Scottish Church College
|Scottish Church College|
|Motto||Nec Tamen Consumebatur (Latin)|
|Motto in English||"Burning, but yet not consumed"|
|Established||1830: General Assembly's Institution
1843: Free Church Institution
1863: Duff College
1908: Scottish Churches College
1929: Scottish Church College
|Type||Government-aided Christian liberal arts college|
|Religious affiliation||Church of North India|
|Academic affiliation||University of Calcutta|
|Principal||Dr. John Abraham|
|Location||Kolkata, West Bengal, India
|Athletics||Track and field|
|Sports||Badminton, basketball, cricket, football, hockey, and volleyball|
The Scottish Church College is the oldest continuously running Christian liberal arts and sciences college in India. It is affiliated with the West Bengal Board of Secondary Education (for the Scottish Church Collegiate School), the West Bengal Council of Higher Secondary Education for the secondary school examinations, and with the University of Calcutta for degree courses for graduates and postgraduates.
A selective co-educational institution, it is known for its academic standards, intellectual milieu, and its English Palladian architecture. Students and alumni call themselves "Caledonians" in the name of the college festival, "Caledonia".
The founder and institutional origins 
|Principals of General Assembly's Institution (1830–1908)|
|Principal of Free Church Institution (1843–63)|
|Principals of Duff College (1863–1908)|
|Principals of Scottish Churches College (1908–1929)|
|Principals of Scottish Church College (1929–present)|
The institutional origins are traceable to the life of Alexander Duff (1806–1878), the first overseas missionary of the Church of Scotland, to India. Known initially as the General Assembly's Institution, it was founded on 13 July 1830.
Alexander Duff was born on 25 April 1806, in Moulin, Perthshire, located in the Scottish countryside. He attended the University of St Andrews where after graduation, he opted for a missionary life. Subsequently, he undertook his evangelical mission to India. In a voyage that involved two shipwrecks (first on the ship Lady Holland off Dassen Island, near Cape Town, and later on the ship Moira, near the Ganges delta) and the loss of his personal library consisting of 800 volumes (of which 40 survived), and college prizes, he arrived in Calcutta on 27 May 1830.
Initially supported by the Governor-General of India Lord William Bentinck, Rev. Alexander Duff opened his institution in Feringhi Kamal Bose's house, located in upper Chitpore Road, near Jorasanko. In 1836 the institution was moved to Gorachand Bysack's house at Garanhatta. Mr. MacFarlon, the Chief-Magistrate of Calcutta, laid the foundation stone on 23 February 1837. Mr. John Gray, elected by Messrs. Burn & Co. and superintended by Captain John Thomson of the East India Company designed the building. The construction of the building was completed in 1839.
Historical context 
In the early 1800s, under the regime of the East India Company, English education and Missionary activities were initially suspect. While the East India Company supported Orientalist instruction in the vernacular languages like Persian, Arabic and Sanskrit, and helped to establish institutions like Calcutta Madrasah College, and Sanskrit College, in general, colonial administrative policy discouraged the dissemination of knowledge in their language, that is in English. The general apathy of the Company towards the cause of education and improvement of natives is in many ways, the background for the agency of missionaries like Duff.
Inspired by the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, Reverend Alexander Duff, then a young missionary, arrived in India's colonial capital to set up an English-medium institution. Though Bengalis had shown some interest in the spread of Western education from the beginning of the 19th century, both the local church and government officers were skeptical about the high-caste Bengali's response to the idea of an English-medium institution. While Orientalists like James Prinsep were supportive of the idea of vernacular education, Duff and prominent Indians like Raja Rammohun Roy supported the use of English as a medium of instruction. His emphasis on the use of English on Indian soil was prophetic:
|“||The English language, I repeat it, is the lever which, as the instrument of conveying the entire range of knowledge, is destined to move all Hindustan.||”|
Raja Ram Mohan Roy helped Duff by organizing the venue and bringing in the first batch of students. He also assured the guardians that reading the King James's Bible did not necessarily imply religious conversion, unless that was based on inner spiritual conviction. Imbibing the tenets of the Scottish educational system that shaped his ideals, Duff was, unlike the missionaries and scholars at the Serampore College, wholeheartedly committed to the cause of instruction in the English language, as that facilitated the advanced study of European religion, literature and science. By carefully selecting teachers, European and Indian, who brought out the best of Christian and secular understandings, and by emphasizing advanced pedagogical techniques that emphasized the Socratic method of classroom debate, inquiry, and rational thinking, Duff and his followers established an educational system, whose impact in spreading progressive values in contemporary Bengal would be profound. Although his ultimate aim was the spread of English education, Duff was aware that a foreign language could not be mastered without command of the native language. Hence in his General Assembly's Institution (as later in his Free Church Institution), teaching and learning in the dominant vernacular Bengali language was also emphasized. Duff and his successors also underscored the necessity of sports among his students. Interestingly, when he introduced political economy as a subject in the curricula, his faced his church's criticism.
In 1840, Duff returned to India. At the Disruption of 1843, Duff sided with the Free Church. He gave up the college buildings, with all their effects and established a new institution, called the Free Church Institution. He had the support of Sir James Outram and Sir Henry Lawrence, and the encouragement of seeing a new band of converts, including several young men born of high caste. In 1844, governor-general Viscount Hardinge opened government appointments to all who had studied in institutions similar to Duff's institution. In the same year, Duff co-founded the Calcutta Review, of which he served as editor from 1845 to 1849. In 1857, when the University of Calcutta was established, the Free Church Institution was one of its earliest affiliates, and Duff would also serve in the university's first senate. These two institutions founded by Duff, i.e., the General Assembly's Institution and the Free Church Institution would be merged later to form the Scottish Churches College. After the unification of the Church of Scotland in 1929, the institution would be known as Scottish Church College.
Along with Raja Ram Mohan Roy, the great social reformer often called the father of modern India, Dr. Duff supported Lord Macaulay in drafting his influential Minute for the introduction of English education in India. Eminent contemporary and successive missionary scholars from Scotland, notably Dr. Ogilvie, Dr. Hastie, Dr. Macdonald, Dr. Stephen, Dr. Watt, Dr. Urquhart contributed in spreading liberal Western education. The institutions founded by Duff have been coterminous with other contemporary institutions like the Serampore College, and the Hindu College in ushering the spirit of intellectual inquiry and a general acceptance of the ideals of the Enlightenment among Bengali Hindus, the then dominant indigenous ethno-linguistic group in the Company administered Indian territories. This exchange of ideas and ideals, and adoption of progressive values that would eventually influence many social reform movements in South Asia, has been widely regarded by historians specializing in nineteenth century India, as the epochs of the Young Bengal Movement and later, the Bengal Renaissance.
Duff's contemporaries included Reverend Mackay, Reverend Ewart and Reverend Thomas Smith. Till the early 20th century the norm was to bring teachers from Scotland, and this brought forth scholars like William Spence Urquhart, Henry Stephen, H.M. Percival etc. Indian scholars were also engaged as teachers by the college authorities, and the notable faculty includes names like Surendranath Banerjea, Kalicharan Bandyopadhyay, Jnan Chandra Ghosh, Gouri Shankar Dey, Adhar Chandra Mukhopadhyay, Sushil Chandra Dutta, Mohimohan Basu, Sudhir Kumar Dasgupta, Nirmal Chandra Bhattacharya, Bholanath Mukhopadhyay and Kalidas Nag, all of whom had all contributed to enhancing the academic standards of the college.
The Scottish Church College played a pioneering role in women's education as well as co-education in the country. Female students comprise half the present roll strength of the college. With the added interest of the missionaries in educational work and social welfare, the college stands as a monument to Indo-Scottish co-operation. The aims of the college are those of its founder namely, the formation of character through education based on Christian teaching.
Current status and initiatives 
- Until 1953, administrative control over the college was exercised by the Foreign Mission Committee of the Church of Scotland. This was exercised by a local council consisting of representatives of the Church of Scotland and the United Church of Northern India. Later the Foreign Mission Committee of Church of Scotland relinquished its authority to the United Church of Northern India, and in 1970, the United Church of Northern India joined the Church of North India as a constituent body. This made the Church of North India the de facto and de jure successor (to the Church of Scotland) in running the administration of the college. As the college was founded on Christian (Protestant and Presbyterian) foundations, it derives its legal authority and status as a religious minority institution as defined by the scope of Article 30 of the Constitution of India.
- On 27 September 1980, the Indian Postal Service released a commemorative stamp on the college recognizing its contribution towards the historical, cultural, artistic and scientific heritage of India and the entire Indian subcontinent.
- Since 2004, the college has been a member of the United Board for Christian Higher Education in Asia and is a participant in that organization's Asian University Leadership Program.
- Since 2004, the college has been publishing annually the Journal of Humanities and Social Sciences, an international refereed journal in the social sciences related sub-fields like liberalism, empiricism, Marxism, postmodernism, feminism, subaltern studies and postcolonialism.
- The University Grants Commission (India) accepted the recommendations of the University of Calcutta to regard the college as a centre of excellence.
- In 2011, the Scottish Government instituted a Centre of Tagore Studies in Edinburgh's Napier University, to facilitate integrated research on Rabindranath Tagore's works and philosophy. In Calcutta, this scholarly initiative (with student exchange programs) was extended to the college, involving the departments of English, Bengali and philosophy.
Scottish Church College in popular culture 
In fiction 
- Satyajit Ray's fictional scientist-cum-investigator Professor Shonku started his career as a professor of physics at the Scottish Church College.
- Samaresh Majumdar's bestsellng novel Kalbela, which explores Calcutta's culture, politics and society in the aftermath of the 1970s Naxalite movement, won the Sahitya Akademi Award in 1984.
In cinema 
- Kaalbela: Calcutta My Love, a 2009 Bengali film directed by Goutam Ghosh on the events of the 1970s Naxalite movement, had scenes which were shot at the college.
- Egaro: The Immortal Eleven, was a 2011 sports film in Bengali directed by Arun Roy, that was based on the Mohun Bagan Athletic Club's victory over the East Yorkshire Regiment in the finals of the 1911 IFA Shield. Three members of the winning team were students of the college. The film also showed the college as a background.
Notable alumni 
Social reformers and religious leaders 
- Swami Vivekananda, proponent of Advaita Vedanta in the West and founder of the Ramakrishna Mission
- Rev. Lal Behari Dey, theologian of the Free Church of Scotland
- Brahmabandhav Upadhyay, theologian and preacher of New Dispensation Brahmoism, Protestantism, and Roman Catholicism
- Benoyendranath Sen, theologian of New Dispensation Brahmoism
- Sitanath Tattwabhushan, theologian and former president of the Sadharan Brahmo Samaj
- Krishna Kumar Mitra, former president of the Sadharan Brahmo Samaj
- Paramahansa Yogananda, proponent of Kriya Yoga in the West and founder of the Self-Realization Fellowship
- A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, proponent of Gaudiya Vaishnavism and founder of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness
- Rev. Aurobindo Nath Mukherjee, first Indian to serve as the bishop of Calcutta and as the metropolitan bishop of India within the Church of India, Pakistan, Burma and Ceylon
- Swami Gambhirananda, former president of the Ramakrishna Mission
Freedom fighters and politicians 
- Subhas Chandra Bose, former president of the Indian National Congress, founder president of the All India Forward Bloc, co-founder of the Indian National Army and head of state, Provisional Government of Free India
- Bishweshwar Prasad Koirala, first democratically elected prime minister of Nepal
- Amarendranath Chatterjee, revolutionary associated with Anushilan Samiti, and Jugantar
- Syed Abul Mansur Habibullah, co-founder of the Bengal Provincial Krishak Sabha, and the Students Federation of India
- Ambica Charan Mazumdar, former president of the Indian National Congress
- Nirmal Chandra Chatterjee, former president of the All India Hindu Mahasabha
- Gopinath Bordoloi, prominent freedom fighter, first chief minister of Assam
- Prafulla Chandra Sen, former chief minister of West Bengal
- Pu Lalthanhawla, chief minister of Mizoram
- Brington Buhai Lyngdoh, former chief minister of Meghalaya
- S.C. Marak, former chief minister of Meghalaya
- S.C. Jamir, former chief minister of Nagaland, former governor of Maharashtra, Gujarat and Goa
- Rishang Keishing, former chief minister of Manipur
- George Gilbert Swell, former deputy speaker of the Lok Sabha and former ambassador to Norway and Burma
- Birendra Narayan Chakraborty, former governor of Haryana
- Banwari Lal Joshi, governor of Uttar Pradesh, former lieutenant governor of Delhi, former governor of Meghalaya and Uttarakhand
- Ajit Kumar Panja, former minister of state for external affairs
- Sir Gooroodas Banerjee, former judge at the Calcutta High Court
- Sudhi Ranjan Das, former Chief Justice of India
- Amal Kumar Sarkar, former Chief Justice of India
- Amarendra Nath Sen, former chief justice of the Calcutta High Court, and former judge of the Supreme Court of India
- Sambhunath Banerjee, former chief justice of the Calcutta High Court
- Subimal Chandra Roy, former judge of the Supreme Court of India
- Anandamoy Bhattacharjee, former chief justice of the Sikkim, Calcutta and the Bombay High Courts
- Ganendra Narayan Ray, former chief justice of the Gujarat High Court, and former judge of the Supreme Court of India
- Umesh Chandra Banerjee, former chief justice of the Andhra Pradesh High Court and former judge of the Supreme Court of India
- Mukul Gopal Mukherjee, former chief justice of the Rajasthan High Court
- Shyamal Kumar Sen, former chief justice of the Allahabad High Court, and former governor of West Bengal
Scholars and academic administrators 
- Chandramukhi Basu, one of the first female graduates of the British Empire, and the first female head of an undergraduate college in South Asia (as principal of Bethune College, Calcutta)
- Sir Gooroodas Banerjee, first Indian vice chancellor of the University of Calcutta
- Sir Brajendra Nath Seal, first chancellor of Visva-Bharati University, former vice chancellor of the University of Mysore
- Sir Jnan Chandra Ghosh, formerly director of the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, founder-director of the Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur and former vice chancellor of the University of Calcutta
- Tarak Nath Das, formerly professor of political science at Columbia University
- Sarat Chandra Roy, pioneering anthropologist, often regarded as the father of Indian ethnography, and as the first Indian anthropologist
- Biraja Sankar Guha, one of the first PhD recipients in anthropology in the world (Harvard University, 1924), and founder-director of the Anthropological Survey of India
- Nirmal Kumar Bose, anthropologist and former director of the Anthropological Survey of India
- Ramaprasad Chanda, historian and archaeologist, co-founder of the Varendra Research Museum
- Hem Chandra Raychaudhuri, formerly Carmichael professor of ancient Indian history and culture, University of Calcutta
- Tapan Raychaudhuri, ad hominem professor of Indian history and civilization and emeritus fellow, St Antony's College, Oxford
- Rabindra Kumar Das Gupta, formerly Tagore professor of Bengali literature, University of Delhi, and former director of the National Library of India
- Asima Chatterjee, first Indian woman to earn a doctorate in science, first female recipient of the Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Prize for Science and Technology, and first female president of the Indian Science Congress
- Animesh Chakravorty, recipient of the Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Prize for Science and Technology in chemistry, formerly chair of the department of chemistry, Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur
- Sambhunath Banerjee, Nirmal Kumar Sidhanta, Ramendra Kumar Podder, and Santosh Bhattacharyya, former vice chancellors of the University of Calcutta
- Nityananda Saha, former vice chancellor of the University of Kalyani
Performing arts, theater and cinema 
- Sisir Bhaduri, noted playwright
- Pankaj Mullick, Bollywood and Bengali cinema music director and composer
- Suchitra Mitra, Rabindra Sangeet exponent
- Manna Dey, Bollywood film music exponent
- Mrinal Sen, internationally acclaimed art film director and cultural commentator
- Buddhadeb Dasgupta, noted parallel cinema director and poet
- Tarun Majumdar, film director
- Utpalendu Chakrabarty, film director and thespian
- Soumitra Chatterjee, iconic Bengali actor
- Mithun Chakraborty, Bollywood action hero and social activist
- Birendra Krishna Bhadra, broadcaster, playwright, and theater director
- Shyamanand Jalan, thespian and theatre director
- Badal Sircar, dramatist
- Rudraprasad Sengupta, eminent theatre personality, director of Nandikar theatre group and cultural critic
- Partha Pratim Chowdhury, film director and playwright
- Manoj Mitra, dramatist
- Madhav Sharma, actor, comedian, theater director
- Pulak Bandyopadhyay, lyricist and composer
Writers, poets and journalists 
- Dhan Gopal Mukerji, socio-cultural critic and first successful Indian man of letters in the United States of America; winner of Newbery Medal (1928)
- Nirad C. Chaudhuri, polymath, historian and commentator on culture, and Commander of the Order of the British Empire
- Satyendranath Dutta, poet
- Sudhindranath Dutta, author and poet
- Ashok Kumar Sarkar, former editor of Desh literary magazine and editor-in-chief of the Anandabazar Patrika (1958-1983)
- Parvati Prasad Baruwa, litterateur
- Premendra Mitra, novelist, short story and science fiction writer, and film director
- Subhas Mukhopadhyay, poet
- Samaresh Majumdar, novelist
- Sanjib Chattopadhyay, journalist, author and critic
- Bani Basu, essayist, novelist, and poet
- Kanhaiyalal Sethia, poet
- Farrukh Ahmed, poet, writer, activist of the Language Movement
- Derek O'Brien, quiz-master and author
- Bina Sarkar Ellias, founder-editor and publisher of International Gallerie, a global arts and ideas magazine
- Mustafa Manwar, artist and media personality
Administrators and industrialists 
- Binay Ranjan Sen, former director general of the Food and Agriculture Organization
- Jagmohan Dalmiya, former president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India and the first Indian chairman of the International Cricket Council
- Mani Lal Bhaumik, scientist turned entrepreneur, inventor of the excimer laser and author
- Diptendu Pramanick, first secretary of the Eastern India Motion Pictures Association, and secretary of the Film Federation of India (1953–54)
- Evelyn Norah Shullai, pioneer of the Girl Guides Movement in India
- Gourgopal Ghosh, football player for the Mohun Bagan club and mathematician
- Dharma Bhakta Mathema, bodybuilder, political activist and anti-royalist martyr in the Kingdom of Nepal
- Surya Shekhar Ganguly, chess grandmaster
- Sreerupa Bose, former member, India national women's cricket team
- Saint Columba's main doorway
- Basu, Pradip. The Question of Colonial Modernity and Scottish Church College in 175th Year Commemoration Volume. Scottish Church College, April 2008. page 35.
- Matilal, Anup. The Scottish Church College: A Brief Discourse on the Origins of an Institution in 175th Year Commemoration Volume. Scottish Church College, April 2008. pp. 19-20.
- Abraham, John. A Foreword in 175th Year Commemoration Volume. Scottish Church College, April 2008. page 2.
- History of Scottish Church College
- Pitlochry Church of Scotland's obituary of Alexander Duff
- The missionary’s mission in Calcutta
- Matilal, p. 17.
- Basu, pp. 33-4.
- Sardella, Ferdinando. Rise of Nondualism in Bengal in Modern Hindu Personalism: The History, Thought and Life of Bhaktisiddhanta. Oxford University Press, 2013. pp. 39-40.
- Bandyopadhyay, Kausik. Games Ethic in Bengal: A Commentary on the sporting tradition of the Scottish Church College in 175th Year Commemoration Volume. Scottish Church College, April 2008. pp. 74-5.
- A Tradition of Notable Firsts
- Master visionary
- Basu, p. 35.
- United Board Partner Institutions
- Star tag on six colleges
- Half in, half out in college tag race
- Tagore drew inspiration from Scottish bard for his poem - article in the Times of India
- Glasgow tie-up for CU - article in the Calcutta Telegraph
- Sahitya Akademi Awards 1955-2007
- Article in The Telegraph on the film Kaalbela
- The death anniversary of Indian Football's first legend
- Football scores at the box office in cricket-mad India