Sailen Debnath is a Bengali Indian writer  with versatile interest and Head of the Department of History at Alipurduar College, an affiliated college of the University of North Bengal in the state of West Bengal, India. The themes of Sailen's writings are religious, philosophical and historical in nature. His writings tend to define ideas; and such instances can be witnessed in his definitions of Western culture, Christendom, Bengali culture, and the concepts of Siva, Saraswati, Chitragupta and Yama.
Personal life 
Born in 1958 of refugee parents who left their property and fortune behind in East Pakistan, Sailen’s childhood and youth passed through destitution and sufferings; he had to earn for his own living and studies, except for that of Ph.D. which he did with Government Scholarship, as his father Jatindra and mother Neera Devi could seldom provide the required expenses. Apart from penury, he long endured the continuous onslaughts of fatal diseases; and all these tribulations partially shaped his world of thought about human life, morality and virtue as well as his ideas of the Indian society and history.
Themes of writings 
Sailen's pioneering works have brought to light the scientific interpretation and the hidden meanings of the Hindu pantheon and myths, explanation of the concept of secularism both Western and Indian, the history of West Bengal since 1947 and North Bengal since independence as well.
Though more interested in intellectual history, history of ideas, philosophy and religion; with equal spirit, Sailen, in pursuance of William Wilson Hunter, has done justice to the fields of local history and micro-history. Apart from various topics Sailen has dealt with, concerning the history of Dooars, Siliguri, Jalpaiguri, Cooch Behar, Chilapata forest, Mainaguri, Buxa Fort, Kamatapur or the Gorkhaland Movement, any reader may find some new additions in his analytical writings.
His book ‘The Meanings of Hindu Gods, Goddesses and Myths’ published by Rupa & Co. has given an alternative version of the Hindu deities and myths. The discourse put forward by Sailen introduces that the Hindu gods and goddesses are in fact symbols of ancient scientific ideas developed by the Indian seers in the long course of their scientific disquisitions and discoveries. He has analyzed the Hindu deities and myths in the light of the knowledge of neurology, physiology and endocrinology. The true worshipper is, according to him, one who understands the meaning hidden in the deity-like symbols and follows the meanings in day-to-day life; there is no purpose in taking the deities into and confining them to temples. Sailen further says of the meanings of the Hindu pantheon, “One who knows the true meaning of the Hindu gods and goddesses and the great myths, will find a new horizon of psychology, science and philosophy. There will then remain no question of polytheism and monotheism; and of course, no question of worship, but realization through pursuit. As a religion, true Hinduism has no quarrel with any religion of the world. The so called secularists as well as the blind followers of Hinduism should at least know the scientific and spiritual aspects of Hinduism before they embark on either criticism or vindication of the religion. It is the only religion that first considered every thing living in rhythmic relations with one another and the whole Nature vivacious in the dance of life; therefore, there were no discriminations. It is a pity that inter-caste hatred and exclusiveness as espoused and engendered by the privileged and the dogmatic and followed even by the low castes have damaged the very spirit of the Hindu spiritual universalism and the realized concept of the existence of divinity in all things, as says the Upanishad, “Sarbang khallidang Brahma”, i.e. the absolute being is in all things and everywhere”.
Sailen Debnath’s another book ‘Secularism: Western and Indian’ published by Atlantic publishers is a first-hand book of a serious and sincere comparative study of Eastern and Western concepts of secularism apart from an arduous attempt to define what secularism is, after all, in the beginning of the book. In this book, he has pointed out that while more Christians are becoming secular, Islam has been steadily spreading in Europe.In the line of his analysis of the emergence of modern secularism in India, Sailen has portrayed the real picture of the challenge to secular politics in the Indian subcontinent owing to the turning up of the demand for Pakistan posed by the Muslim League; but, with a dispassionate outlook, he has given a balanced evaluation of Muhammad Iqbal, the real theoretician and political philosopher behind the demand for Pakistan.
Sailen's book ‘West Bengal in Doldrums’ is a sincere attempt at writing impartial history even at a time when the players of that history are still alive. His unbiased outlook is proved between the lines of the book with critical analyses of the Bengal Renaissance and the resurgence of Indian science since the second half of the nineteenth century. The novel chapters of the book are on the refugee crisis, homeless humans (Homeless Millions), dying women in brothels (The Cities of Brothels) and Genocide in the Island Trap. On the Naxalite Movement his analysis seems to be very much authentic; and the causes he has pointed out for the decline and fall of the Naxalite Movement are based on meticulous research; the same is the case regarding his view of the Kamatapur and the Gorkhaland Movement. His other books namely Essays On Cultural History of North Bengal, The Dooars in Historical Transition, and his edited book Social and Political Tensions in North Bengal Since 1947 are hitherto the most reliable books on the cultural and political history of North Bengal. On biographical-philosophical writings, his books, 'Philosophical and Political Thought of Sabhas Chandra Bose' and 'A Compendium of Gandhism and Netaji's Critique of Gandhism' are really reflective of a critical analysis of the philosophical thought of two great personalities of modern India.
Philosophy of History 
Sailen’s historiography is grounded on his own philosophy of history. He is not a materialist; he does not see nature without a spirit behind and within; he does not mean history without purpose; therefore, in spite of agreeing to the formation of categories of classes and the existence of class-struggle of some sort, he does not subscribe to Marx’s economic and materialistic determinism in history. According to him, “history is the progressive expression of the evolution of human consciousness in action and creativity”; and for that reason, the role of creative ideas in all fields of discovery, invention, manufacturing, communication, religion, culture, art, music and literature have been crucial and rudimental in the building of human civilization, and hence in the studies of history. In the context of his ideas, it appears that to him history is creative and progressive; i.e. in the long course of historical development and evolution, new things in the forms of inventions and new bunches of knowledge in the sequence of discoveries are coming into existence; and thus civilization is advancing; and as human civilization is advancing ethically as well, humanity is becoming more united, coherent and universally conscious as to joint responsibility of humankind in saving the world from scourges of destruction. To him, history is never repeated because the space is ever-changing and the forward-moving time can never be brought back. Thus no incident of the past is repeated in the context of its previous time and space.
In Indian history, Sailen is of the view that the Buddhist period accounting nearly for one thousand years since the sixth century B.C. should be given more importance and emphasis in the studies of Indian history than it is generally given by Indian historians. From a dominant cultural point of view, the majority of historians in India have depicted the Gupta Period as the golden age of Indian history. Sailen holds the opinion that in Sanskrit literature, astronomy, medicine, surgery and metallurgy, the Gupta period marked a distinction for itself; but in view of overall improvement in all fields explicitly human resource development on welfare activities by the state, people’s happiness, irrigation for better agricultural produce, social amity and unity, balance of development in different areas of the country, human progress irrespective of caste and creed, liberating India from foreign yoke of the Greeks, and, above all, cordial external relations with the neighbouring countries and the dissemination of Indian culture to foreign countries, the achievement of the Mauryan period particularly under Chahndragupta Maurya, a Jain, and Asok, a Buddhist, was not only unprecedented but also unexcelled in subsequent ages of Indian history; therefore, it seems that if any period of Indian history has to be named as the golden period, then certainly the Mauryan period may be more credited as such than the Gupta period.
His view is that the interpretation of Indian history can not be made on Marxist analytical dimension without proper reference to the Hindu caste system of which Marx had no lucid idea; as a matter of fact, during the long course of Indian history, economic class formations were mostly determined by caste divisions and inter-caste discriminations. Consideration of time and space is essential in the sight of Sailen’s philosophy of history. In order to purport this point, he writes in ‘West Bengal in Doldrums’, “No need of looking at West Bengal through the eyes of a Modernist, Orinetalist, Postmodernist, Post-Colonialist, Structuralist or Deconstructionist to know the facts of life, society, economy, culture and polity and things as they were and as they have changed; and dislocations and fractures as have taken place, the tears that have evaporated and the new formations as they have emerged in West Bengal in the years since the birth of the state in 1947 on a bifurcation of what was known as Bengal; the best is the way of avoiding partisan outlook and so-called ideological standpoint and write of them as they have been untinged of any interpretative colour. The socio-cultural, psychological and politico-economic contexts of Bakhtin’s Russia and Derrida’s or Foucault’s France have been conspicuous by their absence in West Bengal and India as well; therefore, the study of West Bengal through the eyes of someone in Euro-American background in the second half of the twentieth century would well-nigh be irrelevant.”
A Drift to Religious Syncretism 
In spite of his having written thought-provoking books on and about Hinduism, Sailen has been a naturalist, an admirer of the philosophy of creative evolution, and, at a time, an ardent follower of the best teachings of Buddhism,Taoism, Christianity and greater humanism. In search of the practical spirit and true nature of the Himalayan Buddhism, he travelled to all the important monasteries in Bhutan, Sikkim and even in the part of Tibet bordering Bhutan and Sikkim. His view is that a combination of the ideas of Vedanta, Taoism, Buddhism and Christianity would have given birth to a kind of universal religion and that could give a meaningful turning to human civilization in the twenty-first century.
Derived Influences 
Sailen has been influenced by several western thinkers in the long course of his intellectual growth. As a matter of fact, the corpus of his thought, apart from being rudimentarily original, is partly a symbiosis of the selected strings of ideas and philosophical thought specifically of Herbert Spencer, Immanuel Kant and Henri Bergson. Parallel with that of Charles Darwin’s biological evolution, Spencer’s concept of evolution from simple to complex and from homogeneity to heterogeneity appealed to his reasoning from his school life. At the college level, he became so enamoured of Bergson’s theory of creative evolution, élan vital, creative urge, progress and non-repetition of the past in the course of evolution that he emotionally began to respect the French Philosopher as his preceptor. At the same time Kant’s concepts of reason, epistemology including the ideas of noumena and phenomena, apriori and a posteriori cast a lasting impact on his mind; though his symbiosis of ideas as deducted from all these trends is a matter of analysis.
From a syncretical point of view Sailen has developed his own view of Nature and Life; and by this he means a fusion of scientific realism, ideas of creative evolution and a belief in the existence of Supreme Consciousness (or conscious vitality) dormant as well as vivacious in everything of nature and life. The main features of his concept of creative evolution (further developed on the philosophy of Bergson) and spiritual naturalism are as follows: 1. Natural Laws guide everything but nature is the expression of spirit or Vital Consciousness. 2. The spirit is but universal Vital Consciousness of which the individual consciousness of every human being is a bubble; and the bubble has eternal urge to creativity. 3. The freedom of the will is the creative expression or urge of every human being; but this freedom is subject to natural laws inherent in the flow of vital Consciousness. 4. One can not, must not and should not try to disobey the laws of nature as they are the laws of Vital Consciousness; creative urge of any individual mind or unit of consciousness is possible only in being compatible with the flow of Vital Consciousness. 5. All human beings are just like players in a play ground; natural laws are the referee; and the Supreme consciousness being inherent in every soul is the observer; but freedom is there in playing the best of the play, in achieving the best of the game, in the expression of the best of the individual spirit. 6. The soul is the individual unit of consciousness; it is a bubble of universal consciousness; and in the human body it works through the medium of the brain and the nervous system. 7. The difference between matter and life is just only in the degree of the expression of universal consciousness; for that reason, the brain can reflect consciousness in its action and program.
- Sailen Debnath, The Meanings of Hindu Gods, Goddesses and Myths, ISBN 9788129114815, Rupa & Co., New Delhi
- Sailen Debnath, Secularism: Western and Indian, ISBN 9788126913664, Atlantic Publishers, New Delhi
- Sailen Debnath, West Bengal in Doldrums, ISBN 9788186860342, N.L. Publishers
- Sailen Debnath, The Dooars in Historical Transition, ISBN 9788186860441, N.L. Publishers
- Sailen Debnath, Essays on Cultural History of North Bengal, ISBN 9788186860427, N.L. Publishers
- Sailen Debnath, Edited: Social and Political Tensions in North Bengal since 1947, ISBN 9788186860441, N.L. Publishers
- Philosophical and Political thought of Subhas Chandra Bose.
- A Compendium of Gandhism and Netaji’s Critique of Gandhism.
- Uttarbanga Sambad (Daily Newspaper), September 21, 2008; & Uttarbanga Sambad, March 29, 2009.
- East-Indian Journal of Social Sciences, ISSN 2277- 4483, Vol. 1, No. 1, Prolegomena
- Proceedings of the Seminar on International Year of Physics, Sponsored By the UGC, Government of India, Alipurduar College, March, 2006
- William Wilson Hunter, Annals of Rural Bengal, Published by Smith, Elder & co, 1870; A Statistical Account of Assam, (2 Vols), (Ist edition 1879), 1998, Spectrum Publications. ISBN 81-85319-91-X & William Wilson Hunter, A Brief history of the Indian Peoples, 20 edition, Oxford: Clarendon Press.
- Sailen Debnath, The Meanings of Hindu Gods, Goddesses and Myths, ISBN 9788129114815, Rupa & Co., New Delhi
- Herbert Spence, First Principles, Elibron Classics; & Mark Francis, Herbert Spencer and the Invention of Modern Life
- C. D. Broad, Kant: an Introduction; Cambridge University Press, 1978. ISBN 0-521-21755-5, ISBN 0-521-29265-4
- Henri Bergson, Creative Evolution, Translated by Arthur Mitchell, 1911, New York.
- Sailen Debnath, Adhyatwik Prakritibad, (in Bengali).