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|Died||20 September 1932 (aged 79)|
|Spouse(s)||Nagendranandini De (nee Bose)|
Early life and education
De studied at Hare School, Calcutta, and then Canning Collegiate School and Canning College, Lucknow. Always ranking at the top of his class in school, he was placed in the first division in all his final examinations. He came first from his school in the Entrance examination of Calcutta University and fourth in the first division in the First Arts (F.A.) examination of Calcutta University. A student of English (Honours), he ranked sixth in the first division in his Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) examination. Since he was a first divisioner, he was allowed to take the Master of Arts (M.A.) examination of the Calcutta University soon after the completion of his B.A. (Honours) examination. He was ranked second in the M.A. examination and was awarded the silver medal of Calcutta University.
Later, he travelled to England for his higher studies, on the advice of his grand-uncle, Peary Charan Sarkar and his father's mentor, Raja Dakshinaranjan Mukherjee, the taluqdar of Shankarpore, United Provinces[dubious ] and for some time assistant commissioner of Lucknow. In England, he joined University College, London to appear in the Open Competitive Services examination. Having taken the examination successfully, he joined the Indian Civil Service in 1873, emerging 17th in a batch of 35 successful probationers selected from a total of 360 candidates. He was the 8th Indian member of the ICS. Subsequently, he was called to the Bar by the Honourable Society of the Middle Temple on 7 June 1875. He was admitted to St. Mary Hall, Oxford, where he spent one year, from 1874-1875, on a Boden Sanskrit Scholarship, having attended the lectures of Professor Max Mueller and Mr. Ruslan. He was the first Indian barrister and ICS officer to have studied in a college in Oxford.
His fourth daughter was the social reformer Saroj Nalini Dutt, and his fifth son-in-law was Jyotish Chandra De, who was a member of the Indian Medical Service. Two of his great-grandchildren were the singer Uma Bose and the cameraman Subrata Mitra.
He took up his first posting in the civil service as assistant magistrate and collector of Arrah, Behar in 1875. He served in districts where the rulers of erstwhile zamindari estates, such as Darbhanga and Dumrao, had a strong presence. After serving in a number of districts in Behar, he was posted in Raniganj, Bengal in 1881. He officiated as the district magistrate and collector of Bankura, Burdwan and Faridpore. He served as the full district magistrate and collector of Khulna, where he was befriended by Dr. Krishnadhan Ghosh, the civil surgeon of the district, and the father of Aurobindo Ghosh. He became the magistrate and collector of Balasore in Orissa and then of Malda and Hooghly. He was the first Indian to be elected as chairman of the Hooghly Municipal Corporation. He was an (acting) commissioner of the Burdwan Division.
As the district officer of Hooghly, he started the Duke Club there which was meant to be exclusively for Indians. One of his Commissioners once told him not to entertain the thought of wanting to join a British club in the district.
While still in service he translated Kalidas's 'Vikramarvasi' and 'Manichudabadana' from Sanskrit to English. He edited an English-Bengali dictionary and published an article on inter dining in the Madras Social Reformer (1910).
He was the translator and editor, in two volumes, Nizamuddin Ahmad's Tabaqat-i-Akbari. The third volume, which he had left fully prepared, was published posthumously by Baini Prasad and also M. Hidayat Hosain.
A road in Chinsura, Hooghly is named after him.
At the time of his centenary celebration in 1952, his second son, Basanta Kumar De, Esq., a senior officer of the BNR took the initiative to publish in three articles sections of his reminiscences in the Calcutta Review. This work was entrusted to Tapan Raychaudhuri, then of the Department of Islamic History and Culture of the University of Calcutta.
In 2001, approximately 2,000 photographs of himself and his family members were given in loan by one of his grandsons, Barun De,[self-published source?] to the photographic archives of the Centre for Studies in Social Sciences, Calcutta. Later, when the archive was shifted to the newly established Jadunath Bhavan Museum and Resource Centre, CSSSC, Calcutta, the photographs too were deposited there.
A member of a Kayastha family of Bengal, he was a scholar of Persian and Sanskrit. He edited and translated a few works from those languages into English. They were as follows:
- (ed. & tran.), Kālidāsa's play Vikramorvasi, 'Vikramorvaçi', Canto I., in Calcutta Review, Oct. 1884, pp. 440–2.
- (ed. & tran.), The Tabaqat-i-Akbari of Khwaja Nizamuddin Ahmad: A History of India from the Early Musalman Invasions to the Thirty-eighth year of the Reign of Akbar (in 3 Vols.), (Calcutta, reprint, 1973)
- "Reminiscences of an Indian Member of the Indian Civil Service", in Calcutta Review, (1953–5).
- Indiasaga Who's Who
- Full Text of 'Tabaqat-i-Akbari'
- India Office, Great Britain (1905). The India List and India Office List 1905. Harrison and Sons. p. 447.
- Forbes, Geraldine Hancock (1996). Women in Modern India. The New Cambridge History of India. IV.2. Cambridge University Press. pp. 28–29. ISBN 978-0-521-65377-0.
As one of the first eight Indians appointed to the Indian Civil Service (ICS), Brajendra Nath ... He insisted on educating his daughters and one of them, Saroj Nalini Dutt, led the way in organizing rural women's organizations in the years immediately following World War I.
- University of Wisconsin Law Library[permanent dead link]
- Oxford University Calendar, 1875, p. 366
- Renu Paul (in consultation with Mitra Sharafi), 'South Asians at the Inns of Court: Middle Temple, 1863-1944', compilation based on H. A. C. Sturgess, (eds.) Register of Admissions to the Honourable Society of the Middle Temple. From the Fifteenth Century to the Year 1944 (London: published for the Hon. Society of the Middle Temple by Butterworth & Co., 1949), volumes II (1782-1909) and III (1910-44), p. 2.
- Lives Less Forgotten: Lieutenant Colonel Jyotish Chandra De
- Lives Less Forgotten: Uma Bose[permanent dead link]
- Lives Less Forgotten: Subrata Mitra
- Military and ICS Manual
- Heehs, Peter (2008). The Lives of Sri Aurobindo. New York: Columbia University Press. p. 33. ISBN 978-0-231-14098-0.
- "Govt. Notifications: Orders by the Lieutenant-Governor of Bengal". The Liberal and the New Dispensation. Calcutta: R.S. Bhattacharji. XII (30): 9. 6 August 1893.
- "Mr. B. De", in Bengalee, 7 September 1910; see also Indian Daily News, 3 September 1910
- "Late Mr. B. De.: Passing Away of an Old Civilian" in Liberty, Friday, 30 September 1932
- Sinha, Mrinalini (October 2001). "Britishness, Clubbability, and the Colonial Public Sphere: The Genealogy of an Imperial Institution in Colonial India". The Journal of British Studies. 4 (44): 489–521. doi:10.1086/386265. JSTOR 3070745. S2CID 143900100.
- Ballantyne, Tony; Burton, Antoinette M. (2005). Bodies in Contact. Duke University Press. p. 193. ISBN 0-8223-3467-4.
- 'Late Mr. B.De: Passing Away of An Old Civilian' in Liberty, Friday, 30 September 1932
- "Late Mr. B. De, Calcutta Corporation Tributes", in Liberty, Saturday, 1 October 1932
- "Birth Centenary of B.De Celebrated" in The Statesman, Wednesday, 24 December 1952
- "He Rehabilitated Persian in Bengal: Tributes to Late B.De: Birthday Celebration" in Amrita Bazar Patrika, Wednesday, 24 December 1952
- "Mr.B.De Dead Retired Member of the Civil Service" in The Statesman, 30 September 1932
- Sudha Sharma, Status of Muslim Women in Medieval India, Allahabad
- Map of Chinsura, Hooghly, Bengal
- Lives Less Forgotten: Basanta Kumar De
- Mrinalini Sinha, "Reconfiguring Hiararchies: The Ilbert Bill Controversy, 1883-84", in Reina Lewis and Sarah Mills, Feminist Post-Colonialist Theory: A Reader, New York and London, Routledge, 2003, p. 456
- "Situating an Eminent Historian Eminently" - Sabyasachi Bhattacharya Retrieved 2015-03-21.
- Lives Less Forgotten: Barun De
- Jadunath Bhavan Museum and Resource Centre, (Centre for Studies in Social Sciences, Calcutta, 2009), p. 7
- Schuyler, Jr., Montgomery (1902). "Bibliography of Kālidāsa's Mālavikāgnimitra and Vikramorvaçī". Journal of the American Oriental Society. 23: 93–101. doi:10.2307/592384. JSTOR 592384.
- Tabaqat-i-Akbari by Khwaja Nizamuddin Ahmed
- Reminiscences of an Indian Member of the Indian Civil Service' in the Calcutta Review