Mukherjee, Satish Chandra

Mukherjee, Satish Chandra (1865-1948) nationalist writer, was born on 5 June 1865 at Bandipur in Hughli district. Satish Chandra's early education began at South Suburban School, Bhowanipore. In 1884 he passed BA from presidency college, Kolkata on a government scholarship. After completing his MA in English in 1886, he began teaching at Metropolitan Institution, Kolkata. In 1887 he joined Berhampore College. After obtaining the BL degree in 1890, he started practising law at the Calcutta High Court. In 1895 he established an educational institution called Bhagavat Chatuspathi. bijoy krishna goswami was his spiritual guru.

Asutosh Mookerjee was Satish Chandra's classmate. Satish Chandra maintained a close contact with contemporary personalities such as shibnath shastri, brajendra nath seal, rabindranath tagore, bipin chandra pal, aswini kumar datta, and swami vivekananda by whom he was influenced variously. In 1902 he established the dawn society as an example of self-reliance in education and became its secretary. Dawn Society was a non-political cultural organisation founded in protest against the Report of Indian Universities Commission. Its aims included providing Bengali students with an ideal education, imparting religious and moral lessons to them, extending their intellectual capacities and building their character. Moreover, it also believed in imbuing students with a sense of nationalism and patriotism while imparting practical technical education and developing indigenous industries.

Dawn Society contributed to the introduction of nationalism in education. It arranged a meeting on 5 November 1905 to inaugurate national education. rabindranath tagore, satish chandra and hirendranath dutta delivered speeches at the gathering. Satish Chandra called upon students to leave Calcutta University and boycott its examinations.

Satish Chandra established the Council of National Education (NEC) in 1906. aurobindo ghosh became principal of the newly founded Bengal National College under the NCE and Satish Chandra became its Caretaker. In 1907 Aurobindo resigned and Satish Chandra was appointed principal. But he also resigned the next year because of ill health.

Satish Chandra also protested against the Carlyle Circular of 10 October 1905 the intention of which was to keep students away from the swadeshi movement. dawn society worked for the revitalization of indigenous industries long before the formal beginning of the movement in 1905. The monthly Dawn (1897), edited by Satish Chandra, served as the mouthpiece of the Society in awakening and propagating nationalism.

Satish Chandra also contributed to the English magazine Bandemataram. The non-cooperation movement (1922) of Gandhi influenced him greatly. When Mahatma Gandhi was arrested, Satish Chandra fled to Sabarmati and for two months assisted in the management and publication of Young India. In 1930 he visited Dr Rajendra Prasad's Vihar Vidyapith and stayed there for some time.

Satish Chandra was a profoundly religious man. Yet he did not have trust in religious superstitions and the caste system and was against provincialism. He died on 18 April 1948. [Sambaru Chandra Mohanta]