Jagat Narain Lal
(1894 – 1966) – (Bihar)
Jagat Narain Lal (Aged 72) was born on 21 July 1894 in Akhgaon Arrah, Bihar, India. He was a prominent freedom fighter who played a significant role in the making of modern Bihar. In 1918, Lal moved to Patna where he started practicing in the Patna High Court alongside notable figures such as Sir Ali Imam, Syed Hasan Imam, Sachidanand Sinha, Sri Baidyanath Singh, and most importantly, Dr. Rajendra Prasad.
The nation witnessed the effectiveness and immense potential of a form of resistance that combined extra-constitutional struggle and moral force against an adversary that had both the rule of law and might on its side. Almost all prominent leaders of Bihar, including Brajkishore Prasad, Rajendra Prasad, and Muzharul Haq, participated in the movement.
Lal was a professor of economics at Bihar Vidyapith (inaugurated by Gandhi on 4 Feb 1921), a practicing lawyer, and editor of the journal Mahavir (till 1928). He was also a prolific writer who wrote extensively about his political life and spiritual awakening. The Nehru Memorial Library houses more than two thousand handwritten pages that record his wide intellectual interests and repertoire. In his book recounting his jail years, “Light Unto a Cell”, he reflects on his experiences.
At the Congress session at Allahabad in 1942, Lal moved a resolution with Nehru’s backing and support, famously known as the Jagat Narain Lal’s Resolution, rejecting Sir Stafford Cripp’s interim proposal for a Dominion Status and Partition of India, and defeating C. Rajagopalachari’s resolution in support of the Cripps’ proposals. Jagat Narain Lal passed away on 3 December 1966 in Bihar.