Rajendra Nath Mookerjee

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Sir Rajen Mookerjee
Born 23 June 1854
Bhabla, North 24 Parganas
Died 15 May 1936
Kolkata
Occupation Industrialist

Sir Rajen Mookerjee KCIE KCVO (or Sir Rajendra Nath Mookerjee) was a pioneering Bengali Indian industrialist.[1]

Early life[edit]

Rajendra Nath Mookerjee was raised by his mother after his father died when he was six. He studied engineering for three years at present day Indian Institute of Engineering Science and Technology, Shibpur then located at Presidency College, Calcutta. He started as a contractor and later earned fame as an engineer and businessman.[1]

Achievements[edit]

Along with Sir Thomas Acquin Martin, he founded Martin & Co. and contributed to the success of Bengal Iron at Kulti. Later he joined G.H.Fairhurst in founding the iron works of The Indian Iron and Steel Company at Burnpur.[2] Among his achievements were the construction of Palta water works and the Victoria Memorial at Kolkata. He pioneered the laying down and operations of Martin's Light Railways.[1] He visited England for the first time in 1901 and later several times more in connection with his business.

In 1908, Mookerjee was appointed a Companion of the Order of the Indian Empire (CIE).[3] In 1911, he became sheriff of Kolkata. Also in 1911, he was knighted with the KCIE.[4] In 1922, Mookerjee was further honoured with the dignity of a Knight Commander of the Royal Victorian Order (KCVO).[5] In 1931, the University of Calcutta honoured him with an honorary D.Sc. (Engineering).[1] He presided over the 8th session of Indian Science Congress held at Kolkata in 1921.[6]

Personal life[edit]

Mookerjee was married when he was still in his early teens to eleven-year-old Jadumati Devi, a girl of his own caste and similar background, in a match arranged by their families. The marriage, which was harmonious and lasted all their lives, was blessed with three sons:

  1. Jitendra Nath Mookerjee was his eldest son
  2. Sir Biren Mookerjee, the second son
  3. Mahendra Nath Mookerjee was his youngest son

His grandsons, Ramen Mookerjee and Robin Mookerjee, took over the reins of Martin Burn & Co. after the death of his sons.

Monuments[edit]

A main thoroughfare in Kolkata is named after him as Rajendra Nath Mukherjee Road abbreviated as R. N. Mukherjee Road, earlier known as Misson Row.[7] A statue of Sir R.N. Mukherjee was situated in Victoria Memorial premises.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Sengupta, Subodh Chandra and Bose, Anjali (editors), (1976/1998), Sansad Bangali Charitabhidhan (Biographical dictionary) Vol I, (in Bengali), p 470, ISBN 81-85626-65-0
  2. ^ Srinivasan, N.R., History of The Indian Iron and Steel Company, 1983, p44.
  3. ^ London Gazette
  4. ^ London Gazette
  5. ^ London Gazette
  6. ^ "The Indian Science Congress Association". Archived from the original on 2007-02-10. Retrieved 2007-02-19. 
  7. ^ Calcutta road name change

External links[edit]