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Babu Chotelal Srivastava

(1889 – 1976) – (Chhattisgarh)

Babu Chotelal Srivastava

Babu Chotelal Srivastava (Aged 87) born on 28 February 1889 in Chhattisgarh, India. He was a prominent freedom fighter who became involved in national movements after meeting Pt. Sunderland Sharma and Pt. Narayan Rao Meghawale. In 1915, he established the Srivastava Library, and his house in Dhamtari became a major center for the freedom struggle in the Indian independence movement.

In 1918, Srivastava was among the principal organizers of the Dhamtari Tehsil Political Council. He is most famous for organizing the Kandel Nehar Satyagraha, a rebellion against British Raj, in which he led peasants to demonstrate against the tyranny of the British. This was the first time such a demonstration was organized against English imperialism.

In 1921, he established the Khadi Production Center for the Swadeshi movement. In 1922, a Jungle Satyagraha was held in Sihawa under the leadership of Shyam Lal Som, with full support from Babu Chotelal Srivastava. When the Jungle Satyagraha was decided to be in Bandwagon near Rudri in 1930, Babu Sahib played an active role in it.

He was arrested and sent to jail where he was tortured, bringing additional attention to the Satyagrahis, and drawing Mahatma Gandhi to join the independence movement. In 1933, Gandhi, on his second visit to Chhattisgarh, went to Tamarind where he praised the leadership of Babu Chhote Lal.

In 1937, Srivastava was elected as the President of Dhamtari Municipality Corporation. Babu Sahib also had an active role in the Quit India Movement of 1942.  He passed away by 18 July 1976.