Satyendra Chandra Mitra
|Born: 1888-12-23||Died: 1942-10-27|
|Father: Uday Chandra Mitra||Mother: Unspecified|
|Children: Aroti Dutt|
|Siblings: Khokhon Mitra (pet name), (missing - Uday Chandra Mitra's daughter), Sachi Mitra, Madhusudhan Mitra, Dr, Hari Mitra, Dr|
Satyendra Chandra Mitra (23 December 1888 – 27 October 1942) was an Indian freedom fighter, who started his political career as a revolutionary in the Jugantar Party in 1916, to being elected the Chief Whip of the Swarajya Party in the Central Legislative Assembly in 1927 and later became the President of the Bengal Legislative Council (of undivided Bengal) in 1937.
He was born on 23 December 1888 in Radhapur village in Noakhali District (now in Bangladesh). Youngest of eight children of lawyer, Uday Chandra Mitra and Udaytara Mitra, he did his Entrance Examination (school leaving) from Zilla School, Noakhali in 1905, graduated from City College, Calcutta in 1910, did his M. A from University of Calcutta in 1912 and his B. L (law degree) in 1913. He then enrolled as an Advocate of the Calcutta High Court.
Politics and career
Satyen Mitra, as he was popularly known as, was drawn into the revolutionary politics of the Jugantar Party trying to throw off the British yoke during the First World War. These activities led to his arrest in 1916, and he was interned at Janjira, an island (“char”) in the Padma River basin in what is now Bangladesh. He lost both his parents while he was interned. He was released in 1919.
He participated in the Congress Party’s session in 1920 in Calcutta, when the “Non-cooperation” Resolution was passed. In 1921, he became a follower of Deshabandhu Chittaranjan Das, along with Subhas Chandra Bose. Deshabandhu chose Satyen to be his Assistant, which he was until Deshabandhu’s death. He was Secretary of the Bengal Pradesh Congress Committee in 1922–23. Subsequently, he organised and joined the Swarajya Party started by Deshabandhu Chittaranjan Das.
In 1923, he was arrested along with Subhas Chandra Bose and others, by the British Indian Government under Regulation III of 1818 and detained without trial till 1927 in Mandalay Jail in Burma (now Myanmar). In 1924, while in prison, he was elected to the Bengal Legislative Council as a Swarajya Party member. In 1926, he was elected to the Central Legislative Assembly as a Swarajya Party member. It was the Assembly that carried a motion for his release (despite the British Indian Government’s opposition). On being released, he was elected the Chief Whip of the Swarajya Party, when Pandit Motilal Nehru (Jawaharlal Nehru’s father and Indira Gandhi’s grandfather) was the Leader of the Party in the Assembly. He organised the defeat of the Government by the Swarajists on many occasions in the Assembly (now the Indian Parliament).
A few years after Deshabandhu’s death, the Swarajya Party merged with the Congress. In 1930, Congress members resigned from the Assembly to organise direct action (Civil disobedience) under Gandhiji. Satyen Mitra disagreed with the policy and after some time resigned from the Congress Party and sought re-election to the Central Legislative Assembly and won. He was not re-elected in 1935.
In 1937, he was elected by the members of the Assembly to the upper House, the Bengal Legislative Council, and was then elected President of the Legislative Council, a position he held until his death in 1942. He was in close touch with Subhas Chandra Bose till his death on 27 October 1942.
He was progressive in his views, and married a child-widow, Uma Mitra, a Congress worker, in 1922. They had one daughter, Aroti (later Aroti Dutt), who later married Birendrasaday, son of Gurusaday Dutt. She was an eminent social worker in her own right.
Satyen Mitra was a deeply religious man. He became a follower of Sri Sri Ram Thakur. His Guru was very fond of him and did occasionally stay at his residence.
Amongst his many friends was Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay, the eminent Bengali writer.
As a public figure, he had held various positions in life. He was prominently associated with the National Council of Education in Jadavpur (which is now Jadavpur University), and was Rector and Chairman of the Managing Council of that organisation. He was also a Member of the Board of the Imperial Bank of India (later known as the State Bank of India) and with various youth organisations. He was active in the labour movement, being associated with the Bengal Trade Union Federation.
He was known for his amiable disposition that made him loved in different circles, while his political intelligence and shrewdness stood him in good stead as a Whip, in the legislative work of his day.
His portrait adorns the walls of the Mahajati Sadan, Kolkata, and the Paschimbanga (West Bengal) Assembly, Kolkata.