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Bal Krishna Sharma Naveen

(1897 – 1960) – (Madhya Pradesh)

Bal Krishna Sharma Naveen (Aged 63) born on December 8, 1897, was an Indian freedom activist, journalist, politician, and poet of Hindi literature, known under the nom de plume Naveen. He was a member of the 1st Lok Sabha, representing Kanpur constituency and served as a member of the Rajya Sabha from 1957 until his death. He succeeded Ganesh Shankar Vidyarthi as the editor of the Pratap daily and also served as a member of the Official Languages Commission.

Sharma joined Christ Church College in Kanpur to pursue his graduate studies (BA). A turning point in his life occurred during his Kanpur college days when he participated in the Non-cooperation movement. This prompted him to abandon his college studies in 1921 to take up politics as a full-time career. Sharma became active in the Indian freedom movement and was incarcerated by the British government six times between 1921 and 1944, with the government declaring him as a dangerous prisoner.

He pursued his journalistic career concurrently through his association with Pratap, a Hindi language daily. When Ganesh Shankar Vidyarthi, the then-editor of the newspaper died in March 1931, he was chosen as the editor. His active participation in political and social activities, together with his oratorical skills, earned him the moniker Lion of Kanpur. When the Official Languages Commission was established by the Government of India in 1955, he was selected as a member, and he was also a member of the Cultural delegation, which visited a number of countries, including Nepal, Mauritius, and the USA.

The Government of India awarded him the third-highest civilian honour of the Padma Bhushan in 1960. His life has been documented in a biography, Balkrishna Sharma Naveen, written by Vishnu Tripathi and published in 2013. He passed away on April 29, 1960.