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2013 in Review


BARANAGAR Blog site  – Annual Report of 2013

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 7,800 times in 2013. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 7 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

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Baranagar Site 2012 in review


Baranagar Site 2012 in review

 

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 6,500 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 11 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.

Baranagar was the significant trade place when Calcutta was the habitat of wild beasts & The Agreement with the Dutch for the purchase of Baranagar


Baranagar was the significant trade place when Calcutta was the habitat of wild beasts

&

Agreement with the Dutch for the purchase of Baranagar

Voice Over: Jayanta Baksi

 

One may not accept as true the above comments however, the following excerpts be able to be establish the above remarks. Please study 3 different subsequent paragraphs and judge above comments by your own.  

1. “North of Cossipore lies Barnagore, well dotted with brick houses, which indicate the remains of that opulence which grew up with the commercial establishments of the Dutch. During the greater part of the last century this settlement belonged to them, and here their vessels anchored on their way to Chinsurah. It is said to have been originally a Portuguese establishment. It was a place of considerable trade whenCalcutta was the abode of wild beasts.”

2. “A part only of the fleet arrived at Hooghly; but while the president was waiting for the remainder, an affray was caused by three soldiers on 28th October 1686, atHooghly, which brought on a general engagement. Nicholson bombarded the town, and burned 500 houses, and spiked all the guns in the batteries; and the Fouzdar begged for an armistice, to gain time.

During the truce, the Company’s officers reflected upon their position, in an open town likeHooghly, and resolved to abandon it. Instead, however, of obeying the orders they had received from home of proceeding to Chittagong, they retired to Chuttanuttee, a little below the Dutch factory at Barnagore, where they landed on the 20th November 1686, and the English flag was for the first time planted in the spot destined to become the capital of a great empire.”

3. “To the north of Dukhinsore lies the Powder Magazine. More than twenty lakhs of rupees have been expended in the erection of steam-engines and country houses, in the space between Dukhinsore and the Chitpore Canal, in a range of less than three miles.”

Source (from 1 to 3): During the Rule of the East India Company From 1600 to 1858, By W. H. CAREY. Publisher: Quins Book Company, 62A, Ahiritola Street, Calcutta: 700005. First Published: 1882

[This book was the outcome of the serious research work of several years of W.H.Carey, he who had collected assorted valuable and interesting documents from various old newspapers and other publications like Calcutta Review; Orlich’s Jacque Mont’s; Mackintosh’s Travels; Long’s Selections; Kaye’s Civil Administration; Wheeler’s Early Records; Malleson’s Recreations; East India United Service Journal; Asiatic Researches and Asiatic Journal; Knight’s Calcutta; Lewis’s Memoirs of Thomas; Orme’s History of India; Calcutta Gazettes and other Calcutta papers. After several years of compilation the author finally shaped those compilations into a book form.

Please retain information, presently we are exercising or calling the place as “Baranagar” instead of author’s spelling “Barnagore” and “Dakshineswar” instead of “Dukhinsore”. – Jayanta Baksi] 

 

Agreement with the Dutch for the purchase of Baranagar, dated 20th September 1817

2. “….. restoration to the Dutch of the factories and establishments possessed by them in India and the Eastern Season the 1st January 1803: by an additional article the Dutch agreed to cede to the British Government the district of Baranagar on payment of an annual sum to be fixed by mutual agreement.

In pursuance of these arrangements formal Deeds of transfer were executed in the cases of Chinsura and Baranagar respectively (Nos. XIII and XIV). The transfer of Ralkapur to the Dutch remained in abeyance in consequence of their assertion of a claim to the exercise of certain prescriptive rights of sovereignty and independence within that factory which were inconsistent with its purely commercial status.

The tenure of the Dutch was not of long duration. By articles 8 and 1 S of the Treaty between Great Britain and the Netherlands, dated the 17th March 1824 (No. XV) y the Dutch settlements in Bengal were again made over to the British Government, in whose possession they have ever since remained, and formal Deeds of transfer of the settlements of Chinsura, Falta, Kalkapur, Balasor, Dacca, and Patna* were executed (Nos. XVI to XX).
III. The princes and forts in the colonies and settlements which, by virtue of the t% vo preceding Articles, are to be ceded and exchanged by the two high (Contracting Parties, shall be given us in the state in which they may be at the moment of the signature of the present Convention. 

IV. His Britannic Majesty guarantees to the subjects of His Royal Highness the Prince Sovereign of the United Netherlands, the same facilities, privileges, and protection, with respect to commerce and the security of their persons and property within the limits of the British Sovereignty on the Continent of India, as are now or should be granted to the most favoured nations. 

His Royal Highness the Prince Sovereign, on his part, having nothing more st henrt than the perpetual duration of peace between the Crown of England and the United Netherlands, and wishing to do His utmost to avoid anything which might affect their mutual good understanding, engages not to erect any fortifications in the establishments which are to be restored to Him within the limits of the British Sovereignty upon the Continent of India, and only to place in those establishments the number of troops necessary for the maintenance of the police. 

v. Those colonies, factories, and establishments which are to be ceded to His Royal Highness the Prince Sovereign of the United Netherlands by His Britannic Majesty, in the Seas or on the Continent of America, shall be given up within three months, and those which are beyond the Cape of Good Hope, within the six months which follow the ratification of the present Convention. 

ADDITIONAL ARTICLE— II. 
 

“II. The small district of Baranagar, situated close to Calcutta, being requisite to the Dee reservation of the peace and police of that city, the Priuoe of Orange agrees to cede the said district to His Britannic Majesty, upon a payment of such sum annually to His Royal Highness may be considered, by Commissioners to be appointed by the respective Governments, to be just and reasonable, with reference to the profits or revenue usually derived by the Dutch Government from the same.”

 
* The deed relating to Patna is not forthcoming.

Source: “A Collection of Treaties, Engagements, and Sanads Relating to India and Neighbourning Countries”. Compiled By: C.XJ. Aitchison, B.Sc.; Under-Secretariat to the Government of India in the Foreign Department. Containing The Treaties etc. relating to the Bengal Presidency, Assam, Burma and The Eastern Archiceology.Calcutta: Office of The Superintendent of Government Printing, India, 1892.

Statutory Warning: Jayanta Baksi, Author will not be responsible for any special, indirect, incidental or consequential damages that may arise from the use of or the inability to use, the aforementioned data/s and / or the materials contained herein irrespective of whether the materials / articles contained here are provided by Jayanta Baksi.

Author / Compiler disclaim any and all responsibility or liability for the accuracy, content, completeness, legality, reliability, or operability or availability of information or User Content mentioned here. Author / Compiler is not responsible for the conduct, whether online or offline, printed, verbal or non-verbal or of any user of this compilation.

Author / Compiler expressly disclaims any and all responsibility and liability for the conduct of any other Member (if any) and expressly disclaims that the Content prepared as ‘Compilation from Memory’ of this assemblage input by any other Members (if any) is correct or accurate. YOU AGREE THAT YOUR USE OF THIS CONTENT IS ENTIRELY AT YOUR OWN RISK.

  • Commercial use of any of the contents of this compilation in any manner is prohibited without prior written permission from an authorised person.

Further Detail: Contact Jayanta Baksi (jayanta.baksi@rediffmail.com)

Forgotten amusements of Bengali’s Stage (Jatra) and the Contribution of Baranagar


Forgotten amusements of Bengali’s Stage

&

The contribution of Baranagar

 

Voice Over: Jayanta Baksi

 

At that time “Nala-Damayanti” Yatra and the Yatra of Vraja Mohan Adhikary and that of Ram Sundar Adhikary became very popular in the country. Next to the “Nala-Damayanti” Yatra, the “Vidya Sundar” Yatra known as Sakher Jatra became highly popular in the country.

SAKHER JATRA OR AMATEUR JATRA

Once a few wealthy citizens of Calcutta formed a Jatra party from a sprit of recreation and that Jatra came to be known as Sakher or Amateur Jatra. Those amateur Jatras were also called “Reformed Jatras.”

We have already said that great changes were then going on in Bengal music. Khola and Nupurs gave place to Tobla and ghunghur. The old Vaishnaba lyric and songs (Mahajani Padas) were replaced by newly composed songs. They were set to new songs and the upcountry tune of the tappãs was gone. These Yatras delighted the people greatly because they were new. When those Yatras became regularly professional parties, they were even then called Sakher Yatras or Yatra for recreation’s sake. People understood that to be a Sakher Yatra in which there were Dholoka and Tabla and those in which there were Kholas and Kartals were called Kaliya-Daman. There was another distinction between the two. There could not be any theme in the Kaliya-Daman that was not concerned with the topics of Gods (i.e. a sacred subject). In the Sakher Yatras generally, “Vidya-Sundar” was performed, and occasionally “Nal-Damayanti” was acted. In course of time when Kaliya-Daman died out, the term “Sakher” also disappeared and the simple word ‘Yatra’ survived.

After the introduction of Vidya-Sundar, great changes were wrought in Yatras. After this the divine love-theme of Krishnaand Radha yielded to the amours of ordinary human lovers Vidya and Sundara. The social history of Bengal had some connection with these innovations in Jatra.

  • Amongst the amateur Yatras, the Yatra party of Beltala and Ariadaha became greatly famous. What scanty history could be gathered about them is given below.

We do not know much about the origin of Sakher Yatra in Bow bazar (Calcutta) but it is said that a wealthy man named Radha Raman first formed an amateur Yatra party. But there is great doubt whether Radha Raman was first in the field or not.

  • The formation of an amateur Yatra party, so far as we could gather, seems to be at Ariyadaha, in 24 Pergs.district.

 

  • [Ariádáha or Ariadaha was the part & parcel of undivided Baranagar Municipal zone, prior to the formation of Kamarhati Municipality. Presently, this area is the division of Kamarhati Municipality – Jayanta Baksi]

In 1822 a Brahmin named Thakur Das Mukerjee formed a party in the name of his father Ramjoy.

[Even today, i.e. in 2012, one may easily come across the descendants of  Thakur Das Mukerjee at Kamarhati; specifically next to Kamarhati Mosque. Descendants of Thakur Das Mukerjee are living here at ‘Kali Niwas’. Previously, the entire Kamarhati was under the jurisdiction of Ariadaha. Yet, the name of  ‘Kamarhati’ was ‘Kumar HattaJayanta Baksi]. 

Bharat Chandra’s Vidya Sundar was not printed yet, so he selected scenes from it from a manuscript copy of the poem. Pran Krishna Tarkalankar and Nemai Mitra helped him in this matter. The following was the cast:

Raja – Radha Mohan Chatterjee.

Sundara –KrishnaMohan Banerjee.

Vidya – Ishan (son of Radha Raman Chatterjee.)

Rai Baghini – Nemai Ganguli.

The song of the Nãndi (in prologue) was sung by Nemai Mitra and Tara Chand Banerjee. Kali Bhattacharjee and Kebalram, good songsters, were also in the party.

  • Shortly after the performance, the founder and the master Thakurdas Babu and some other actors died. This was taken to be an inauspicious thing and the party was dissolved.

Naldamayanti of Bhowanipur party was very famous. We have the following from Samachar Darpan 13th July 1822:

“Naldamayanti Jatra has been performed by some rich men of Bhowanipur, the southern suburb of Calcutta. It will be superfluous to give any detailed account of the show; it is sufficient to inform our readers that there were dramatic representations of Nala, Damayanti,……interspersed with dialogues, songs and music. It was an excellent exhibition. A large sum of money raised by subscription has been spent by its organisers. Its first performance was held on Saturday-night, the 23rd Ashar in the house of Gangaram Mukherji of Bhowanipur.”

Ram Basu the famous Kabiwalla used to help the Bhowanipur party as the Probhakar (16th Sept 1854) on “Ram Basu” gave the following account:

“The reputation of the Naldamayanti Jatra performed by the gentry of Bhowanipur is still in existence. Ram Basu composed all its songs and dialogues. Everybody was pleased with those songs and dialogues.”

  • After this in South Baranagar and Janai two excellent Vidya Sundar Yatra parties were formed.
  • In the south Baranagar, the Jatra party had the following cast:

Malini – Sj. Madhu Bhattacherji,

Raja – Sj. Gopi Mohan Chatterji.

Nakib – Sj. Radha Nath.

Vidya – Sj. Ram Chandra Bhaduri.

Sundara – Rupnarayan Banerjee.

Jagat Narayan Banerjee also acted the part of Vidya. Sj. Madhu Bhattacherjee was an excellent speaker, a good singer and was a fine Kathak. He had also proficiency in Sanskrit. Gopimohan was a very handsome person and was cousin to Sj.Kali Chatterjee the famous athlete and wrestler of Baranagar well-known for cutting a buffalo with one stroke during the Durga Puja. They performed the Yatra at the neighbouring places specially at Uttarpara very successfully.

Before amateur Yatras came into existence, women never took any part in the Yatra performance. With this change women slowly came to be admitted even in Krishna Yatras, of course occasionally. We shall quote the following, though of a later period, to give our readers an idea of such innovation:-

A new Yatra “Nanda Vidaya,” was performed by the “Glee Club” company and was in turn applauded and derided by spectators. Babu Ram Chandra Mukerjee, a wealthy inhabitant of Jorasanko had induced the “Half Akhrai” party of the locality the first musical association in Calcutta into a Yatra party and had been both the secretary and the poet to it. In course of the year some four or five thousand of rupees had been spent over the affair and in addition to the bonafide members, the services of two girls the elder of the two named Sidam being about 12 years old and of six or seven boys were secured. The time for entertainment extended from 9 in the evening to 7 in the morning.”  The Hindu Intelligence” March, 26, 1849 A. D.

The Bhaskar also reports about the same facts: -*

“The performers were gorgeously and fitly dressed and Behala, Tobla and Dholok musicians acquitted very admirably. The songs were sweet and melodious and amongst others Titoo Ram Boral played the part of Nando, Rajnarain Chatterjee that of Mantri and Nabin Chandra that of Upãnando. The songs of Chhidam took everyone by surprise. All were charmed by her songs.”

Nando Vidaya was also performed at the house of Krishna Sinha on the 14th April 1849 in a remodeled way. †

But even then Krishna Yatra did not entirely lose its popularity; the old sentiments yet survived. On the one hand there were Sakher Jatra and theatres and on the other side was the indigenous Yatra of Govinda Adhikary. But it was often found that Govinda always used to command a huge crowd. Govinda, too, as we have seen, had to make some changes according to the taste of the time. Thus he had to give up the old method (school) of the Kaliya Daman.

* 30th March. 184&

† Bhaskar 17th April, 1849.

 

FROM AMATEUR TO PROFESSIONAL 

Since the amateur Theatre of the rich was short lived, amateur Yatras came to be ran on professional line. Parties from other places also came to Calcutta, held their performances and then went away. We mention below some of those parties:

“A band of performers from Manipur is now exhibiting inCalcuttawho represent the sport ofKrishnawith the Gopies. The musicians are men, but the singers are women and they are dressed asKrishna, Lalita, Vishakha, Chitra, Ranga Devi, Sudevi, Champaklata, Vidyadhari and Indu Rekha; their flat nosed countenances are rather indifferent representation of the beauty of the Gopies.”

“A company of performers under Haladhar is also acting with great success at the house of the Babus. They represent the Yatras of Bidya Sundar, the destruction of Sambhu and Nisumbha and others (quoted from Samacher Chandrika) Asiatic Journal, (Apl. 1829, pp. 513).

  • In the year 1832–33 Nabin Krishna Bose of Shyam Bazar, tried to found Theatre on the basis of this Vidya Sundar play.
  • That Theatre did not last for more than 3 or 4 years. Therefore Yatra was regarded as the chief source of entertainment.

 

PYARI MOHAN

  • Baranagar was then famous for music.
  • Shyama Charan Banerjee who acted the part of Sundar in Nabin Babu’s party was a resident of this place.
  • Another good musician was Pyari.  Pyari used to beg from door to door by playing on his Violin.  Pyari was a resident of Baranagar and he was of handsome appearance.
  • A well-to-do public woman of Bhowanipur having heard his songs, grew enamoured of him. Pyari and that woman lived together for some time and they then formed a Yatra party and performed Nal-Damayanti. The audience was greatly pleased with the performance and in course of time beggar Pyari came to be known as Pyari Mohan. Pyari built a big house and lived there.
  • After this other Yatra parties were formed under the leadership of women and performed Vidya Sundar. Of them the party of Tara Hara and that of Bou Master are worthy of special mention. It is said the mistress of Raja Vaidyanath also organised a Vidya Sundar Party with females. The Raja, too, spent much money and was bracketted with Nabin Babu as Kalua-Bhulua:

                                       “Nabin Babu Kalua

                                 Raja Vaidyanath Bhulua.”

Ram Krishna Kãnsãri was a famous musician of Bhowanipur and used to teach music in Pyari’s Yatra party. He was a master in music and dancing and was an expert player on Violin. It is said Nabin Babu appreciated Pyari Mohan’s performances very much. Kansari’s “Dakshajajna” Jatra was very popular.

By that time the party of Ramdhan Sutradhar also gained reputation. He used to earn about Rs. 50 to 60 each night by his performance. He had shares with other members. He took one-fourth and the three-fourths were distributed amongst the rest. But whatever presents were made to the party belonged to his share. People called Ramdhan as Ostadji (or master of music) and his fame spread from Ganga Sagar (the junction of the Ganges with the sea) to the Gangetic regions.

Page:  [123 to 129]

 

NETAI DAS 

Netai Das was a famous Kabiwala. Poet Iswar Gupta gave a long article about him in his famous organ “Sambad Probhakar”:-

“Every rich man when he wanted to have any Kabi on the occasion of any festivity engaged Netai Das first. There was great wit-combat between him and Bhavani Benia. Hence the common expression is the duel of Netee Baishnava. People used to come to hear from a distance of one or two days’ journey. The house where his performance was held was crammed to its utmost and it was a job to make way through that dense crowd. Though there were several Kabi parties at that time, those of Hari Thakur, Netai Das and Bhavani Banik were most famous. Netai had a great following. The residents of Kumar Hatta, Bhat Para, Triveni, Bally, Chandan Nagar (Farash Danga), Chinsura and other places, both high and low were all in admiration when they heard Netai’s name uttered before them. They seemed to be overjoyed when Netai came out victorious and their regrets knew no bounds when Netai was defeated by his rival, they thought as if they would lose everything by his defeat. Many even gave up their food and sleep. In the beginning there were even quarrels and fighting between the adherents of two parties.

What to speak of others, the Brahmins of Bhãt Pãra called Netai Das Nityananda Prabhu (Lord Gouranga’s colleague).

When he stood up to sing, his admirers cried out “the Master is on his legs.” Netai had one special gift, he could amuse both the high and the low.”

We may here quote from “Ekal and Sekal” of Rajnarayan Bose: –

“Kavi Yatra, Panchali and similar other things were the chief sources of entertainment to the people, and of these Kavi was the foremost. The poems and songs of Haru Thakur, Netai Vaishnava, Narsing, Ram Basu and Bhavani Benia were appreciated and prized everywhere.”         (Ekal and Selcal p. 18).

[Rajnarayan Bose was the maternal Grand Father of renowned Rishi Aurobindo or Sri.Arabindo Ghosh – Jayanta Baksi]

 

2. Last and not the least, I must place on record my extreme thankfulness to Babu Sachchidananda Bhattacherjya, a premier businessman of Bengal and a patron of literature, who, I am proud to say, is one of my quondam pupils, for taking upon himself the responsibility of making arrangements for the publication of this work. [Comments of the author Sri. Hemendra Nath Das Gupta, 31,Haldarpara Road, Kalighat,Calcutta in preface mentioned as ‘Aplogia’ (Page: IV)

[Babu Sachchidananda Bhattacherjya was one of the eminent Industrialist of India and the resident of Baranagar. Not only will his contribution in Industrial growth but also in the arena of social work be discussed, in an elongated manner in the later phase – Jayanta Baksi].

 

The above portions are collected, typed & revealed from:

‘THE INDIAN STAGE’ By ‘HEMENDRA NATH DAS GUPTA’,

Officially Forwarded By: JOHAN VAN MANEN

General Secretary, Asiatic Society ofBengal.

CALCUTTA, 4,Park Street, 4th April, 1934.

 

Publisher:

Metropolitan Printing & Publishing House, Ltd.

56,Dharmatala Street,Calcutta.

[Language, Punctuation, Spelling etc. unaltered to sustain the original essence & to identify the subject easily, Underlined marks, Bold spots etc. were put up by – myself Jayanta Baksi. 03rd January, 2012] 

 

Statutory Warning: Jayanta Baksi, Author will not be responsible for any special, indirect, incidental or consequential damages that may arise from the use of or the inability to use, the aforementioned data/s and / or the materials contained herein irrespective of whether the materials / articles contained here are provided by Jayanta Baksi.

Author / Compilor disclaim any and all responsibility or liability for the accuracy, content, completeness, legality, reliability, or operability or availability of information or User Content mentioned here. Author / Compilor is not responsible for the conduct, whether online or offline, printed, verbal or non-verbal or of any user of this compilation.

Author / Compilor expressly disclaims any and all responsibility and liability for the conduct of any other Member (if any) and expressly disclaims that the Content prepared as ‘Compilation from Memory’ of this assemblage input by any other Members (if any) is correct or accurate. YOU AGREE THAT YOUR USE OF THIS CONTENT IS ENTIRELY AT YOUR OWN RISK.

  • Commercial use of any of the contents of this compilation in any manner is prohibited without prior written permission from an authorised person.

Further Detail: Contact Jayanta Baksi (jayanta.baksi@rediffmail.com

 

Flight distance of major India cities / towns / places from Baranagar


 Flight distance of major Indian cities, towns, places from Baranagar

This matrix may be immense supportive for the tourist. If one is scheduling to arrive at Baranagar or may visit different locations of India, may obtain initial idea. You have already offered different co-ordinates of Baranagar in this blog.

Hopefully, within a short while, distance chart (on road) of different locations of Baranagar, will also be provided.

Flight distance of major Indian cities,  towns,  places from Baranagar
 

Please remit your valuable suggestion: jayanta.baksi@rediffmail.com

Statutory Warning: Jayanta Baksi, Author will not be responsible for any special, indirect, incidental or consequential damages that may arise from the use of or the inability to use, the aforementioned data/s and / or the materials contained herein irrespective of whether the materials / articles contained here are provided by Jayanta Baksi.

 

Author / Compilor disclaim any and all responsibility or liability for the accuracy, content, completeness, legality, reliability, or operability or availability of information or User Content mentioned here. Author / Compilor is not responsible for the conduct, whether online or offline, printed, verbal or non-verbal or of any user of this compilation.

 

Author / Compilor expressly disclaims any and all responsibility and liability for the conduct of any other Member (if any) and expressly disclaims that the Content prepared as ‘Compilation from Memory’ of this assemblage input by any other Members (if any) is correct or accurate.

 

  • YOU AGREE THAT YOUR USE OF THIS CONTENT IS ENTIRELY AT YOUR OWN RISK.

 

  • Commercial use of any of the contents of this compilation in any manner is prohibited without prior written permission from an authorised person.

 

Further Detail: Contact Jayanta Baksi (jayanta.baksi@rediffmail.com)

Baranagar Police Station & Barrackpore Police Commissionerate


Baranagar Police Station & Barrackpore Police Commissionerate

To provide satisfactory safety & security to the city dweller, infrastructure of Police department is altering, strengthening & regulating with superior control over the security organism, i.e. police department is reinforcing and spreading through commencement of Police Commissionerate in the districts ofWest Bengal, similar to Kolkata Police. 

Previously, The Chief Minister of West Bengal, Mamata Banerjee announced to set-up 5 Police Commissionerate in the State. According to the planning of the State Government, those were Howrah, Asansol-Durgapur, Bidhannagar, Barrackpore & Siliguri. The Howrah & Asansol-Durgapur Police Commissionerate was already in full swing since September, 2011.

State Government can not open any Police Commissionerate devoid of concerned High Court’s authorization. Such initiation is directly correlated with the setting up of a Session’s Court as well as the recruitment of Chief Metropolitan Magistrate. Apart from restructuring of Judicial System, deployment of additional manpower, building including barracks, vehicles, related infrastructures are also needed to be arranged, which required mammoth economic commitment from the part of State Government.

The West Bengal State Cabinet approved the proposal for initiating new Commissionerate and consented for pursues in the month of September, 2011 & had been sent to the Calcutta High Court for approval. On 26th December, 2011, The Calcutta High Court consented on State Government instigation & sanctioned to set-up Police Commissionerates for Bidhannagar & Barrackpore in the District of 24 Pgs (North).

In the evening of 26th December, 2011, The Chief Minister ofWest Bengal – Ms.Mamata Banerjee enlightened at Writer’s Building – “We have got the necessary approval for setting up commissionerates for Bidhannagar and Barrackpore. This will boost policing in the two urban clusters,” She added “After coming to power in May, we had formed two new police commissionerates for Howrah and Asansol-Durgapur. Today, on getting the necessary clearance from the High Court and the judicial department, we have created two more police commissionerates of SaltLake and Barrackpore. The move is aimed at providing better governance,”

Thus, by approving two new Police Commissionerates intended for two densely colonized although habitually neglected areas at Bidhannagar and Barrackpore, Chief Minister extending her vision towards a smart administration.

A few decades ago, with the application of modern technique, Salt Lake and its adjoining areas were converted into a novel Township & presently rehabilitated as a prominent township for the V.V.I.P.’s occupancy. On the other hand, Baranagar and its adjoining areas are quite prominent for Dutch, Portuguese, British possession and remind of bondage India & for Ramakrishna, Vivekananda, Dakshineswar, Baranagar Math, Chitannyadev etc. remembrance the socio-spiritual development which relate with proud legacy and heritage of the country.  

Presently, the vast area from Baranagar to Barrackpore; Barrackpore to Dum Dum, a host of developmental activities including Metro Railway, State and National Highways, Urbanization through gigantic Housing projects etc. are lined up and day-by-day converted into a blissful hunting  ground for anti-social elements. Most probably due to that rationale, former Chief General of Indian Army, Shankar Roy Chowdhury welcomed such initiations however commented on 26th December, 2011 –“I think the decision is fine, but hope it will necessarily mean adequate number of policemen. That is what is needed most.”

Image

On  &  from 20th January, 2012, the existing 24 Pgs (North) Police District will be segregated due to the official formation of two new Police Commissionerate; The Bidhannagar Police Commissionerate and The Barrackpore Police Commissionerate.

There will be 19 Police Station under the jurisdiction of 24 Pgs (North) Police District: Amdanga, Ashokenagar, Baduria, Bagda, Barasat, Basirhat, Bongaon, Deganga, Gaighata, Gopalnagar, Habra, Haroa, Hasnabad, Hemnagar, Hingalganj, Minakha, Rajarhat, Sandeshkhali & Swarupnagar (Arranged Alphabetically).

The  Bidhannagar Police Commissionerate will consist of 09 Police Station: Airport, Baguiati, Bidhannagar (East), Bidhannagar (North), Bidhannagar (South), Electronic Complex, LakeTown, Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport & New Town (Arranged Alphabetically).

The Barrackpore Police Commissionerate will be in charge of 12 Police Stations: Baranagar, Barrackpore, Belghoria, Bizpore, Dum Dum, Ghola, Jagaddal, Khardah, Naihati, Nimta, Noapara & Titagarh (Arranged Alphabetically).

  • Barrackpore Police Commissionerate is a part of  West  Bengal Police, consisting of two divisions, Barrackpore & Belghoria and under the direct administrative control of Home Ministry, Government of West Bengal.

 

  • It will be treated as a city police force with Khaki Uniform along with primary responsibilities in law enforcement and investigation within the span of 297 square k.m. areas which roughly constitutes the Barrackpore subdivision and the northern part of Kolkata metropolitan area with 44 lakhs of population.

Office of the Additional S.P., Barrackpore will be treated as present Headquarter of  Barrackpore Police Commissionerate. The commissionerate is headed by the Commissioner of Police, an Indian Police Service officer in the rank of Inspector-General of Police (IGP). The commissioner is assisted by a joint commissioner. There are two deputy commissioners for the two divisions.

Other departments, including the Traffic Wing & the Detective Department are headed by Additional deputy commissioners, who are in the rank of deputy superintendent of police. The police stations are headed by an Inspector as usual. Hence, in summery, there will be 1 Commissioner, 1 Joint Commissioner, 2 Deputy Commissioner, 4 Additional Deputy Commissioner, and 14 Assistant Commissioner. In total, force strength will be 1858 personnel. These 1858 cops are more than five times of the present strength of all the stations combined. Sanjoy Mukherjee, Inspector-General of Police (South Bengal) became the first Commissioner of Police of Barrackpore Police Commissionerate.

Barrackpore Police Commissionerate will have to counter the prevalent complaint of the poor surveillance of the Barasat area, which is the District Headquarters as well as the entry point towards Kolkata fromNorth Bengaland neighboring countries. Apart from Barasat, the everyday traffic rumbles especially in B.T.Road especially from Sinthee crossing, Dunlop crossing & prevention of crime and anti-social activities in the jute belt areas will be the biggest challenge.

Till the special branch is set-up, initially, one may seek assistance of Barrackpore Police Commissionerate through dialing 100 or may approach directly to a Deputy Commissioner of Police with complaint. To improve law and order situation within the jurisdiction of Barrackpore Police Commissionerate a few Police Station of bigger jurisdiction will be divided into 2 or 3 new Police Stations in near future. The fill-up the vacancies the process of recruitment has already been initiated against 1839 posts. To manage & control the traffic situation, about 1000 Civic Police Volunteers in the age group of 20 to 30 will be recruited. They have already deployed 52 Constables, 14 Assistant Sub-inspectors & 5 Sub-inspectors.

Presently, in the month of February, 2012 about 2,000 police personnel are deployed in different Police Stations in the Barrackpore Sub-division. To ensure better law & order conditions, another 600 constables will be included in the Barrackpore Police Commissionerate.

The first Commissioner of Police of Barrackpore Police Commissionerate, Sri Sanjoy Mukherjee intimated in a press conference held at the Barrackpore Emergency Force Lines on 01st February, 2012 that a few distinguished retired police officers who have served in the District Intelligence Bureau and the CID will also be inducted in the commissionerate. They will utilize their experience to improve the overall policing of this Police Commissionerate.

One very interesting point revealed by the Commissioner of Police that according to the decision of the State Government, no political organization will be allowed to interfere into the activities of Police.

In conclusion: The commissionerate will follow the structure of the one inCalcutta. Now, the citizen will keep faith & observe the outcome not the commitment.

Please feel free to Contact: jayanta.baksi@rediffmail.com

 

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Author / Compilor expressly disclaims any and all responsibility and liability for the conduct of any other Member (if any) and expressly disclaims that the Content prepared as ‘Compilation from Memory’ of this assemblage input by any other Members (if any) is correct or accurate. YOU AGREE THAT YOUR USE OF THIS CONTENT IS ENTIRELY AT YOUR OWN RISK.

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Subhas Chandra Bose & Baranagar


 

 

                                       Subhas Chandra Bose & Baranagar

                                                Voice Over: Jayanta Baksi

Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose -1940

Subhas Chandra Bose – name of Subhas Chandra Bose an Indian revolutionary is an integral part of the history of India’s fight for freedom he who led an Indian national political and military force against Britain and the Western powers during World War II.

Bose was one of the greatest & prominent leaders in the Indian independence movement and is a legendary figure of India. He was born on 23 January 1897 in Cuttack, Orissa to Janakinath Bose and Prabhabati Devi.

Subhas Chandra Bose was arrested and lodged in jail for participating in Gandhiji’s Salt Satyagraha (1930).

Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose with Mahatma Gandhi in 1938

In 1938, he was unanimously elected President of the Haripura Congress session.

Subhas Chandra Bose, The President of the 51st Indian Nation

He resigned from the Presidentship of Indian National Congress in April 1939.

Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose at Dum Dum Airport, Calcutta

For ‘the democratisation, radicalisation and reorientation for the Congress into a sharp instrument of the people’s will,’ he announced, in May 1939 the formation of the ‘Forward Bloc’ within the Congress.

Appraisal

Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose and Members of the Azad Hind Fauj - 1940's

On 26 January1941, he suddenly disappeared from his house of Calcutta (Elgin Road) to supplement the struggle going on at home from outside.

He held talks on a basis of equality, first with Germany and later negotiated an alliance with Japan.

Netaji in Germany - 1

                     Netaji in Germany - 2

       Netaji in Germany - 3

These three (3) Pictures above were taken at Germany.

Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose with Adlof Hitler at Germany on 29th May, 1942

              Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose with Heinrich Himmler – 1943

Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose with Heinrich Himmler - 1943

             Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose with Heinrich Himmler – 1943

Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose with Heinrich Himmler - 1943

 

Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose with the Japanese in Submarine

In January 1942, he began his regular broadcasts from Radio Berlin. On 04 July, he took over from Rash Behari Bose the leadership of the Indian Independence Movement  in East  Asia, organised the Azad Hind Fauj (the Indian National Army), became its Supreme Commander on 25 August and proclaimed the Provisional Government of Azad Hind on 21October.

The I.N.A. Headquarters was shifted to Rangoon in January 1944 and marching thence towards their Motherland with the war cry “Chalo Delhi” [Let’s move to Delhi] on their lips, the Azad Hind Fauj crossed the Burma Border, and stood on Indian soil on 18 March 1944.

Gandhiji paid his tribute to Netaji in the following words, – ‘The greatest lesson that we can draw from Netaji’s life is the way in which he infused the spirit of unity amongst his men so that they could rise above all religious and provincial barriers and shed together their blood for the common cause. His unique achievement would surely immortalize him in the pages of history.’

Devoid of any actual evidence as well as officially authentication of the death he is presumed to have died “in absentia” on 18 August 1945 from injuries sustained in an alleged aircraft crash in Taihoku (Taipei) Taiwan (Formosa). Till date, his death or absentia is a great mystery.

Netaji Subhas Bose’s birth anniversary, on 23rd January is also observed as the National Day of Patriotism every year.

Is there any relationship of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose with the tiny area – Baranagar?  Certainly Yes. To know more continue  reading.

 

 

Statutory Warning: Jayanta Baksi, Author will not be responsible for any special, indirect, incidental or consequential damages that may arise from the use of or the inability to use, the aforementioned data/s and / or the materials contained herein irrespective of whether the materials / articles contained here are provided by Jayanta Baksi.

Author / Compilor disclaim any and all responsibility or liability for the accuracy, content, completeness, legality, reliability, or operability or availability of information or User Content mentioned here. Author / Compilor is not responsible for the conduct, whether online or offline, printed, verbal or non-verbal or of any user of this compilation.

Author / Compilor expressly disclaims any and all responsibility and liability for the conduct of any other Member (if any) and expressly disclaims that the Content prepared as ‘Compilation from Memory’ of this assemblage input by any other Members (if any) is correct or accurate. YOU AGREE THAT YOUR USE OF THIS CONTENT IS ENTIRELY AT YOUR OWN RISK.

  • Commercial use of any of the contents of this compilation in any manner is prohibited without prior written permission from an authorised person.

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Swami Vivekananda’s Lecture in America, relating to Baranagar


 

Swami Vivekananda’s Lecture in America, relating to Baranagar  

Voice Over: Jayanta Baksi

 

Here, I am mentioning two interconnected reports published in “Brooklyn Standard Union” & “The Indian Social Reformer”. The first one was emphasized on ‘India’s Gift to the World’ & the second one was on the ‘Hindu Widows’.

Swami Vivekananda set off to Chicago (U.S.A.) in 1893 A.D. to articulate at the ‘World’s Parliament of Religions’ to share spiritual insights of Hindu Religion & there he presented a vibrant speech about the universal truths of Hinduism through which he was judged as one of the most triumphant orators of that Parliament. Vivekananda symbolized Hinduism as a religious conviction which is based on a remarkable idealistic philosophy to offer a Western audience. In 1895, Swami Vivekananda established the ‘Vedanta Society’ inNew York City.

Swami Vivekananda at the 'Parliament of the World's Religions', Chicago - 1893

The above picture depicted the Parliament of the World’s Religions, Chicago –  1893. Swami Vivekanada was one of the most charismatic speakers of that event who introduced Hinduism to a North American audience & thus to the entire World.

  • If you have a look in the concluding paragraph of the report published in “The Indian Social Reformer” may find a name of a place –  “Baranagar”.  
  • “Baranagar” – the place is situated beside to Calcutta (Kolkata) in India & was pointed out by Swami Vivekananda not as a mere example but as one & only evidence in favour of his clarification relating the conditions of Hindu Widows in India of that era.

We will analyse in detailed  implication of the comments of Swami Vivekananda, however, at the first instance please provide a good glance of those so called significant reports:

1. Brooklyn Standard Union, February 27, 1895

INDIA‘S GIFT TO THE WORLD

Swami Vivekananda, the Hindoo monk, delivered a lecture Monday night under the auspices of the Brooklyn Ethical Association before a fairly large audience at the hall of the Long Island Historical Society, corner Pierrepont andClintonstreets. His subject was “India’s Gift to the World”.

He spoke of the wondrous beauties of his native land, “where stood the earliest cradle of ethics, arts, sciences, and literature, and the integrity of whose sons and the virtue of whose daughters have been sung by all travelers.” Then the lecturer showed in rapid details, whatIndiahas given to the world.

“In religion,” he said, “she has exerted a great influence on Christianity, as the very teachings of Christ would [could] be traced back to those of Buddha.” He showed by quotations from the works of European and American scientists the many points of similarity between Buddha and Christ. The latter’s birth, his seclusion from the world, the number of his apostles, and the very ethics of his teachings are the same as those of Buddha, living many hundred years before him.

“Is it mere chance,” the lecturer asked, “or was Buddha’s religion but the foreshadowing of that of Christ? The majority of your thinkers seem to be satisfied in the latter explanation, but there are some bold enough to say that Christianity is the direct offspring of Buddhism just as the earliest heresy in the Christian religion — the Monecian [Manichaean] heresy — is now universally regarded as the teaching of a sect of Buddhists. But there is more evidence that Christianity is founded in Buddhism. We find it in recently discovered inscriptions from the reign of Emperor Oshoka [Asoka] of India, about 300 B.C., who made treaties with all the Grecian kings, and whose missionaries discriminated [disseminated ?] in those very parts, where, centuries after, Christianity flourished, the principles of the Buddhistic religion. Thus it is explained, why you have our doctrine of trinity, of incarnation of God, and of our ethics, and why the service in our temples is so much alike to that in your present Catholic churches, from the mass to the chant and benediction. Buddhism had all these long before you. Now use your own judgment on these premise — we Hindoos stand ready to be convinced that yours is the earlier religion, although we had ours some three hundred years before yours was even thought of.

“The same holds good with respect to sciences.Indiahas given to antiquity the earliest scientifical physicians, and, according to Sir William Hunter, she has even contributed to modern medical science by the discovery of various chemicals and by teaching you how to reform misshapen ears and noses. Even more it has done in mathematics, for algebra, geometry, astronomy, and the triumph of modern science — mixed mathematics — were all invented inIndia, just so much as the ten numerals, the very cornerstone of all present civilization, were discovered inIndia, and are in reality, Sanskrit words.

“In philosophy we are even now head and shoulders above any other nation, as Schopenhauer, the great German philosopher, has confessed. In music India gave to the world her system of notation, with the seven cardinal notes and the diatonic scale, all of which we enjoyed as early as 350 B.C., while it came to Europe only in the eleventh century. In philology, our Sanskrit language is now universally acknowledged to be the foundation of all European languages, which, in fact, are nothing but jargonized Sanskrit.

“In literature, our epics and poems and dramas rank as high as those of any language; our ‘Shaguntala’ [Shakuntala] was summarized by Germany’s greatest poet, as ‘heaven and earth united’.India has given to the world the fables of Aesop, which were copied by Aesop from an old Sanskrit book; it has given the Arabian Nights, yes, even the story of Cinderella and the Bean Stalks. In manufacture,India was the first to make cotton and purple [dye], it was proficient in all works of jewelry, and the very word ‘sugar’, as well as the article itself, is the product ofIndia. Lastly she has invented the game of chess and the cards and the dice. So great, in fact, was the superiority ofIndia in every respect, that it drew to her borders the hungry cohorts of Europe, and thereby indirectly brought about the discovery ofAmerica.

“And now, what has the world given toIndiain return for all that? Nothing but nullification [vilification] and curse and contempt. The world waded in her children’s life-blood, it reduced India to poverty and her sons and daughters to slavery, and now it adds insult to injury by preaching to her a religion which can only thrive on the destruction of every other religion. But India is not afraid. It does not beg for mercy at the hands of any nation. Our only fault is that we cannot: fight to conquer; but we trust in the eternity of truth.India’s message to the world is first of all, her blessing; she is returning good for the evil which is done her, and thus she puts into execution this noble idea, which had its origin in India. Lastly,India’s message is, that calm goodness, patience and gentleness will ultimately triumph. For where are the Greeks, the onetime masters of the earth? They are gone. Where are the Romans, at the tramp of whose cohorts the world trembled? Passed away. Where are the Arabs, who in fifty years had carried their banners from the Atlantic to the Pacific? and where are the Spaniards, the cruel murderers of millions of men? Both races are nearly extinct; but thanks to the morality of her children, the kinder race will never perish, and she will yet see the hour of her triumph.”

At the close of the lecture, which was warmly applauded, Swami Vivekananda answered a number of questions in regard to the customs of India. He denied positively the truth of the statement published in yesterday’s [February 25] Standard Union, to the effect that widows are ill-treated in India. The law guarantees her not only her own property, before marriage, but also all she received from her husband, at whose death, if there be no direct heirs, the property goes to her. Widows seldom marry in India, because of the scarcity of men. He also stated that the self-sacrifices of wives at the death of their husbands as well as the fanatical self-destruction under the wheels of the Juggernaut, have wholly stopped, and referred his hearers for proof to Sir William Hunter’s “History of the Indian Empire”.

 

2. The Indian Social Reformer, Sunday June 16, 1901

Hindu Widows

 

A question having arisen in America as to the Swami Vivekananda’s attitude towards social questions, a lady writes to an American paper as follows: “In one of his lectures at the Pouch Mansion, he spoke of the Hindu widows, declaring it unjust to state that they were generally subjected to cruelty or oppression in the Indians [sic] homes. He admitted that the prejudice against remarriage, and the custom which makes the widow a member of the husband’s family instead of that of her own parents inflicted some hardships upon widows inIndia, and favoured wise efforts for their education which would render them self-supporting and in this way alleviate their condition.

He emphasised his desire for the education and elevation of the women of his country, including the widows, by volunteering to give the entire proceeds of one of his lectures in support of the school of Babu Sasipada Banerjee, at Baranagar, near Calcutta, the institution of which preceded that of the Pandita Ramabai, at Poona, and where, if I am not mistaken, the Pandita herself obtained the first inspiration of her work. This lecture was given, and the proceeds were forwarded to Babu Sasipada Banerjee, and duly acknowledged.”

———–                    —————-              —————–             ————–

 

 

 

I have already stated earlier that the name of the locality “Baranagar” was pointed out by Swami Vivekananda at his charismatic oration at The Parliament of the World’s Religious, Chicago, 1893. Vivekananda had revealed the name “Baranagar” & depicted “Baranagar” as the replica of entire India.

Yes, Swami Vivekananda was absolutely & accurately illustrated the area “Baranagar” not as a mere instance but he was bound to remember & mention “Baranagar” as one & only evidence in favour of his clarification describing the state of affairs of Hindu Widows in India of that time. Nevertheless, his entire clarification was not revealed in the Newspapers. Let’s permit me to adding up that glorious illuminating chronicle of the then legendary Baranagar, in a nutshell.

 

The legendary name of Sasipada Bandhopadhyay in the meadow of his philanthropic activities will be eternal in Indian History. His life long endeavour to educate women is perpetual praiseworthy. He had initiated his noble activities secretly through his wife, Rajkumari Bandhopadhyay. His mode of teaching was not imposed forcefully upon the students, but also from the grass root level with sensitive divine feature touch of core feelings of the mind.

 

Sasipadababu’s noble activity initiated from the own abode of Baranagar & in the later part the first female school of Baranagar was in full swing from the domicile [currently southern part of Baranagar] of Sri.Dinanath Nandi on 19th March, 1865 & thus the formation of present Rajkumari Girl’s School was instigate. Pandit Krishnachandra Sengupta became the ‘Working Supervisor’.

 

The official formation of the Female School was just one of the forward steps towards his philanthropic activities. Gradually, through rational humanitarian approach Sashipadababu formed assorted Institutions, Schools, Widow Home (Shelter / Ashram) etc to attain noblest victory of civilization. To sum up chronologically:

 

Formation of Night School at Baranagar on 01st November, 1866. Such Night school activities were immense popular & thus various branches were formed quickly in neighbouring areas like Kuthighat, Kamarpara,Kamarhati (previous name Kumarhatti), Ariadaha etc.

 

Another well admired sturdy movement of Sashipadababu was the formation of ‘Widow Home’ in Baranagar area on 06th January, 1867. Experimentation with the formation of ‘Widow Home’ rapidly gained enormous acceptance, which turned into appreciation. A large number of widows from Calcutta, 24 Parganas, Hooghly, Burdwan, Pubna, Faridpur, Barisal, Mymensingh, Sylhet etc. were able to locate there authentic safe shelter at Baranagar and turned them with trust as the permanent dweller of Baranagar ‘Widow Home’. To support & sustain the great needs with equal manner, the ‘Boy’s School was too formed in the same year, at Baranagar.

 

14th June, 1869. Night School was formed at the premise of Baranagar Jute Mill, Southern Zone compound (Calbari). Just within 13 days of the foundation of the Night School, the thatched ceiling was caught into fire on 27th June, 1869.

 

After 13 months of disastrous blaze, again on 05th July, 1870, the new school was erected with ‘tin’ roof shed instead of ‘thatched’. Just visualize the potency of foresight, dynamism of enthusiasm & vigor of determination of the Legend – Sashipada Bandhopadhyay.

 

Another school was formed particularly for the Mohammedans on 20th December, 1872 & another ‘Kindergarten’ school was also shaped in the year of 1872. Eventually, just out of enormous demand & necessity, the Widow Home converted into ‘Residential Widow Home’. Baranagar’s ‘Residential Widow Home’ may be claimed as the forerunner of present days modern ‘ResidentialSchool’.

 

To know specific / detail information revealed above, may follow the marvelous research notes ‘Anchalik Itihas’ by eminent historian, Sri.Ajit Sen [‘Anachalik Itihas’, Vol – VII, page 66 & 67; ‘Regional History’ of Baranagar].

Now, with due permission, I would like to append a correlated episode. Apart from Swami Vivekananda’s viewpoint, it will illustrate the condition of the women, specially young or widows of Baranagar from a different perspective & intended for this unfolded chapter, I express my sincere and unforgettable debt towards Mr. Pramatha Nath Bose, B.Sc. (London.\ F.G.S., M.R.A.S.) for his outstanding book “A History of Hindu Civilisation (during British Rule)” Vol – II, 1894. Published by- KEGAN PAUL, TRENCH, TRUBNER, & Co.London.

 

[Mr. Bose was the Officiating Superintendent, Geological Survey of India, and Author of “The Centenary Review of the Researches of the Asiatic Society of Bengal in Natural Science”. I am benevolently mentioning a few lines which are directly related with Baranagar Area from his works as follows [without any grave addition / alteration, as a few lines or words are not in a position to study accurately – Jayanta Baksi]:-

 

The Seventh Social Conference, however, pronounced more decidedly in favour of the re-marriage at least of child-widows. The Conference noted with great satisfaction that during the past year more than eleven re-marriages took place in the Punjab, Madras and Bombay, and recommended that all facilities should be provided by the several local associations to encourage the re-marriage of child-widows.

 

Several Homes have been lately started for Hindu Widows. One of these founded by Homes for widows. , • – td – n -■ ■ ^o ■ ii i Pundiia Rama Bai in 1559 is called Sarada Sadana, or Home for High Caste Child-widows. In March 1891, there were in it thirty child-widows of whom the greater number had been rescued from misery and suffering. Another Home of the kind was founded about the same time at Baranagar near Calcutta by Sasipada Bannerji. The following is an account of five years’ progress of this Home: *

 

“The first Hindu widow admitted in the Baranagar Institution was on the 2nd February i8S8, and in these five years, though the work has not made very rapid progress, it is no small satisfaction to see that the influence of the novel experiment his been felt far and wide in the country. Girls have come to the Home from Calcutta, 24 Pergunnahs, Hooghly, Burdwan, Pubna, Faridpur, Barisal, Mymensingh, Sylhet, & c., and every year the number of Hindu widows is increasing. That the influence (however small) of the new current is not merely on the surface of Hindu society may be inferred fro.-n the fact that married Hindu ladies from the Zenana and of position now and then pay private visits to the Home, with a view to see for themselves how it was managed, and on one occasion they were so pleased with it that they sent some pecuniary help. These little matters show the real current of the movement. The line of work and the teaching are also approved by the Government Inspecting Officers, who have in their several visits expressed their satisfaction with the progress shown by the girls. The instruction is not confined to books, but the boarders are taught cooking, sewing and useful household work.’”

[* The Indian Magazine, September 1892.]

 

[Please note: Here you may read ‘2nd February i8S8’ in the 1st line of the last paragraph. The year can not be comprehended accurately. In the 1st paragraph Mr.Bose refered to “March 1891” & on the other hand, at the same time Sri.Sashipada Bandhopadhyay founded identical rescue centre at Baranagar. 3rd paragraph is a quotation of dated September 1892. Last but not the least; the entire works was first published in the year of 1894. Hence, the year ought to be prior to 1892.]

 

At this juncture, I would like to incorporate a few stroke from Lotika Ghose, Social and Educational Movements for Women and By Women 1820-1950, in Bethune College and School Centenary Volume, edited by Dr. Kalidas Nag, 1949, p. 148 ‘The activities of Sakhi Samaiti continued till around 1906 and thereafter taken over by Hiranmoyee Bidhaba Ashram.

The widows’ home started by Sashipada Banerjee at Baranagore, considered the first such venture, inspired Hiranmoyee Devi, the daughter of Swarnakuamri, to start the Mahila Bidhaba Ashram (that was named after her subsequent to her death). Among the members of the executive committee of the Mahila Vidhaba Ashram in its inaugural year were: Swarnakumari, Maharani Sucharu Devi of Mayurbhanj, Maharani Suniti Devi of Cooch Behar (the two daughters of Keshub Chunder Sen), Lady Hamilton, Priyamvada Devi, Mrs. Chapman, Mrs. S.P. Sinha, and Hiranmoyee Devi, who served as secretary.’ ‘It is still running quite efficiently’ (in 1949) with Kalyani Mallick, the daughter of Hiranmoyee Devi guiding the affairs of the institution’.

 

*{Please keep in mind, Swarnakumari devi – poet, novelist, musician and social worker was the daughter of Maharshi Debendranath Tagore. Hence, just consider regarding the influence & contribution of Sashipada Bandhopadhyay towards the society which was first started from Baranagar and even his contributions too were pondered by Swami Vivekananda in the famous Parliament of the World’s Religious,Chicago, 1893.}

[Language, Punctuation, Spelling etc. unaltered to sustain the original essence – Jayanta Baksi.15th January, 2012]

 

  • [Pleas remit your valuable suggestion, information to develop this article and remain me grateful to you]
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Statutory Warning: Jayanta Baksi, Author will not be responsible for any special, indirect, incidental or consequential damages that may arise from the use of or the inability to use, the aforementioned data/s and / or the materials contained herein irrespective of whether the materials / articles contained here are provided by Jayanta Baksi.

Author / Compilor disclaim any and all responsibility or liability for the accuracy, content, completeness, legality, reliability, or operability or availability of information or User Content mentioned here. Author / Compilor is not responsible for the conduct, whether online or offline, printed, verbal or non-verbal or of any user of this compilation.

Author / Compilor expressly disclaims any and all responsibility and liability for the conduct of any other Member (if any) and expressly disclaims that the Content prepared as ‘Compilation from Memory’ of this assemblage input by any other Members (if any) is correct or accurate. YOU AGREE THAT YOUR USE OF THIS CONTENT IS ENTIRELY AT YOUR OWN RISK.

  • Commercial use of any of the contents of this compilation in any manner is prohibited without prior written permission from an authorised person.

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East India Company, Job Charnock & Baranagar


 
 

East India Company, Job Charnock & Baranagar

Voice-over: Jayanta Baksi

I

Let’s start with a latest report published in The Times of India, Saturday, 30th January 2010, Kolkata. The heading of the report was “Cannon found in sewer line”. The story was revealed as follows:

The civic workers while dig out sewer lines, a Canon was found from a malodorous, clogged municipal sewer line at Jyotinagar Colony near Sarbamangala  Ghat  of  north Kolkata, located on Strand Bank Road near Baranagar.

The cannon had been lying as worthlessness of darkness under 12 feet beneath the soil, whose correct age is unidentified. 10 feet of length with an outer diameter of 9 inches & an inner diameter of 5 inches Canon was seized by the security personnel of North Port Police Station.

A civic official addressed that prior to take away the dirt; initially they were unable to make out the reality. However, to categorize in a proper way, the Canon will be scrutinize by the specialist of Archaeological Survey of India on Saturday. It seems centuries old nevertheless, only the experts may reveal the fact.

A cannon expert of the Indian Army remarks after conclusion of preliminary examination of the rusty & robust article (Canon) that there is no noticeable crack or break on the Canon, looks to be more than 100 years old muzzle-loading Canon, nevertheless, to be certain they require proper scrutiny.  

On & after observing the photograph of the Canon, other expert Sri.Pranab Chattopadhyay comments that it appears similar to a 250 years old European Canon, most probably of British. There should be a batch number embossed on it, if it is an origin of British.

Eminent historian Barun De said that the cannon could help establish the fact that the Baranagar area was used to be a Dutch settlement before the British arrived in Kolkata. According to him, The Dutch had a settlement in the Baranagar area; even they had a piggery there & prevent probable enemy attack & strengthening the security along the riverfront. Thus it is likely that this canon was employed to protect the Dutch settlement at Baranagar region.

According to the opinion of Sri.Barun De, if it can be proved that the Canon indeed belongs to the pre-British era, the existence of the Dutch settlement at Baranagar area will also be categorically confirmed.

Excellent observation & comments were made by the experts. The Canon may or may not be to the pre-British era, even if it is proved that the canon was not of the Dutch too, the establishment of Dutch in Baranagar area can’t be denied. There were lots of evidences through which it was established earlier that prior to British, the entire Baranagar area was under the direct control of Dutch. That particular Canon may include as another evidence of the Dutch settlement at Baranagar, even for the control of British at Baranagar too. But, ‘categorically confirmation’ will not at all depends only upon the Canon.

Now, prior to dig out the myriad legend, just have a look at the “[‘Map of India’ in early 17th Century at the time of Hawkins & Sir Thomas Roe after Portuguese]”. Here you may notice Moghul Empire, Tributary Chiefs & Portuguese Possessions evidently.

 ‘Map of India’ in early 17th Century at the time of Hawkins & Sir Thomas Roe after Portuguese

[‘Map of India’ in early 17th Century at the time of Hawkins & Sir Thomas Roe after Portuguese]”

Now let’s go to watch those scenarios in a flash-back mode! It may be fascinating to reminder about the pay package given to the personnel of the East India Company at the time of 1757 [Just consider the year]:- Hon’ble Roger Drake, Esq., received £200 per annum; Captain Rev. Mr. Cobbe £50; Senior merchants £40; Junior merchants £30; Factors £15; Doctors £36; Writers £5 per annum. These payments were paid in every 6 months interval. Apart from salaries, perquisites system was also there; hence the delay in the receipts of their remuneration was not so problematic. Apart from regular salary & allowance, they also gain more profitable earnings from personal trading.

The English factories were first founded by the British prior to the year of 1690 and a significant urbanization had sprung up around those foundations.

 

Another vital point to be noted: In the year of 1717, The British East India Company acquired 38 villages and added these countryside regions to their property in Calcutta. Later they reconstituted them as 55 villages or Mouzas (Panchannogram). Cossipore was one of those villages. H. E. A. Cotton writes, “The Cossipore Reach was one of the finest on the river, and is lined by a number of villa residences.”[1]

From those days Cossipore had a number of industrial entities. The Government Gun Foundry, the Snider and Rifle Shell factories (originally constructed by Colonel Hutchinson), Sugar mills and Jute screw houses.

Cossipore (Bengali) (also spelt Cossipur, Kashipur) is a region of north Kolkata (previously famous as Calcutta), in the Indian state of West Bengal (presently Paschimbanga). Cossipore is one of the old localities of the metropolis, it has a police station and is an assembly constituency. Entally, Manicktala, Beliaghata, Ultadanga, Chitpur, Cossipore, parts of Beniapukur, Ballygunge, Watganj and Ekbalpur, and parts of Garden Reach and Tollygunj were added to Kolkata Municipal Corporation in 1888.[2]

Cossipore Gun and Shell Factory was set up in the year of 1802 A.D. The more than two centuries old Gun and Shell Factory at Cossipore is the oldest surviving factory in the Indian subcontinent, then known as “GUN CARRIAGE AGENCY, COSSIPORE”.

Land was purchased in 1801 from one Mr.Thorn Hill measuring about 200 Bighas, on the bank of river Gangesto construct “Gun Carriage Agency, Cossipore”. Constructed in the form of tile shed at the centre and surrounded by some thatched sheds was completed in 1802 and production of Wooden Gun Carriage, started on 18th March, 1802. This day is the auspicious day for the entire Organization and celebrated as ‘Ordnance Factory Day’ every year. [3]

After shifting of the “Gun Carriage Agency, Cossipore” first to Allahabadin 1814, and then to Fatehgarh in 1816, its importance & impact was reduced. Finally in 1829, all the machineries, tools & tackles were shifted to Fatehgarh.

Nevertheless, it had the strength of springing back to life again and again. The vacant space was utilized for the much-needed expansion and renovation of the Gun Factory of Fort William. [4]

Picture of “Gun Carriage Agency, Cossipore” [Gun and Shell Factory at Cossipore] of that era

Picture of “Gun Carriage Agency, Cossipore” [Gun and Shell Factory at Cossipore] of that era.

Around 1855, breech-loading steel rifled guns had got its way to the British arsenal, but the Cossipore plant was not properly equipped to undertake manufacturing of such guns. The mini-bullet factory was transferred to Dumdum [Ordnance Factory, Dumdum] [At this time this area was under the direct administrative control of Baranagar Police Station, which was situated on the bank ofGangaat Kuthi Ghat, Harakumar Tagore Strand].

The rifled guns, imported from England, required new elongated shells. It was decided that Cossipore would be utilized for manufacturing of the new shells. It underwent some expansion and the name ‘Gun Foundry’ was changed to ‘Foundry and Shell Factory’ in 1872. Along with the manufacturing of new elongated shell, there was requirement of undertaking manufacturing of modern fuses and cartridges to match the newly introduced breech-loading guns. As a result, supplementary growth, development & expansion took place in 1887 and 1890. [4]

In 1890, a shop was erected for the manufacture and repair of fittings of imported breech-loading guns. In 1892, steel was, for the first time casted inIndia[in modern era], at Cossipore by a Siemen’s Martin Open Hearth Plant. In 1896, a rolling mill was erected at this time. However, the metallurgical units were shifted to Ishapore [District of 24Pgs-North] in 1903 as no additional space for expansion was available at Cossipore.

II 

Prior to the period of “Gun Carriage Agency, Cossipore”, another episode alluded to is said to have happened on the banks of the Hooghly about the year 1678…..Yes, the episode of Streynsham Master & at Baranagar:

 

The Dutch mynheers Streynsham Master was one of the early pioneers of the British East India Company. Master served as the Agent of Madras from 27th January 1678 to 03rd July 1681 A.D., and he is credited with having introduced the first administrative reforms in the Madras Government.

Streynsham Master [1640 – 1724]

Streynsham Master, Preceded by Sir William Langhorne, 1st Baronet & Succeeded by William Gyfford. Streynsham served as the Acting President of the Company’s factory at Surat (Gujrat) during the visit of the President Aungier to the new colony at Bombay. After the return of Aungier, Master served for a few times as a member of the Council. In 1670 he led the British in the successful defense of Surat from the Marathas.

In 1676, even before Langhorne’s removal from power, in advance Master was nominated as the next Agent of Madras in the case of Emergency. In the meantime, till the end of Langhorne’s tenure, Master served as the Agent of the Company’s factory at Masulipatnam and then Bengal, before he was sent back to Madrasto take “in-charge of office” as the second member of the Council.

The foundations of St Mary’s church, the oldest Protestant church in Madras were laid during the Agency of Streynsham Master. The foundation of the church was laid on Lady Day, 1678. The construction of the church was completed in two and a half years and opened on 28th October, 1680.

The population of Madrashad augmented to the point that it seemed difficult to retain the old Choultry courts. Hence, in 1678, the Government of Fort St George set up a judiciary with the Agent and the members of the Council as judges. Two English Choultry judges were appointed to hear cases concerning their Indian subjects.

Specimen Signature of Streynsham Master

Master is credited with having introduced the role of a scavenger who was required to remove the dirt and filth of the streets. Collection of the house-tax and other taxes from the citizen were also empowered by Scavengers. At night, Watchmen were too appointed to protect the settlement. Hotels, Theatres, Taverns, Entertainment-houses etc. had to be licensed.

Richard Master of East Langham, Kent was the father of Streynsham Master. Streynsham married Elizabeth Leigh of Lyme Hall, Cheshire with whom he had a daughter and two sons. In 1692 he procured the Codnor Castleestate in Derbyshire. He served as High Sheriff of that county in 1712. Master and his wife resided at Stanley Grange in Morley.

  • In the 17th Century the Dutch mynheers Streynsham Master had homes at Baranagar.

 

  • Streynsham Master he who visited Baranagar area in 1676 & uttered about the hog factory where about 3,000 hogs a year were slaughtered and salted for export.

 

  • Later Baranagar became the centre for the extensive jute trade, manufacturing gunny bags.

 

  • But, it is completely wrong concept that from slaughtering of hog (as in Bengali the ‘Baraha’ is demarcated for Hog, though, not only ‘Hog’, various religious objects are also being indicated through the word ‘Baraha’ in Bengali) the particular area was christened as “Baranagar”.

 

III

Out of several old epitaphs in Calcutta [Kolkata] that of the founder of “City of Joy” Calcutta — the most honored Job Charnock, *** who is briefly described by ‘Orme’ as a man of bravery, without military understanding, but eager to capture revenge on a Government, from which he had in person received the most embarrassing activities, having been imprisoned and terrorized by the Nawab.

[***However, according to the Court order of Calcutta High Court, the foundation day of Calcutta on 24th August, 1690 by Job Charnock was cancelled on 16th May, 2003].

Captain Hamilton traveled in this country at the time of Charnock, states that Charnock was terrific vindictive in the conduct with the natives.  But, who was this Hamilton? Well, to be acquainted with more information about Hamilton, we will have to discuss a different episode, which is related with Music.

  • The All Bengal Music Conference was initiated by Sri.Bhupendra Krishna along with some associates such as Natore’s Maharaja Jogindranath Roy etc.
  • Bhupendra Krishna Ghosh’s ancestor Ramlochun Ghosh had bought a house including music room at 46 Pathuriaghata Street, Calcutta in October 18, 1782.
  • The plot on which Ramlochun’s house stands formerly belonged to Charles Hamilton and according to the ‘title suit’ of the Privy Council, it was proved that ‘Charles Hamilton’ was the ‘Zamindar’ of that time.
  • It was also documented in the ancient paper book of the Privy Council that how the plot was handed over from Charles Hamilton to Greedhur Dutt; from Greedhur Dutt to Rasmonee Dosse [Eternally Living Legend as Rani Rasmoni, Founder of famous Dakshineswar Kali Mandir].

Amongst the first inhabitants of Sutanuti [Sutanuti was one of the three villages that formed the nucleus of Calcutta] Sri.Gobind Bysack appeared to be the owner from Rani Rasmoni and Bysack vended it to Bulloram Dutt, and lastly it was procured by Sri.Ramlochun Ghosh. Ramlochun also procured an adjoining plot from Nurrohurry Dutt.

In the later phase, the grandson of Ramlochan Ghosh, Khelat Chandra Ghosh (1829-1878) shifted out of the nearly 300 year’s old family house at 46 Pathuriaghata Street & constructed a luxurious house at 47 Pathuriaghata Street in 1850–1855 A.D. Pathuriaghata area was one of the strongest monopolies of aristocrat Bengalis of that time.

Now, let’s come to the point of our so called discussion:

"Plan for the intelligence of the military operations at Calcutta, when Attacked and Taken by Seerajah Dowlet, 1756"

You may observe the above map containing “Plan for the intelligence of the military operations at Calcutta, when Attacked and Taken by Seerajah Dowlet, 1756,” of John Call & J.Cheevers, London, 1756. It was a well known episode of Seraj Dowllah & British, which was occurred 255 years back from this day. Hence, if it is confirmed that the aforesaid canon is about 250 years old, then devoid of such map of ‘Military Intelligence’ how one may establish the presence of Dutch settlement in Baranagar?

A Map of Hindoostan 1788 By James Rennell

 Regarding Rennell, we will discuss later however, give pleasure to grant your valuable glance right now.

India Before Wellesley – 1795

You may scrutinize a different authenticate map containing “India Before Wellesley – 1795”. It is clearly mentioned & fairly visible from this map that not only Baranagar but also the entire Bengal & Bihar areas of that time were theterritoryofBritish.

Here, I am producing a few maps which may fascinate your reading.

Map of Calcutta from actual survey in the years of 1847-1849

It’s  a ‘Map of Calcutta from actual survey in the years of 1847-1849’

By Frederick Walter Simms

Note: The suburbs of the town are from surveys subsequently furnished by Major H.L. Thuillier; executed by himself & Captain R. Smyth; reduced and engraved by J. and C. Walker. Note: East is at the top of the map    

Please note that these maps are arranged according to the time of publication or time of Historical events.

A French Map of  Calcutta - 1839

A French Map of  “Calcutta” – 1839 Map credited to Dufour and Benard, published by Rouard. Note: East is at the top of the Map.        

Plan of the City of Calcutta – 1883

            Plan of the City of Calcutta – 1883

           Note: East is at the top of the map

We are discussing about Job Charnock. Let’s come to the point of our so called chatting. Captain Hamilton traveled in this countryside at the time of Charnock and remark that Charnock behaved with the native with a terrific cruel mode. On the other hand, Job Charnock was not been very rigorous with all natives; specially with the attractive & youthful Hindu widow, whom he rescued as she was about to become Sati, and appropriated to himself.

Satidaha Ghat, Baranagar

                                      Satidaha Ghat, Baranagar

Charnock appears to have affectionately loved whilst living, and according to Captain Hamilton, deeply mourned when dead, sacrificing a fowl, it is said, at her tomb on every anniversary of her death as long as he lived, which would appear to show that she must have become a Moslem when she was cast out from the pale of Hindooism; and this is likely enough, for the natives prefer to belong to any caste rather than to none.

We must not pass over the romantic incidents in the life of Job Charnock which was described by “Joseph Townshend” a Pilot of the Ganges, [bears a date subsequent to the 17th century, the 24th June 1738] he who revealed in his ‘rhyme’ as follows: —

“I’ve slipped my cable, messmates, I’m dropping down with the tide;

I have my sailing orders while ye at anchor ride.

And never, on fair June morning, have I put out to sea.

With clearer conscience, or better hope, or heart more light and free.

 

Shoulder to shoulder, Joe my boy, into the crowd like a wedge!

Out with the hangers, messmates, but do not strike with the edge!

Cries Charnock, ‘Scatter the faggots? Double that Brahmin in two!

The tall pale widow is mine, Joe, the little brown girl’s for you.’

 

Young Joe (you’re nearing sixty) why is your hide so dark!

Katie has fair soft blue eyes — who blackened yours? Why hark?

The morning gun. Ho steady. The arquebuses to me;

I’ve sounded the Dutch High Admiral’s heart as my lead doth sound the sea.

 

Sounding, sounding theGanges— floating down with the tide.

Moor me close by Charnock, next to my nut-brown bride.

My blessing to Kate at Fairlight — Holwell, my thanks to you.

Steady! – We steer for Heaven through scud drifts cold and blue.”

What ever may be about the so called  ‘rhyme’,  it may be good or may be bad in taste to describe, but we are unfolding the history. History is completely helpless to satisfy one’s ego.

Then, let’s move toward & previous to 1684-1685, the trade of the Company in Bengal had been subject matter to regular turbulence from the wish of the Viceroy. The seat of the Factory was at Hooghly, and then the port of Bengal, which was ruled by the Fouzdar [Mohammedan Officer] with huge troops to control & commanding the utmost power of that particular place.

Thus Company’s officers had no means of resisting offense & the Company’s dealing was entirely depended upon the sympathy of Fouzdar. In Bombay & Madras lands & settlements as well as Company’s business were well equipped under their command but in Bengal they were not capable to obtain similar control rather constantly receiving hindrances.

Undoubtedly, the Court of Directors were worried to obtain the equivalent autonomy from Bengal &  always reminded of the drawbacks. As a result, they instructed their president to claim of the Nawab and through Nawab, the Great Mogul to grant of territory where they might set up warehouses and enhance security for self defense.

While these demand was under consideration, the oppression of the native government brought matters to a point. The Contractors, at Cossimbazar, were Rs.1,00,000.50 in debt to the Company’s agents, and rejected to deliver new supplies for the investment speculation without a fresh advance of same amount. Charnock declined to comply with the commanding demand. According to the request of contractors Nawab decided in their favor.

Charnock still remained firm. An extremely inflated representation of the situation was propelled to the Emperor of the disobediences of the British. All their trade was at once blocked, and their vessels were sent away mostly in vacant.

When the essence of such information reached to England, the Company discussed the state of affairs to James The II. To establish by force  &  to control, the monarch approved & declared for warfare against the Great Mogul.

Accordingly British sent out a huge armor under Captain Nicholson, consisting of 10 ships, of  from 12 to 70 guns  &  additionally 6 companies of  infantry at the same time. The Directors ordered their officers to augment the strength of Chittagong  with  200 [Two Hundred] pieces of canon, and create the area as settlement in favor of  business and to capture the Capital – Dacca, troops ought to march up against the Dacca– however the plan was never carried out.

But in actual, only a part of the British convoy arrived at Hooghly; however while the president was waiting for relaxes; an annoyance was caused by 3 soldiers on 28th October 1686, at Hooghly and which transfer on a common meeting.

According to the order of Captain Nicholson the town (read Calcutta or Kolkata) was charged with massive bombing together with violence, resulting 500 houses destroyed completely by fire & out of  fear and to expand the time, Fouzdar solicit for a treaty. As  Hooghly was an open township, the Company’s officers set on to drag and throw the town & reproduced their position during the treaty.

  • On the other hand, in spite to obey the orders, soldiers had received from home of proceeding to Chittagong, they retired to Chuttanuttee, a little below the Dutch factory at  Baranagore, where they landed on the 20th November 1686.
  • The English / British flag was for the first time placed in the spot destined to turn into the capital of a great empire & crafted for a potential history of the sub-continent, which was not apprehended at that time.

[Spelling & lingo’s are mostly untouched to sustain the magic charm of that era – Jayanta Baksi]

 

References & Further Reading:

1. Cotton, H.E.A.,CalcuttaOld and New, 1909/1980, p. 221, General Printers and Publishers Pvt. Ltd.

2. Bagchi, Amiya Kumar, Wealth and Work inCalcutta, 1860-1921, inCalcutta, theLivingCity, Vol. I, edited by Sukanta Chaudhuri, p. 213, Oxford University Press.

3. “Gun & Shell Factory Cossipore”; Bicentenary Calendar 1802 – 2002.

4. “Two Centuries of Guns and Shells”. Sainik Samachar.

5. Sen, Ajit, Ancholik Etihas – Baranagar.

Email: jayanta.baksi@rediffmail.com

 

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Musical Journey of Dishonor & Misfortune to the Sarod Maestro of Baranagar


 

Musical Journey of Dishonor & Misfortune to the Sarod Maestro of Baranagar

Son of the ‘First Bengali Sarod Player’.

Voice-over: Jayanta Baksi

 

Only a few people may not acquire peace & prosperity in their life devoid of enormous talent. Nevertheless, spontaneously & with full of aptitude, they had exhausted their entire life in favor of the growth & development of our so called cultural heritage without any expectation from the society [read from Government, Politicians, Corporate Houses & of course from us] & preserving through their sincere & hard effort for the next generation. Not only that, they may compare with ‘dinosaur’ as most probably they are one of the last linking of our proud (!) legacy. Sarod Maestro – Sri.Sunit Bhose is one of them.

Subsequent to obtaining information from Sri.Ajit Sen [Octogenarian Eminent historian, writer & authority of Baranagar’s olden times; I am proud to call Sri.Sen as my ‘mastermosai’ (Mentor)] concerning dishonoring & misfortune of the deprived artist, we have arranged for a congregation with the octogenarian amazing  performer. In that congregation session, spanned more than 3 hours, penniless Sarod Maestro Sri. Bhose expressed about his pathetic life as well as his last weapon of his vigor & proud….. Sarod. However, we had not forgotten to converse about his famous family backgrounds too.

It was a sunny day of  late morning. We had reached in time infront of the artist’s residence for congregation & interviewing but, with utter shock firstly we had observed that to enter artist’s room, we will have to cross a slippery narrow passage which was completely chock-full with all dirty & filthy elements. It was an absolute shock for both of Mastermoshai as well as me. After entering, robotically we had started discussing about the ambience of his dwelling place [most probably the last rented dwelling (?) place of the renowned artist], which was really distressing.

We had acknowledged that for the last few years unmarred artist at the age of 82 & without any assistance of any close relatives is living his last breath at 60, Satchashi Para Road, Kolkata: 700002, under the jurisdiction of Cossipore area, ward no – 1 of Kolkata Municipal Corporation, in a rented unhygienic, tiny, gloomy, polluted room and obviously devoid of all essential amenities to survive a peaceful living. He is bound to share one common latrine, open bathroom & a narrow slippery passage as main entrance, with other co-occupier.

Earlier it was intimated by ‘mastermosai’ to me that Late.Pandit Dhirendra Nath Bhose, father of our octogenarian artist, Sri. Sunit Bhose was one of the renowned sarod authorities of that era too. Not only that, Late.Pandit Dhirendra Nath Bhose [1882 –17.09.1953 A.D.] was the ‘first Bengali sarod player’ and the father of Sri.Sunit Bhose. May we be eligible for cherishing about it?

Whatsoever, Bose family domicile from the district of Hooghly to ‘Potoldanga’ of north-central Calcutta in late 18th Century. This family was well reputed for their Banking Industry alongwith the British Government. British business associates were unable to pronounce “Basu” or “Bose”. Their accent was “Bhose” instead of “Bose” and from that period of time, the entire family members exercising ‘Bhose’ as a replacement of ‘Bose’.

Late.Pandit Dhirendra Nath Bhose started his musical journey of his life, at the age of 12. I may utter of a few reputed names as the teacher / trainer of Late.Pandit Dhirendra Nath Bhose; i.e. from Pandit.Asadullah Khan, famous as “Kaukav” Khan (1852–1919), Karamatullah Khan (1848–1933) Court Musician of Nepal, Hafiz Ali, Aamir Khan, Radhika Prosad Goswami, Mohim Chandra Chattopadhyay etc. Apart from Sarod, Pandit Bhose was one of the expert as well as authority of ‘Bina’, ‘Harmonium’, ‘Pakhoyaz’, ‘Tabla’, ‘Violin’, ‘Vocal Classical’ & ‘Dhrupad’.

Sunit babu reminds us a few names of his fater, Late. Pandit Dhirendra Nath Bhose’s student as Shyam Ganguly [Sarodia], Pulin Paul [Sitarist], Sailen Das, Amal Ghosh, Violin player Arati Laha Roy , Kamal Dey, Shyamsundar Dey, Ashok Ghosh, Rabi Ghosh & offcourse he himself. etc.

  • At the age of 71 yrs, Pandit Dhirendra Nath Bhose stopped his materialistic journey & last few years he spends at 34, Boral Para Lane, Baranagar, Kolkata:- 700036. On & after the sad demise of his father as well as the ‘first Bengali sarod player’, Sunit babu continues his existence at the same address.

A beautiful narration was moreover draw closer into the portrait of that striking sunup from our so called congregation, which was ultimately turned into cordial discussion phase of 3 people. It’s a well known fact that Pandit Dhirendra Nath Bhose performed in the All Bengal Music Conference which was first planned to organize at 47 Pathuriaghata Street of  North Calcutta by Sri.Bhupendra Krishna Ghosh for Hindustani classical music designed for the public of Calcutta. The great ustads and pandits carry out their outstanding performance in that conference. The conference, said to be the best ever in this country, thus began the process of democratization of Indian classical music in this city.

  • The All Bengal Music Conference was initiated by Sri.Bhupendra Krishna along with some associates such as Natore’s Maharaja Jogindranath Roy etc. Bhupendra Krishna Ghosh’s ancestor Ramlochun Ghosh had bought a house including music room at 46 Pathuriaghata Street in October 18, 1782. The plot on which Ramlochun’s house stands formerly belonged to Charles Hamilton and according to the title suit of the Privy Council, it was proved that Charles Hamilton was the Zamindar of that time.
  • It was also documented in the ancient paper book of the Privy Council that how the plot was handed over from Hamilton to Greedhur Dutt; from Greedhur Dutt to Rasmonee Dosse [Eternally Living Legend as Rani Rasmoni, Founder of famous Dakshineswar Kali Mandir]. Amongst the first inhabitants of Sutanuti [Sutanuti was one of the three villages that formed the nucleus of Calcutta] Sri.Gobind Bysack appeared to be the owner from Rani Rasmoni and Bysack vended it to Bulloram Dutt, and lastly it was procured by Sri.Ramlochun Ghosh. Ramlochun also procured an adjoining  plot from Nurrohurry Dutt.

In the later phase, the grandson of Ramlochan Ghosh, Khelat Chandra Ghosh (1829-1878) shifted out of the nearly 300 year’s old family house at 46 Pathuriaghata Street & constructed a luxurious house at 47 Pathuriaghata Street in 1850–1855 A.D. Pathuriaghata area was one of the strongest monopolies of aristocrat  Bengalis of that time.

Bhupendra Krishna Ghosh used to invite many eminent musicians to his Pathuriaghat home, like Radhikaprasad Goswami, Pandit Dhirendra Nath Bhose etc. Pandit Dhirendra Nath Bhose had performed in the Calcutta University’s “Senate Hall” in the inaugural conference of All Bengal Music Conference in the year of 1934, which was inaugurated by Rabindranath Tagore. A few years ago, All Bengal Music Conference, celebrated its 75th anniversary with a series of concerts at the residence of Khelat Ghosh; however it was closed in the year of 1953.

Rabindranath Tagore with Bhupendra Krishna Ghosh at the opening of the All Bengal Music Conference in 1934.

Rabindranath Tagore with Bhupendra Krishna Ghosh at the opening of the All Bengal Music Conference in 1934.

Shri.Bhose memorized, “250 years old house of 46,Pathuriaghata Street is full of memories of  Hindustani Classical Music as well as the All Bengal Music Conference, which is quietly considered as the  ‘Mother of all music conference’; even if you give attention may listen of those soundless melody starts into the two picture galleries of the house.

Adjacent of this building is the colonnaded abode of the family members of Sri.Khelat Ghosh. On the 1st floor above the ‘Thakurdalan’, 2 no’s of large halls [one of them was a billiard room] are developed & turned into galleries. The portraits of leading musicians either born in late 19th or early 20th century are hanged on the ramparts of these two halls / galleries & those legendary musicians were extremely contented to perform only for the audiences of the Calcutta as the audiences of Calcutta were famed for their musical sense of knowledge & appreciation & none were as good as of them.

Devotees of music may remember that Ramlochan Ghosh, who was ‘diwan’ of Governor General Warren Hastings, had firmly established this family. His successor Bhupendra Krishna Ghosh was an immense enthusiast of melody. In the Twenties, Bhupendra Krishna Ghosh’s resident musician was the celebrated Radhikaprasad Goswami. Celebrity Radhikaprasad, young A. Kanan lived in Masjid Bari Street,Calcutta abode of Bhupendrababu. In the later phase, Radhikababu’s nephew, the notable Jnanendra Prasad Goswami resided in Ghosh’s Pathuriaghata home. The room is still acknowledged as “Genubabu’s room in the memory of Jnanendra Prasad Goswami, he who enfolded the outlook of courtesans.

Amaan Ali Khan performs at the 75th anniversary celebrations of the All Bengal Music Conference at Khelat Ghosh’s residence. Behind him is a blow-up of Bhupendra Krishna Ghosh.

Amaan Ali Khan performs at the 75th anniversary celebrations of the All Bengal Music Conference at Khelat Ghosh’s residence. Behind him is a blow-up of Bhupendra Krishna Ghosh.

Amazingly, Mastermosai portrayed the golden history of music in the canvas of olden times from his remembrance, “Did you be familiar with the information that famous Sachin Dev Burman [01.10.1906 – 31.10.1975] attended the All India Music Conference in the year of 1934, as per the invitation of Allahabad University, where he presented his Bengali ‘Thumri’, in presence of Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit, Abdul Karim Khan of Kirana Gharana. Later, in the same year, he was invited to the innagural program of All Bengal Music Conference, Kolkata, which was inaugurated by Rabindranath Tagore & here again he sang his Bengali ‘thumri’ and was awarded a Gold Medal.”

Mastermosai continuing portraying “Not only that, the saintly and learned man Ustad Allaud- din Khan [1862-1972] of Maihar Gharana of Central India, famous disciple of Wazir Khan & guru of Pandit Ravi Shankar was also performed in the same conference which was held in December, 1934. Even, Ravi Shankar saw him for the first time at that conference.

Realization of Ali Akbar Khan

  • Allaud- din Khan learned with one of the most famous Bengali singers of the day, Nulo Gopal.
  • Nulo Gopal helped Allaud- din Khan  to get a job as a Tabla player in Girish Ghosh’s Star Theater to earn some money.
  • Allaud- din Khan also participated in the frequent orchestral parties held by a prominent composer of that time, Habu Dutta, who was the brother of the famed Swami Vivekananda.
  • Habu Dutta learned both Western as well as Eastern music and maintained an orchestra for which he composed in raga and tala framework; he used all the Western instruments as well as a few Indian ones.
  • Allaud- din Khan was inspired by Habu Dutta & in the later phase such stimulation assists him to organize his own famous ‘Maihar’ Band.”
Governor General Warren Hastings

Governor General Warren Hastings

I was remembering that Ramlochan Ghosh was an eminent personality of that time. He had constructed a ‘Bathing Ghat’ at Alambazar in Baranagar area in the year of 1219 [Bangabda], currently which is one of the most famous Ghats for different socio-ritual performances including bathing, immersion of various idols like Durga, Kali etc. In the vicinity, it is prominent nick named in Bengali as ‘Lochon Ghosher Ghat’ of Baranagar.

Ganga Bathing Scene

Ganga Bathing Scene

Governor General Warren Hastings was the proprietor of a giant ‘Kuthi’ [large building structure] which was positioned just south of Kali Krishna Tagore Road, Baranagar. Due to decaying, that aged structure was destroyed in the year of 1890-91AD. Ramlochan Ghosh was able to acquire Governor General Warren Hastings’s vast property of Baranagar, as he was the business associate cum ‘diwan’ of Hastings. Somehow, he was able to procure that giant ‘Kuthi’ too.

Lochon Ghosh’s Ghat, Baranagar

Lochon Ghosh’s Ghat, Baranagar

Ramlochan Ghosh spends lots of resources & converted the vacant land of that ‘Kuthi’ into a sprawling & marvelously sketched garden. In that vacant land area he had constructed 12 no’s of ‘Dadosh Shiv Mandir’ [Temple of Shiva’s] with striking style & structural design alongside ofHooghlyRiver. In between these 12 Mandirs, he was able to put up an attractive wide and concreted Ghat.

Dadosh Shiv Mandir at constructed by Lochon Ghosh on the bank of Ganga, Baranagar

Dadosh Shiv Mandir at constructed by Lochon Ghosh on the bank of Ganga, Baranagar

At that time beside of the Ghat he had mentioned about the information relating to the construction of the Ghat on the marble platter, which was erected on the Ghat as follows (presently abolished):

Marble Platter at Lochon Ghosher Ghat, Alambazar, Baranagar

Marble Platter at Lochon Ghosher Ghat, Alambazar, Baranagar

In later phase, ‘Kuli Line’ [labour quarter] was constructed in this garden area, specially for ‘Baranagar Jute Mill’; nevertheless this 12 mandirs [presently mostly are moderately ruined] & Ghat is surviving somehow.

Most probably, mastermosai  had guessed my psyche, thoughts & modus operandi; he has started in his delicate style & technique “Ramshankar Ghosh came from the village of ‘Karatia’, district of Hooghly. He was the father of Ramlochun Ghosh. Ramshankar died early in the year of 1775 AD, leaving behind a minor son. He left a house in Pathuriaghat & one lakh rupee hard cash of that day; however that cannot be located any longer.

After the death of Ramshankar, Ramshankar’s mother took the adolescent son to Varanasi & afterward she returned back with Ramlochan and settled in Baranagar. Ramlochun had three sons. Ramlochun Ghosh died in the year of 1820AD, which was published in ‘Samachar Darpan’ patrika on 19th February 1820.”

Mastermosai added with a feather touch on the pastel of the dialogue “Most of the legendary vocalists and instrumentalists like Omkarnath Thakur, Vishnu Digambar Paluskar, Faiyaz Khan, Hafiz Ali Khan etc. from all over the undivided India used to arrive & settled in Pathuriaghata Street of north Kolkata, then Calcutta. Bhupenbabu [Bhupendra Krishna Ghosh] had started of collecting their photographs from those times.

Manmatha Ghosh too sustained the practice consistently with devotion & determination like his father, Bhupenbabu. However many of the portraits have collapsed with age and so called overlook, approximately a hundred have survived – 35 in no’s of collections are stored in the billiard room and 56 packed in a minor hall. Approximately, 10 in no’s have been touched up & reframed recently, most probably in 2002-2003”.

Shri.Bhose added in the midst of Mastermosai with proud legacy – “In fact, the majority of those portraits are actually hand-tinted photographs to look like images. These paintings are significant not only as they are the only resemblances obtainable of those forgotten artists, but also these are the excellent examples of early 20th century hand-painted photographs”

Shri.Bhose continued his magical tale of that era with feeble tonal voice & asked him to hand-over a paper cutting from his possessions; he continued “Prior to Kesto Bhattacharya and others, Durganath Bhattacharya was the first person, he who had started to create these portraits with great proficiency.”

Out of snooping, I have asked about the photograph of legendary artiste – ‘Tansen’! He acted in response “not the photographs, but the portrait of famous ‘Tansen’ was copied from the Jaipur museum edition. The second effort was approved by the maharaja.”

Mastermosai changed the steering of our discussions; he wonderfully created an everlasting relationship in accordance with music & motion picture, “Omkarnath Thakur first came to this house in 1938 with a moustache. Renowned filmmaker Sri.Pramathesh Barua required casting him as ‘Sant Kabir’ & as a result Omkarnath Thakur turned into clean-shaved personality, though the film never occurred”

Shri.Bhose sustained his conversation & memorized with louder voice with full of energy now “You may find a large group photograph of 24 court musicians are dressed with ornamented head covering, greatly embroidered shawls and rows of assorted medals exhibited on their chest was brought from the Nepal Durbar. Hirabai, Gangubai and Gauhar Jan – renowned trio female performers are shorn of precious ornaments. These pictures had been exhibited in Park Circus in 1950-51. Due to imperfect illumination & height from the floor presently, it is really hard to decode the names of those musicians though all the portraits bear nameplates.”

Mastermosai endorsed the matter with dazzling stare and added further “According to the veteran writer / journalist Sri.Kanai Lal Basu, Bhupendra Krishna Ghosh was influenced to organize the ‘All Bengal Music Conference’ in 1934 in Calcutta by The Allahabad Music Conference, which was held in 1932-33 by Dakshinaranjan Bhattacharjee. Bhupendrababu was supported and encouraged by royalty, music lovers, film-music directors Sri.Raichand Baral, Damodardas Khannah (Lalababu) etc., who later broke away and started the All India Music Conference.

Manmatha Ghosh [1908 – 1983] was the first president of ‘Suresh Sangeet Samsad’ which was happened in the year of 1968 by Sri.Kanai Lal Basu to stretch the significance of national integration through music. Don’t forget, at the time of 1934 or earlier, Indian classical music was then a budding art form and only baijis (courtesans) sang & perform publicly. Despite of his wife’s protest, only to honor & to host talent, Manmathababu was the first person to invite a legendary musician, Irabai Bardekar, at the inner wing of his residence. Manmathababu had arranged a grand concert of Indian Melodic Instruments to commemorate the ‘Independence of Bangladesh’ in the year of 1972. Asoke Kumar Sarkar, Editor of Ananda Bazar Patrika had influenced Timirbaran to carry out the orchestra.”

New Theatres Logo

New Theatres Logo

Yes, Mastermosai is providing absolutely correct information which is assisting me to memorize that Dhurpat exponent Lal Chand Boral’s youngest son Rai Chand Boral (19 October 1903–25 November 1981) was born at Calcutta in 1903 A.D and since initiation in 1927, Rai Chand was associated with the Indian Broadcasting Co. and to support the theatre stage with live music at the time of Silent era Rai Chand joined ‘New Theatres Ltd.’ in the later part of 1931.

Rai Chand Boral

Rai Chand Boral

Rai Chand had directed music of 150 films is acknowledged for introducing play-back singing in 1935 (Bhagyachakra was first film with playback songs), Playback singers team were Pahari Saniyal, Kanan Devi and Talat Mehmood (as Tapan Kumar). Dhananjay Bhattacharyia, Ila Gosh, Radha Rani, Suprova Sarkar were the other playback singers of New Theatres.

  • Dena Paona is credited as the first Bengali talkie. It was released in the same year as Alam Ara, the first Indian talkie. Dena Paona, the ‘Family Film’ was released on 24th December 1931 at Chitra (now Mitra) Cinema Hall of Cornwallis Street (now Bidhan Sarani of North Kolkata). It was directed by Sri. Premankur Atarthi, Casting: Durgadas Bandyopadhyay, Amar Mullik, Jahar Gangopadhyay, Bhanu Bandyopadhyay (Sr.), Bhumen Ray, Kusumkumari, Nibhanani Debi, Umasashi, Sishubala, Anupama Debi, Abhabati.

 

  • In the Bengali film ‘Udayer Pathey’ directed by Sri.Bimal Roy, Rai Chand Boral directed  &  arranged music Orchestra to introduced ‘JanaGanaMana’ at the the first time in any Film & it was happened prior to any official endorsement for ‘JanaGanaMana’ [Check the subsequent list for detail information].

Even the musical composition of Sri.Raichand in the film “Vidayapati” [here we have mentioned it as ‘Bidyapati’ released in the year of 1937] are considered to be the all time best in Indian Cinema. He was honoured with name, fame & assorted commendation, viz. National Award for ‘Sagar Sangam in 1958, Sangeet Natak Akedemi Award in 1978, Dada Sahib Phalke Award in 1978 at the age of 75.

Mastermoshai notified that Asoke Kumar Sarkar, Editor of Ananda Bazar Patrika had influenced Timirbaran to carry out the Melodic Instrumental Orchestra to celebrate the ‘Independence of Bangladesh’ in the year of 1972. Why?

Well, it is an prehistoric golden times by the mass but not the class community since Timirbaran (Timir Baran Bhatacharya – 1904-1987) was an extraordinary sarodiya, a composer par excellence and often portray as the ‘Father of Indian Orchestra’ and initially learned Sarod playing from Radhikaparsad Goswami and finally continued as a pupil of Ustad Allauddin Khan (who also taught internationally renowned Ravi Shankar).  He had an uncontested reputation of dance music of his time, visited Europe and USA with Uday Shankar’s Dance Troupe in 1930.

Timirbaran

Timirbaran

Timirbaran composed music for “Devdas” from The New Theatres in 1935. Apart from Hindi he also directed music of this Bengali Feature Film:  Bijoya 1935, Uttarayan 1941, Bondita 1945, Bicahrak 1959, Thana Theke Aschhi 1965, Diba Ratrik Kabya 1970 and Dak Diye Jai 1978,  conducted music for Tagore’s non-violence poetry in 1947 from All India Radio.

When I have addressed those information, Mastermosai again demonstrate another sheet of paper in which Rai Chand’s entire works was describe in a classy prototype approximating subsequent: (I am mentioning only about Bengali Filmography).

Music Direction of R.C.Boral in Bengali Cinema

  • It was known to me that those splendid performances were conducted with regular interval at Star Theatres, Minerva Theatres, Sri, Roxy etc. auditorium. Those who were unable to obtain / purchase permissions / tickets would be seated throughout the nighttime on the pavements or boulevards, outside of these theatre halls to listen attentively to their beloved musicians.

I shared the topic with confidence that Hemanta Mukherjee and Suchitra Mitra presented Rabindra Sangeet in the final session, which was held at Rangmahal theatre in 1953. Sri. Bhose confirmed my information.

Bade Golam Ali Khan

“Even of morning time, vehicles were stopped progressing as Bade Ghulam Ali khan of ‘Patiala Gharana’ sang till 7.00. (Born: 1902 – 25 April 1968)” – Mastermosai added.

When I remembered the name of Sarodia Late Dhiren Bhose whose photograph was too displayed in that renowned address, Mastermosai with my utter surprise showed a few tinted papers where the name list of all musicians were printed in detail. I had copied those papers.

The picture of the subsequent artist was displayed in Billiard Room:

  • 1. Bama Charan Banerjee, 2.Bhimsen Joshi, 3. D.V. Paluskar, 4. Dhiren Bhose (sarod), 5. Gangubai (young) now in her 92-93s plus of age, 6. Gauhar Jan, 7. Girija Shankar Chakravorty, 8. Gopeswar Banerjee, 9. Gouripur raja Jitendra Kumar Acharya Choudhury, 10. Haren Seal, 11. Hirabai, 12. Jnada P. Mukherjee (wears a pagdi in this picture & he was an excellent hunter), 13. Jnanendra Prasad Goswami, 14. Kanai Dhendi (pakhawaj), 15. Kesarbai, 16. Kumar Gandharv, 17. Lalit Mohan Mukherjee (son of Mohim Mukherjee), 18. Mohim Mukherjee, 19. Narayan Rao Vyas, 20. Nasiruddin Khan Dagar, 21. Omkarnath Thakur (with mustache), 22. Pasupati Misra, 23. Patron and singer Raja Sir Sourendra Mohan Tagore, 24. Patwardhan, 25. Radhika Prasad Goswami (uncle of Jnanendra Prasad Goswami), 26. RamKrishna Misra, 27. Ram Sevak Misra.
The picture gallery at 46 Pathuriaghat Street, Kolkata

The picture gallery at 46 Pathuriaghat Street, Kolkata

I was able to found the names of so called ‘A group photograph of 24 court musicians’, which was obtained from the Nepal Durbar from those pieces & following names were printed, as it should be: [In sitting arrangement] –

  • 1. Alaiya Khan, 2. Enayet Hussain Khan of Rampur (khayal), 3. Gulam Hossain Khan (dhrupad), 4.Nazir Khan of Jodhpur (khayal), 5. Rahamat Khan of Gwalior (khayal), 6. Sadiq Ali Khan (Ustad of Taj Khan), 7. Taj Khan (dhrupad) & [In standing display] 1. Abed Ali Khan (khayal), 2. Ahmad Khan, 3. Amir Seni (sitar and dhrupad) of Jaipur, 4. Bunkor Bhatt, 5. Feida Hussain Khan (sarod), 6. Haider Khan (khayal), 7.Jagadwip Missir Nasoia, 8. Kalandar Bux Nasoia (pakhawaj), 9. Mehedi Hussain Khan, 10. Mohammad Hussain Khan (beenkar), 11. Murad Ali Khan, 12. Nasir Khan (pakhawaj), 13. Pathakji (jaltarang), 14. Ram Sevak Missir, 15. Sado Khan (jaltarang), 16. Wahid Hussain Khan, 17. Zakir Hussain Khan.

It was also mentioned in those papers that in the 2nd room, the subsequent portraits of leading musicians of olden times hanged with adequate care:

  • 1. Abdul Karim Khan, 2. Ahmad Jan (Tharakua), 3. Akbar Hossain Khan, 4. Alladiya Khan, 5. Anokhelal Missir, 6. Badal Khan, 7. Bade Ghulam Ali, 8. Baiju Baora, 9. Bhairo Maharaj, 10. Bhaskar Rao Bua, 11. Bhatkhande, 12. Enayet Khan, 13. Faiyaz Khan, 14. Hafiz Ali Khan, 15. Kabir, 16. Kakuv Khan, 17. Kalka Din Maharaj, 18. Kanthey Maharaj, 19. Keramatullah Khan, 20. Khalifa Abed Hossain, 21. Khalifa Abid Hossein, 22. Luxmi Prasad Misra, 23. Mauluve Ram, 24. Muhammad Ali, 25. Nana Saheb Pasey, 26. Nathu Khan, 27. Niyamatullah Khan, 28. Radhika Mohan Moitra, 29. Rahamat Khan, 30. Rajab Ali Khan, 31. Ratan Jhankar, 32. Shambhu Maharaj, 33. Sur Das, 34. Tansen, 35. Tulsi Das, 36. Tyagraj, 37. Ustad Ali Bux, 38. Ustad Bande Ali Khan, 39.Ustad Imdad Khan, 40. Ustad Moijuddin Khan, 41. Ustad Moula Box, 42. Ustad Muzaffar Khan, 43. Ustad Nathu Khan, 44. Zakiruddin Khan. In a different position, these photographs were exhibited: 1. Amir Khan, 2. Gopal Banerjee (Nulo), 3. Lachchu Maharaj, 4. Ram Chatterjee, 5. Sawai Gandharva, 6. Uzir Khan, 7. Vishnu Digambar.

In due course, I was able to accumulate 102 names of renowned musicians with the spontaneous assistance of Sri.Bhose & off course – Mastermosai. It’s a really astonishing issue that devoid of a musician, Mastermosai had arranged to gather such vital statistics & protecting it with adequate care & worship. It appears to me that he had accumulated these crucial documents & preserving these items for the future generation.

A photo from the first music conference after India’s independence

(1948)

Indian Musicians

Music Masters in 1948

Front Row: 1.?, 2. Nissar Hussain Khan (vocal), 3. Ahmedjan Thirakwa (tabla), 4. Hafiz Ali Khan (sarod), 5. Mustaq Hussain Khan (vocal), 6. Omkar Nath Thakur (vocal), 7. Rajendra Prasad (first President of India), 8. Kesarbai Kerkar (vocal), 9. Allaudin Khan (sarod), 10. Kante Maharaj (tabla), 11. Govind Rao Bharanpurkar (pakhawaj), 12. Krishna Rao Shankar Pandit (vocal), 13. Manohar Joshi (vocal).
Second Row: 1. Gulam Mustafa Khan (vocal), 2. Altaf Hussain Khan (tanpura), 3. ?, 4. Karamat Hussain Khan (tabla), 5. Radhika Maitra (sarod), 6. Ilyas Khan (sitar), 7. Bismillah Khan (shenai), 8. Kishan Maharaj (tabla), 9. Ataf Hussain Khan (vocal), 10. Ravi Shankar (sitar), 11. Ali Akbar Khan (sarod), 12. Vilayat Khan (sitar), 13. Narayan Rao Viyas (vocal), 14. Vinayak Rao Patwardhan (vocal), 15. D.V. Paluskar (vocal).
Third Row: 1. ?, 2 ?, 3. ?, 4. ?, – 5. Bismillah Khan Party, 6. B.R. Deodhar (vocal), 7. Gyan Prakash Ghosh (tabla), 8. Rajyadaksh (vocal), 9. ? 10.?, 11. Nimkar Bua.
Fourth Row: 1. ?, 2. Vinaya Chandra, 3. ?, 4. ?, 5. ?, 6. ? 

Just amazing to glimpse of such genius Indian classical music talents in one frame.

Read the above catalogue with care, depicted in the picture.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

However, it was in our back of the mind that we will have to gather a quantity as well as quality of fundamental & significant data’s from Sri.Bhose, specially which is related with ‘sarod’. It was known to me that sarod is a stringed musical instrument, used mainly in Indian classical music. Along with Sitar, it is one of the most well accepted and prominent instrument in Hindustani (northern Indian) classical music. The sarod is well–known for its weighty, deep, introspective sound (contrast with the sweetness, overtone-rich texture of the “sitar) with ‘sympathetic strings’ that provides it a resonant, reverberant quality. It is a ‘fretless’ instrument & able to produce the continuous slides between notes known as ‘meend’ (glissandi), which are very important to Indian music.

I had asked Sri.Bhose to enlighten about the origin of the instrument. Astonishingly, instead of Sri.Bhose Mastermosai answered with an intrinsic manner “The sarod is believed by some to have descended from the ‘Afghan rubab’, a comparable instrument originating in Central Asia and Afghanistan.[1] The name ‘Sarod’ roughly translates to ‘beautiful sound’ or ‘melody’ in ‘Persian’ (which is one of the many languages spoken in Afghanistan). Even, the sarod has been referred to as a ‘bass rebab’ [2] its pitch range is only slightly lower than that of the ‘rubab’.

  • ‘Lalmani Misra’ opines in his ‘Bharatiya Sangeet Vadya’ that the sarod is an amalgamation of the ancient “chitra veena”, the “medieval rebab” and “modern sursingar” [i.e. Chitra Veena + Medieval Rebab + Modern Sursinger = SAROD]. There is also a speculation that the oud may be the origin of the sarod.”

Really, it was an amazing moment to enrich my knowledge. But after a short while, I felt that continiously we are entering into the deep discussions phase. If truth to be shared, it was a nice and outstanding experience.

Sri.Bhose penetrated into the discussions “Alike Sarod, Rabab too a very ancient instrument found primarily in Afghanistan. However, inIndiait is restricted mainly to northwestIndia. Famous & mystic poets ‘Kabir’ and ‘Krishnadasa’ have mentioned about rabab. It is a bowed stringed instrument of 53cm length made of either walnut or cedar soundbox that looks like an elongated half pear joined together along its length. Similar to sarod, in rabab, the lower part is covered with goat skin & has a peg box. Two sheep gut strings that are attached at the bottom of the instrument and pass over a 4 to 5 cm reed bridge.

Rebab

Rebab

The upper part covered with a thin sheet of hammered cooper, decorated with three small rosettes. The bow is very curved and made of horse hair.  Rabab is either played accompanies singing, specially with long epic poem or as a solo vibrant instrument. To play rabab, musician sits cross legged, placed the instrument on the right knee across the body with the peg box resting against his left shoulder. The thumb placed underneath the strands & uses pressure to control the tension of the bow. The specialty of the sound produces by Rabab is said resemble that of the human voice.”

Subsequent to taking a recess, Sri.Bhose on track once more “Veena is also a stringed instrument consists of a bulky body, emptying out of a block of wood. The stem of Veena is also made of timber. The bridge is placed on the flat top of the body of the instrument and the neck attached to the stem is generally carved into weird figure similar to the head of the dragon.

“Veena has 07 strings, out of 07, 04 are main strings that pass over the frets and are attached to the pegs of the neck. The other 03 strings are used as side strings for rhythmic accompaniment. All of these strings pass over an arched bridge made of brass, which lie flat over the top of the body and are secured to the core bridge. A gourd which is smaller than the rounded part of the body is fixed underneath the neck. Twenty one metallic frets are fixed on the stem by means of a resinous substance. Of them four are main strings that pass over the frets and are attached to the pegs of the neck. The other strings are used as side strings for rhythmic accompaniment. These strings pass over an arched bridge made of brass. They lie flat over the top of the body and are secured to the main bridge.” Sri.Bhose was continuing his known track.

Veena

Veena

“To play, musicians have to be seated cross-legged upon the floor and holding the Veena in front. The small gourd on the left touch the left thigh, the left arm passing round the stem so that the fingers rest easily upon the frets.  The main body of the instrument is positioned on the ground, to some extent supported by the right thigh.

Out of different varieties of Veena, Rudra Veena, Vichitra Veena, Saraswati Veena, Mahanataka Veena etc. are most prominent.  Saraswati Veena is known as the queen of Veena’s. Haven’t you observed the idol of ‘Saraswati’?” Sri.Bhose finished his dissertation with the query.

Due to lingerene, I had inturruped him & requested him to intimate us about Sarod’s invention into India & its developmental phase. Sri.Bhose further started “Among the many contested and conflicting histories of the Sarod, there is one that attributes its invention to the ancestors of the present-day Sarod maestro ‘Amjad Ali Khan’.

Amjad Ali Khan’s ancestor ‘Mohammad Hashmi Khan Bangash’, a musician and horse trader, came to India with the ‘Afghan rabab’ in the mid-1700s and became a court musician to the ‘Maharajah of Rewa’ (presently in Madhya Pradesh). It was his descendants—notably his grandson ‘Ghulam Ali Khan Bangash’ who became a court musician in ‘Gwalior’ — who gradually pepo the rabab into the sarod as we know today.[3]. A compariable theory credits descendants of ‘Madar Khan’ (1701–1748) – ‘Niyamatullah Khan’ in particular—with the same innovation circa 1820.

It is possible that ‘Ghulam Ali Khan’ and ‘Niyamatullah Khan’ came to the similar design propositions either independently or in unacknowledged collaboration. The sarod in its present recognizable form dates back to c.1820, when it started gaining recognition as a serious instrument in ‘Shahjahanpur’, ‘Rewa’, ‘Lucknow’ and ‘Gwalior’.

In the 20th century, the sarod received some finishing touches from ‘Allauddin Khan’, the performer-pedagogue from ‘Maihar’ gharana, well known as ‘Ravi Shankar’ and ‘Ali Akbar Khan’s guru.” [Sri.Bhose had remembered a few names from where in future we may gather detailed information, which may be traced in the concluding area of this citations based on congregation meeting].

Sri.Bhose displayed some pictures of sarod part wise, which are exhibited as it was: First the upper portion of Sarod, next the middle portion & last one was the lower portion.

Upper Portion of Sarod

Middle Portion of Sarod

Out of genuine inquisitiveness, I had asked to state something about uniqueness of designing of ‘sarod’. “The design of the instrument depends on the “gharana(school) of playing. The word ‘gharana’ comes from the Hindi word ‘ghar’, which means ‘family’ or ‘house’. It typically refers to the place where the musical ideology originated.

In Hindustani music, a ‘gharānā’ is a system of social organization linking musicians or dancers by lineage and / or apprenticeship, and by adherence to a particular musical style. A gharana also indicates a comprehensive musicological ideology. This ideology sometimes changes substantially from one gharana to another. It directly affects the thinking, teaching, performance and appreciation of music”, Sri.Bhose replied.

But I wanted to be acquainted with about the type / categories of sarod & in respond he was again on track to describe, which is indicating in a nutshell “Basically, the conventional sarod is an 17 to 19- stringed  ‘lute-like instrument’ — 4 to 5 ‘main strings’ used for playing the melody, 1 or 2 ‘drone strings’, 2 ‘chikari strings’ and 9 to 11 ‘sympathetic strings’.

The design of this early model is generally credited to ‘Niyamatullah Khan’ of the ‘Lucknow Gharana’ as well as ‘Ghulam Ali Khan’ of the ‘Gwalior-Bangash Gharana’. Among the contemporary sarod players, this basic design is kept intact by two streams of sarod playing. ‘Amjad Ali Khan’ and his disciples play this model, as do the followers of ‘Radhika Mohan Maitra’. Both ‘Amjad Ali Khan’ and ‘Buddhadev Dasgupta’ have introduced minor changes to their respective instruments which have become the design templates for their followers.” I have observed that Mastermosai is sketching a sarod with accurate leveling with a mere fountain pen

Subsequent to rest for a while Sri.Bhose once more starts to notify us about the subject in detail “Both musicians use sarods made of ‘teak wood’, with the playing face covered with ‘goat skin’. ‘Buddhadev Dasgupta’ prefers a polished ‘stainless steel fingerboard’ for the ease of maintenance while ‘Amjad Ali Khan’ uses the conventional ‘chrome or nickel-plated cast steel fingerboard’.

Visually, the two variants are similar, with 6 ‘pegs’ in the main pegbox, 2 rounded ‘chikari pegs’ and 11 (Amjad) to 15 (Buddhadev) ‘sympathetic strings’. The descendants of ‘Niyamatullah Khan’ (namely ‘Ghulfam Khan’ and ‘Irfan Khan’) also play similar instruments. The followers of ‘Radhika Mohan Moitra’ still carry the second resonator on their sarods. ‘Amjad Ali khan’ and his followers have rejected the resonator altogether. They tune their instruments to B, which is the traditional setting.”

He continued “Two of the earliest sarodes are still in concert circulation. These are the sarodes built for ‘Niyamatullah Khan’ (c. 1840) and for ‘Murad Ali Khan’ (c. 1860). Both have seen extensive use for over five generations, and are in perfect playing condition. As a result of the resurgence of these two early prototypes, the theories that proclaim the 20th-century variants to represent the zenith of sarod design face a serious and credible challenge.

The ‘Murad Ali sarod’, in particular, has acoustic sustain and projection that surpasses those of modern variants by a considerable margin. On this sarod, it is possible to sustain ‘meends’ of up to ten whole tones on one string, with just one downward stroke.”

In the mean time Mastermosai completed the entire diagram with complete leveling. Sri.Bhose assists him in favor of minor fine-tuning.

Diagram of a Sarod

Again we had entered into our prime discussions; Sri.Bhose sustained “Another type is that designed by ‘Allauddin Khan’ and his brother ‘Ayet Ali Khan’. This instrument, referred by ‘David Trasoff’ [Trasoff, 2000] as the 1934 ‘Maihar’ prototype, is longer and larger in contrast to conventional instrument, though the fingerboard is identical to the traditional sarod described priorly.

This instrument has 25 strings in all. These include 4 ‘main strings’, 4 ‘jod strings’ [tuned to Ni or Dha, R/r, G/g and Sa respectively], 2 ‘chikari strings’ [tuned to Sa of the upper octave] and 15 ‘tarab strings’. The main strings are tuned to Ma [“fa”], Sa [“do”], lower Pa [“so”] and lower Sa, giving the instrument a range of 3 ‘octaves’. The ‘Maihar sarod’ lends itself extremely well to the presentation of ‘alap’ with the 4 ‘jod Strings’ providing a backdrop that helps usher in the ambience of the ‘raga’.

This variant is, however, not conducive to the performance of clean right-hand picking on individual strings. They tune to C.” He added “Sarod strings are made either of ‘steel’ or ‘phosphor bronze’. Most contemporary sarod players use ‘Roslau’, ‘Schaff’ or Precision brand music wire. The strings are plucked with a triangular ‘plectrum’ (java) made of polished ‘coconut shell’, ebony, DelrinTM or other materials such as bone.”

Gradually due to our conversation, I felt that it would be quite difficult for any new comer like me, to grasp the entire topic quickly. Hence, to change the row, I solicited Sri.Bhose to describe briefly about ‘playing’ of the instrument. In reply, he was on track again “The lack of ‘frets’ and the ‘tension’ of the strings make the sarod a very demanding instrument to play, as the strings must be pressed hard against the fingerboard. There are two approaches to stopping the strings of the sarod. One involves using the tip of one’s fingernails to stop the strings; certain strength and stiffness of the fingernails is a prerequisite for accuracy of pitch. The other uses a combination of the nail and the fingertip to stop the strings against the fingerboard.[3] The technique which uses the fingernails produces a ‘ringing tone’, while the fingertip technique produces a ‘flatter tone’. One must add, in the same breath, that Maestro ‘Ali Akbar Khan’ and ‘Vasant Rai’ were capable of producing a bright, ringing tone even with their calluses, as years of exacting practice had hardened them enormously.

Left hand fingering technique of the sarod is not as well-defined as it should have been in order for sarod players across the board to understand each other. Fingering techniques and how they are taught depend largely on the personal preferences of musicians and are not even distinguishable on the basis of school affiliation. ‘Radhika Mohan Moitra’, for example, used the ‘index’, ‘middle’ and ‘ring finger’ of his left hand to stop the string, just like followers of ‘Allauddin Khan’ do. Moitra, however, made much more extensive use of the third fingernail for ‘slides’ and ‘hammers’. ‘Amjad Ali Khan’, while a member of approximately the same stylistic school as ‘Radhika Mohan Moitra’, prefers to use just the index and middle fingers of his left hand. Amjad Ali is, however, pictured circa 1960 playing with all three fingers. One can speculate, perhaps, that Amjad Ali’s switch to a two-finger technique is a result of the enormous influence ‘Sitarist Vilayat Khan’ has had on him.”

It was more than 3 hours of our discussions; the physical condition of the old artist is not quite good enough. To conclude our today’s conversation should be closed without any further delay. Hence, just out of curiosity, I had requested Sri.Bhose to memorize a few names of some great Sarodia, if feasible. Yet again with marvelous surprise, I had observed that Mastermosai was too waiting with a piece of paper, in which the detail list of Sarodia was printed &  it seems that priorly he had guessed about my inquest. Again, I had captured the scope to copy the entire list from Mastermosai, which is marked below:

Key Figures in the Early Development of the Sarod [4]

A. Abdullah Khan (1849–1928) Court Musician of Darbhanga andDacca,2.Aadullah Khan “Kaukav” (1852–1919), 3. Fida Hussain Khan (1855–1927) Court Musician of Rampur, 4.Ghulam Ali Bangash (c. 1790-1858) Court Musician of Gwalior, 5.Karamatullah Khan (1848–1933) Court Musician of Nepal, 6.Mohammad Amir Khan (1873–1934) Court Musician of Darbhanga and Rajshahi, 7.Murad Ali Khan (c. 1825-1905) Court Musician of Gwalior and Darbhanga, 8.Niyamatullah Khan (1809–1911) Court Musician of Bundi, Alwar and finally Lucknow, 9.Shafayat Ali Khan (1838–1915).

B. 20th Century Greats: Past and Present: 1.Aashish Khan [b.1939 –      ], 2.Ali Akbar Khan [1922 –2009 ], 3.Allaudin Khan [1880 –1972 ], 4.Amjad Ali Khan  [b.1945 –      ], 5.Buddhadev Das Gupta [b. 1933 –     ], 6.Hafiz Ali Khan         [1888 –1972 ], 7.Sharan Rani Backliwal[1929 – 2008], 8.Radhika Mohan Moitra[1917 –1981], 9.Rajeev Taranath [Not Known], 10.Vasant Rai [1942 –1985 ], 11.Zarine Sharma [b.1946 –      ].

C. Present Young performers: 1.Amaan Ali Khan [b. 1977], 2.Amit Goswami [b. 1971], 3.Anupam Shobhakar    [b. 1979], 4.Arnab Chakrabarty [ Not Known], 5.Ayaan Ali Khan [b. 1979],  6.Brij Narayan [b. 1952], 7.Kalyan Mukherjee[5], 8.Pradeep Barot [ Not Known], 9.Rajeev Taranath [b. 1932], 10.Tejendra Majumdar [b. 1961], 11.Vikash Maharaj [b. 1957]

Out of this musical journey of congregation, it came into the light that Pandit Dhirendra Nath Bhose’s own son, Octogenerian Sarodia Sri. Sunit Bhose is too carrying the rich cultural heritage of his father as well as Bengal & international cross cultural swap of heritage of diversified flavor. Alike father, Sri.Sunit Bhose was also acquainted with musical instruments other than Sarod, like ‘Esraj’, ‘Guitar’, ‘Bin’, ‘Surbahar’ etc.

Sri.Sunit Bhose was the student of Victoria School situated at Kuthi Ghat, Baranagar. At his very early age, he was on the track of music & trained under the strict supervision of his Pandit father. His contemporary & classmate was Shyam Ganguly [Sarodia], Pulin Paul [Sitarist], Violin player Arati Laha Roy etc. Sri.Bhose performed in Radio, Television in conjunction with in various locations, such as Ramkrishna Mission Institute of Culture -GoalPark, Dover Lane Music Conference, Entally, Patna, ShyamPark, All India Music Conference etc. In All India Music Conference, Sri. Bose stood 2nd & Pandit.Nikhil Bandhopadhyay stood 1st. He has bagged enormous Gold & Silver medal, Certificates & acclaimed for commendable achievement for musical sense & performance.

Suddenly, we came into the realistic world; observed instead of 3 hours, we have taken more time of Sri. Bhose. It is the time to take some rest of the old artist. We came to know that presently at the age of 82 years, Sri.Bose  is obtaining Governmental Assistance (!) of Rs.1500/- for 03 months, i.e. Rs.500/- as old age pension.

 

  • Octogenerian Sarodia Sri. Sunit Bhose is living a most horrible life in comparison to furious beast. His wretched condition improves some times due to charitable & monetary assistance from a few well wishers.

 

  • It is not his misfortune, rater it is our own bad luck & dishonors that instead of respect and admiration, we are showing disregard in all respect to the octogenarian performer, Sri.Sunit Bhose.
  • Can’t society be blamed for such inhuman attitude? Can’t any organization or government spread their hands to save such needy & talented old person’s? Can’t such person’s are not eligible for support in all respect, specially in their old ages? That spectacular day was ended with these questions. May we obtain the answers in the life time of the artist?

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