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Tagore, Satyendranath


Tagore, Satyendranath (1842-1923) writer, litterateur and the first Indian ICS. He was the second son of debendranath tagore and an elder brother of rabindranath tagore. He studied English and Sanskrit at home. In 1857 he passed the Entrance examination in the first division from Hindu School and entered Presidency College. In 1859 he married Jnadanandini Devi and became the father of two children: Surendranath and indira devi chowdhurani. While still in college, he became associated with Brahma Samaj and, in 1861, joined hands with keshab chandra sen to propagate the Brahma religion in Krishnanagar. In 1862 he went to London along with his wife and returned home in 1864 as an ICS officer. He began his career as a civil servant in 1865 as assistant magistrate and collector in Ahmedabad. He spent the major part of his professional career in western India (former Bombay province) and retired as sessions judge of Satara district.

He founded hindu mela at Belgachia in Calcutta on 12 April 1867 (last day of Chaitra) with the aim of making people patriotic. Satyendranath's patriotic song, 'Mile sabe Bharatsantan', sung at the second session of Hindu Mela was profusely praised. He presided over the tenth session of the Bengal provincial conference held at Natore in 1897. He was made president of vangiya sahitya parishad (Bengal Literary Council) in 1900 and 1901. In 1906 he was made acharya of Adi Brahma Samaj and in 1907, along with his elder brother dwijendranath tagore, became its acharya and president.

Satyendranath made a significant contribution to the social advancement of the country. He believed in women's liberation and took his wife Jnanadanandini to England much against social criticism. It was his support that encouraged her to give up the veil at home. She was the first Indian woman to enter the Government House at the invitation of the viceroy.

Satyendranath was the author of nine Bangla and three English books. Among them Sushila O Birsingha (play, 1867), Bombay Chitra (1888), Nabaratnamala, Strisvadhinata, Bauddhadharma (1901), Amar Balyakatha O Bombay Prayas (1915), Bharatvarsiya Engrej (1908) and Raja Rammohan Roy earned considerable fame. His translated works Tilak's Bhagavadgitabhasya, kalidasa's Meghaduta and Tukaram's Abhabga deserve special mention. He also composed quite a few Brahma and patriotic songs and for some time edited the tattvabodhini patrika. [Sambaru Chandra Mohanta]