Nolini Kanta Gupta

Nolini Kanta Gupta

(13 January 1889 — 7 February 1983), familiarly known as Nolini-da, revolutionary, linguist, scholar, crific, poet, philosopher and mystic. 

He was born in Faridpur, East Bengal, to a cultured and well-to-do family. When in his 4th year at Presidency College, Calcutta, he left a promising academic career, and rejected a lucrative Government job, to join a small revolutionary group under Sri Aurobindo’s younger brother, Barindra Ghose.  He was arrested on 2 May 1908 with other members of the group in connection with the Muzaffarpur bomb case later known as ‘Alipor Bomb case’. In May 1909 he was acquitted after which he withdrew from active politics and became the chief associate of Sri Aurobindo (whom he had met during the Swadeshi movement) when the latter started the publication of his two weeklies (the Karmayogin in English and the Dharma in Bengali). 

In November 1910 he came to Pondicherry to stay with Sri Aurobindo, who had arrived there in April 1910. He was one of four men (Nolini, Bijoy Kumar, Moni, Saurin Bose) who stayed with Sri Aurobindo in 1910 at Pondicherry as members of his household. All five men stayed from April 1910 till October 1910 at house of Shanker Chetti, a sympathising businessman in absolute privacy. Sri Aurobindo did not accept them as his pupils (sadhakas) but taught them Greek, Latin and French. Nolini, along with Moni, earned a reputation in Pondicherry as an excellent football player.

From time to time he went out of Pondicherry; but in 1926, when the Ashram was founded, Nolini-da settled there permanently and served as its secretary for more than fifty years. He became a member of the Ashram Trust when it was formed in 1955. An eminent writer, poet and litterateur, Nolini Kanta Gupta was the editor or editorial adviser of a number of English and Bengali journals. His collected works comprise eight volumes in English and as many in Bengali.

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