Nibaran Chandra Mukherjee
Life with the Brahmo Samaj
Nibaran Chandra Mukherjee joined the Brahmo Samaj at an early age and was ostracised by his family for this decision. He left his ancestral home in Hughli and settled down in Bhagalpur. He contributed substantially to the cause of the Brahmo Samaj in the area.citation required
In his younger days in the 1860s, he was a leader of the progressive Brahmos at Kolkata, during the first schism of the Brahmo Samaj.
In 1869, he married Dinatarini of the Lakhutia zemindar family of Barisal. Two young members of the family, Rakhal Chandra Roy and Bihari Lal Roy, were taking a leading part in the Brahmo work there. Keshub Chunder Sen and his wife went to Barisal to attend the marriage. Subsequently, he was posted to Bhagalpur in government service.
In the History of the Brahmo Samaj Sivanath Sastri wrote,
“The advent of Babu Nibaran Chandra Mukherjee, whose name has been mentioned in connection with progressive Brahmoism in Calcutta, during the Sangat Sabha days of 1865-66, brought a tower of strength to the Brahmo cause at Bhagalpur. He took it up in right earnest and has borne aloft the banner since then, piloting the movement through various vicissitudes of fortune. Others have come and gone but he remains there true to the convictions formed in early youth. During the period of the Cooch Behar marriage controversy the Bhagalpur Samaj kept close to Keshub Chunder Sen’s section of the church, without however shutting its doors to workers of the other section.”
Nibaran Chandra Mukherjee's descendents
Nibaran Chandra Mukherjee’s eldest daughter Mrinalini was married to Gyan Chandra Banerjee, who later settled in Allahabad. His sons were Satish Chandra Mukherjee, Jyotish Chandra Mukherjee and Kshitish Chandra Mukherjee. His grandchildren included Air Marshal Subroto Mukherjee, the first Indian to head the Indian Air Force, Prasanta Mukherjee, who became Chairman of the Railway Board and is credited as having played a key role in the establishment of Chittaranjan Locomotive Works, India’s first locomotive manufacturing plant, Renuka Ray, a Gandhian social worker, freedom fighter and later Congress MP, and Amiya Charan Banerjee, mathematician. His great grandchildren include Milon Banerji, Attorney General of India and Joydeep Mukerjee, a tennis player.
- Sastri, Sivanath, History of the Brahmo Samaj, 1911-12/1993, Sadharan Brahmo Samaj
- Sengupta, Subodh Chandra and Bose, Anjali (editors), 1976/1998, Sansad Bangali Charitabhidhan (Biographical dictionary) Vol I, (Bengali), p151, ISBN 81-85626-65-0