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General Secretary of Seva Dal passes away during the Bharat Jodo Yatra

IndiaGeneral Secretary of Seva Dal passes away during the Bharat Jodo Yatra

Krishna Kumar Pandey, General Secretary of Congress Seva Dal passed away while walking peacefully in Bharat Jodo Yatra

Jairam Ramesh, Secretary in charge of Communications from the Indian National Congress was walking along with Krishna Kumar Pandey from Congress Seva Dal in Bharat Jodo Yatra when Sri Pandey suddenly collapsed.

Jairam Ramesh writes, “This 62nd morning of Bharat Jodo Yatra, Krishna Kumar Pandey, General Secretary of Seva Dal was holding the national flag and walking with
@digvijaya_28 & me. After a few minutes, as is the practice, he handed the flag to a colleague and moved back. Thereafter he collapsed…

…and was taken in an ambulance to a hospital where most sadly he was declared dead. He was a staunch Congressman and used to take on the RSS in Nagpur. It is a most humbling moment for all the Yatris.”

Krishna Kumar Pandey was a great contributor to Indian National Congress, dedicated and faithful to all he did, walking on the last leg of his journey during the Bharat Jodo Yatra, he passed into eternity, suddenly and peacefully.  His loss will be felt. It was a soothing way to go, right in the heart of the yatra, among the people he loved without any pain or suffering.  Prayers for him! May he find peace.  Om Shanti

What is Congress Seva Dal?

The Seva Dal is the grassroots front organization of the Indian National Congress. with a foundation in all the states of India. The members of the organization are known for wearing the Gandhi topi. It is headed by a Chief Organizer, the present Chief Organizer is Lalji Desai.

Back in history, in 1923, following the Flag Satyagraha at Nagpur, many activists of Congress were arrested and sentenced to prison. Unable to endure the severities of prison, most of them tendered written apologies to the colonial authorities. However, members of the Hubli Seva Mandal, founded by N. S. Hardikar refused to yield. This uncompromising stance gained the attention of the Congress’ national leadership that had gathered in Nagpur to participate in the satyagraha.

It was here that the idea of establishing an organization of volunteers to combat the British Raj was born. At the Kakinada session of the Congress in 1923, a board under Dr N S Hardikar was constituted for setting up the Dal. The Seva Dal was established as the Hindustani Seva Mandal on 1 January 1924.

In 1931, the Congress Working Committee decided to rename the Hindustani Seva Dal as the Congress Seva Dal, making it the central volunteer organization of the Congress. Every province was to have a general officer commanding the provincial Seva Dal. The organization also focused specifically on three categories of people: children, adolescents and adults.

All Seva Dal members were directed to take an oath, which, among other things, required them to stay aloof from political activity in Congress.  The task of imparting training and organizing volunteers was given to the Dal in 1938, which was then headquartered in the Karnatak district of the Bombay presidency. Under Hardikar, an academy for physical training was established and training camps were established at several places across India.

During the Civil Disobedience Movement, the Seva Dal played a powerful role in enrolling new members in Congress, organizing activities like picketing and in arming the party with an organized but peaceful militia.

The significance of the Dal in the Civil Disobedience Movement can be measured from the fact that in 1934, when the Movement came to an end and the colonial authorities lifted the ban on the Congress and its organizations, the British continued to ban the Seva Dal.

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