Bhupendra Kumar Basu who was popularly known as Bupen Babu was a legendary philosopher and guide to many, passed away on 20.4.2016 at his residence in Odisha at the age of 103. Shri Basu was former Sanghchalak of Odisha.
Shri Basu passed his Matriculation in the year 1928 from Ravenshaw Collegiate School and pursued B.Sc. from Ravenshaw College, Cuttack which was then under the Patna University. He did his Bachelor of Law from M.S. Law College, Cuttack.
He started practice and got enrolled himself as a Pleader and Member of Cuttack Court Bar Association in the year 1936. Later on he joined as a member Orissa High Court Bar Association in the year 1963.
In 1942 in the Congress Working Committee meeting held in Bombay, some members were of opinion to meet the Viceroy as a last resort before giving call for Quit India proposed by Gandhiji. Shri Basu then a young lawyer went to meet his father who was a Magistrate and entered the room of Collector, Cuttack where he found a letter issued by government to collect names of Congress leaders and be on alert. Shri Basu took away that letter and handed it over to Dr. Harekrushna Mahatab who was going to attend Congress Working Committee meeting at Bombay. On Gandhiji's direction Mahatab circulated that letter among members who agreed with Gandhiji to immediately give the call for Quit India expecting sudden arrest which was eventually done.
Dr. Mahatab, Basu and myself were in the jails of Odisha detained under Maintenance of Internal Security Act (MISA) from 1975 to 1977 during the Emergency declared by Indira Gandhi.
Bupen Babu used to practice in all branches of law but had expertise in Civil and Tenancy Laws of Orissa. He used to take many cases free of cost giving legal advice to the weaker sections of the society. He became Public Prosecutor and Government Pleader for the undivided Cuttack District in the year 1978. While proceeding to Bhubaneswar in a case in the year 1978, he met with an accident and lost his right leg above the knee but he lead the normal life as usual and continued his practice as a lawyer without being slightly depressed.
Shri Basu was initiated in “Kriya Yoga” by her holiness “Sadhumaa” at Puri in the year 1960 and he sincerely practiced “Kriya Yoga” throughout his life. He formed “Prabhudha Yubak Sangha” and organised the youth for undertaking various social works. Apart from practice, he was involved in various socio cultural activities and founded a number of organisations and institutions. He was the founder of “Panchasakha Bani Prachar Mandali”, “Bharatiya Sanskruti Prachar Samiti”, “Utkal Bippanna Sahayata Samiti”, “Manaba Seba Pratisthan” which are functioning for cultural and educational activities in the State. He was so much involved in social work that he donated his own land and established two Oriya Medium High Schools in the village where more than thousands of rural based children are being given better education.
He formed “Mahatma Gandhi Study Circle” for awakening civil rights among the people and formed “Netajee Subhas Chandra Bose Trust” for imparting vocational study and necessary training so that children from of rural areas can earn their livelihood. He established two “Short Stay Homes” during Super Cyclone in the year 1999 for giving shelter to the victims of the natural calamities in the district of Jagatsinghpur.
He also established Sikhya Vikash Samiti under which a number of Saraswati Sishu Mandirs are functioning throughout the State of Odisha. He was also founder of Utkal Bipanna Sahayata Samiti an organisation completely meant for people at the time of natural calamity. He also started a weekly news paper The Rastradeep which was forced to shut down during the period of Emergency but was soon opened by virtue of the court orders due to sheer dint of argument of Shri Basu.
My sincere tribute to this nationalist lawer who was a guiding force for many working for national reconstruction. n Saroj Kr Mitra