Albion Rajkumar Banerjee
|Prime Minister of Kashmir|
|Preceded by||Padam Deo Singh|
|Succeeded by||G. E. C. Wakefield|
|21st Diwan of the Mysore kingdom|
|Monarch||Krishna Raja Wadiyar IV|
|Preceded by||M. Kantaraj Urs|
|Succeeded by||Sir Mirza Ismail|
|Diwan of Cochin kingdom|
|Preceded by||Nemali Pattabhirama Rao|
|Succeeded by||J. W. Bhore|
|Born||10 October 1871|
Bristol, United Kingdom
|Died||25 February 1950 (aged 78)|
|Alma mater||University of Calcutta|
Balliol College, Oxford
Sir Albion Rajkumar Banerjee(10 October 1871 – 25 February 1950) was an Indian civil servant and administrator who served as the Diwan of Cochin from 1907 to 1914, Diwan of Mysore kingdom from 1922 to 1926 and as Prime Minister of Kashmir from 1927 to 1929.
Early life and education
Albion Banerjee was born in a Bengali Brahmo family in Bristol on 10 October 1871. He was the son of the noted social reformer and labour activist Sasipada Banerji of Baranagar near Calcutta (now Kolkata) and his wife Rajkumari Banerji. He studied at the General Assembly's Institution and graduated from the University of Calcutta and subsequently earned his master's degree at the Balliol College, Oxford.
He married Nalini Gupta, daughter of the 7th Indian to join the ICS, Sir Krishna Govinda Gupta, who towards the end of his distinguished career in the civil service went to the Secretary of State's Council in London.
Under Diwan Visvesvaraya he joined Mysore as a Minister (Councilors as they were known). After the resignation of Visvesvaraya as Diwan, he became the First Councillor under Diwan M. Kantaraj Urs. But for the ill health of M. Kantaraj Urs, he would have left Mysore service much earlier. But ended up as Diwan as the latter resigned. He served as Diwan of Mysore between 1922 and 1926. Thus he ended in signing the 1924 Cauvery accord.
He was appointed as the Prime Minister of Kashmir in 1927. He resigned from his post in 1929 (being the first and only person to hold that post to do so on moral grounds) following differences with the Dogra monarch on the latter's lavish lifestyle, that was sustained by a poor population. His wrote:
Jammu and Kashmir state is labouring under many disadvantages, with a large Mohammedan population absolutely illiterate, labouring under poverty and very low economic conditions of living in the villages, and practically governed like dumb driven cattle. There is no touch between the government and the people, no suitable opportunity for representing grievances... The administration has at present no or little sympathy with people's wants and grievances...
- Indian Affairs (a quarterly journal published from London).
- Indian Tangle (Hutchmson—London)
- Indian Path-Finder (Kemp Hall Press—Oxford)
- Rhythm Of Living (Ryder & Co -London)
- Looking Ahead in Wartime (Harmony Press-London)
- What is Wrong with India (Kitabistan—Allahabad)
- Through an Indian Camera (Bangalore Press)
- Companion of the Order of the Indian Empire (1912)
- Companion of the Order of the Star of India (1921)
- Knighthood (1925)
- Somerset Playne; J. W. Bond; Arnold Wright (2004) . Southern India: its history, people, commerce, and industrial resources. Asian Educational Services. p. 372. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- Achyutha Menon, C (1911). Cochin State Manual. Cochin State.
- Geelani, Syed Bismillah. Kashmir, Kashmiris and Kashmiriyat in Manufacturing terrorism: Kashmiri encounters with media and the law. Promilla and Co., Publishers, page 33.
- Who's who – India. Tyson & Co. 1927. p. 14.