Gandhi Heritage Sites - Writeups

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‘Step Aside’, Darjeeling

Connection with Gandhiji 
Gandhiji stayed at this place from June 3 to 9, 1925 with C.R. Das, popularly known as ‘Deshbandhu’. Das breathed his last in this house.

Background
‘Step Aside’ was a two-storied house purchased by Sir N.N. Sircar, who was the Advocate-General of Bengal and a close friend of C.R. Das. He arranged for Das’ stay at ‘Step Aside’ when Das was not keeping well and decided to spend some time at Darjeeling. Chitta Ranjan Das became president of the Indian National Congress in 1922. Later on, he formed Swaraj Party with other moderate leaders owing to his differences with Congress on the issue of Council Entry. Das passed away on June 16 at the age of 55, just a week after Gandhiji left Darjeeling.

Place in History
• Gandhiji visited Darjeeling and stayed with C.R. Das at ‘Step Aside’ from June 3 to June 9, 1925.
• He delivered a speech to women missionaries at the School of Indian Languages on June 6.
• Gandhiji fondly remembered the time he spends with C.R. Das in a long article titled ‘At Darjeeling’ in Young India, July 16, 1925.
• ‘My going to Darjeeling for rest was a mere excuse. But for Deshbandhu’s presence there I would not have gone in spite of the attraction of the snowy range…I have gone there for only two days. He kept me with him for five.’ Wrote Gandhiji.
• Remembering C.R.Das’ hospitality, Gandhiji wrote, ‘He insisted on attending to every detail regarding my comfort and that of my companions. His appointments must be on a lavish scale. He had ordered five goats to be brought from the plains. He would not have me miss my milk routine…I was the object of Deshbandhu’s attention.’
• Gandhiji and C.R. Das discussed various matters of politics and public affairs during this period.- ‘At Darjeeling’, CWMG Vol. 27: p. 66

Architectural Documents

Site Address/Contact Details
‘Step Aside’, Darjeeling, (Chittaranjan Das Memorial)
5, Mall Rd, Chauk Bazaar,
Darjeeling,
West Bengal – 734 101
Phone: +91 0354 225 6020

 

Copyright Information

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

 

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