Sunday, June 20

Scottish Church celebrates Netaji with rare docus

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Scottish Church College displayed rare photographs and documents of Subhas Chandra Bose in an online exhibition as the institute celebrated its illustrious alumnus’s 125th birth anniversary. Bose still remains Subhaschandra Basu on the rolls of the college that accepted him as a student in one of the most difficult days of his student life. He went on to prove that he was the best at the end of his academic term in 1918.
The exhibition is unique as it showcases pictures and documents on Netaji that are exclusive to the college and are not available elsewhere. Such a document is the honour roll of the college, where as the best student of arts of 1918, Subhaschandra Basu was given the Hawkins Gold Medal in 1919. The college still maintains the roll.
Bose had been thrown out of Presidency College in 1916 after he assaulted a British teacher of history E F Oaten. Following that, the vice-chancellor of Calcutta University spoke to the principal of Scottish Churches College (the name at that time) and got Bose admitted there. After passing out of the college, Bose wrote a letter of thanks to principal W S Urquhart, conveying his gratitude for accepting him in that difficult phase of his life. That letter has also been displayed in the online exhibition.

A photograph also shows a young Subhas, with a crown of black hair and no trace of his familiar bald pate. At that time he was the secretary of the philosophical society of the college and wrote several articles about different philosophical questions that moved him. Those were published in the college magazine and have since been digitized; they are also part of the exhibition. There is another letter of greetings that the boys of the college wrote to Bose in 1938, when he was elected the president of the Indian National Congress. Following an old tradition of the party, he was called “Rashtrapati” and the students of the college congratulated him in the letter. “He had given his autograph on the letter and it has been preserved. We have exhibited it, too,” said Supratim Das, vice-principal of the college. The principal of the college, Arpita Mukerji, said that Netaji and Vivekananda were two illustrious alumni who would be celebrated.

At the time of Netaji, the school section was also a part of the college and hence the school held a philatelic exhibition. A first-day cover was also released, said principal Bivas Saniel.

Source: Times of India

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