Professor Hirendra Nath Chakrabarti: 1 December 1930 – 2 May 2021

St Antony’s College is very sorry to hear the sad news that one of its most distinguished Indian alumni, Hirendra Nath Chakrabarti, has died in Kolkata of COVID-related complications at the age of 90.

Hiren, as he was known to friends, was a student at the College between 1964-68 where he wrote his doctoral thesis on anti-colonial terrorism in early twentieth-century Bengal supported by a Commonwealth Scholarship. He lived in a flat with his family on the top floor of 24 Winchester Road and, as in the attached photo, returned many times over the subsequent decades to revisit the College. He went on to become one of India’s most distinguished academic historians, serving both Presidency College and Kolkata University, at one time the state archivist, and then Curator of the Victoria Memorial.

Hiren was a titan of the Kolkata intelligentsia over many years. He touched profoundly the lives of his students – he was conferred the Eminent Teacher Award at Kolkata University – as well as his co-workers. He wore his learning lightly, was always encouraging to others, and had an impish sense of humour. In short, Hiren added value to the lives of all those with whom he came into contact. He will be much missed, and the College sends its condolences to his wife of 68 years, Gaytari, his son, Sir Suma Chakrabarti, and all those who knew him around the world.

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