Gupta, Atul Chandra

Gupta, Atul Chandra (1884-1961) pleader and litterateur, was born on 12 March 1884 in the village of Billaik of tangail district, son of Umesh Chandra Gupta, a lawyer who had settled at rangpur.

Atul Chandra had his early education at Rangpur, passing the Entrance examination from Rangpur Zilla School in 1901. He then moved to Kolkata, completing his BA (Hons) in English and Philosophy in 1904 from presidency college. After completing MA in Philosophy (1906) and BL (1907) from the university of calcutta, he taught briefly at Rangpur National School before taking up the practice of law. In 1914, he started practising at Calcutta High Court. From 1918 to 1928 he was a professor of Roman Law and Jurisprudence at Calcutta University. He then left teaching and returned to his legal practice, soon becoming one of the best-known lawyers of India.

While a student Atul Chandra joined the movement against the Carlyle circular (1905) which made student politics a punishable offence. Its purpose was to keep students away from the swadeshi movement. In 1947 he prepared West Bengal's brief for the Radcliffe Tribunal. He was a member of the indian national congress.

Atul Chandra was a versatile genius. He won the 'Anathanath Dev Prize' of Calcutta University for his thesis on 'Trading with the Enemy' written in 1918. Calcutta University conferred the DL degree on him in 1957.

Atul Chandra was well-versed in Indian poetics and wrote books on literature, as well as on education, history and politics. His major works include Shiksa O Sabhyata (1927), Kavyajijnasa (1928), Nadipathe (1937), Samaj O Bibaha (1948) and Itihaser Mukti (1957). Kavyajijnasa is considered to be his masterpiece. He also contributed to the sabujpatra. Atul Chandra passed away on 12 February 1961 in Kolkata. [Manas Majumdar]