Sadaqat Ashram, Patna

Connection with Gandhiji 
Established by Mazhar-ul-Haq, the Sadaqat Ashram campus was the place where Bihar Vidyapith, a national university inaugurated by Gandhiji, was shifted in its nascent phase. Gandhiji also stayed at Sadaqat Ashram.

Background
Mazhar-ul-Haq, one of the founders of the Muslim League, supported Gandhiji frequently during the Champaran Satyagraha and non-cooperation movement of 1920-1921. He was the president of Swaraj Sabha of Bihar. Rajendra Prasad was the secretary and treasurer of the Sabha. Gandhiji appealed to people to help Swaraj Sabha with funds to open national schools as a part of the non-cooperation movement.

Establishment
On December 11, 1920, agitated students of Bihar School of Engineering abandoned the School and took a procession to Mazhar-ul-Haq’s residence. He led them to an orchard at Digha on Patna-Danapur road. Haq built a building and some sheds there with the help of enthusiastic students. Within a few days, the place was bubbling with educational and political activities. Haq, a staunch believer of Hindu-Muslim unity, named this place as ‘Sadaqat Ashram’. (Sadaqat means truthfulness.) Many talented students joined the Ashram including Jayprakash Narayan.

National College and National University (Vidyapith)
National College was started by the leaders of Bihar including Mazhar-ul-Haq and Rajendra Prasad, on January 5, 1921. Happy with National school-college, Gandhiji wanted a National University (Vidyapith) ‘to regulate the teaching in the National institutions in the province, prescribe the syllabus and would generally control national education.’ His dream was realized soon.

Gandhiji went to Patna to inaugurate National College on February 6, 1921. According to a report, Gandhiji told in his speech that the [national] college had been already started by his friend Mr. Haq and he was there to perform but the formal ceremonial. He also inaugurated the National University (Vidyapith) the same day. Haq was selected as the Chancellor of the University. Eventually, Bihar Vidyapith was shifted to Sadaqat Ashram. Haq shifted to the Ashram from his luxurious mansion ‘Sikandar Manzil’.

On a visit to Patna later in the year, Gandhiji wrote, ‘I am writing these notes at Mr. Mazharul Hak’s Sadakat Ashram in Patna situated on the banks of the Ganges.’

Digital Experience
Virtual Tour

Site Address/ Contact Details
Sadaqat Ashram
Danapur Road,
Kurji, Patna
Bihar - 800 010

Additional Details 
• Mazhar-ul-Haq started the publication of a weekly newspaper ‘The Motherland’ from Sadaqat Ashram, on September 30, 1921. It became the mouthpiece of the non-cooperation movement.
• The Urdu daily newspaper ‘Sheristan’, as well as several books of Haq, was also published from the Ashram press.
• Haq broke away with the non-cooperation movement in later years and left Patna.
• When Haq passed away in 1930, Gandhiji paid rich tribute to him and especially remembered Sadaqat Ashram. ‘The Sadakat Ashram near Patna is a fruit of his constructive labours. Though he did not live in it for long as he had intended, his conception of the Ashram made it possible for Bihar Vidyapith to find a permanent habitation. It may yet prove a cement to bind the two communities together.’
• Rajendra Prasad worked and stayed at a humble, thatched-roof house at Bihar Vidyapith, Sadaqat Ashram till 1946 when he left for Delhi to take the charge of Food & Agriculture Ministry in the interim government.
• After relinquishing the office of President of India, he returned to Bihar and stayed at the same house at Bihar Vidyapith, Sadaqat Ashram. It houses a Rajendra Smriti Sangrahalaya. Link http://rss.bih.nic.in/
• Haq broke away with the non-cooperation movement in later years and left Patna.

 

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