An unsung hero from India: Honoured in Japan

Received via email from Exrbites Group member A N JAYARAM 

This man is one of the most underrated Indians.

*One of the most underrated Indian* .The day was 12 November, 1948. Tokyo Trials is going on in a huge garden house on the outskirts of Tokyo, the trial of fifty-five Japanese war criminals including Japan's Prime Minister Tojo, after losing WWII. Of these, twenty-eight people have been identified as Class-A (crimes against peace) war criminals. If proved, whose only punishment is "death penalty". Eleven international judges coming from all over the world are announcing it......"Guilty".... "Guilty"...... "Guilty"......... Suddenly one thundered, "Not Guilty!"

A calm silence came down in the hallway. Who is this lone dissenter?

His name is Radha Binod Pal and he is from India. But in India nobody knows him

Before going to Tokyo, he was one of the Calcutta (now Kolkata) High Court judges and for two year he was Vice-Chancellor of University of Calcutta. Born in 1886 in the Kumbh of East Bengal (now Bangladesh), he was poor son from a poor family. In his early childhood, his mother took shelter with her son in a village called Chuadanga, adjacent to the neighboring village. For the sake of living, his mother used to take care of the house hold activity and the cow. During the feeding of the cow, the boy used to travel around the local primary school and when the daily teacher taught in school, he used to listen from outside. One day the school inspector came to visit the school from the city. He asked some questions of the students after entering the class. Everyone was silent. This boy shouted from outside of the classroom window.... "I know the answer to all your questions." The boy answered all the questions one by one. Inspector said... Wonderful!.. and asked, "Which class do you read?"

The answer came, "... I do not read...I graze cow." Everyone was shocked to hear that. Calling the head teacher, the school inspector instructed the boy to take admission in school as well as provide some stipend.

This is how education of Radha Binod Pal started. Then after passing the school final with the highest number in the district, he was admitted to Presidency College. After taking M Sc. from the University of Calcutta, he studied law again and got the Doctorate title. In the context of choosing the opposite of two things he once said, "law and mathematics are not so different after all.”

Comming back again in the International Court of Tokyo. In his convincing argument, the rest of the jurists signify that the Allies (winners of WWII) also violated the principles of restraint and neutrality of international law. In addition to ignoring Japan's surrender hints, they killed two hundred thousand innocent people using deadly nuclear bombardment. Most of the judges were forced to drop many accused from Class-A to B, seeing that logic written on twelve hundred thirty-two pages by Radha Binod Pal. These Class-B war criminals were saved by him from sure death penalty. His verdict in the international court gave him and India a world-famous reputation.

Japan respects this great man. In 1966 Emperor Hirohito awarded him the highest civilian honor of the country, 'Kokko Kunsao'. Two busy roads in Tokyo and Kyotto have been named after him. The law has been included in the syllabus of his sentence. In front of the Supreme Court of Tokyo, his statue has been placed. In 2007, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe expressed his desire to meet his family members in Delhi and met his son.

Dr. Radha Binod Pal (27 January 1886 - 10 January 1967) name is remembered in the history of Japan. In Tokyo, Japan, he has a museum, a street and a statue in Yasukuni shrine. Japan University has a research center in his name. Because of his judgment on Japanese war criminals, Chinese people hate him. He is the author of many books related to law. In India, almost nobody knows him and perhaps not even his neighbors know him! A hindi movie was made on him starring Irrfan Khan but that movie never made headlines. This man is one of the most underrated Indian.

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Jayaram said…
Thanks for spreading the info Sir.

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