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Biography: Liladhar Barooah

Mr. Liladhar Barooah was born at Gauhati, March 6th 1908; he spent his youth in crossing the snow-fed Brahmaputra and climbing hills. Oftenhe was seen sitting in the neighbouring woods with an attitude of prayerful meditation.

The message of Ramkrishna Paramahamsa found an echo in his heart. He gave up meat and led the disciplined life of a Sadhu. As a student he formed an association to help the poor. To enrich funds he worked as a coolie. Then he joined the City College Calcutta. In 1930 he gave up his studies and came to Sabarmati to join Gandhiji in his historic march. For a fortnight he received training in the Gujrat Vidyapith. On Gandhiji's advice he returned and began work in his province.

He was arrested and sentenced to four months imprisonment for selling contraband salt. After his release he started to attend Calcutta Congress but was detained on his way. Again he courted imprisonment for fourteen months for his political activities. In the prison he learnt smithy work.

He opened the Assam Seva Ashram where Bhangi Boys are the inmates. He accompanied Gandhiji and Nehru on their Assam tour. Clad in loin cloth and wrapped in a shawl, with his shining eyes reflecting the nobility of his soul, the personality of Mr. Liladhar Barooah radiates an irresistible charm.

He combines his own self tenderness and patience; kindly sympathy and burning patriotism whether it is for the abolition of untouchability, the spread of literacy among the native races, the prevention of the sale of drink, Mr. Liladhar Barooah is always to the fore. To the listless multitude, in their darkest hour of misery and despair he has appeared as a blessed minister of love and hope.

K.L. Kamat/Kamat's Potpourri
Liladhar Barooah
Liladhar Barooah

Source: Haripura Congress Souvenir, 1938


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