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Sir Asutosh (Our Grandfather)
Sir Asutosh (Our Grandfather)
Description
About the Author

Dr. Purnendu Kumar Banerjee (b. 1917), educated in Calcutta, New York and Harvard in his early years, . was on the Faculty of Arts and the Faculty of Law of the Calcutta Univer- sity. He was also an elected member of the University Senate. Closely con- nected with the labour movement, Dr. Banerjee joined the Indian Foreign Service in 1948.

As a member. of the IFS" Dr. Banerjee was successively Acting High Commissioner for India in Canada; member of the Permanent Mission of India to the United Nations in New York; Alternate Delegate of India to the International Commission for Indo-China; Deputy High Commissioner for Japan; Minister and Charge d' Affairs in China, concurrently accredited to Mon- golia. He was sent as Special Envoy of the President of India to Central American States

Dr. Banerjee was Minister, Embassy of India, Washington D.C., and concurrently accredited as Ambassador of India to Costa Rica. Later, Dr. Banerjee was Ambassador of India to Thailand and concurrently accredited as India's Permanent Representative to U.N. ECAFE. He was Ambassador and Permanent Representative of India to the United Nations and Leader of the Delegation of India to the Conference on Disarmament at Geneva

He was on the staff of the United Nations in New York on deputation from the Government of India from 1973 to 1980. He retired from the U.N.

Dr. Banerjee was honoured by the Governmentot India with the award of Padma Shri in 1963. He has also been the recipient of honours and awards from several universities and Governments abroad.

Forword

The life of Sir Asutosh Mookerjee is a story of one signal achievement after another. One has only to read the names of his titles, degrees and honours to get the full impact of his work. To write of all he thought, did and achieved, requires a volume and many have been already written. From the day he entered school to his sudden death in 1924, he was in the forefront of all he undertook. As a scholar, as a teacher, as a lawyer, as an education- alist, as a legislator, and finally as a Judge and Chief Justice of the Calcutta High Court, there was none to whom he can be said to be a second. He was also Vice Chancellor of the Calcutta University for many years. He was elected Fellow of more than dozen learned societies in India, United Kingdom, Ireland, France and America. He received honorary doctorate degrees and deco- rations in his own country and abroad. An account of the same is mentioned in this book written by the author Dr.Banerjee, one of Sir Asutosh's illustrious grand-sons on the distaff side.

I came to know, admire and respect him after I returned from England and joined the Bar at Nagpur. My reading took me to some of his leading judgements and I place him with Justice Mahmood - among the six most eminent Judges India has produced. In my capacity as a Alderman in Nagpur, I learnt of his reforms in Bengal. When I became a teacher in the Law College and later Chancellor of four Universities, I followed his lead in improving academic standards. As a Judge I knew I had much to learn from his enormous industry to lay down the correct law. His learning was vast, his knowledge deep and exact and his exposition of law complete. "Judges come and go and are soon forgotten although they hope for immortality".

Sir Asutosh never craved for recognition or advancement. They came to him unsought. His letter to Lord Lytton declining another term as Vice Chancellor of the Calcutta University shows an independence and a regard for his own self respect - rare to find. I can go on but I find it difficult to encompass his manifold activities and achievements. When he died, Rabindra Nath Tagore recalled his services to the Calcutta University - "when he touched it with the magic wand of his creative genius, in order to transform it into a living organism belonging to the life of the Bengali people." Sir C.V. Raman called him "an intellectual giant". Earlier he had said "Bengal is gaining a brilliant Judge and a great Vice Chancellor but India lost in Asutosh a still greater mathematician" .

Sir Asutosh left behind him among others, his son Ramaprasad who followed him as a lawyer to become in his turn the Chief Justice of the Calcutta High Court. I enjoyed his love and friendship till his death. Ramaprasad was followed by his son Chittatosh who also became Chief Justice of the same High Court and now is the Chief Justice of Bombay High Court. His other grandson Dr.Banerjee, the author, won many laurels as a scholar and in the Foreign Service of his country. He has written this biography more as reminiscences than as a record of Sir Asutosh's work and services on which there are a score of books I commend this book.

Preface

Scores of books and articles had been written and published in Bengali and English about my grand father - Sir Asutosh, his life, work and contributions as a scholar, philosopher, scientist, mathematician, jurist, legislator, educationalist, administrator, parliamentarian and patriot. He was a statesman of great vision and a nationalist of unflinching dedication. I can hardly add anything new to the research, studies and assessment made of his life and service to his nation. I will, therefore in the following few pages, record about my very personal memories and impres- sions of my grandfather, aided by what I learnt from my grand mother, Lady Yogamaya Mookerjee, my father Promathanath Banerjee, my uncle Ramaprasad Mookerjee and others. 'This is a narrative about a child and his grandfather. I hope that my grandchildren read about their grandfather and his most wonderful grandfather.

At first I thought about the title of the book as "Sir Asutosh - My Grandfather." But later I changed from My Grandfather to "Our Grandfather" as I thought that we are his twenty four grand children though most of us were born after he had left the world. All of us should treasure and share his memories. I had the sheer good fortune to be with him and here to write about the golden memories on behalf of all his grandchildren

Sir Asutosh (Our Grandfather)

Item Code:
NAE621
Cover:
Paperback
Edition:
1992
ISBN:
817276024
Language:
English
Size:
8.5 inch x 5.5 inch
Pages:
76 (8 B/W Illustrations)
Other Details:
Weight of the Book: 100 gms
Price:
$8.50   Shipping Free
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About the Author

Dr. Purnendu Kumar Banerjee (b. 1917), educated in Calcutta, New York and Harvard in his early years, . was on the Faculty of Arts and the Faculty of Law of the Calcutta Univer- sity. He was also an elected member of the University Senate. Closely con- nected with the labour movement, Dr. Banerjee joined the Indian Foreign Service in 1948.

As a member. of the IFS" Dr. Banerjee was successively Acting High Commissioner for India in Canada; member of the Permanent Mission of India to the United Nations in New York; Alternate Delegate of India to the International Commission for Indo-China; Deputy High Commissioner for Japan; Minister and Charge d' Affairs in China, concurrently accredited to Mon- golia. He was sent as Special Envoy of the President of India to Central American States

Dr. Banerjee was Minister, Embassy of India, Washington D.C., and concurrently accredited as Ambassador of India to Costa Rica. Later, Dr. Banerjee was Ambassador of India to Thailand and concurrently accredited as India's Permanent Representative to U.N. ECAFE. He was Ambassador and Permanent Representative of India to the United Nations and Leader of the Delegation of India to the Conference on Disarmament at Geneva

He was on the staff of the United Nations in New York on deputation from the Government of India from 1973 to 1980. He retired from the U.N.

Dr. Banerjee was honoured by the Governmentot India with the award of Padma Shri in 1963. He has also been the recipient of honours and awards from several universities and Governments abroad.

Forword

The life of Sir Asutosh Mookerjee is a story of one signal achievement after another. One has only to read the names of his titles, degrees and honours to get the full impact of his work. To write of all he thought, did and achieved, requires a volume and many have been already written. From the day he entered school to his sudden death in 1924, he was in the forefront of all he undertook. As a scholar, as a teacher, as a lawyer, as an education- alist, as a legislator, and finally as a Judge and Chief Justice of the Calcutta High Court, there was none to whom he can be said to be a second. He was also Vice Chancellor of the Calcutta University for many years. He was elected Fellow of more than dozen learned societies in India, United Kingdom, Ireland, France and America. He received honorary doctorate degrees and deco- rations in his own country and abroad. An account of the same is mentioned in this book written by the author Dr.Banerjee, one of Sir Asutosh's illustrious grand-sons on the distaff side.

I came to know, admire and respect him after I returned from England and joined the Bar at Nagpur. My reading took me to some of his leading judgements and I place him with Justice Mahmood - among the six most eminent Judges India has produced. In my capacity as a Alderman in Nagpur, I learnt of his reforms in Bengal. When I became a teacher in the Law College and later Chancellor of four Universities, I followed his lead in improving academic standards. As a Judge I knew I had much to learn from his enormous industry to lay down the correct law. His learning was vast, his knowledge deep and exact and his exposition of law complete. "Judges come and go and are soon forgotten although they hope for immortality".

Sir Asutosh never craved for recognition or advancement. They came to him unsought. His letter to Lord Lytton declining another term as Vice Chancellor of the Calcutta University shows an independence and a regard for his own self respect - rare to find. I can go on but I find it difficult to encompass his manifold activities and achievements. When he died, Rabindra Nath Tagore recalled his services to the Calcutta University - "when he touched it with the magic wand of his creative genius, in order to transform it into a living organism belonging to the life of the Bengali people." Sir C.V. Raman called him "an intellectual giant". Earlier he had said "Bengal is gaining a brilliant Judge and a great Vice Chancellor but India lost in Asutosh a still greater mathematician" .

Sir Asutosh left behind him among others, his son Ramaprasad who followed him as a lawyer to become in his turn the Chief Justice of the Calcutta High Court. I enjoyed his love and friendship till his death. Ramaprasad was followed by his son Chittatosh who also became Chief Justice of the same High Court and now is the Chief Justice of Bombay High Court. His other grandson Dr.Banerjee, the author, won many laurels as a scholar and in the Foreign Service of his country. He has written this biography more as reminiscences than as a record of Sir Asutosh's work and services on which there are a score of books I commend this book.

Preface

Scores of books and articles had been written and published in Bengali and English about my grand father - Sir Asutosh, his life, work and contributions as a scholar, philosopher, scientist, mathematician, jurist, legislator, educationalist, administrator, parliamentarian and patriot. He was a statesman of great vision and a nationalist of unflinching dedication. I can hardly add anything new to the research, studies and assessment made of his life and service to his nation. I will, therefore in the following few pages, record about my very personal memories and impres- sions of my grandfather, aided by what I learnt from my grand mother, Lady Yogamaya Mookerjee, my father Promathanath Banerjee, my uncle Ramaprasad Mookerjee and others. 'This is a narrative about a child and his grandfather. I hope that my grandchildren read about their grandfather and his most wonderful grandfather.

At first I thought about the title of the book as "Sir Asutosh - My Grandfather." But later I changed from My Grandfather to "Our Grandfather" as I thought that we are his twenty four grand children though most of us were born after he had left the world. All of us should treasure and share his memories. I had the sheer good fortune to be with him and here to write about the golden memories on behalf of all his grandchildren

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