To clear his father's name1

The father of Chitta Ranjan Das, Bhuvan Mohan Das, was forced to declare insolvency. I do not know about America, but in India it brings great shame on the family to be reduced to this situation. His son was so sad and embarrassed that he took it upon himself to repay the entire sum of Rs. 75,000. He was not financially responsible for his father’s debts under the British Law, but his high sense of duty and honour compelled him to clear his father’s name. The British Justice who was presiding over the case said, “An act of this kind is not to be seen even in Europe.” From that time, Chitta Ranjan Das started giving away money to help the needy.

Author’s note: When I was twenty-five years old I wrote about this incident in an essay devoted to Chitta Ranjan Das. It is published in my book Mother India’s Lighthouse. In life sometimes we create something and we get the results after 40 or 50 years! I wrote the essay in 1957 and now in 1993 — so many years later — I will be meeting with his grandson Siddhartha Shankar Ray, who has become the Indian Ambassador to the United States.


  1. DBF 14. To clear his father's name. 26 April 1993.