Bagha Jatin: The Revolutionary Legacy

Professor Tapan Raychaudhuri,

Emeritus Fellow, St. Antony’s College, Oxford.

Professor of Indian History and Civilization, University of Oxford (Retired)

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5.50 in x 8.50 in



About The Author

Prithwindra Mukherjee

Prithwindra Mukherjee

Dr. Prithwindra Mukherjee was born in Calcutta (1936) and brought up in Pondicherry (1948-66). He taught languages and literature at Sri Aurobindo International Centre of Education (1955-66). He moved to Paris when he received the French Government Scholarship (1966-70). His first thesis was on Sri Aurobindo at the Sorbonne University (1970). Later, he taught at two Paris faculties (1974-81). He received the Fulbright Scholarship for research in the United States. In 1981, he joined the French National Centre of Scientific Research. His thesis for the State Doctorate on pre-Gandhian Freedom movement in British India was supervised by Raymond Aron (1974-1982) and was published with a foreword by Jacques Attali. He has authored many books and other publications on diverse subjects.
Honours and Awards:
French composer Henri Dutilleux’s Correspondances opus for voice and orchestra (Berlin Philharmoniker, 2003; Deutsche Grammophon, 2012), contains as the first movement Prithwindra Mukherjee’s “Danse cosmique” in homage to Shiva Nataraja. Dr. Mukherjee’s poem on Shiva Nataraja has been translated into twelve languages of the world. The French Ministry of Culture has conferred on Dr. Prithwindra Mukherjee the rank of Chevalier (Knight) in the Order of Arts and Letters, in 2009. The French Academy has conferred on him its prestigious Hirayama Award in 2014.
In addition to 12 LPs and 2 documentary films (CNRS), Dr. Prithwindra Mukherjee has published more than 60 books and 400 articles in Bengali, French and English. He is a pioneering translator from French into Bengali, and from Bengali into French for UNESCOand other publishers, and is founder-member of the Association of French Literary Translators. He is referred to as “the delicious Franco-Bengali poet” by the Figaro Littéraire (1974) for his Poèmes du Bangladesh. Some of his prominent works include French Anthology of a Thousand Years of Bengali Poetry (1991, Pocket edition 1992) (Anthologie de la poésie bengalie); The Cognitive Study of the Scales of Indian Music, with a Foreword by Pandit Ravi Shankar (2003) (Thât/Mélakartâ: Les échelles fondamentales de la musique indienne du Nord et du Sud); Bagha Jatin: Life and Times of Jatindranath Mukherjee (National Book Trust, 2010) launched by H.E. Pranab Mukherjee, the then Finance Minister; A Shade Sharp, A Shade Flat: a trilingual anthology with 108 poems by Rabindranath Tagore, launched by the President of the Société des Gens de Lettres, Paris; Les raciness intellectuelles du movement d’indépendance de l’Inde (1893-1918), PhD thesis on the pre-Gandhian freedom movement in India, Editions Codex (Foreword: Jacques Attali); and Le Spontané: a study of the sahaja-yâna quest through the 8th century Caryâ-pada and the contemporary Bâul songs, Almora Publishers, Paris.

(Taken from Prof. Tapan Raychaudhuri’s comments on Mr. Mukherjee’s forthcoming book Bagha Jatin in Orissa)

Bagha Jatin, alias Jatindranath Mukherjee, is one of our legendary figures in the history of revolutionary efforts in India. The truth of this matter is unfortunately shrouded in inaccurate tales. Bagha Jatin was involved in the German Conspiracy Plot during the First World War, hoping to get arms from the Germans for a country-wide rising, but died fighting with the British army and police before the arms could arrive. We now know from this factually accurate account of the last phase in his career written by his grandson that the Tiger had a very sophisticated understanding of the contemporary political reality. He was not hoping to overthrow the British power in India by one single revolutionary action, but hoped to inspire his countrymen with the ideal of self-sacrifice in the cause of independence and by his own example fill them with courage. This accurate description of his struggle with the ruling colonial power shows the nature of the initiative and also the impact it had on the national psyche.

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