About PD Tandon

About PD Tandon

PD Tandon was a freedom fighter, eminent author and journalist, whose name appears on fifty two books in Hindi and English, of which some were translated into Urdu and Tamil also. During the Quit India Movement of 1942, he was imprisoned in Naini Central Jail Allahabad for sixteen months, where he gained rich experience with the eminent freedom fighters.

He was a member of UP Legislative Council for a period of sixteen years, and in the 1970s he was a minister in U.P. Government for Information, Higher Education, Cultural Affairs and Scientific Research. He was also the Chairman of Hindustan Photo Films (a Government of India enterprise at Ooty) and a member of Tourism Advisory Board of the Ministry of Tourism, Govt. of India. For some time, he was the Advisor to the U.P. Chief Minister. He was also the President of U.P. Working Journalists Federation and a member of the Allahabad University Executive Council for three years.

Born in Shahjahanpur, Uttar Pradesh, in a middle-class family, he came to Allahabad as a 12th class student in Ewing Christian College. Allahabad was a hub of freedom struggle at that time, with Swaraj Bhawan and Anand Bhawan its epicentre. Gradually, he came in contact with the Nehru family and other famous personalities and he actively plunged into the freedom struggle.

PD Tandon was a rare combination of a politician and a journalist. He was a unique blend of brain and the gift of the gab. He had a large number of admirers from all walks of life – lawyers, doctors, professors, missionaries and people of many NGOs. He could hold his admirers in rapt attention for hours because of his unending narrations. For over 75 years his articles have appeared in scores of leading newspapers, magazines and periodicals from all across the country.

PD, as he was popularly known amongst friends, took journalism as his profession and then there was no looking back. Initially he represented National Herald and also wrote for a large number of newspapers and many magazines. Based on his memoirs with great leaders, he wrote many books. These books give us a deep insight into the lives of great luminaries and their close association with him. These notable figures included Mahatama Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru, Lal Bahadur Shashtri, Sarojini Naidu, Indira Gandhi, Jai Prakash Narain, Acharya Kripalani, Sucheta Kripalani, Kamlapati Tripathi, HN Bahuguna and many others. He was also quite close to stalwarts of literature, Sumitra Nandan Pant, Mahadevi Verma and Firaq Gorakhpuri besides the noted danseuse Mrinalini Sarabhai.

Famous political personalities like Jaiprakash Narain, Acharya Kripalani, Sucheta Kripalani, Kamlapati Tripathi and many others used to stay in his house in Allahabad and were very comfortable in his simple house which had only basic amenities.

His autobiography ‘Flames From The Ashes’ was published in 1982. Its Hindi version ‘Raakh Se Laptein’ was published in 1984. His book ‘Yours Sincerely’ contains letters of human and historic interest sent to him by Gandhi, Nehru, Indira Gandhi, Kripalani, Jaiprakash Narain, C. Rajgopalachari, Vijay Lakshmi Pandit, Mrinalini Sarabhai, G.B. Pant and several other luminaries from different fields of life. Its Hindi version ‘Aapka Patra Mila’ has also been published.

Mahatma Gandhi had written a foreword to one of his books, ‘Nehru-Your Neighbour’. His another book on Jawaharlal, ‘The Unforgettable Nehru’ was based on anecdotes and his impression about him.

His book ‘Indira Gandhi – Lingering Echoes’ based on her personal letters and private conversations was published in 1990. In 1995 another book ‘Echoes From The Past’ was published which contains letters of Gandhi, Nehru, Bernard Shaw, Lord Mountbatten, Indira and others. Another two books, ‘India’s Leading Lumanaries’ and ‘Bharat ke Karndhaar’ are collections of short biographies of prominent figures of his era, written from his own perspective.

He has written other books like ‘Gandhi – Warrior of Non-violence’, ‘Bapu aur Bachche’, ‘Episodes, Echoes and Eccentricities’, ‘Patriots and Pioneers’, ‘With lots of love’, ‘Three Women to remember’, ‘Zindagi ka lahza’, ‘Sapno ki Phansi, ‘Kuchh dekha kuchh suna’, ‘Haqeeqat se mulaqat’.

PD Tandon was literally active till the age of 95, when he left for his heavenly abode on 30th September 2006. His unfinished manuscripts, ‘The Women Who Inspired Me’ and ‘Acharya Kripalani-Memoirs of PD Tandon’ were completed and edited by his son, R.K. Tandon, who himself was a veteran journalist.


PD Tandon was a freedom fighter, eminent author and journalist, whose name appears on fifty two books in Hindi and English, of which some were translated into Urdu and Tamil also. During the Quit India Movement of 1942.

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