Krishnath College School কৃষ্ণনাথ কলেজ স্কুল (Estd. November, 1853)

In pursuance of Government Education Policy and in response to the public demand, the 'Berhampore College' was established in November, 1853 AD. It was first started in the building now known as the Manindra Hostel (or Main Hostel). The school had no separate existence, it was part of the college. Right from 1853 to 1869 when the erection of the present College building was completed, the College and the School had a nomadic life for 16 years. Starting from present Manindra Hostel, Mr Verdon Monasagon's two-storyed house at the present school premises, Old Circuit House, the present Police Constable's Training school, Headmaster Mr. S.W. Bradbury's residential quarters south-east of Laldighi, Civil Court compound and the present site of the Police Club building and the Police Barrack close to the Manindra Hostel.

School an integral part of the College

The Berhampore College consisted of the college proper and the school which had two sections, the Senior School Department and the Junior School Department with the following teachers :
  1. A.S Harrison A.B. - Principal
  2. Alfred Smith, M.A. - Headmaster
  3. W.H. fox - 3rd Senior Master
  4. J.S. Graves - 4th Senior Master
  5. Gurucharan Chatterjee - 1st Junior Master
  6. Harids Ghose - 2nd Junior Master
  7. Nilmani Ganguly - 3rd Junior Master
  8. Srinath Sen - 4th Junior Master
  9. Chandra Mohan Banerjee - 5th Junior Master
  10. Ramdas Majumder - 6th Junior Master
  11. Madhusudan Bhaduri - 7th Junior Master
  12. Abhoy Chandra Roy - Head Pandit
  13. Bani Kumar Bhattacharjee - 2nd Pandit
  14. Chandra Kanto Majumder - Writer
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Upto the year 1865, there were the Principal, the Headmaster, and teachers and there was no sharp line of demarcation between their duties. Those who taught in the college department used to teach in the school department also, and this practice more or less continued for about half a century till the school was separated from the college in 1908. It was in the year 1865 the term "Professor" came to be applied to the teachers teaching in the college branch. In 1857 there were altogether 238 boys on the roll in 9 different classes in the school branch.

Till 1908 the college and the school were held in the same building, the school held on the eastern block of the college, starting from the centre room upto the carriage-stand verandah. Late Satish Chandra Mukherjee, M.A., was the Headmaster of the School and also acted as a Professor of English in the College. In 1908 Rev. E.M. Wheeler was the Principal of the College, when the number of students increased so far that it was necessary to remove the school from the College Building. As the school had no house of its own at that time, it was split up into parts, in several buildings all over the town. The numerical strength at the time necessitated the opening of a branch school with the four lower forms and Late Satish Cnandra Mondal, B.A., as the teacher in charge. The main School was split up into three parts. The first four classes were housed in the building known as Hari Babu's Balakhana in front of the new market. Some classes were held in the building known as Kuthibari opposite to Rai Bahadur Baikuntha Sen's house and some classes in the premises part of which in now occupied by the Deaf and Dumb School. So the school with its branch was held at the same time at four different buildings.
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Construction of the New Building

In 1909 a portion of the Jail compound (now the Borstal School compound) was allotted and given over to the school authorities for the construction of the present school house. There was an attempt to create a public fund, but only a sum of Rs 560 was received as donation from the public for the construction of the building. It was Late Maharaja Sir Manindra Chandra Nandy, K.C.I.E., of Cossimbazar, who donated a sum of Rs 1,35,000 for the construction of the building, which was planned and erected by the Cossimbazar Raj Estate under the direction of Principal Wheeler. The foundation stone was laid by the Hon'ble Sir Edward Norman Baker, K.C.S.I., the then Lieutenant Governor of Bengal, on the 9th of August, 1909. In August 1911, the school was formally opened by Lord Fraser William duke, the then officiating Governor of Bengal who, also presided over the Prize distribution ceremony held on that day and distributed the prizes.

The School is a magnificent two storyed building with as many as 30 rooms one of which is the Hall on the 1st floor. The Hall is unique of its kind, measuring 115 ft 10 in x 40 ft 5 in x 25 ft 5 in, and can accommodate about 800 people. The School premises occupy only 4 bighas of land almost sandwiched between the Jail compound on the north and the west and Grant hall Road and Manindra Road on the south and the east.

Mr E.F. Oaten, Director of Public Instruction, admitted it in his inspection note, dated the 30th November, 1925 : "The School has one of the finest buildings in the province though unfortunately it is cramped for space around it". Mr W.W.Hornell, Director of Public Instruction, along with Mr. M. West Inspector of School, Presidency Division, visited the school on the 19th January, 1920. Rai Bahadur Baikuntha Nath Sen, C.I.E., then a member of the committee of Management, who took a very keen interest in the welfare of the school, took them round and pointed out to them that the Jail authorities "were growing a few brinjals in the jail compound but would not help us grow men".
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College and School bond

Though housed in separate buildings, about half a mile away from each other, the College and the School could not be conceived of as entirely separate. Both were under the direct supervision of the Principal of the College who used to pay regular visits to the School, declare promotions and look into the internal matters of the school. Sports and games were all organized by the same body for both the School and the College. The Professors would, sometimes visit the school and take classes. Late Babu Soshi Shekhar Banerjee, Professor of Chemistry, and later on Principal of the college used to teach Mathematics in the Entrance Class. Some members of the school staff such as Pandit Biseshwar Bhattacharjee, B.A., Babu Atul Chandra Dutta, and Amal Chandra Sen, were, in different stages absorbed in the Professiorial staff of the college. Late Joseph Arulanathum, B.A., (Hons. In English) who was a Professor of English in the college was drafted to the school in 1918 as Headmaster.
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The Name "Krishnath"

Late Raja Krishnath Roy (রাজা কৃষ্ণনাথ রায়) (1822-1844) was a patron of learning. Even in his lifetime he prepared a will for establishing an University at Banjetia. The Will was nullified by the Supreme Court, so His noble dream could not come true. His wife Maharani Swarnomoyee's (মহারানী স্বর্ণময়ী) generosities in the field of education were almost proverbial. When Majaraja Sir Manindra Chandra Nandy (মহারাজা স্যার মনীন্দ্র চন্দ্র নন্দী) inherited both his maternal uncle's property and unbounded liberality, he deemed it in the fitness of things to name the college and the school after the illustrious Raja Krishnath in 1902.
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The School Hostel

Before the removal of the school from the college compound, the school boarders used to live along with the college boarders in the Main Hostel (now Manindra Hostel). Late Headmaster Joseph Arulananthum [1] (জোসেফ আরুলানান্থাম) approached ex-student Raja Kamala Ranjan Roy of Cossimbazar for a donation towards the construction of a hostel The Raja donated a sum of Rs 5,000 which was supplemented by a donation of Rs 1,000 from Maharaja Sir Manindra Chandra Nandy. The rest of the amount, about Rs 3,000 was spent from the school fund.

The land, measuring 3 bighas 18 kottah and 2 chhatak was donated by the Government through the intercession of the then Magistrate and Collector, Mr. W.S. Adie, I.C.S., on a nominal rental of Re 1 per annum. It was formally opened on the 30th of January 1933, by Rai Bahadur Anil Kumar Chatterjee, C.I.E., the then Chairman of the Berhampore Municipality, in a formal ceremony. The hostel was named "Sir Ashutosh Nath Roy Hindu Hostel" according to the wishes of his worthy son Raja Kamala Ranjan Roy.

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Eminent Personalities from Krishnath College School

One of the oldest students of this school was the Late Rai Baikuntha Nath Sen Bahadur, who passed from this school in 1858. He was one of the acknowledged leaders of the nation and was elected Chairman of the Reception Committee of the session of the Indian national Congress held in Calcutta in 1916.

In legal profession men like Late Dr. Ramchandra Majumdar M.A., D.L., P.R.S., Dr. Naresh Chandra Sen Gupta (President of the Calcutta High Court Bar Association) and Justice P.B. Mukherjee of Calcutta High Court, Radhikamohan Sen and Mohamohan Sen two brothers, were famous in their day for their legal acumen, and both rose to be government pleader.

In academic sphere the school has produced great scholars like Dr. Radhakumud Mukherji, M.A., Ph.D. (6th in the Entrance Examination, 1897) and Dr. Radhakamal Mukherji, M.A., P.R.S., Ph.D (1904). The Late Dr. Rakhaldas Banerjee, the great archaeologist and historian, and discoverer of Mohenjo-daro, passed his entrance examination from this school in 1900 AD. The late Jitendranath Bagchi, who stood third in the Entance examination in 1903, devoted a life-time of service for the school as professor of Mathematics. People like Professor Kaushik Chandra Bhattacharyya of the Presidency College Calcutta, Professor Satyendranath Ganguli and Professor Rajendranath Banerji of City College Calcutta, Principal Ramapati Bhattacharyya of the Ramananda College Bankura, Professor Ramgopal Banerji, Jogendranath Roy, Pratibharanjan Roy and Pashupati Ganguly, were all from this school.

The School has provided the Government with some high-ranking officials in different spheres of administration. Sri S.K. Haldar and Sri R.K. Mitra as members of the Indian Civil Service. The late Bishnupada Roy and late Bishnuruth Sen were District and Session Judges. Sri Basanta Kumar Chaterji, who stood second in the Entrance examination in 1905, rose to the post of Account General. The late Jaminikanta mukherjee was appointed D.I.G of Prisons. Among others Jonab Faisur Rahaman Director of Consumer Goods of East Pakistan (now Bangladesh), Jonab Anwarul Haque Postmaster General of East Pakisthan, Sri Mohimohan Sarkar Assistant Conservator of Forests and Sri Prafulla Kumar Mukherji Secretary of Board of Revenue West-Bengal.

In the Field of Politics Dr Nalinaksha Sanyal (Ex-M.L.A. Provincial) and Sri Sasankasekhar Sanyal M.A., B.L. (Ex. M.L.A., Central) leapt into fame as opposition members with tremendous driving force. Sri Tridib Chowdhury, M.A., M.P. (R.S.P.). are some of the notable personalities from this school.

The school has enjoyed unquestioned supremacy in the field of Sports. Late Joseph Arulananthum (জোসেফ আরুলানান্থাম) the Headmaster of this school in 1919, was the most famous all round Indian sportsman of his time in Calcutta. One of the innovations he introduced was the closing of the school half an hour earlier every week-day in winter so that the boys might have more time for play. Joseph Arulananthum secured the service as Games master of eminent sportsmen like Sri Moni Das, the famous all-rounder of Mohan Bagan, Sri Jaminikanta Bhattacharya and Sri Jitendra Nath Charkaborty. The School produced an all-Bengal champion sprinter (junior) Rabindranath Roy, popularly known as "Beeton", an all-india footballer Sri K. Bhattacharjee, later captain of Mohan Bagan Club, Calcutta. He was a member of the first Indian football team that toured South Africa in 1934, and Captain of the first I.F.A team that toured Australia in 1938. In the sphere of culture the school has made modest contributions. The Late Amal Banerji had a meteoric rise on the Calcutta Stage. Sri Shyamapada Bhattacharjee, M.L.A., and District Congress President was a sportsman of quality and Dr. Nalinaksha Sanyal was a champion Cyclist and wrestler were also from this school. Samar Sinha made a record for any schoolboy by his astounding feats in long distance races in the Bengal Olympic Sports in 1948. He stood 3rd in 3000 meters and 4th in 26 miles, besides standing 1st in 6 miles race in Calcutta Sports the same year. The School reached the zenith of its glory when in 1936 it became runners-up of the Wheeler Memorial Shield[2] after defeating the E.B.R. Football Team in the semi-final, though it lost to Vidyasagar College of Calcutta in the finals.

In the sphere of culture, the boys of this school have made modest contributions. Sri Utpal Dutta, the famous Movie Star, was for sometime at this school. Among artists the school boasts of the Late Girija Sankar Chakraborti, a musician of the highest order, the great "Ustad" and teacher. Sri Jagadananda Bajpyee, the famous poet and associate editor of the "Ananda Bazar Patrika". Sri Atindra Nath Majumder, the auther of "Nidrahiner Gaan" and "Jagaran". Sri Bhawani Sankar Thakur the talented musician. The list of eminent peoples from this centre of knowledge is endless....

Old Photos

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Event Timeline

1853 On 10th August, a Local Committee of Public Interest meeting was held and a proposal for a College at Berhampore was put forward. About 29,086 Rs was collected as fund for establishing a college. Rani Swarnomoyee herself donated Rs 4000.
On 1st November, Berhampore College was Established. Classes were held at Manindra Hostel or present Main Hostel building
First Principal of Berhampore College Mr. A. S. Harrison
1855 The College was removed to a two-storied house, which belonged to Mr. Verdon Monasagon (popularly known as Manachapkan) of Sujapore Factory, the father-in-law of magistrate Mr. James Chapman Anderson, I.C.S. This house stood on the site of the present school premises.
1856 Mr. Alfred Smith became Principal of Berhampore College
A little after the Sonthal insurrection in 1856 the College was removed to "Banjetia House"; since the house of Mr. Verdon Monasagon was demolished.
1863 On 29th July The foundation of the present Krishnath College building was laid by Sir Cecil Beadon the then Lieutenant Governor
1865 The term "Professor" came to be applied to the teachers teaching in the college branch
1872 The School was transformed into High School
1887 The administrative and financial control of the College was made over to the Maharani Swarnomoyee, C.I., and a Board of Trustees, vested with necessary powers, was created for managing the Institution on 14th May.
1897 Death of Maharani Swarnomoyee on 25th August
1908 Krishnath College School was seperated from Krishnath College
1909 The foundation stone was laid by the Hon'ble Sir Edward Norman Baker, K.C.S.I., the then Lieutenant Governor of Bengal, on the 9th of August.
1911 The school was formally opened by Lord Fraser William duke, the then officiating Governor of Bengal
1918 Joseph Arulanathum became the first Headmaster of Krishnath College School
1945 Sri. Satish Chandra Bedagya became Headmaster
1947 Sushil Kumar Bandopadhyay became Headmaster on 2nd january
1952 formation of National Cadet Corp (NCC) on 31st January
1963 Sri Ranjit Kumar Ganguli became Headmaster
1969 Sri Purnendu Nath Bagchi became Headmaster on 1st August

References :
  • [1] The is an old Cemetery at Madhupur (west of Berhampore). Joseph Arulananthum জোসেফ আরুলানান্থাম (Died 1945) was burried here, along with his wife Priobala প্রিয়বালা (Died 1923). The oldest grave here, is that of Reverend Basanta রেভারেন্ড বসন্ত (Died 26 Feb, 1827). Back
  • [2] The Wheeler Memorial Champions Shield was started by Maharaja Manindra Chandra Nandy of Cossimbazar in 1920 AD. Back
  • Krishnath College School Sesquicentennial Commemoration Volume 1853-2003
  • Bengal District Gazetteers, Murshidabad - By Lewis Sydney Steward O'Malley (1914)
  • A history of Murshidabad District (Bengal) (1902) - By John Henry Tull

Page Updated : May 08, 2012 07:18 am