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Midnapore Collegiate School

(Page4)

The school was visited by such high officials as:

Mr. Tayler, M. A., Director of Mohamedan Edn. on 17/03/15.
Mr. T. 0. Dunn, M. A, Inspector of Schools on 10/11/1ó.
by Mr. Toylar, again on 16/03/17
by Mr. Griffith. M. A., on 24103/17.
Mr. E. F. oa'en, Director of Mohamedan Education in 1920.
Rai P. K. Bose Bahadur, Inspector of Schools, Burdwan Division, in 1921.


For some period the Principal of the College was the secretary of the school In 1921 The Non-Cooperation movement was started by the National Congress under the leadership of Mahatma Gandhi and Gandhiji visited Midnapore in September this year (1921), and created grant enthusiasm among the youth, The school and the college were not out of its wave. The Principal as the secretary of the school stated the following, in a report regarding this movement:

Although the' school has been slightly affected. by this movement, its effect on the College is alarming The number of admission this year is 114 as against 169 on the corresponding date of the last year; The total fall in ‘the number of students is 55, which calculated at the rate of Rs. 6/- per month means a financial loss of Rs, 330/- per month. The general effect of this movement on the schools and Colleges of Bengal and the University is disastrous and far-reaching in character. To give an idea of the extent and ‘nature of the mischief to the cause of education done by this movement,' it will be well to quote a few lines from a statement made by the Hon'ble Vice-chancellor before the Senate on the 24th September last.

‘Between 40 thousand and 50 Thousand young school boys and between 3 and 4 thousand College students have left their respective school and Colleges, have been rendered idle and have had their education interrupted, if not finally, brought to an end at ‘an' age at ‘ which the time lost can hardly, if ever, be made up. This wastage amongst our young boys is nothing short of a National calamity”.

The School and the College were retransferred to the Government by the Municipality, in 1923, which adopted the following resolution in its meeting on 17.03.23:

Resn. No.—6

With the consent of all the commissioners present, the Divisional Commissioner's letter No. 322-M. dated tile 16th March, 1923, was taken up and considered. It was unanimously :.r. solved that the commissioners agreed to make over all the College, School and the Hostel Buildings with staff, furniture, Library and all the assets and liabilities including all the funds attached to the Institution.

The following extract from the minutes of the Syndicate, University of Calcutta, 1924, part T + II also corroborates the transfer:

It was suggested that the Government should ultimately make over the Institution to a regularly constituted Government body, and pending its decision and the formation of the Committee, the District officer should be placed in chargé of the College. This was approved by the Government, and the Governing Body for 1922-23 was dissolved on the 29th March, 1923, when the District Magistrate took over charge of the Institution.

In this way the District Magistrate and Collector of Midnapore assumed charge of both the Institutions on behalf of the Government, (Vide Govt.'s letter No. 2255-Edit dated 4th August, 1924, and the Calcutta Gazette, 17th Sept., 1924.) and was managing the School and the College with the help of a Governing body for the College or a Managing Committee for the School on which the D. M. himself was the Ex-official President. That was a special committee and the special constitution lasted long up to 1980, when the W. B. Board of Secondary Education withdrew it. Situation demanded a partition of property, but that could not he executed at that time. Only the school and the College were housed in separate buildings and a partition wall was erected in the middle of the two Institutions. The Principal of the College occupied the Head Master's quarters only on mutual terms So long there had becn a jo nt Library for the school and the College Now it was divided In two.

Mahatma Gandhi again came over to Midnapore Town in 1925 and held public Lectures in the play-ground of the school and the College after the death of Deshbandhu Chittaranjan Das,

The School was visited by the Divisional Inspector of Schools, Burdwan, on 20 June, l 930.
The political situation of Midnapoer grew graver with the advent of the B. V. (Bengal Volunteers) Party and with the spirited preaching's of young leaders like Subash Chandra Bose. Birendra Nath Sasmal and the revolutionary poet Kazi Nazrul Islam. Saheed Dinesh Gupta took the lead of the B. M. and formed a band of terrosist brave youngsters for underground works In this period, Gandhiji also gave a clarion call to the Nation to civil Disobedience and Salt Sntyagraha (Disobedience) Movement. People of Midnapore responded to these movements quite seriously.

The District Magistrate, Midnapore Mr. James Peddie became unpopular on account of his repressive measures against the Satyagrahis and Nationalists. All on a sudden he was received with bullets in the school premise while visiting an, exhibition in the evening of April 7, l931 He died at the Sadar Hospital the next day. The attack was made by the two young terrorists of the B. V. group. The next year another District Magistrate Mr. Douglas was also similarly attacked by the .B. V. group at the District Boad House of Midnapore, and he lost his life. By this time Dinesh Gupta, leader of the B. V. was hanged, and Tarakeswar Sengupta and Santosh Mitra shot dead by the police at the Hijli detenue camp.

The political situation was worsening in the district day by day. The government took alarm. Regular school programmes were dislocated students coming from outside the radius of three miles of an institution were compelled to leave the Institution. This school was twice visited in the same year, first by the Divisional Inspector of schools, Burdwan, on 16. 04. 31 (just after the murder of Mr. Peddie and then by the D. P I., Bengal , on 27. 08. 31.

The Head Master Upendra Nath Chandra was not granted extension of service in 1927, and in his place Hiralal Das Gupta was appointed. But Hiralal Babu was not in the good books of the authority, and after the murder of Mr. Douglas he was rather discharged from his position. The offg. Head master, Mr. Narayan Kr. Mukherjee boldly asserted in the Annual report of 1933 that there had been no serious breach of discipline during the period from 1929 to 1932!! In support of his statement he quoted the member of roll strength of the school as follows —

In 1929-30 — 434
19 30- 31 — 436
1931-32 —476


But the things turned otherwise. Pulse was felt by all who knew the facts. And the late of another (European) District Magistrate was hanging in the balance. Early in September, 1933, Mr. E.J.. Burge, District Magistrate was shot dead at time police parade ground.The school along with some other institutions like Midnapore Hindu School was ransacked and a reign of terror and oppression prevailed in the district for a long period till an able Indian 1. C. S. Officer took over charge as I). M. The Centenary Celebrations of the school could not he held in time year 934 ( as was due ) in the midst of abnormal situation.

It was certainly a memorable day for the school when Sir Sarvapalli Radhakrishnan stepped into the premises of the school on 10. 09. 38 and gave out an instructive lecture on ‘‘The preceptor and the Disciple'' before the assembly of the students and the staff. Sir Radhakrishnan put this remark also in the Visitor's Book:-

‘‘I hope the School will develop in its pupils disciplined patriotism. I am glad to have visited the school,

Wish it success. 10. 09. 39.”

Next year Kaviguru Rabindra Nath Tagore graced the opening ceremony of the Vidyasagar Memorial Hall, Midnapore, and our students paid their respectful obeisance to him and heard his speech on the Ideals and Activities of student Kaviguru blessed the students of Midnapore.

The notable District Magistrate Mr. B. R. Sen showed his exceptional ability in establishing peace and order in the Dist net and diverting the attention of the students and the youths to constructive cultural and social works. Mr. Sen as the President of the school Committee did much for its improvement renovated the gymnasium hall and opened a common room for the pupils.

In 1939 the Second World War broke out and India being a part of (lie British empire could not escape its clutches. The schools and Colleges of Bengal were also affected as the War period Emergency was declared by the Government. Many buildings were requisitioned by the Government to accommodate military personnel's, and our hostel had to be vacated for the housing of the local Mission Girls' School for a few years.

Then followed the Quit India Movement of the Indian National Congress in 1942. The country fought for the last time to gain liberty and this school having its long tradition of participating the National movements could not but plunge in to the revolutionary current with the clarion call of Bande Mataram and ‘‘Quit India”. A band of teachers and students actively took part in this fight for freedom, gave up their studies and joined politics.

But after a catastrophic cyclone over South Bengal a great famine broke out. But the revengeful foreign rulers took repressive measures, and became quite callous and apathetic to the victims of the cyclone and famine. The schools and colleges were neglected and this institution was not an exception. Financial condition became miserable. The roll strength fell down. The school suffered heavily. After long persuasion the old buildings which had a very poor show for want of repair were taken up by the P. W. D. in 1945. The school had a special constitution after take-over by the D. M., but no special grants were sanctioned in favour of the the school. Attempts were made to revert the school to a Govt. Zilla School as originally it was, but with no fruitful result. The new Grant-in-aid system was introduced from 1948 and the school was put into that scheme for its normal running and maintenance. Since then it has been an aided Institution with no aristocracy.

The School was several times visited by the Divisional Inspector or Schools, Burdwan, and records may he had of the august visit of the DPI., Bengal in 1938 and again in 1940 all of them suggesting measures for improvement on a standard. Now, there was a major change on the top. The Board of Secondary Education was formed and it took over charge from the University of Calcutta in 1951. The School Final Exanimation was instituted in place of the Matriculation Examination. The High English Schools changed to be only High Schools and whether for good or bad. English came down to be a Second Language, leaving its first place to Bengali. But, violent changes in the political and educational spheres did not impair the standard of teaching in this school. The candidates for the Matriculation and the School Final Examinations recorded their performance as brilliantly as ever. Along with the percentage of successful candidates we may count some outstanding scholars like Hrishikesh Pal (in 1910 stood second in Matriculation Examination ), Ananta Kr. Shaw ( Second in Matric. 1911 ), Bircndra Nath Ghosh (3rd in Matric, 1931 ) and Ma.lal Chakraborty (4th in S. F. 1954) Besides this, First grade and Second grade scholarship holders were many in number.

In 1957 side by side with the High Schools, a new type of schools, calling higher Secondary / Multipurpose schools emerged out with bifurcated streams like Humanities, Science, Commerce, Agriculture etc. This Institution was upgraded to a Higher Secondary School from the very inception of the Scheme with three specialised streams Humanities, Science and Commerce. Due to this up gradation it received a Government grant of Rs. 1,05,000.00 ( one lakh five thousand rupees ) for its new H. S. Science Building with laboratories. It was no doubt a grand addition to our old homes where pupils gathered in flocks and accommodation had been a severe problem. in 1964 the strength of the school reached 1,000 as against 300 in 1934. So housing became a burning question. In 1966 the strength crossed the level still more and on account of heavy rush for admission the school hat! to face a critical situation,

None could imagine that the Departmental grant-in-aid would be stopped at the primary stage of a new set-up. An excess number of only 30 students, which is neglible, the Management including the Headmaster had to show cause. One revered Headmaster, Sri Tarakeshwar Bhattacharya, had to leave the school with a sad experience and his successor Sri Bimala Prasanna Majumdar, had also to quit in a critical position. The scribe of this report joined the school as a successor to Sri Majumdar in November 1966. The school got a rude shock at an awful Naxalite attack upon him in 1970 and disturbance in the school for some period.

Finance was then a problem. It was shortly tackled with cautions and judicious footsteps. A renowned educationist came to our help und ho was none hut our respected Shruti Nath Chakraborty of Tamluk, whose son was then working in the Education Department. He voluntarily put his hand to unfasten the knot. The fact was not disclosed at that time. The old order of deficit grant changed yielding place to a new one of full salary grant after a few years the school tided over the financial crisis, hut for salary only, leaving aside its developmental works to sheer uncertainty. We were not to challenge the policy of the Department, but we are made, as if, to suffer and sacrifice. The District Magistrates, Presidents of the school committee, and the District Inspector of schools ( S. E. ) did realise our problems and tried their best to assist and advise us is the situation demanded. We received a Building grant of Rs. 75,000/- from the government in 1978 after much persuation and made an cxtension of the west- side building for acconimodation of science students of the newly—introduced ÷ 2 Higher Secondary courses in 1976. Very abruptly took place this sort of novel up gradation. The H. S. unit was at first dedicated in the hallowed name of Rishi Rajnarayan as an independent institution; but after two years it was declared to be an integrated part of the parent Institution. Changes after changes confused us all. The school still maintained its name and fame as ever, Sports, games and cultural functions are regular teachers of this school, and in the district or state meets it has ever secured a superior position. Sri NirmaI Bar, Sri Rajat Suhhra Nag topped the list in the National meets also. Sri Santanu Mondal of our school won the first prize in drawing and painting in 1980 organised by the Nehru Children's, Museum and created sensation with his solo exhibition of art and painting at Calcutta , Many other pupils have taken part in art exhibitions creditably.

Sri Debabrata Dey and Sri Abhijit Ray secured 13th and 9th positions in the Board's Madhyamik examinations respectively in 1980 and 1981. There was a change in our management also. The special constitution of the School was withdrawn by the Board in 1980, and according to the genera! rule for the management, tire re-constitution of the Managing Committee was made in 1980. Of course, we requested the District Magistrate to remain Chairman of the Committee as before, and he consented, and his successors too, as the Govt. nominee,

During the present period the school has made a mark in the cultural field also. Every year selected and talented students join musical and arts competition and some of them got chance in the T. V. and Radio programmes and won prizes,

Tire School observed Gandhi Centenary (1969). Sri Aurobindo Centenary, ( t972, 150th Birth Anniversary of Rishi Rajnarayan Basu (1976), 150th Anniversary of the School. (1983-84), Rishi Bankirn Chandra's 150th Birth Anniversary (1988) and Physiologist prof. Narendra Mohon Basu centenary' (1990) and Kshudiram Centenary (1989-90) in befitting manners. Special mention is to be made regarding the glowing commemoration of Rishi Rajnarayan, whose noble name was going to be buried in oblivion. The Headmaster revived his glorious remembrance through writings, speeches and by organizing functions also. His birth day (7th Sept.) is now being observed every year in the School. A bust- statue is waiting to be installed in the school premises. A running Trophy has been dedicated by the Headmaster in memory of the great sage., 150th Anniversary of the school too was celebrated with pomp and grandeur. . .Man great personalities and V. I. P,' s were invited to grace the occasions. The school was twice visited by Dr. Sunil Kr. Roy Chowdhury, D. S.E,, West Bengal in this period. Respected Sri B. R.Sen I. C. S. became kind enough to pay a revisit to the school in 1975.

En 1988 two of our Madhyamik candidates, Writwik Nanda and Vikramjit Chakraborty, had the credit to secure their positions among the first 20 of the Board's list. Among the teachers Sri Bibhuti Bhusan Basu, AHM, attained National Award in 1976 & Sri Pulin Behari Sen got State Award in 1984, Sri Nalini Kanta Kar, an ex-student and a Primary Teacher, secured National Award in 1986 and Azharuddin Khan, an ex. studant and a renowned writer, got Nazrul Memorial (literary) Award, 1982, Pannalal Mukherjee, one of our beloved ex-students and present librarian has been honoured as a National Referee of Foot Ball Association. All these and many more yet to be told are illuminating and encouraging to as all.


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