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Sadharan Brahmo Samaj takes West Bengal government to court

The prayer hall of the Sadharan Brahmo Samaj in Kolkata. Special Arrangement  

Sadharan Brahmo Samaj (SBS), the party funded by Rabindranath Tagore’s father in the initial years, has entered into a legal battle with the State government over its decision to dissolve the governing bodies of eight colleges in Kolkata run by the organisation. The case which has been pending before the Calcutta High Court since last November and will come up for hearing next month. Calls to Education Minister Partha Chatterjee went unanswered.


The governing bodies of the eight colleges were dissolved following the decision of the State’s Minority Affairs and Madrasah Education Department to not to grant the SBS the status of a minority religion in an order dated September 8, 2017. The order argued that since SBS is not a “separate minority religion”, the related colleges administered by it should be treated as “non-minority Government-aided Colleges.”

The order further stated that the governing bodies of the colleges administered by Bramho Samaj Education Society (BSES) — the SBS’ education wing — be immediately dissolved. The colleges, all located in Kolkata, are Ananda Mohan College, City College, Rammohan College, Umesh Chandra College, Sibnath Sastri College, City College of Commerce and Business Administration, Heramba Chadra College and Prafulla Chandra College.

The petition argues that the State government has been prey to “enormous confusion” between the SBS and BSES, and has and has chosen to “interpret one in terms of the other” while issuing the order to dissolve the governing bodies.

Founded 1878

The Brahmo Samaj was formed by Raja Rammohan Roy as an alternative to the prevalent trends of Hinduism on August 20, 1828. Due to ideological differences, Keshab Chandra Sen, one of its key leaders, formed a separate organisation called the Bramho Samaj of India in 1866. The SBS was formed at a public meeting in May 15, 1878, at the Town Hall in Kolkata, following differences between its founders and Mr. Sen. Ananda Mohan Bose, Shibchandra Deb and Umeshchandra Datta were the key leaders of SBS. Debendranath Tagore, father of Rabindranath Tagore was actively involved with the organisation.

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Printable version | Sep 23, 2021 12:35:58 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/sadharan-brahmo-samaj-takes-west-bengal-government-to-court/article23944009.ece

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