Ashwini Kumar Dutta
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|Ashwini Kumar Dutta
Ashwini Kumar Dutta
25 January 1856|
Patuakhali, Bengal, British India
|Died||7 November 1923(aged 67)|
Ashwini Kumar Dutta was born in a middle class Bengali Hindu Kayastha caste family in Patuakhali in the district of Barisal in Bengal, now in Bangladesh on 15 January 1856. His father Brojo Mohun Dutta was a Munsiff and a Deputy Collector who later became a District Judge. He passed the Entrance examination from Rangpur in 1870 and completed his F.A. from Hindu College. He went to Allahabad to study law. After that he came back to Bengal and completed his M.A. and B.L. from Krishnanagar College.
Dutta started his career as a teacher at the Krishnanagar Collegiate School in 1878. In the next year he joined Chatra Nandalal Institution at Serampore and acted as the Headmaster of the school for seven months. In 1880, he was called to the Bar at Barisal. He built up a lucrative practice and expended his earning in philanthropic activities. At the suggestion of Ramesh Chandra Dutta, the then Magistrate of Barisal, he established the Brojomohun School in the memory of his father, on 27 June 1884. Ashwini Kumar Dutta was elected as a delegate to the second session of Indian National Congress, held at Kolkata in 1886. He took the initiative to establish the District Board in Barisal in 1887. He established the Bakarganj Hitaishini Sabha and a girls' school in the same year. That year he attended the third session of Indian National Congress in Chennai and spoke on need of reforms in the Legislative Council. In 1888, he was appointed the Vice-Chairman of Barisal Municipality. In 1889, he established the Brojomohun College as a second grade college. He served as the honorary lecturer of English at the college for 25 years. In 1897, he was appointed the Chairman of Barisal Municipality. In 1898, he was selected amongst the committee that was empowered to draw up a constitution of the Congress.
The Partition of Bengal drew him to the Swadeshi movement. He founded the Swadesh Bandhab Samiti to promote the consumption of indigenous products and boycott foreign goods. When the moderates and the extremists parted ways in the Surat session, he attempted a reconciliation between the two groups. In 1908, the government of the newly formed Eastern Bengal and Assam banned the Swadesh Bandhab Samiti in 1908 and deported him to the United Provinces where he was interred at the Lucknow jail. After his release in 1910, he concentrated on sustaining the Brojomohun School and Brojomohun College. He had no other way that to accept government aid. In 1912, he was forced to hand over the management of the school and the college to two different trustee councils. In 1918 he attended the Bombay session of the Indian National Congress. He actively undertook relief work after the Barisal cyclone of 1919. In 1921 at the Kolkata session of the Indian National Congress, he lend the non-violent Non-Cooperation Movement. Mohandas Gandhi arrived in Barisal that year to show respect to the great leader. In 1922, he joined the striking workers of Assam Bengal Railway and Steamer Company in protest against the atrocities on the workers of tea plantations of Assam.
Dutta has written a number of books in Bengali on religion, philosophy and patriotism.
- "Datta, Aswini Kumar". Banglapedia. Retrieved 20 May 2011.
- Hussain, Aklam (1997). History of Bangladesh, 1704-1971, Vol. 1. Asiatic Society of Bangladesh. p. 559. ISBN 978-984-512-337-2.
- Sengupta, Subodh Chandra, ed. (1988). Samsad Bangali Charitabhidhan. Kolkata: Sahitya Samsad. pp. 38–39. ISBN 81-86806-98-9.