Monday, February 18, 2008

R. C. Bora Passes Away

Veteran freedom fighter and well known journalist and man of words Mr. Ram Chandra Bora is no more. He was President of Rajasthan Nav Manav Vaad Sanghthan.

Affectionately, called RC by his friends, Ram Chandra Bora, who died in Jaipur on January 31, was a restless non-conformist of sort. Born on February 17, 1923 in Jodhpur , once a political and cultural centre, he took his early education in Agra at a time when appreciation for studying out of the native town was wanting.

Back home he played for some time with the mores code in buzzing telegraph offices of different railway stations, now in Pakistan. The job was cut short after his arrest for blasting a bomb in the Stadium Cinema Hall in Jodhpur where British officials were enjoying a English film on Sunday morning. He was subsequently tried and jailed for eight years for waging war against British Empire. He indulged in revolutionary activities as Quit India movement stirred something deep within him and his participation in the movement a la revolutionaries landed him in what was then considered a holy place - jail. This he promptly converted into a university where the subject of his studies was life itself - human life so to say.

Nothing of human interest was alien to him and he pursued his enquiries within of course the limitations which in any case were inevitable in the circumstance obtaining then. He felt the pull of Marxism, gravitated towards it but he regarded it as philosophy rather than what half baked leftists called it “a technique of revolution”. This led him to M. N. Roy whose philosophy exercised an enduring influence in the intellectual progress of him.

Independence saw Mr. Bora emerging out of his confinement - Radical. The tough non-conformist streak in him asserted itself. He refused to be fed by doles and insulted by the name of a “political sufferer”. Instead he took his M. A. in philosophy from University of Rajasthan in the year 1951 and was selected in state information service from which he retired as Regional Deputy Director in the Department of Public Relations in 1979.

His academic pursuits did not hinder his intellectual activities. He contributed regularly to ‘The Statesman‘, ‘The Deccan Herald‘, ‘The Radical Humanist‘, ‘Thought‘, ‘Sahitya Sandesh‘, ‘Prateek‘, ‘Naya Prateek‘, ‘Viplav‘, ‘Ajanta‘, ‘Rajasthan Patrika‘, ‘Rashtradeoot‘, ‘Dainik Navjyoti’ and ‘Lok Jeevan‘. For about four years he edited a philosophico-cultural journal “Vivek’, a monthly which was noted for its high standard of journalism and excellent intellectual caliber of its contribution. He also represented ‘The Times of India‘, ‘The Press Trust of India’ and ‘The United News of India’ for years.

Mr. Bora had twelve books to his credit of which important ones are ‘Lok Sahitya‘, ‘Freud Ki Manovishleshan Paddhati’, ‘Amar Shaheed Sagarmal Gopa‘, ‘Charvaak Darshan‘, ‘Bangla Desh‘, ‘Contemporary Rajasthani Literature’ and ‘Gora Hat Jaa: 1857 revolution‘.

Evidently RC was one of the few who stood committed to bring about a renaissance by revitalizing the essentially humanistic traditions of philosophers and encyclopaedists of enlightenment.

Former Vice-President of India Bhairon Singh Shekhawat, Rajasthan Governor, S.K.Singh, Gujarat Governor Nawal Kishore Sharma, Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje and former chief minister Ashok Gehlot were among those who paid glowing tributes to late Mr. Bora.