Role of Christians in the Indian independence movement is a neglected past which is very well forgotten by the current generation. While people know the popular names in the freedom struggle, there existed few fighters, empowered by the spirit of God, who chose to serve the nation in the best way possible. Through this series, we would like to shed little light on those prominent souls who got faded away with the turning pages of the history.
Kali Charan Banerjee or more commonly known as KC was a convert Christian from West Bengal. He was born in Madhya Pradesh but later migrated to Bengal with his family, where he lived for the rest of his life. Though he was a lawyer by profession, he had great interest in political activities of the British India. Not just a spirited fighter, he was also one of the main orators of the Indian National Congress. After joining the INC in 1885, he along with many other Christian leaders like Peter Paul Pillai from Madras, the now Chennai, and G.C. Nath from Lahore, represented Indian Christians in four INC assembly meetings during the period between 1888 and 1891. With his active involvement in the politics, he could propose a lot of amendments to the British East India Company, leading to the introduction of multiple reform movements in the political and social scenarios back then. In 1889, he was instrumental in protesting against the prohibition of teachers participating in political movements, imposed by the Colonial British Raj in Calcutta.
Apart from politics, Kali Charan Banerjee was also interested in the upliftment of the downtrodden public. He taught his fellow men how to read and write, and made them capable enough to find themselves a livelihood. With immense dedication and goodwill, he founded the Calcutta Christo Samaj, a Christian minority organization inspired by the Brahmo Samaj. Through this committee, he was able to bring all the Christians under one roof to train and teach them to stay united against all odds. The Association was primarily set up to deal with the social and economic problems of the Christian community by every legitimate means. At the same time, it was very much critical of the missionaries · and the western Christian theology and tried to indigenize it; which indicated clearly the presence of ·the spirit of nationalism. The Association played an important role to mobilize Christian opinions in support of the struggle for national freedom. Through his voluntary services to the Christians and to the Indians as a whole, KC Banerjee proved that the Christian communities did play an important role in the victory of the Freedom Movement.
Thus, it can be said that, the community too were lead by eminent leaders who, by means of religious sentiments, brought about great changes in the then existing socio-economical and political conditions. Therefore, we can conclude that leaders like Kali Charan Banerjee, Akkamma Cherian and Philoppose Elanjikkal John among many others have sacrificed their sweat and blood to attain the air of freedom that our country now breathes.