The greatness of a man is normally not felt during his lifetime. One such person was Pt. Sheel Bhadra Yajee. Yajeeji was greatness personified. A man of unmatched qualities, his contribution to the cause of India’s Independence is immense.
Yajee ji was born in a middle class peasant family in village Bakhtiyarpur under Patna district on 22 March 1906. His parents were Pt. Shiv Tahal Yajee and Smt. Reshma Devi. He was educated at Bakhtiyarpur, Barh and Patna.
Pt. Sheel Bhadra Yajee has started his march on the path of selfless sacrifice and service to the nation when he was in his teens without wishing or hoping for any reward in return. He plunged in the freedom struggle at the tender age of 15 and during his long period of fight to free the motherland from foreign rule that spanned from 1921 to 1947, he relentlessly attacked the British imperialism. He suffered seven years and twenty-one day’s jail term and worked for about three years as an absconder for the cause of the motherland. Released only after India became independent in 1947, Yajeeji spent the rest of his life in the service of the poor and downtrodden. He rejected the offers of high offices and led a simple life, shunning worldly attractions. He was a real sadhu or saint.
During the struggle for Independence Pt. Sheel Bhadra Yajee first took part in the Non-co-operation Movement launched by Mahatma Gandhi. He brought Mahatma Gandhi and Maulana Shaukat Ali to his village Bakhtiyarpur to strengthen the movement and gave his brilliant academic career.
Pt. Sheel Bhadra Yajee remained in the forefront of the movements launched by Indian National Congress and held the organisational offices at the thana, district and provincial as well as national levels. He joined the Congress Socialist among with Acharya Narendra Deo and Jai Prakash Narayan but later left it due to his differences with latter’s reformist policies. Yajeeji then came into contact with Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose and became his close associate.