Image Credits: Nehru Memorial Museum and Library
Sucheta Kripalini
1908 - 1974

Early Life:

Sucheta Kripalani was born in Ambala (Punjab) in June 1908.  She completed her education at Indraprastha College, Delhi University. Kripalani began her professional career as a teacher of Constitutional History at Banaras Hindu University till 1939. In 1936, she married Acharya Kripalani, a Congress party member and a prominent freedom fighter. She became member of the Congress Party in 1938 and served as the Secretary, for one and half years, to the Foreign Department and Women's Section.

 

Role in Independence Movement:

Kripalani actively participated in the Indian independence movement in the 1940’s. That included her involvement participated in the 1942 Quit India movement- she evaded arrest from the Government and carried out activities in North India. She was subsequently arrested in 1944 and was detained for a year. As a staunch Gandhian, she accompanied him in Bengal during the Indian partition riots. Kripalani played a crucial role in the rehabilitation of refugees during the Partition of India: she served as a Secretary to the Relief and Rehabilitation Committee set up by the Congress Party.

 

Contribution to Constituent Assembly:

In 1946, Kripalani was elected to the Constituent Assembly from the United Provinces under a Congress Party ticket. She was a member of the Flag Presentation Committee, which presented the first Indian Flag before the Constituent Assembly.

 

Later Contributions:

Kripalani was one of the first few women parliamentarians to serve the nation. She was the member of: Provincial Parliament (1950-52); First Lok Sabha (1952-56) and Second Lok Sabha (1957-62).

She had a successful political career in Uttar Pradesh and held important profiles including Member of Uttar Pradesh Legislative Assembly (1943-50) and Minister of Labour, Community Development and Industry, (1960-1963). Kripalani has the distinction of being the first female Chief Minister of an Indian State – elected on the Congress party ticket. She served the office from October, 1963 to March, 1967.

Kripalani was a part of several delegations to foreign countries and organizations. She played key role in: Parliamentary Delegation to Turkey (1954); International Labour Organization (1961), United Nations General Assembly (1949); United Nations Seminar on Civic Responsibility and Increased Participation of Asian Women in Public Life (1956).  

Key Writings:

Kripalini authored her ‘Sucheta: An Unfinished Autobiography’ which accounts her life up to 1947.

Sucheta Kripalani was not a member of any of the Committees of the Assembly.