Arun Kumar Sinha (27 August 1940-28 November 2011) was Professor in English at Langat Singh College (established in 1899), B R A Bihar University, Muzaffarpur, Bihar, India, from where he retired as its Principal in the year 2000. An acclaimed social activist, one of the important pillars of Teachers’ Movement, especially in North Bihar, and a committed teacher, he is known for his work on T S Eliot and Mark Twain, on the one hand, and his role and contribution to the Socialist and Sarvodaya Movement, on the other.
He was also Convener, State Intellectual Cell of Bharatiya Lok Dal, Bihar and a Member of its State Executive in 1980s, which was led by Chowdhary Charan Singh, a former Prime Minister of India, at the national level. Prof. Sinha was the elected President of L S College Teachers’ Association for four times in the 1980s and 1990s and was twice elected General Secretary of the Combined Teachers’ Association of L.S. College and Bihar University PG Departments’ College and University Teachers in the early 1980s.
In the 1980s and 1990s he served as the Chief Editor of the L S College Magazine ‘Vaishali’. He is fondly remembered as AKS–the initials of his name–by his students.
A Gandhian Thinker and Practitioner
Prof. Sinha was a ‘Gandhian activist, thinker and believer in the Gandhian doctrine for social reconstruction.’For Prof. Sinha, ‘Gandhiji’s non-violence asks us not to seek a special destiny for ourselves- a destiny apart from and above that of the people toiling in the fields and factories.’ In fact, Gandhian vision was one which had the potential to bring about social equality and peace, if understood and applied in true spirit, “Inequality is born from violence. A society which pays disproportionate value to wealth is bound to be based on violence, suppression, oppression, corruption, militarism…Non-violence as exemplified by Gandhiji’s abiding faith in the value of Charkha is a moral, spiritual , political and above all economic power. But the self has to be mastered. The non-violent man has to be a fighter for truth, a Satyagrahi.”
The obituary report titled ‘Contributions of ex-principal recalled’, published in ‘The Times of India’, Patna edition on 30 November 2011 stated, among other things, that ‘Sinha was fondly remembered as principled, committed teacher, social activist, Gandhian and an exemplary human being’. Another leading national Hindi daily ‘Dainik Jagaran’ called him ‘a scholar of English and a thinker’. Similarly, another national daily (Prabhat Khabar’ 30 November 2011, Patna) described Sinha as a ‘thinker of Socialist ideology’, who ‘contributed significantly to the political work of leaders like Dr. Rammanohar Lohia, Jayaprakash Narayan, Chowdhary Charan Singh and Karpoori Thakur’
The PROF. ARUN KUMAR SINHA CENTRE FOR LITERARY AND SOCIAL UNDERSTANDING is an initiative of the students, associates and family-members of Prof. Sinha to explore the multi-dimensional aspects of his personality and work, and will also provide a platform to discuss the literary and social issues that were so very dear to Prof. Sinha.