Trivia

Trivia

  • Pioneers:
    • First Indian to be DIG of a Government Hospital in British India.  His Indian title was Ray Bahadur – Kanon Behari Sen Roy
    • Pioneering women photographers – Debalina Mazumdar and Manobina Roy (twin sisters)
    • Co-founder of Jadavpur University – Dr Triguna Sen
    • Second Indian Principal of Calcutta Medical College – Lt. Col. Jyotish Chandra De, I.M.S
    • Eight Indian Indian ICS – Brajendranath De
    • Founder President of the Countrywomen’s Association of India – Aroti Dutt
    • Founder President of the Soroptomist International Club – Aroti Dutt
    • First National President of Soroptomist International of India – Aroti Dutt
    • Founder President of the Inner Wheel Club of India – Aroti Dutt
    • Founded Duke Club, Chinsura, Hooghly – Brajendranath De
    • Founded Equitable Insurance Co. – Sashi Bhushan Mitra
    • Founded Mahila Samitis (Women’s Institutes) (1916) – Saroj Nalini Dutt
    • Founded Saroj Nalini Dutt Memorial Association, Calcutta (1925) – Gurusaday Dutt
    • Founded Bratachari Society – Gurusaday Dutt
    • Founded B.R. Singh Memorial Hospital, Calcutta (1941) – Paresh Chandra Datta
    • Founded Gurusaday Museum, Calcutta (1961) – Birendrasaday Dutt
    • Founded Centre for Studies in Social Sciences, Calcutta (1973) – Dr Barun De
    • Founded Maulana Abul Kalam Azad Institute of Asian Studies, Calcutta (1993) – Dr Barun De
    • Built Sealdah Station, Lady Dufferin Hospital, Campbell Hospital and several bridges in Kolkata – Bamacharan Sen
    • First Indian to be elected as the Chairman of any municipal corporation in India – Brajendranath De.
    • First Indian Chairman of the Hooghly Municipal Corporation – Brajendranath De.
    • Longest serving District Magistrate and Collector of Hooghly – Brajendranath De.
    • Third Indian to serve as a Divisional Commissioner [acting] after R.C. Dutt [Commissioner (acting) of Orissa] and Sir K.G. Gupta who rose to be a member of the Secretary of State’s Council in London – Brajendranath De.
    • Contributed to the building of the BNR hotel in Puri – Basanta Kumar De
    • Second Indian Commercial Traffic Manager of the BNR, succeeding Sudhindranath [Sudhi] Gupta, grandson of R.C.Dutt and son of J.N. Gupta, ICS – Basanta Kumar De
    • First Chief Medical Officer of B.R. Singh Memorial Hospital, Calcutta and also became Director, Health Services, Government of Bengal – Paresh Chandra Datta, Dr
    • Famous celebrated painter – Saradendu Sen Roy
  • Held important posts:
    • Served as Sultan Bahlul Khan Lodi‘s Defense (War) Minister – Raja Sarbananda Duttachaudhury
    • Served as cabinet member of Sultan Muhammad bin Tughluq, Sultan of Delhi, from 1335-37. He was also the Jagirdar for Jakiganj-Karimganj Kushiarkul region. – Raja Shriharihar Duttachaudhury
    • Secretary of the Bengal Pradesh Congress Committee in 1922–23 – Satyen Mitra
    • President of the Bengal Legislative Council, 1937-42 – Satyen Mitra
    • President of Congress – Bhupendranath Bose
    • Private Secretary to the Maharaja of Benares – Shyamacharan Sen Roy and Lalit Behari Sen Roy
    • Chief Engineer for Holkar State – Khirod Behari Sen Roy
    • Two terms as World President of the Associated Countrywomen of the World – Aroti Dutt
    • Vice President of the International Alliance of Women – Aroti Dutt
    • Chairman and Managing-Director of Braithwaite, Burn and Jessop Ltd. – Ranajit Datta
    • Chief Justice of the Indian Princely State of Jaipur – Sir Sarat Kumar Ghosh
    • Last Chief Justice of the Indian Princely State of Kashmir from 29 March 1946 to 29 March 1948 – Sir Sarat Kumar Ghosh
    • Principal Army Medical Hospital, Aurangabad – Col Jyotish Chandra De
    • Served as President of the Photography Association of Bengal (PAB) for three years – Debalina Mazumdar
    • Peary Charan Sarkar was the Principal of Hare School, after whom the street Peary Charan Sarkar Street [dividing CU from Presidency College] is named was great uncle of Brajendranath on his mother’s side.
    • Raja Manik Ram Bose, an agent of the Nawab’s of Oudh, was another maternal ancestor.
    • Brajendranath’s maternal grandfather, Babu Rajendralal Basu, Managing Clerk of a well known solicitor’s firm in Calcutta was a leading lawyer, who defended the Nawab of Farukkhabad in a case related to the mutiny after 1857.
    • Dharani Kumar Bose, son-in-law of Sashi Bhushan Mitra and Hemnalini Mitra [nee De], an eminent architect, built the Mackinon Mackenzie building. He was also a member of the Calcutta Municipal Corporation.
    • Cameraman, who shot the ‘Apu Trilogy’, ‘Charulata’, ‘Mahanagar’ as well as ‘Teesri Kasam’ and ‘New Delhi Times’ – Subrata Mitra
  • Accolades:
    • Awarded an MBE – Saroj Nalini Dutt
    • Roads named after them in Kolkata – Gurusaday Dutt and Satyen Mitra
    • Peary Charan Sarkar, Principal of Hare School, after whom the street Peary Charan Sarkar Street [dividing CU from Presidency College] is named.
    • Won the Padma Bhushan – Dr Triguna Sen
    • Won Padma Shree – Subrata Mitra
    • Bharat Ratna, French Légion d’Honneur and Lifetime Achievement Award at the Oscars – Satyajit Ray
    • Won prizes at Cannes Film Festival – Satyajit Ray and Bimal Roy
    • Won Filmfare Awards – Bimal Roy (11 times), Satyajit Ray (twice)
    • Won National Film Awards – Bimal Roy (6 times), Satyajit Ray (record 32 times), Sandip Ray, Subrata Mitra and Aditya Bhattachrya
    • List of awards won by Satyajit Ray and Bimal Roy are too long to list – click here for Satyajit Ray and click here for Bimal Roy
    • Elected “Member of Honour” of the Associated Countrywomen of the World – Aroti Dutt
    • Won Faraday Medal in England – Dr Sashi Bhushan Mitra
    • Knighted – Sir Sarat Kumar Ghosh
  • Strange facts:
    • Sister was abducted by a zamindar never to be seen again – Shyamacharan Sen Roy.
    • Described by Mahatma Gandhi as the ‘Nightingale of Bengal’ – Uma Bose
    • One of the first Bengalis to play cricket for India – Probir Kumar ‘Khokhan’ Sen
    • Hailed from one of the most famous families of Bengali lawyers in Allahabad – Bhabatarini Sen Roy
    • Came from a village that was engulfed by the river Padma and doesn’t exist any more – Uday Chandra Mitra
    • An artist who trekked through Tibet and had an encyclopedic knowledge of Tibet and Tibetan culture – Saradendu Sen Roy
    • Emigrated to the US in the early 1900s, graduating from University of Nebraska in 1905 – Satis Chandra Basu
  • Diversity:
    • The extended family includes, many sects of Hindus including: Vaishnavs, Shaivites, Brahmos, followers of Swami Narayan, followers or Ram Thakur, Christians of many denominations, Muslims, Jews and Sikhs.
    • The family has married into people from several nationalities, including Americans, Irish, Welsh, English, Chinese, Sinhalese and Italians.

17 thoughts on “Trivia

  1. Cameraman, who shot the ‘Apu Trilogy’, ‘Charulata’, ‘Mahanagar’ as well as ‘Teesri Kasam’ and ‘New Delhi Times’ – Subrata Mitra

  2. Brajendranath De was the 8th Indian ICS. Why reportedly? The seven before him were [1] Satyendranath Tagore [1863], [2] Romesh Chandra Dutt [1869], [3] Bihari Lal Gupta [1869], [4] Satyendranath Banerjee [1869], [5] Sripad Babaji Thakur [1869], [6] Anandaram Baruah [1870] and [7] Sir Krishna Gobinda Gupta [1871]. Next came [8] Brajendranath De [1873; joining in 1875]. The two after him were [9] Jamsetjee Cursetji and [10.] Kewasji J. Badsha [most probably in 1877]. These were the first 10 Indian ICS officers. Banerjee was made to leave the ICS while Baruah, the only Assamese to join the ICS died very young at 39. De was the sixth Bengali to join the ICS, but that was never said. He always identified himself as an Indian. These details are to be found in the civil list of 1903 which is available on the net. I downloaded it. I got the last names along with the rest in a booklet available at Rhodes House library.

    Jyotish Chandra De was the second Indian Principal of the
    Calcutta Medical College. That’s perhaps more significant than his posting in Aurangabad. There is no mention of Dr. Paresh Chandra Datta, the founder-Chief Medical Officer of B.R.Singh Memorial Hospital in Sealdah, Calcutta. You don’t have to mention this but my father very proudly used to say that my grandfather was the second Indian Commercial Traffic Manager of the BNR, succeeding Sudhindranath [Sudhi] Gupta, grandson of R.C.Dutt and son of J.N. Gupta, ICS.

  3. Also, Brajendranath De was the first Indian to be elected as the Chairman of any municipal corporation in India. He was the first Indian Chairman of the Hooghly Municipal Corporation. He was also probably the longest serving District Magistrate and Collector of Hooghly, and the third Indian to serve as a Divisional Commissioner [acting] after R.C. Dutt [Commissioner (acting) of Orissa] and Sir K.G. Gupta who rose to be a member of the Secretary of State’s Council in London.

  4. Dharani Kumar Bose, son-in-law of Sashi Bhushan Mitra and Hemnalini Mitra [nee De], an eminent architect, built the Mackinon Mackenzie building. He was also a member of the Calcutta Municipal Corporation.

  5. Councillor of CMC, to be more precise. He was an eminent nationalist and sympathiser of the Indian National Congress. The Mitra household was witness to several meetings of the INC as well as meetings between eminent communist leaders, such as Sh. Jyoti Basu and Indrajit Gupta. S.B. Mitra was also a well known nationalist leader.

  6. Sir Nripendranath Sarkar, Law Member of the Viceroy’s Executive Council and Advocate General of Bengal was a cousin of Brajendranath. Hemanta Kumar De, Bar-at-law, was his junior at the High Court of Calcutta. Rai Bahadur Siddheshwar Mitter [Kona Kaka], the Dewan of Chattarpur State [an 11 Gun Salute State in CP & Berar] and his younger brother, Siddhomohan Mitter [Gullu kaka], who practiced at at the Court of Hyderabad and edited a journal and finally migrated to Britain, were close cousins. K.C. De, ICS’s wife, Jhunumashi was a close cousin of Nagendranandini.

    Peary Charan Sarkar, Principal of Hare School, after whom the street, Peary Charan Sarkar Street [dividing CU from Presidency College] is name was great uncle of Brajendranath on his mother’s side. Raja Manik Ram Bose, an agent of the Nawab’s of Oudh, was another maternal ancestor. Brajendranath’s maternal grandfather, Babu Rajendralal Basu, Managing Clerk of a well known solicitor’s firm in Calcutta was a leading lawyer, who defended the Nawab of Farukkhabad in a case related to the mutiny after 1857. Brajendranath came from the family of the Garh Kata Basus of Anarpur in Barasat on his mother’s side. On his father’s side family members claimed that they descended from the family of Ramdulal Dey, Ashutosh Dey [Chatu Babu] and Pramathanath Dey [Latu Babu], three eminent pioneering entrepreneurs of 17th-18th century Bengal. The bazaar called ‘Chatu Babur Bajar’ was named after Ashutosh Dey. Baidyanath Deb Sarkar [Dey] would have been related to them.

  7. See Great Britain India Office, The India List and India Office List, 1905, (India Office, Great Britain, Published by Harrison, 1905) for details on the first ten India ICS officers.

  8. Many thanks for incorporating some of the details that I gave you in this column several days back. You have mentioned two peices of information that you could considering editing.

    [1.] Brajendranath De was not ‘reportedly’ the 8th Indian ICS man. He was the 8th Indian ICS man. The first ten Indian ICS men were as follows:

    [1.] Satyendranath Tagore [1863; ?coming out in 1864 or 1865] [of the judicial wing; retired in 1897 as the District Judge of Satara];

    [2.] Romesh Chandra Dutt [1869; coming out in 1871] [of the executive wing; first Indian Divisional Commissioner [actg.] of Orissa [for 1 year]; took voluntary retirement in 1897 to join as the University Lecturer in History at University College, London; later still the Dewan of Baroda [1904-1908]; twice the President of the Indian National Congress];

    [3.] Behari Lal Gupta [1869; coming out in 1871] [of the judicial wing; 1st Indian Chief Presidency Magistrate of Calcutta an appointment that started the Ilbert Bill controversy; after retirement as minister in Baroda];

    [4.] Surendranath [Surrender Not] Banerjee [1869; coming out in 1871][disqualified from the ICS due to being overage at the time of the selection; later an eminent nationalist politician and minister in the dyarchy cabinet];

    [5.] Sripad Babaji Thakur [1869; coming out in 1871]] [of the executive wing; retired as an acting Divisional Commissioner [don’t know if acting or not] in the Bombay Presidency];

    [6.] Anandaram Baruah [1870; coming out in 1872] [of the executve wing; 1st and the only Assamese ICS officer; died very young at 39 as District Magistrate and Collector; translator of a Sanskrit to English dictionary];

    [7.] Krishna Gobinda [later Sir K.G.] Gupta [1871; coming out in 1873] [of the executive wing; 3nd Indian Divisional Commissioner and probably the 1st Indian full-time Divisional Commissioner; member of the Secretary of States Council];

    [8.] Brajendranath De [1873; coming out in 1875; 6th Bengali ICS officer] [probably the 1st Indian ICS man to have gone up to Oxford [St. Mary Hall, now the east wing of Oriel College, Oxford on a Boden Sanskrit Scholarship for one year before the Indian Institute Library was set up for training British and Indian ICS men]; 4rd Indian Divisional Commissioner [actg.] of an division in India [thrice of Burdwan]; 1st Indian elected Chairman of any Municipal Corporation [that of Hooghly district in Bengal];

    [9.] Jamsetjee Cursetjee [?1877] &

    [10.] Kevasji J. Badshah [?1878].

    The last two names are not mentioned by my great-grandfather, but I found them in a booklet in the Rhodes House Library on one of my visits to Oxford [in 2006]. I’ll try to give you the reference once I am back in Calcutta. Right now I am in Atlanta, GA and can’t access my notes.

    [2.] Lt. Col. Jyotish Chandra De, I.M.S., not Jatindra Chandra De, was the 2nd Indian Principal of the Calcutta Medical College. He was one of modern India’s finest physicians, an eminent academician, and professionally a man of great integrity, who is still remembered by several doctors in Calcutta.

    Just two nuggets of information that a historian or just a simple geneologist umbilically attached to his paternal family, i.e. his family, would like to see amended, that’s all. Speaking on behalf of two departed, but as I would like to believe, watchful souls, who instilled in me deep attachment towards the imperial civil service and a sense of duty towards the diligent maintainance of records about his forefathers. Trust me, Rajsaday, you would be doing us – not just me, but all my ones – whom I dearly want to and thus look forward to rejoining some day, if you were to correct the detail on my great-grandfather’s place in the first ten Indian ICS men. I remember, when I was at the dawn of my time, my grandfather, standing in front of me in the verandah, with a book tied with a red ribbon, laughing heartily and telling me to repeat: “My great-grandfather was the 8th Indian ICS officer and the Magistrate and Collector of Hooghly”.

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