24 January 1826|
Calcutta, Bengal Presidency
|Died||5 January 1890
Gnanendramohan Tagore was the son of Prasanna Coomar Tagore and grandson of Gopi Mohan Tagore one of the founders of Hindu College, of the Pathuriaghata branch of the Tagore family. He had won a scholarship of Rs. 40 per month and joined Calcutta Medical College in 1842, but did not complete his medical education. While a student of Hindu College, amongst his class mates were Rajnarain Bose and Gobinda Chandra Dutt (father of Toru Dutt).
When Hindu College was opened, orthodox sections of Hindu society thought that western education would not affect the rigid structure of Hindu society. They had even forced Ram Mohan Roy to stay out of it. However, ‘the contradictions between the College’s name and its secular curriculum soon became evident’ and many students of Hindu College embraced Christianity.
Gnanendramohan converted to Christianity in 1851, under the influence of his mentor, Krishna Mohan Banerjee and married his daughter Kamalmani. As a result, he was disowned by his father and deprived of his inheritance. Prasanna Coomar Tagore left his vast landed estates to his nephew, Maharaja Bahadur Sir Jatindramohan Tagore. Gnanendramohan later regained some of the inheritance through court.
In 1859, Gnanendramohan Tagore went to England, with his wife, for medical treatment. On being cured he joined the University of London as professor of Hindu Law and Bengali. In 1861, he was living at Kensington Park Gardens, where he was visited by student and diarist Rakhal Das Haldar on 28 May. He passed the law examinations and was called to the Bar from Lincoln's Inn in 1862, being the first Asian to be so called. He returned to India in 1864 and joined Calcutta High Court in 1865.
After his wife’s death in 1869, he went back to England with his two daughters, Bhabendrabala and Satyendrabala, and died there subsequently. When Gynandanandini, wife of Satyendranath Tagore, went with her children to England in 1877, Gnanendramohan received them and was their host for some time.
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