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The Indian revolutionary who went to jail, taught at Columbia and was accused of being a ladies’ man

In 1906, when Taraknath Das first arrived in the United States, he didn’t quite fit the profile of a stereotypical “Hindu immigrant”. Most migrants from India were in search of better opportunities. They came from the Punjab, were soldiers and farmers, or in rare cases, students and preachers. Das was none of those – he was a rebel on the run from the British police. Das had been drawn to Anushilan Samiti, an organisation that preached revolutionary violence against the British, soon after he left home, aged 19. He followed the Samiti first to Dhaka and then Mymensingh, before bolting to Brindavan disguised as a yogi, under the assumed name of Tarak Brahmachari. His campaign had put him squarely in the crosshairs of the British. So, to escape persecution, he sailed to Japan in 1905, and a year later, travelled as Jogendranath Das to Seattle, Washington.........Read more