harijans, he founded the Harijan Sevak Sangh at Hisar. His sphere of Harijans welfare activities was not confined to the district Hisar alone, but he also took up their cause while speaking from the floor of Legislative council (Centre).To quote an instance , on 23 February,1928, when he was advocating the cause of Harijans, another member of the House questioned him: Will you shake hands with them (untouchables)? Thakur Dass replied: What is shaking hands? I am ready to dine with them.

Thakur Dass also served the cause of India's struggle for freedom. Charging nothing, he always pleaded the cases of the Congress workers. He liberally financed the compaigns, movements and other nationalist activities of the Congress Party. He also financially supported the families of certain Revolutionries. When the INA-men were made the prisoners of war awaiting trial for waging war against the Crown, he came Forward to help them. To help the under-Trials, a defence committee, comprising distinguished lawyers, was constituted. Apart from collecting the INA- Fund along with Nehru, Thakur Dass also actively assisted Bhulabhai Desai, the defence lawyer of the INA-under trials, in preparing the cases. When nationalist leaders like Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose, Pt.Madan Mohan Malaviya and Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru visited Hisar, they stayed and dined with Thakur Dass. To quote an instatnce The Tribune dated 30.11.1938 writes:

"Subhash Chandra Bose, the Congress President, visited Hisar on 28 November 1938. Arriving three hours late, President Bose rushed to the House of Pandit Thakur Dass Bhargava for breakfast, and then went to address a public meeting where he said that Swaraj Alone could save India."

Even during the last days of his life, Thakur Dass was active in national activities. He collected a considerable amount in cash and kind for the Natinal Defence Fund following the Chinese Aggresion of October 1962. Thakur Dass breathed last at 2:30 pm on December 1962 at Hisar. Reporting his Death, The Tribune of 14 December 1962 remarked: "By the death of Pandit Thakur Dass Bhargava, another stalwart of the freedom struggle has passed away into the unknown realms."
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