Seth Govind Das, a short account of whose active and adventurous life is presented in this volume, on his Shashtiabd-purty or 61st birthday, is one of the most notable ﬁgures which the national struggle for freedom has thrown up. Heir to a very wealthy Marwari family, early in his life he chose a life of service and sacriﬁce. Great grandson of a loyalist who had been awarded a jeweled waistband for services to the East India Company during the Revolt of 1857, he became a rebel and was sentenced ﬁve times to varying periods of imprisonment. Belonging to a community traditionally wedded to extreme social conservatism, early in life he became a staunch advocate of reform. Indeed it can be said with justiﬁcation that Govind Das represents in himself the revolt of the middle classes against the social obscurantism, and the lack of political ideals of the preceding generation.
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