Chattopadhyay, Sanjeeb Chunder

Chattopadhyay, Sanjeeb Chunder (1834-1889) journalist, writer, scholar, born in the village of Kanthalpara in the district of the 24-Parganas, son of Jadavchandra Chattopadhyay, one of the earliest Indian deputy magistrate. A self-taught man, Sunjeeb acquired considerable knowledge of English literature, science, history and law. Recognising his merit, the government appointed him deputy magistrate, but unlike his father and younger brother, bankimchandra chattopadhyay, Sanjeeb found the bureaucratic segregation of the colonial service stifling and resigned within a year of his appointment.

Sanjeeb took to journalism and writing. First, he edited a Bangla weekly, Bhramar (1281 BS). He then joined the bangadarshan as its editor. He seems to have been one of the earliest historical researchers among Bengalis. The content and prose style of his historical study, Jal Pratap Chand (1883), made him popular among the contemporary literati. Sunjeeb's greatest literary creation is his travelogue, Palamau (1287-89 BS), which is said to have inspired rabindranath tagore to travel. His Bengal Ryots: Their Rights and Liabilities (1864) analysed the declining trends of Bengal agrarian economy under the colonial regime and showed how the rights of the peasantry were subverted by the permanent settlement. The Bengal Ryots, which ran through many editions, was extensively referred to by the Rent Commission (1882), the report of which led to the enactment of the bengal tenancy act (1885). [Sirajul Islam]