Gopinath Bordoloi

Gopinath Bordoloi was a politician and Indian independence activist who served as the first Chief Minister of Assam.

Updated: June 16, 2022

Gopinath Bordoloi was a politician and Indian independence activist who served as the first Chief Minister of Assam. He was a follower of the Gandhian principle of non-violence as a political tool. The then Governor of Assam Jayram Das Doulatram conferred him with the title 'Lokapriya' (loved by all) due to his unselfish dedication towards Assam and its people. He had also served as Chief Minister of undivided Assam prior to independence. He followed the non-violence principle of Gandhi to help India win independence from the British rule. Bordoloi was a prominent freedom activist who played a major role during 1947 to prevent Assam from being included into East Pakistan.


After the independence of India, he worked in association with Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel to safeguard the sovereignty of Assam against East Pakistan and China. He was one of the architects of the 'Indian National Congress' in the state of Assam. He was born on June 6th, 1890 and died on: August 5th, 1950.


Childhood of Gopinath Bordoloi:

Gopinath Bordoloi was born on June 6th, 1890, at Raha in the Nagaon district of Assam, to Buddheswar Bordoloi and Praneswari Devi. His family originally hailed from Uttar Pradesh. His father was in Government medical service. His mother passed away when he was just twelve year old after which he was raised by his eldest sister Shashikala Devi.


Education of Gopinath Bordoloi:

Gopinath cleared matriculation exam in 1907 and enrolled at 'Cotton College' at Guwahati. He was good in academics and cleared his I.A. in 1909 securing 1st Division. Thereafter he moved to Calcutta (presently Kolkata) in the state of West Bengal and attended 'Scottish Church College' completing graduation in 1911 with honours in History. He did his post graduation from the 'University of Calcutta' obtaining his M.A. in History in 1914. He then enrolled to study Law but returned to Guwahati after three years without appearing in the final exam. He was inspired by the likes of Manickchandra Barua, Nabinchandra Bordoloi, Swami Sureshananda and Tarun Ram Phukan. 


Family of Gopinath Bordoloi:

In 1910 Gopinath Bordoloi married Surabala Devi.


Some facts about Gopinath Bordoloi:

  • He started working temporarily as Headmaster of the 'Sonaram High School'. He sat for and cleared his Law exam during that time and started his legal practice in Guwahati from 1917.
  • His political career started as a volunteer of 'Indian National Congress' in 1922. During the 1920s he came in close contact with Mahatma Gandhi and other prominent political leaders.
  • He took active role in establishing the 'B. Borooah College' and the 'Kamrup Akademy' in Guwahati in support of the ongoing movement to boycott Government institutions and to start private colleges and schools in protest of the infamous Cunningham Circular of 1929.
  • In 1947 as the decision of partition into India and Pakistan was reached following separate meetings of the new Viceroy Lord Mountbatten with Mahatma Gandhi, Congress and the 'Muslim League', Bordoloi ensured that Assam remained a part of India which was otherwise being included in East Pakistan.
  • He was instrumental in establishing Gauhati University, High Court of Assam, Assam Medical College, Assam Veterinary College, etc.
  • Gopinath Bordoloi was also a gifted writer. He wrote several books like Annasaktiyog, Shreeramachandra, Hajrat Mohammad, and Budhhadeb while in jail.
  • In 1999, he was posthumously conferred 'Bharat Ratna', the highest civilian award of India and with that he became the first and only recipient of such honour from the entire north-east region.
  • On August 5, 1950, he died in Guwahati, Assam.
  • A life-size statue of Bordoloi was unveiled on 1st Oct, 2002 in the Parliament House by then President of India, A.P.J. Abdul Kalam.



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