The Westerners

ADDAMS, MISS JANE (1860-1935): Social activist. Receive the Nobel Peace Prize in 1931. She was instrumental in founding the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom. In 1919, her prolonged efforts had its impact on the great powers to disarm and conclude peace agreements. She became immortal for her work in Chicago to help scores of poor immigrant families, ease the lives of the working mothers living in the Hull House which she founded in Chicago; and more so for what she did against employing children as industrial labour. Besides, she spoke against the peace treaty being forced upon the Germans in 1919, she pointed out its humiliating effect which, she stressed, may lead to war again.

BARNES, EARL (1861-1935): Served as Professor of History at Indiana University in 1889. Later he worked as the Professor of Education at Stanford University. He remained at Stanford till 1897 before leaving for Europe where he took up appointment as the staff lecturer, London Society for Extension of University Teaching for the year 1900-01. Subsequently Barnes became a freelance lecturer and writer. In late-life he lived in New Hartford, Connecticut. His major publications include Studies in Education, 2v. (1897), Where Knowledge Fails (1907), Women in Modern Society (1912), and Psychology of Childhood and Youth (1914).

BENSON, SIR FRANK ROBERT (1858-1939): British actor-manager. His touring company and acting school had vital impact on the contemporary British stage. His performances of Hamlet, Coriolanus, Richard II, Lear, and Petruchio earned him legendary recognition.

CAROLINE (née Grey), MARY Countess of Minto: Wife of Sir Gilbert John Murray (Lord Minto) who served as the Governor General of Canada from 1898 to 1904. He came to India as the Viceroy in 1905 and remained till he went back to England in 1910. He was immediately made a Knight of the Garter. In 1883 he married Mary Caroline Grey, the sister of Albert Henry George Grey, 4th Earl Grey. Incidentally, Sir Albert later succeeded Lord Minto as the ninth Governor General of Canada.

CHEYNE, DR THOMAS KELLY (1841-1915): Distinguished authority on scriptural writings and theology. Between 1868 and 1882 he had been a Fellow at Baliol College, Oxford, and was conferred the degree of D.D. on him by both the Edinburgh University and the Glasgow University in 1884 and 1891 respectively. From 1883 until 1903 he was the Oriel Professor of Interpretation of the Scriptures at Oxford, and in 1889 was appointed Hampton Lecturer. He was the American Lecturer on the history of religions from 1897 until 1899. Cheney was an honorary Fellow of Worchester and Oriel Colleges. In 1909 he became a Professor Emeritus at Oxford University. He was made the Canon of Rochester from 1883 until 1908 and was accepted as a pioneer among the English scholars in the application of the methods of the Higher Criticism to the Old Testament.

HARDIE, JAMES KEIR (1856-1915): His political career had its beginning at the mining workers' union in 1881. Hardie entered British Parliament in 1892 as an Independent Labour Party candidate from West Ham in east London. From the very beginning he had been marked as a radical, who advocated for women's rights, free schooling and pensions, and Indian self-rule. He was among those who formed the Independent Labour Party in 1893 and became its elected chairman and leader at the opening conference. In 1899 the Labour Representation Committee was formed, which gradually took the name of Labour Party in 1906; 26 seats were won in the parliament and in the House of Commons Keir Hardie became the elected leader of the party. Later on he withdrew himself from parliamentary politics and devoted more time in organizational and promotional work of the Labour Party till 1940, when he gave up the Party leadership to George Barnes.

HARRISON, ELIZABETH (1849-1927): There were hardly many kindergartens in the city when Elizabeth arrived in Chicago in 1879. In 1887 she opened the Chicago Kindergarten Training School when there were about 50 kindergartens in Chicago. In 1893 the number was doubled, and many of them were supervised by her students. Till her death in 1927 she remained an influential member of the International Kindergarten Union in which she had been among the founding members. Books to her credit include A Study of Child Nature (1890), In Storyland (1895), Some Silent Teachers (1903), Misunderstood Children (1908), When Children Err (1916), and The Unseen Side of Child Life (1922).

HARRISON, FREDERIC (1831-1923): Positivist and author, who made Positivism widely known in Great Britain. This had in background the indelible impact Auguste Comte, the French sociologist, whom Harrison had interviewed in Paris in 1855. Though he practised Law since 1858 with distaste, the practical aspects of his professions was largely compensated by his fascination with the Roman law and jurisprudence. In later years Harrison used his talent in journalism. He also taught history and Latin at London Working Men's College. In 1867 he was appointed to the royal commission on trade unions. Harrison wrote in support of Polish independence and the union's position in the American Civil War. He opposed using British forces against civilians in Afghanistan and South Africa. In the concluding part of nineteenth century, Harrison became successful in local politics and in 1889 was made the first alderman by the London county council. Among his books are: Positivism: Its Position, Aims and Ideals (1901); The Positive Evolution of Religion (1913); and The Philosophy of Common Sense (1907).

JAMES, WILLIAM (1842-1907): Philosopher and psychologist who had been instrumental in establishing Harvard's psychology department, which initially was a part of the department of philosophy. James never agreed that psychology could be a distinct discipline. Although in 1961 he enrolled himself at Harvard to study chemistry and anatomy, James later on developed an interest in studying the mind and body. In 1872 he joined Harvard to teach vertebrate physiology. In 1890 James published his highly acclaimed two-volume Principles of Psychology. Later on he moved away from experimental psychology to produce more philosophical work. Today he is credited among the founders of the school of American Pragmatism. Nonetheless, at Harvard he continued to teach psychology till his retirement in 1907.

KROPOTKIN, PETER A. (1842-1921): Russian revolutionary, geographer, and foremost theorist of the anarchist movement. His other areas of excellence include zoology, sociology and history. He later distanced himself from his aristocratic heritage; to pursue the cause of social justice he gave up an attractive career. Since the early 1870s Kropotkin's ideal and growing involvement with the doctrine of anarchism took him into jail in 1874. Two years later in 1876 he staged a sensational escape from Russian prison and fled to Western Europe where he was instantly admired among the radical populace. Till 1881 he mostly lived in Switzerland before being expelled at the insistence of the Russian government following assassination of Tsar Alexander II by the revolutionaries. Kropotkin then moved to France where further imprisonment for three years on charges of sedition, reportedly concocted, awaited him. In 1886 he was released from French prison and moved to England and remained there till going back to Russia after the revolution in 1917.

MACDONNELL, SIR ANTHONY (1844-1925): Born in Ireland. He entered Indian Civil Service in 1865 and served here with distinct eminence till 1901 when he retired and went back to England. There he was personally requested by King Edward VII to accept the office of Under-Secretary for Ireland; he accepted the assignment in 1902 and remained in that post till 1909 before becoming a liberal peer in the House of Lords when he was created the Lord MacDonnell of Swinford. During his tenure in both India and Ireland Sir MacDonnell exhibited a fearless determination to fight for the rights of the people in both the countries. Since his promotion in 1881 as the Accountant General and Revenue Secretary in Bengal till his departure for England in 1901, MacDonnell earned a justified prominence in the affairs of India. He served as administrative chief of four provinces of India, had been a Home Member of the Viceroy's Council between 1893 and 1895, and chaired the Indian Famine Commission of 1900-01.

MAVOR, JAMES (1854-1925) : Economist, economic historian, writer, social worker and art collector. Professor of political

economy and constitutional history at the University of Toronto. His representations brought more than 7500 'Doukhobors', a sect of Russian dissenters, to Canada in 1899 and allowed them to settle in what would later become Saskatchewan. Their love for Pacifism and typical ways of life and religion had brought the Doukhobors to repeated persecutions in Russia by many who adhered to the general practices and norms followed in the society at large. It was at the behest of Peter Kropotkin, the eminent Russian Anarchist, that this emigration took place; though Leo Tolstoy and his followers, both British and American Quakers, were also behind this migration. Before he came to Toronto in 1892, Mavor had belonged to the Fabian Society; among his friends and acquaintances were George Bernard Shaw, Sidney and Beatrice Webb, Patrick Geddes, and William Morris. He has many books to his credit.

MORLEY, JOHN (1838-1923): A freelance journalist in his early career. Enjoyed a close friendship with John Stuart Mill. In 1867 he became the editor of the Fortnightly Review and remained with the paper for next fifteen years. Contributors to his paper included Mathew Arnold, Thomas Huxley, John Stuart Mill and Herbert Spencer. He wrote some notable books as well. Later on he went to the Pall Mall Gazette as editor. In 1886 he became the Chief Secretary of State for Ireland and worked beside Gladstone to formulate the first Irish Home Rule Bill. In 1905 Morley was appointed the Secretary of State for India when Lord Minto had been the Viceroy. He became Viscount of Blackburn in 1908 and resigned from the India Office in 1910.

NEVINSON, HENRY WOODD (1856-1941): One of the finest late Victorian war correspondents. His work had been much admired by great many distinguished Western personalities. He had covered the Greco-Turkish War (1897), the Spanish-American War (1898) and the Russian revolution (1905). His reportage continued through the two World Wars until his death. A self-confessed liberal, he supported women's suffrage, and voiced Irish grievances. In the wake of the Swadeshi movement he came to India and travelled around for four months and met many eminent Indians. Though he seemingly became more sympathetic to the moderates, his report, which appeared in the Manchester Guardian, Glasgow Herald and Daily Chronicle, somehow disturbed the British rulers. Later on those reports were re-edited and in 1908 came out in a book entitled The New Spirit in India. He was even present at the Surat Congress of 1907.

ROWLEY, CHARLES (1840-1933): An enlightened man who had substantial knowledge in various beliefs, philosophies and religions. His varied interests gave him a special concern for India. According to what the University of Glasgow writes about him - Margaret Noble [Sister Nivedita] was among his 'good friends'. His deeper interest in art allowed him to write regularly extensive art reviews on works of Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Edward Burne-Jones and Ford Madox Brown. For bringing art and literature to common masses he founded the Ancoats Brotherhood in Manchester in late 1870s. Rowley's friends included leading artists and literary personalities like William Morris, Frederic Shields, Brown and the Rossetti brothers. Brown even painted his portrait in 1885. Rowley greatly admired the etchings of James McNeill Whistler who, according to digital Encyclopaedia Britannica, 'did much to introduce modern French painting into England.' Served as Professor of History at Indiana University in 1889. Later he became the Professor of Education at Stanford University. He remained at Stanford till 1897 before leaving for Europe where he took up appointment as the staff lecturer at the London Society for Extension of University Teaching for 1900-01. Subsequently Barnes became a freelance lecturer and writer. In late-life he lived in New Hartford, Connecticut. His major publications include Studies in Education, 2v. (1897), Where Knowledge Fails (1907), Women in Modern Society (1912), and Psychology of Childhood and Youth (1914).

STEAD, MR WILLIAM THOMAS (1849-1912): A brilliant writer, editor and journalist. Leaving The Pall Mall Gazette in January 1890 he began his own monthly paper, The Review of Reviews, which earned him international repute. His life ended when he was on his way to address a peace conference at Carnegie Hall in New York at the invitation of US President William Howard Taft. Stead was aboard the ill-fated RMS Titanic which sank into the sea with 1500 passengers. On 10 April 2012 The Telegraph of London wrote: 'Stead was a towering figure in journalism and politics between 1880 and his death. On the centenary of his death, it is worth remembering how much modern culture owes this extraordinary man. A two-day conference at the British Library later this month will feature nearly 50 historians and scholars who are gathering to examine his life and legacy.'

WEDDERBURN, SIR WILLIAM (1838-1918): He was born in a Scottish family of great antiquity. In 1859 Wedderburn had appeared for the Indian Civil Service examination and in 1860 came to Dharwar in today's Karnataka as an Assistant Collector. Later he became Acting Judicial Commissioner in Sind and Judge of the Sadar Court in 1874. In 1882 he became the District and Sessions Judge of Poona. At the time of his retirement in 1887, he was the Chief Secretary to the Government of Bombay. His earnest concern for various maladies in India had closely linked him with the Indian National Congress. In 1893 he entered the British Parliament as a Liberal member and utilized his position to highlight the grievances of India. In 1904 he came to India for attending the 20th session of Indian National Congress, which was presided over by Sir Henry Cotton. Later, in 1910 he presided over the 25th session of the same occasion. Though he had frequently been criticized for his tirade against the bureaucracy when it concerned genuine causes of India, Wedderburn did serve in many vital administrative positions for long. He played a significant role in the Montagu-Chelmsford Reforms.


WILSON, SIR GUY FLEETWOOD (1851-1940): Served in the British Treasury and the War Office in London. Wilson was later picked up by John Morley, the Secretary of State for India, when Lord Minto had been the Viceroy, for the key post of the Finance Member of the Viceroy's Executive Council in India. This was during the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. Fleetwood was knighted in 1902.  

The Indians

BANERJEE, SURENDRANATH (1848 -1925): A brilliant student. He went to England in 1868 to appear for the Indian Civil Service examination which he passed within a year. But his success was refused on grounds of inappropriate age. He fought against the decision, won, and eventually began his career in India as an Assistant Collector. Three years later he was dismissed allegedly for falsification of returns, an irregularity for which Europeans were easily condoned, if not overlooked. He tried to become a barrister, but the stigma of dismissal stood in the way. Surendranath began as a professor of English at the Metropolitan Institution, Calcutta, concurrently he taught English at the Free Church Institution. In 1882 he founded the Rippon College, where he taught for long years. But before this, Surendranath embarked upon his political and journalistic life. In 1876, together with Ananda Mohan Bose, he launched the first political organisation in India - Indian Association, seemingly to channelise the growingly radical nationalistic aspirations. In 1883 the Association organised an All India National Conference. Two years later, the Indian National Congress had its birth. Meanwhile in 1879, Surendranath took over the Bengalee, a weekly English paper, and ran it for the next 40 years. Since 1900 the paper became a daily. Since the Calcutta Session of the Congress in 1886, Surendranath began to play a vital role in the activities of the National Congress; he twice became its President - in 1895 and 1902. As more and more rifts began to appear between the moderates and the radicals in the Congress Party since the Swaraj Movement, culminating in the Surat Session where the mantle went to the latter, the hold and involvement of men like Surendranath began to decline in national politics. Finally when Mahatma Gandhi entered Indian politics and the Congress Party moved more and more towards mass politics, Surendranath decided to say adieu and concentrate on writing his autobiography aptly named A Nation in Making - a must read for anyone interested in knowing the gradual progress of Indian freedom movement.

BOSE, ANANDA MOHAN (1847-1906): The first Indian Wrangler of the Cambridge University. He came back as a barrister and began a successful career at the Calcutta High Court. Ananda Mohan married the sister of Dr J. C. Bose. He was active on all fronts - professional, social, and political. He was elected the President in the session of the Indian National congress in 1878. In the same year when the Sadharan Brahmo Samaj made its appearance, Ananda Mohan became its first President. His contribution in furthering education in Bengal is still remembered. He was a true renaissance man of the nineteenth century, who was an example of erudition, integrity, philanthropy, with active interest in furthering the cause of the nation.

BOSE, BHUPENDRANATH (1859-1924): A brilliant student and a most successful lawyer of his time. Between 1904 and 1910 he was a member of the Bengal Legislature. During this time he also was associated with the Swadeshi Movement as a moderate member of the Congress Party. At the Bengal Provincial Conference at Mymensingh in 1905, Bhupendranath was selected as the President. His name was proposed by his contemporary Surendranath Banerjee. He was also elected President in the Madras Session of Indian National Congress in 1914. The growing influence of the radicals in national politics drew Bhupendranath closer to the Government. Between 1917 and 1923 he served as under-secretary in the Council of State for India before becoming the member of the Executive Council of the Governor of Bengal. Thrice he went to West with political or administrative assignments, the last being in 1922 when he travelled to Geneva to represent the Indian Government at the Labour Conference. His active interest and role in furthering education was also notable. Immediately after Sir Asutosh Mookerjee's death, Bhupendranath took over as the Vice-Chancellor of the Calcutta University. He remained in that post almost till his death.

BOSE, DR JAGADIS CHANDRA (1858-1937): Indian plant physiologist and physicist of world repute. His invention of highly sensitive instruments for the detection of minute responses by living organisms to external stimuli enabled him to anticipate the parallelism between animal and plant tissues. Bose's experiments on the quasi-optical properties of very short radio waves (1895) led him to make improvements on the coherer, an early form of radio detector. This had its impact on the development of solid-state physics.

BOSE, MRS ABALA: (MRS J. C. BOSE, 1864-1951): Able and accomplished wife of Dr Jagadis Chandra Bose. She was known for her various social activities in the areas of women's education and alleviation of the conditions of widows.

CHATTERJEE, RAMANANDA (1865-1943): A life dedicated to the cause of nation building through the great magazines he envisaged, edited and continued publishing, which eventually charted the norms of Indian publications in later days. The Prabasi (Bengali) and Modern Review (English) still remain the ideal of today's journalism in many ways. Among his friends and admirers were men like Rabindranath Tagore and Sir Jadunath Sircar.

CHITTARANJAN DAS (1870-1925) : A barrister-at-Law of the Inner Temple, London. He joined the Calcutta High Court after his return from England a short while before the mid 1890s. He appeared as the defence lawyer of Brahma Bandhav Upadhyay and Bipin Chandra Pal when they were prosecuted for sedition in 1907. But this case had to be closed after the death of the former in the same year. Later, though his way of defence was much praised, Bhupendranath Dutta had to go behind prison on charge of sedition as the editor of Jugantar. Name and honour came to Deshbandhu in the Alipore Bomb Case, also known as the Muraripukur conspiracy or Manicktolla bomb conspiracy in 1908 when his brilliant defence ensured acquittal of Aurobindo Ghose. Chittaranjan was greatly admired for his handling of both civil and criminal cases. His advent in the forefront of national politics began when he was invited to preside over the Bengal Provincial Conference at Bhowanipur in 1917. His inspiring patriotism, sincerity and oratorical power quickly earned him all India fame. Released from political imprisonment in 1922, Chittaranjan was elected President for the Congress Session at Gaya. But discordent political views voiced there, prompted him to resign as the President and form the Swarajya Party within the Congress with eminent members like Motilal Nehru and a few others. He advocated Swaraj for the masses, not for the classes. His priorities were constructive work in the villages, national education in vernacular medium, and that the people should be educated first to take part in the national movement. He still is admired as an apostle of Indian nationalism.

COOMARASWAMI, ANANDA K. (1877-1947): Born in Ceylon to a Tamil father and English mother. Early death of his father took him to England where he got his education as a geologist. But his tryst with art changed his life and he became a distinguished art historian. His vast writings in areas of visual art, aesthetics, literature and language, folklore, mythology, religion, and metaphysics still amaze people. He understood the religions of both East and West. This allowed him a deeper perception to interpret arts, crafts, mythologies, cultures, folklores and symbolisms in his own unique ways. In 1906 he founded the Ceylon Social Reform Society to encourage revival of traditional arts and crafts, social values and customs - and discourage thoughtless imitation of Western life and lore. Between 1900 and 1913 he closely linked himself with India and took great interest in the changing scenario during the Swadeshi movement.

DUTT, ROMESH CHUNDER (1848-1909): Went to England in 1868 with Bihari Lal Gupta and Surendranath Banerjee and sat for the Indian Civil Service Examination in 1871. In the same year he was called to the Bar at the Middle Temple, London. In 1883 Romesh Chunder became the first Indian to become a district magistrate. At the age of 49 he resigned from the civil service as the divisional commissioner of Orissa. He became the first president when the Bangiya Sahitya Parishad began its journey. He entered active politics in the late nineteenth century as a Congressman and was invited to preside over the fifteenth session of the Indian National Congress held in Lucknow in 1899. But before this, he was appointed as a professor of Indian History at the University College, London, in 1897. In 1904 he came back to India as the Revenue Minister of the Baroda State, where he remained for three years before going to England again and became a member of the Royal Decentralisation Commission. He returned to India in 1908 to be the Dewan of the Baroda State. Some of the books written by him are : 1. The Ramayana, 2. The Mahabharata, 3. The Economic History of India (in 2 Vols.), 4. History of India, 5. A History of Civilisation in Ancient India, 6. Early Hindu Civilisation B.C. 2000 to 320, 7. Later Hindu Civilisation AD 500 to AD 1200, 8. Cultural Heritage of Bengal. Romesh Chunder had many other books and writings to his credit, besides great contributions in political, educational, and social services which are too vast to include here.

GHOSE, AUROBINDO (1872-1950): He was sent to England to study for the Indian Civil Service at King's College, Cambridge. After his return to India in 1893, he served at Baroda College as a French teacher, where he later became the Vice-Principal. In Baroda, he also came in contact with Sister Nivedita. The Swaraj Movement following Curzon's partition of Bengal in 1905 took him to Calcutta. With joining the Congress Party, began his political life - more and more radical in approach as days went. Through his inspiration and leadership secret revolutionary groups began to come up in Calcutta. During this time, he formed the Anushilan Samity. Khudiram Bose and Prafulla Chaki of this Samity were arrested on charge of throwing bomb at a carriage in Muzaffarpur on 30 April 1908 that caused death to some unintended persons. The many persons arrested in connection with the case, known as the Alipore Bomb Case, had Aurobindo among them. But the brilliant defence of his lawyer Chittaranjan Das brought him out of prison a year later. Six weeks after his release, Aurobindo launched the Karmayogin, a weekly review of Indian religion, philosophy, literature, science, etc. He edited this magazine till February 1910 when he left Calcutta for Chandernagore, and later settled at Pondicherry till his passing away in 1950.

GHOSH, GIRISH CHANDRA (1844-1912) : Belonged to the leading lay disciples of Sri Ramakrishna. He was a legend in his own time and beyond - as actor, playwright, poet and pathfinder of the modern Bengali theatre. He reined the Bengali stage for about fifty years. But all his earthly achievements, as he himself knew better, became pale to his love and admiration for Sri Ramakrishna. And he boasted that he could never match the unstinted love and spiritual shelter he earned from Sri Ramakrishna.

GOKHALE, GOPAL KRISHNA (1866-1915): Great Indian statesman known to be the mentor of Mahatma Gandhi. Once a professor of history and political economy at the Fergusson College, Pune, where he resigned in 1902 and fully engaged himself in the national movements. In 1895 he became the Secretary of the Indian National Congress and rose to be its elected President in 1905. His deep concern for social reform led him to found the Servants of India Society in 1905 to inspire the willing Indians to devote themselves to work for the rural and tribal underprivileged people disregarding ethnicities and religions. Gokhale was against untouchabilities and ill-treatment to low-caste people; he was also actively concerned for the impoverished Indians in the South Africa.

MAITRA, HERAMBA CHANDRA (1857-1938) : A leading member and Acharya of the Sadharan Brahmo Samaj, and a great educationist. He succeeded Umesh Chandra Dutta as the principal of the City College in Calcutta and remained 30 years in that position. He also taught English at the Calcutta University. His research works on Emerson brought him the Griffith Memorial Prize from the Calcutta University. He was among the founders of the Sanjivani, a Bengali Weekly, and the editor of the Indian Messenger, the organ of the Brahmo Samaj. The doyen of Indian journalism, Ramananda Chatterjee, while teaching at the City College, used to assist Heramba Chandra in editing both the magazines, apart from contributing regular columns. Maitra also travelled to Europe and America as a preacher of the Brahmo Samaj. He was a regular contributor to the Modern Review. In 1926, Heramba Chandra was elected as a member of a delegation by the Calcutta University to attend the World Conference of the Universities of the British Empire held in London in 1926. The other members of the delegation were Dr J. C. Bose, Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan and Dr Bidhan Chandra Ray.

MITRA, KRISHNA KUMAR (1852-1936): He married the fourth daughter of Rajnarayan Basu. Krishna Kumar was a teacher at the City School and professor of history at the City College from 1879 to 1908. When the English government threatened to invalidate the accreditation of the college if he remained with the Swadeshi Movement, Krishna Kumar resigned from the College. He was a staunch Brahmo and on the day of his marriage - Narendranath Dutta, more known later as Swami Vivekananda, sang two songs written by Rabindranath Tagore. In association with Dwarakanath Ganguli, Heramba Chandra Maitra and others, he founded the Bengali weekly Sanjivani in 1883 and became its editor. It was through a series of articles there which made the English government provide legal protection to the tea-garden workers. Through the Sanjivani, Krishna Kumar percolated his nationalistic views, expressed against partition of Bengal, and supported Boycott. The magazine also acted as the mouthpiece of the Sadharan Brahmo Samaj. He joined Surendranath Banerjee's Indian Association in 1876, and later became a member of the Indian National Congress in 1885. In 1890, Krishna Kumar participated in the indigo cultivators' agitation. Resorting to the Criminal Law Amendment Act in 1908, the English government deported nine Bengali leaders to Agra Jail. None of the deportees knew what the exact charge against him was and remained confined till their release in February 1910. Krishna Kumar was one among them.

PADSHAH, BURJORJI J. (1864-1941): He helped J. N. Tata in planning and executing his educational ambitions and projects. Padshah's father had been a friend to both J. N. and his father Nusserwanji Tata. When Padshah completed his studies at Cambridge in 1887, he joined the Sindh Art College in Karachi as the Vice-Principal. In 1896 he left Sindh College when J.N. entrusted him to translate his educational ideas. Padshah forthwith went to Europe and USA and visited scientific and medical research institutions and universities for about 18 months between 1896 and 1898 and amassed ideas and information for the proposed institution under Tata endowments. His association with the educational projects of the Tatas continued till 1911, when he took an appointment in the newly erected Iron and Steel Works of the Tatas at Sakchi, which since 1919 became Jamshedpur.

PAL, BIPIN CHANDRA (1858-1932): A journalist who later became one of the early leaders of Indian nationalist movement. His ability to write and power to speak was legendary, which proved to be of great impact during the Swadeshi movement. In fact, in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century Bipin Pal's presence and impact on national politics was too great to be overlooked. He began as a moderate leader in the Indian National Congress, but later drifted to radicalism which drew him to Bal Gangadhar Tilak. Soon a time came when his name was pronounced together with Tilak and Lala Lajpat Roy in the way which still is remembered by many: Lal-Bal-Pal. This is a proof of how he rose to Indian National Politics. But alongside his journalistic ability ran uninterrupted. In his early youth he started Sylhet Weekly and Paridarshak. Later on, he edited The Tribune of Lahore during 1887-88, began English weeklies like New India in 1901 and edited it for a year, Bande Mataram in 1906 which later was suppressed by the government, Swaraj in London during his exile from India (1908-11). He also founded the English monthly journal Hindu Review (1902), edited the daily Independent, Allahabad (1919-20). These apart, he wrote regularly in the Modern Review, Amrita Bazar Patrika, Statesman, etc. till his last. But after 1920, Bipin Chandra left active politics for good and remained with his writings alone.

Sarkar, Sir Jadunath (1870-1958):  Eminent Indian historian. Studied English literature at the Presidency College and began his teaching career. Later while at Patna College during 1902-17 he changed his subject to history. He chose Aurangzeb, the last eminent Mughal emperor, as his main area of work. His first book entitled India of Aurangzib was published in 1901. It took twenty five years for him to complete his five-volume History of Aurangzib which was published in 1924. He devoted the next twenty five years to complete his four-volume Fall of the Mughal Empire and completed it in 1950. Among his single-volume works are Chaitanya: His Pilgrimages and Teachings (1913), and Shivaji and His Times (1919). All his works demonstrate his vast knowledge of Persian-language sources and are skillfully written in English. Sarkar served as vice-chancellor of the University of Calcutta between 1926 and 28) and had been on the Bengal legislative council during 1929-32. He was knighted in 1929.

SEN, DINESH CHANDRA (1866-1939): Legendary scholar, historian and researcher. His contribution in salvaging the wealth of various unpublished and almost irretrievable Bengali manuscripts by visiting different villages, and later getting them published, will always be remembered. His scientific researches in Bengali literature, pioneering contribution in furthering studies in Bengali literature at the University of Calcutta, and the various scholastic books he wrote have earned him enduring fame.

SIRCAR, DR NILRATAN (1861-1943): A medical practitioner, educationist and philanthropist. By faith he was a Brahmo. He began as a private practitioner and soon earned great success. But Dr Sircar never lost his compassion for the poor and needy people. For 17 years he remained the President of the Calcutta Medical Club. He is said to have worked hard to contribute a code of medical ethics for Indian physicians, and free the dominance of the British Medical Association on this profession. His glorious roles behind the foundations of the Calcutta Medical School, the School of Physicians and Surgeons, and the Jadavpur Tubercular Hospital could hardly be over emphasised. For a time he was the editor-in-chief of the Journal of the Indian Medical Association. In 1918 he was knighted by the British. Among the great responsibilities shouldered by him were as the Vice Chancellor of the Calcutta University, Dean of the Faculty of Medicine and Science, Trustee of Rabindranath Tagore's Viswa Bharati University, and Member of the Executive Committee of the Bose Institute. He also served as the President of the Indian Association for Cultivation of Science. The Campbell Medical School was upgraded to Campbell Medical College in July 1945, and in August 1950 this institution was renamed after one of its alumni - Dr Nilratan Sircar.

TAGORE, ABANINDRANATH (1871-1951): He was the great-grandson of illustrious Prince Dwarakanath Tagore. His formal training in watercolour, pastel and life-study began in 1897 under the Italian artist Signor Gilhardi, the then Vice-Principal of the Calcutta Govt. School of Art. Later on he went to the English artist Charles Palmer to add efficiency in oil painting and portraiture. His attainments during this time enabled him to complete an oil painting within two hours. His work so impressed E.B. Havell, the Principal of Calcutta Govt. School of Art, that Abanindranath became the Vice Principal of the same school. He began to study various Indian art forms under Havell. Apart from the influence and tutelage of Havell, two more things left great impact on Abanindranath's work. The first was obviously what Sister Nivedita tried to instill into the Indian art movement in general, and upon the budding Indian artists in particular. Secondly, his short interactions with Kakuzo Okakura when the latter was in India, and subsequently with Yokoyama Taikan and Hishida Shunso, two Japanese artists who came on the heels of Okakura, allowed great glimpses of techniques which Abanindranath absorbed with his own genius and interpreted subsequently into his work. Abanindranath is acknowledged as the pioneer who gave leadership to the modern art movement in Bengal and convincingly proved through his work and legacy that Indian art and artists are at par with the best in the world.

TAGORE, DEVENDRANATH (1817-1905): Born into a wealthy and renowned family in Calcutta. He was a saintly person who was conversant with Eastern as well as Western philosophy. He became a follower of the Brahmo Samaj since his young age and eventually rose to be a leading personality in giving shape to this reform-movement. Devendranath with his young reformist friend Keshab Chandra Sen aimed at bringing about many changes in society, for example: to bring education within the reach of all, and infuse modernity within orthodox Hinduism. But as days went by, differences in their religious priorities resulted in a schism in the Brahmo Samaj in 1866. Devendranath went on with his focus on removing many abuses in the society, as well as preaching the futility of worshipping God through idols or images. But gradually he became disinterested in such purposes and distanced himself from public life, though his earnest followers remained loyal and attached to him. In 1863 he founded a retreat in rural Bengal and named it Shantiniketan. Here in this abode where Devendranath known to have found peace and solace to his soul, his Nobel laureate son Rabindranath Tagore would start his dream project on 22 December 1901 - a school named Brahmacharya Ashrama designed in conformity with the ancient gurukula tradition.

TAGORE, RABINDRANATH (1861-1941): The renowned Bengali Nobel Laureate poet, littérateur, philosopher, who today is globally recognized as among the all time leading thinkers and humanitarians of the world.


TRIVEDI, RAMENDRA SUNDAR (1864-1919) : Brilliant academic career. Became a professor of physics and chemistry at the Ripon College, Calcutta, where he later became the Principal. His literary excellence has its mark in various writings which were published in many leading magazines. He has about 14 books to his credit besides a few text books as well.