Sapru, Sir Tej Bahadur

Sapru, Sir Tej Bahadur

▪ Indian statesman
born Dec. 8, 1875
died Jan. 20, 1949, Allahābād, India

      jurist and statesman important in the progress of British India toward self-government. For his integrity and wisdom he was trusted both by the British government and by Indian intellectual and political leaders. He was knighted in 1922.

      Educated at Āgra College, Allahābād, Sapru practiced law before the High Court at Allahābād from 1896. He was a member of the United Provinces (now Uttar Pradesh) Legislative Council (1913–16) and of the Imperial Legislative Council (1916–20), a law member of the Viceroy's Council (1920–23), and a delegate to the three Round Table Conferences in London (1930–32) concerning the government of India. His mediation helped to bring about the Gandhi–Irwin Pact (1931), by which the Indian nationalist leader Mohandas K. Gandhi terminated a civil-disobedience campaign and was allowed to attend the second Round Table Conference. Sapru was also in part responsible for the Poona Pact modifying the British plan for a separate electorate of Hindu untouchables. This agreement caused Gandhi to abandon the fast (September 1932) that he had begun in protest against the British scheme.

      In 1934 Sapru became a privy councillor. Unlike most of his political colleagues in India, he supported the World War II effort of the British Empire without insisting on an early grant of independence in return.

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Universalium. 2010.

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