An ardent follower of Gandhi, Dharampal was a major participant of the Indian freedom struggle. He followed his idol Mahatma Gandhi in his philosophy of a non-violent independence movement. Born in Kandhala, a small town in Uttar Pradesh in 1922, he caught his first glimpse of Gandhi in 1929. He remembered that in 1931, when Bhagat Singh and his fellow freedom fighters were sentenced to death, many students took to the streets in protest. Gandhi's call for Satyagraha (a form of civil resistance) in 1940 drew Dharampal into actively participating in the Independence Struggle. In fact, he was also present during the Quit India Session in Congress in 1942, after which he became a part of the underground group until his arrest in 1943. He was released after 2 months.
After Independence, he worked on several projects to help resettle refugees and clear up after the madness of Partition. He also made a trip to Israel to study their rural restructuring programme, but had to make a detour to England first due to the closing of the Suez Canal. In England he met Phyllis, an Englishwoman whom he ended up marrying and having two children with. The following years tilll his death, he continued to contribute to the social and political causes in India Apart from his contributions in these fields, he is also a celebrated author. Some of his noteworthy contributions to the literary world include "Indian Science and Technology in the Eighteenth Century," "Civil Disobedience and Indian Tradition" and "The Beautiful Tree."
He is known for his critical and philosophical thinking, which he uses to examine Indian culture and history. For example, his book on Civil Disobedience examines the nature and origin of Non - Co-operation in India. Like many before and after him, he believed that the basic philosophy of the resistance method lay in Gandhi's teachings, and were therefore a relatively new phenomenon in Indian history. Many believed that the non-violent form of protest was a Gandhian brainwave and used only in recent history, during Gandhi's trials in South Africa and during the freedom struggle in India. However, Dharampal's book sheds light on this issue, by digging up earlier instances of civil disobedience in Indian society, which he therefore considers an inherent part of Indian culture and tradition. Similarly, in The Beautiful Tree, Dharampal conducts detailed research into the state of indigenous education in India during the British rule.
He became aware of the fact that there was disturbingly little material on the state of Indian education during this time period. All that was available was some published documents by British officers, which tended to be quite sugar-coated and omitted anything that would contradict the actions of the British in India. Therefore, Dharampal resolved to answer the pressing question that several scholars had, which was: Why did the literacy rate in India decline so much during this period, when in the earlier centuries, India had one of the most successful economies and education systems of the entire world?