Sarker, Khitish Chandra

Sarker, Khitish Chandra (1895-1981) a social worker who immensely contributed to the development of Rajshahi in educational, social and cultural fields.

Khitish Chandra Sarker lost his father at an early age. He obtained MA in History and BL degrees from Calcutta University. While in Calcutta he came in contact with Stella Kramrish, akshay kumar maitreya, ramaprasad chanda, Nanigopal Majumdar and others. He studied on various aspects of India. He co-operated with other local land-lords, lawyers and teachers in setting up a number of educational, literary, cultural and welfare institution such as rajshahi association (1872), rajshahi public library (1884) and varendra research society (1910). He joined the Varendra Research Society at the request of Ramaprasad Chanda and served the society from 1921 to 1963. He worked as Honorary Secretary of the society from 1946 to 1963. He was Curator-in-Charge of the museum of society for a period in the absence of Nanigopal Majumdar.

Khitish Chandra Sarker visited Ranchi in Jharkhand and Manbhum in West Bengal and wrote an article with the experience and information he gathered from those sites about the life style of the aborigines. It was published in 1927 and admired by contemporary scholars. In 1928 he visited a few archaeological sites in Ceylon and narrated them in his article that was presented in the All India Oriental Conference. The same year he presented an article on 'Some Aboriginal Rites and Customs' in the conference held in Karachi. He presented another article entitled 'Holwell Monument Recalled' in the All India Oriental Conference held in 1933 at Baroda in Maharastra. He wrote, 'Sculpture of Varendra', a marvellous illustrated work at the request of Akshay Kumar Maitreya and Ramaprasad Chanda, but it was not published for some unknown reason. He also wrote 'A Brief History of Varendra and other Essays' a collection of 19 essays. As editor he earned reputation. His famous edited works are 'The Ancient Monuments of Varendra' by Akshay Kumar Maitreya and 'Hya Shirsha Pancha Ratnam' by Bhuban Mohan Sankhyatirtha.

In 1949 Khitish Chandra Sarker protested and foiled the attempt to turn the Varendra Research Museum building into a medical school. Another attempt to take away the antiquities of the museum to Karachi National Museum in 1962 was thwarted because of his opposition.

Sarker was always sincere and devoted in discharging the responsibilities he was entrusted with. He collected a number of antiquities for the museum and the Hankrail Vishnu is noteworthy among them.

Khitish Chandra Sarker was elected a commissioner of the Rajshahi Municipality and took active interest in the spread of primary education.

Sarker left the country after the Indo-Pak war, 1965 and breathed his last at Asoka Nagore in Calcutta on 20 September 1981. [Saifuddin Chowdhury]