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Satish Ranjan Das : biography

1870 - 1928

Satish Ranjan Das (1870–1928) was the Advocate-General of Bengal and later the Law Member of the Executive Council of the Viceroy; he was sometime treasurer of the Boy Scouts of Bengal and the Lodge of Good Fellowship, and a prominent member of the reformist Brahmo Samaj in Bengal. Das led a group of moderate Indian nationalists in the creation of The Doon School.

After completing school and university education in England, S.R. Das returned to India in 1894. The idea of The Doon School originated from his participation in the"growing search for a national Indian identity."

Although he died before the school actually opened, had lobbied for it assiduously during the 1920s. Das envisaged an Indian school patterned on the British public school, which he felt had effectively trained young men to become responsible and resourceful administrators throughout the British Empire. But in contrast to British schools, he wanted an Indian school to be nonsectarian and responsive to Indian aspirations. He and the school's other founders saw Doon as the training ground for a new generation of Indian leaders who would take over the reins of administration and government following Independence.

By copying the model of the British public school, the founders were attempting to show that Indians could compete with the British on their own terms without relinquishing their national or cultural identity. This reflected the views of many Indian leaders and intellectuals of the time, but certainly not all. Characteristically, Jawaharlal Nehru welcomed the creation of the school but Mohandas K. Gandhi would have nothing to do with it.

Personal life

Satish Ranjan Das was born in 1870 to Durga Mohan Das, a renowned social reformer. He belonged to the famous Das family of Telirbagh, Bikrampur, Dhaka, now in Bangladesh. He was cousin to Chittaranjan Das and Sudhi Ranjan Das (Chief Justice of India). S. R. Das's two sisters were highly distinguished women of their time. Sarala Roy who founded the 'Gokhale Memorial School' in Calcutta and a prominent women in Bengal's social affairs. Lady Abala Bose, wife of legendary scientist Jagadish Bose and also a prominent women of her time.

He was married to Bonalata Devi. One of his grandsons, Shomie Das, went on to serve as Headmaster of The Doon School.

Living octopus

Living octopus

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