Midnapore Collegiate School
And thus ended the chapter of the direct rule of the Government that determined (he destinies of a distinguished Institution for more than half a century. We find that (lie noinenclature of the school, is once again changed to Midnapore Collegiate School. the prominence being given to the College for the first time.
After the transfer of Gangadhar Achariya from Midnapore Shyamacharan Das assumed the charge of the Institution in 1884, and he continued upto 1892 till his sudden and premature demise.
In 1892 the Law Department was upgraded by opening the B. L. classes in the premises of the School. But after a few years all the Law classes had to be closed down for want of proper support.
The school continued to run under the management of the Municipality till 1924, when it was again taken back by the Government from the Municipality.
In June, 1992, the Second Master Babu Haricharan Roy was promoted to the post of (lie Head Master of the School and the College Departments both. It appears that during the period of Municipal management the Government, as a matter of policy took little interest in the affairs of the Institution except making some annual grant. Of Course, the College Department was not of a very big size. its total roll strength of 1st year and 2nd year F. A. classes did not exceed fifty. So the ground for a separate entity of a full-fledged College was not very strong. Still the progressive march of the School and the College was unswerving. The College Section expanded year after year and it was felt necessary that a separate Principal should be appointed for this unit after the transfer of Babu Haricharan Ray. So in the middle of the year 1907, the Municipal authorities adopted the following resolution:
“The Commissioners after considerable discussion on the respective claims and merits of the different candidates, unanimously resolved to appoint Mr . R. L. Maitra , an M. A. in English of 1882, late Principal of Pitapur Rajah's College at Cocanada in Southern India and for sometime Professor of the Jagannath College, Dacca …………
“With regard to the question of fixing the pay of the Principal of the Midnapore College on the transfer of the present incumbent, *e Commissioners unanimously resolved to keep the present scale, xiz, Rs. 200/- a montle which Babu Haricharan Roy
has been getting”. (5. 6. 1897)
Principal Raendralal Maitra was appointed in 1897 and here ceased the double role of the Head Master of the High School after long 25 years. The College now began to stand quite independently of the School, though the link between the College and the School did not sever completely, as some of the school masters were still required to take classes of the College Department for some period. The new setup was further recorded in a meeting of the Municipal Commissioners as follows:
20.12.1897 “V. Director's letter No. 6487 dated 7th December, ‘97 and the connected papers regarding the changes iii tile designation of the teaching staff of the Midnapore College, were laid before the meeting, and the Commissioners, in suppression of their previous resolutions on the subject, unanimously resolved to designate the teachers as follows:
|1. R. L. Maitra, Esquire
|2. Babu lshai, Chandra Ohosh
|3. Babu Jogendro Nath I-Iazra
|4. Babu Ahhoy Charan Bose
||Lecturer & Head Master
|5. Babu Upendra Nath Chandra
|6. Babu l'yarilai Ghost
||3 rd Master
|7. Babu Jnanendra Natii Bose
|8. Babu Brajagopal Ohosh
|9. Babu Anantalal Sow
|10. Babu Rameharan Sen
|11. Babu Girish Chaudra Dutta
||8 th Master
|12. Babu Nava Kumar Banerjee
|13. Babu Brajanath Gbswami
|14. Babu Abinash Chändra Mukherjee
|15. Babu Moulavi Sadiruddin Ahmed
Abhay Charan Bose, H. M, the youngest brother of Rithi Rajnarayan Bose, retired in April 1898 and Baba Upendra Nath Chandra was appointed Head Master.
During the period of Principal R. L. .Maitra-(1897-—1911) and Head Master lJpendra Nath Chandra(1898—1927) the development of the School and the College was satisfactory. But the dream of Rajnarayan Bose, beyond imagination of the British rulers in India , to rouse national spirit among the educated people came to be a reality, and his beloved school became a centre of national movement step by step. Political situation in Bengal turned to be hostile to the Government. Indian National Congress had been established in 1885, and a Provincial Conference was held at Midnapore Town early in 1901 Political leaders from Calcutta like N. N. Ghosh, editor ‘The Nation', Rastraguru Sir Surendra Nath Banerjee, Krishna Kumar Mitra, editor, Sanjibani, Janakinath Ghosal and also from other parts of Bengal, Bihar and Orissa attended the conference and the conference created a great sentiment of nationalism among the youths of Midnapore.
In 1902.Sri Aurobindo (Ghosh) came from Baroda to Calcutta and to Midnapore and opened a secret revolutionary society with the initiative of Hem Kanungo Jnanendra Nath Bose (two were the teachers of this School) and Satyendra Nath Bose (an ex-student, and brother of Jnanendra Nath) and the Society was for the spirited youth of Midnapore.
In 1903, Sri Aurobindo again came to Midnapore with Sister. Nivedita, who become a leader of the first rank for national re-organisation and a close helpmate to Sri Aurobindo. Their appearance at Midnapore and their talks and lectures in private, and public meetings gave a new dimension to the growing Swadeshi movement. Scholars of the local school and the College got impetus to change their outlook on to national line. In 1904 Kshudiram Bose was admitted to this school as a student of the fourth class (VII) and in this year Lord Curzon contrived to divide Bengal on administrative grounds.
A FEW WORDS ABOUT KSHUDIRAM.
Born in an ordinary middle-class family of Habibpur, ward, Midnapore Town, West Bengal, on December 3, 1889, Kshudiram had his early education at Hatgachhia Village School Tamluk Hamilton School and lastly at Midnapore Collegiate School. He lost his nother Lakshmipriya Devi and father, Trailokyanath Basu, at a very tender age. Aparupa Devi and her husband Amritlal Ray. While a student of Midnapore Collegiate School during the period from 1904 to 1906, (Saheed) Satyendra Nath Basu, Hemchandra Das Kanungo and Jnanendra Nath Basu, the great trio of Midnapore, lovingly took him in. their fold for their constructive and underground works. The Head Ma2ser Upendranath Chandra also joined the National movement. Ideals of service, self-sacrifice and swaraj captivated the young heart of Kshudiram, and day by day lie became neglectful of his regular studies at School. Sri Aurobindo and Barin Ghosh again came over to Midnapore and inspired the bond of freedom loving young's through the secret Revolutionary party in which boy Kshudiram had already secured a prominent place.
On October 16, 1905, the ill-famed partition of Bengal was promulgated by the Governor-General Lord Curzon, and thus created a country-wide remonstrance. Kshudiram worked actively in the protest movement. An Industrial Exhibition was opened at Midnapore in April, 1906. In presence of the District Magistrate, a group of young boys showed ‘Bandemataram' and everybody was struck with terror because this was thought to be an unpardonable offence. On the closing day of the fair, a leaflet ‘Sonar Bangla' (or ‘Bande-maaram' was distributed containing abusive language against the British rulers of India . The distributor was no other than our Kshudiram. He had a harsh treatment with the local police. By this time Kshudirani had to leave his eldest sister's family, because of his alliance with Swadeshi Movement.
A few days later he was arrested by the police from a bonding house attached to the local weaving school at Aliganj, and he was put up in the lockup. For a few days bails could not be secured in spite of best efforts. Kshudiram gathered a new experience in life. He was released on bail after 4 days and on April 17 was committed to the Sessions on the ground that he attempted the Govt. into hatred on contempt and criminal intimidation by circulation of leaf-lets. lie was brought before the court with his hand firmly handcuffed as if he had been a hardened criminal. But his case was lastly withdrawn by the court on the ground of his tender age. It was on May 16, 1906.
This is the first sedition case in India and this trial brought young Kshudiram a triumphant hero's honour.
In 1907 he took part in the looling of mail-bags at Hatgachhia, but escaped notice of the police. It is believed that he also participated in the bomb attack on the Bengal Governor's special train near Narayangarh Rly. Station on December 6, 1907, and that he was involved in the attempted murder of two Englishmen, Watson and Bamfyld Fuller, early in 1908.
The Secret Party led by Sri Aurobindo. Barin Ghosh and Hem Kanungo organised a secret plot to kill Mr. Kingsford, sessions Judge at Muzaffarpur, Bihar, who, while in Calcutta had passed unjust and harsh sentences against the nationalist patriots. Khudirarn and Prafulla Chaki, the two spirited youths, were selected and deployed to carry out the plot for avenging the brutality of the judge. In disguise they went to Muzaffarpur, took position in a few days and at last threw bomb on April 30, 1908, at Kingsford's carriage which happened to be carrying a European iady, Mrs. Kennedy and her daughter. It was by mistake that both of them were killed. Kshudiram and Prafulla tried to escape. But both of them were traced out by the police.
Prafulla (alias Dinesh) had a fierce encounter with the police at Mokama Ghat Stn. but unwilling to fall into the clutches of the police, committed suicide by shooting with his own revolver. But Kshudiram was arrested at Waini Rly. Station and brought back to Muzaffarpur for trial. The Muzaffarpur Bomb case was opened on May 21, and it ended on June 13, 1908 with a verdict of death. The prisoner's non-challenge was remarkable. During the proceedings he looked as unmoved as stone; sometimes he was seen to doze. He gained two pounds in weight during his trial period, and he showed no emotional weakness.
An appeal was preferred in the High Court, hut in vain. The sentence was confirmed. Kshudiram's execution took place in the Muzaffarpur Jail right at 6 A. M. on August II, 1908, It is told that he mounted (he scaffold with his body erect. He was quite cheerful and smiling. When his pleader visited him in the jail the day before the execution, Kshudiram told hint that he would die as fearlessly as the Rajput women of old died on funeral pyres. Thus through self-sacrifice the young hero created a country-wide commotion and roused an unending national spirit, and became a martyr.
Midnapore Collegiate School is proud to have cradled such a boy revolutionary along with his young leader Saheed Satyendra Nath Basu and the nationalist teachers like Hem Kanungo and Jnanendra Nath Basu. The role of the School, though limited in this sphere, is still remarkable. The Head Master, U. N. Chandra, himself was an active supporter of the National movement, and for this particular ‘offence' he was not granted any extension of service, rather was forced to leave the school.
The need for a school and College hostel was badly, felt for the students coining from afar. The present hostel building of the school was started in 1910 with the help of the Raj family of Mahishadal. Rather, the hostel is a pretty gift from the liberal Raj family, the Gargas, Endowents were also created by several other benefactors, and medal competitions among the students were being held in English, Mathematics, Sanskrit, History, Bengali and Mathematics every year.
By the second decade of the .present century a number of High English Schools were established in this district to meet the demand of English education and on the growing necessity for public services. Among these schools, were Mahishadal Raj High School . Midnapore Town School, Contai High School,: Raghunathbari High School, Panskura B. B. High School, Gopalnagar Kher High School, Chandrakona Jirat High School and Birsingha Bhagabati Vidyalay, Among all these Institutions this, School secured the foremost position in the district in almost all spheres of academic activities, and: maintained its reputation as before, A new commodious building was erected for the School during the period of the 1st world war.
The roll strength of the School increased.
There were 353 boys in 191.6.
364 boys in 1917.
364 boys up to 1920.
361 boys in 1921.
One very interesting event took place in 1916. Twice the Matriculation Examinations of the Calcutta University were cancelled owing to the wholesale leakage of questions in certain subjects. 35 candidates were sent up from this school for the said examination in the first week of the March and again in the first week of April, and finally they had to sit for the examination in July next.