Politics is not my cup of tea… Former judge Chittaranjan Das breaks his silence on his links with the RSS and rejoining it.

Ronit Kawale
Ronit Kawale - Senior Editor
8 Min Read

New Delhi: 'RSS taught me that whatever profession you are in, you are working for the country. Politics is not my cup of tea, I will not join it. This is the statement of the third most senior judge of Calcutta High Court, Chittaranjan Das. Justice Das has been transferred to the Calcutta High Court in the year 2022. Now on retirement, he said that he was associated with RSS in the early days. Even today he wants to go back to the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh. In an interview to the Indian Express, he also made it clear that politics is not his cup of tea and he will stay away from it.

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Why is Das, a former Calcutta High Court judge, in the news?

The Calcutta High Court on Monday bid farewell to former judge Chittaranjan Das in a full-court reference. Chittaranjan Das graduated in law from Madhusudan Law College, Cuttack in 1985. Chittaranjan Das then obtained an LLM degree at Utkal University as a non-collegiate candidate. He enrolled as an advocate in 1986 and joined the service in the cadre of Orissa Superior Judicial Service (senior branch). He was transferred to the Calcutta High Court in 2022. Interestingly, in his farewell speech on Monday, he hit the headlines after revealing his past association with the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS). In an interview to the Indian Express, he revealed when and how he joined the RSS. He also gave information about his future plans.

Chittaranjan Das told how he was associated with RSS

How and when did you join RSS? Former Justice Chittaranjan Das said that I was very naughty in my childhood. One day I was fighting with another boy, when branch pracharak Nand Kishore Shukla came there. He came in between and separated us. Then we were instructed to come to the branch. Now after retirement I am looking for Nand Kishore Shukla. If he is alive, I want to meet him. Chittaranjan Das said that I got to learn many good qualities in the branch, like tolerance, patience, ideal values ​​of life. I learned that whatever field you work in, be dedicated to your work while treating everyone equally irrespective of caste, creed etc. The Sangh taught us that whatever profession you are in, you are working for the country.

“I have never been biased towards anyone”

Where did you get the inspiration to comment about RSS in your farewell speech? Former Justice Chittaranjan Das said, 'As a member of the Sangh I have learnt many good qualities which have helped me in dispensing justice. This line came to my mind on its own during the farewell speech. I never thought of giving such a speech. I never thought that I would say that I am associated with RSS. I thought that if I say so, it might create controversy. There were a lot of negative comments after my speech, but I don't care because I have retired and I have done my job. I have never been biased against anyone. All I can say is that if you want to be a completely unbiased person, go to RSS.

I was not associated with RSS for the last 37 years- Former Justice Das

How much did you personally benefit from joining the RSS? Former Justice Das said, 'You can ask the bar, you can ask those who have been associated with me. I was not associated with the RSS for the last 37 years. When I was 53 years old, my father died untimely. I did not have time to give to the Sangh. By then I had also got my license. I devoted all my time to advocacy. Even now I have no connection with anyone from the RSS. Now that I am free, I want to rekindle this relationship. People know what kind of person I am.

'I was in the Sangh till I was 28'

There is criticism that judges should not join organisations. What do you have to say about this? The former judge of the Calcutta High Court said, 'I want to ask a question to those who are criticising, when you were born, did you know what you would do? Did you know in your childhood that you would become a singer, judge, writer, bureaucrat, professor or lecturer? I did not even know that I would go into the judiciary. I did not want to be a hypocrite, so I mentioned it. I was in the Sangh till the age of 28, now I am 60 years old.

Former Justice Das said that I joined this service in 1999. RSS, Janata Dal or BJP or TMC did not help me in joining the judicial service. I am ignoring such criticism. I was associated with the Sangh till the age of 28. Judiciary came to me not by choice but by chance after my father's death. My father Justice Jagdishwar Das was a famous Justice of Odisha Kolkata.

Former judge Chittaranjan Das spoke openly on RSS

After your comments on RSS in your farewell speech, some people are questioning your decisions. What do you think about this? Former Justice Chittaranjan Das said, 'It is not difficult to be impartial because RSS does not put education in one's mind. It trains your overall personality. From the first day of entering the judiciary, I knew that I would have to develop constitutional discretion over time.

On the question related to BJP and RSS, Chittaranjan Das said that I will not go into politics, I do not like politics. It is not in my control. Sadhus and saints do not form alliances with political parties, but if they do, what harm are they doing? Instead of forming an alliance with Mamata Banerjee, they are forming an alliance with BJP, is it wrong? I do not find anything wrong in this. When he was asked that you talked about returning to the Sangh, now after retirement what role do you want to play for the RSS? Chittaranjan Das said that I would like to return. I would like to work for the Sangh. If they contact me, I will go. What role I will actually play, I do not know. I just want to say that since I have time, if they contact me, I will work for the Sangh. It is their personal choice.

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