Friday, July 31, 2009

Famous persons and families of murshidabad Part 2

Shree Sumatinath Temple at Azimganj
Built by Nahar Family

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Nahar Family:

Nahar family was a Zemindar family of Azimganj. The family has contributed a lot to the society, religion, academics and culture. They built Shri Sumatinath Temple in Azimganj. Nahar family also founded Kumar Singh Hall with a temple, community hall, library and museum in Kolkata near their residence at Indian mirror street. Rai Bahadoor Sri Manilal Nahar and one more person (I can not remember name) of this family had been featured in "Glimpses of Bengal", published in 1905.

Sri Puran Chand Nahar of this family was a great scholar. He is one of the academicians in India who laid the foundation to modern historical and archaeological research about Jainism. His collection is donated to Kolkata university and it is preserved there.

His brother Kesri Chand Nahar was a great patron of Indian classical music. He collected and published "Stavanavali" almost a century back. This is a great collection of Jain Bhajans with name of "Raag" and "Taal" printed with every Bhajan (Jain devotional song).

Bijoy Singh Nahar of this family entered into politics. He reached to the status of Home Minister and deputy Chief minister of West Bengal. He had been in the ministry of Dr. Bidhan Chandra Roy and Siddhartha Shankar Roy. Later on, he left Congress party with babu Jagjivan Ram to form Congress for democracy in 1977. When Congress for democracy was merged into Janata party, he became general secretary of Janata Party. He fought and won parliamentary election in 1977 from Kolkata.
He was a revolutionary Jain and edited and published "Tarun Jain", a monthly magazine for young Jains. He also adorned the post of Chairman, Bihar religious trust board, Government of Bihar.

Deep Singh Nahar of this family was a great photographer and had been worked as President, Bengal photographers association.

Ajit Singh Nahar of this family was a famous homoeopath and married to Smt. Kanak Sundari of famous Rai Badridas Bahadoor Mookim family. His sons Soumendra Nahar, Pradip Nahar and Bablu Nahar studied in Moscow. Soumendra Nahar and Pradip Nahar were awarded with Gorbachev award, highest honor for scientists in former USSR. Soumen and Bablu are in Russia and Pradip is serving as a research scientist in CSIR, Delhi.

Update: Mr. Ranjan Nahar, brother of Soumen has informed me that Soumen has returned fron Russia and is now living in Kolkata.

To be continued.........

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Badi Kothi: Dudhoria family

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  1. Other femous persons of Nahar family and their details as follows:-

    1) Babu Kharag Singh Nahar, the 78th descendant of Parmar migrated to Bengal in 1766 upon the request of Jagat Seth and settled at Azimganj; eventually he founded his business and zamindari at Murshidabad, Dinajpur, Calcutta and other places.

    2)third descendant of Kharag Singh was Setab Chand, who can rightly be called the “Architect of the Nahar family”. A distinguished scholar in Sanskrit, Persian, Hindi, Gujarati and Bengali. Shri Shitab chand Nahar born on 17 april 1847 conferred rai Bahadur title on 12 march 1875. He was the Honorary Magistrate of Azimganj and the member of Calcutta Municipal Corporation. He was founded and endowed Bibi Pran Kumari Jubilee High English school and the establishment of “Kumar Singh Hall” at Calcutta and “Azimganj Public Hall” at Azimganj along with Dharamsala at Kashimbazaar, Palitana [Gujarat] and Pawapuri [Bihar] and regular economic help and support provided to various schools and universities .He appointed European tutors (who were brought to Jiaganj) to teach his children as he understood that it was essential to have a good knowledge and command over the English language in order to keep pace with the radical changes that the country was undergoing. He has four sons Mani lal Nahar,Puran Chand Nahar,Golab Chand Nahar and Koer Singh Nahar.

  2. 3)Setab Chand’s second son Puran Chand was the first Jain in Bengal to obtain his graduation degree from the Calcutta University in 1895. Born in 1875 (on 15 May), he earned his degree in Law in 1903 and received his Master’s Degree in Pali in 1908. A lawyer by profession he settled in Calcutta in 1908 where he first resided at 28 Harrison Road and in 1910 moved to 48 Indian Mirror Street (eventually he also purchased five more houses at Indian Mirror Street) and in 1914,he started practicing at the Calcutta High Court. Like his father, Puran Chand too was a scholar with diversified interests in History, Archeology, Linguistics and holy scriptures. His major published works include Jaina Inscription in three volumes (the fourth volume could not be completed due to his demise), An Epitome of Jainism (the magnum opus which is still considered to be the most appropriate reference book on the said subject) and also anthologies of Prakrit poems and religious songs collected and edited by him as well as a collection of his articles published posthumously. Due to his impressive command over Hindi and Pali, he was appointed the question-setter and examiner of the answer-scripts by the Calcutta University. Chosen as the first President of the All India Oswal Jain Conference in 1932, Puran Chand was also associated with innumerable societies and organizations like Benaras Hindu University, Calcutta University, Bhandarkar Research Institute ,Jain Swetambar Education Board, Asiatic Society of India, Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland to name a few.

    4)Puran Chand fathered four sons (Keshari Singh:1895-1973, Prithwi Singh:1898-1976, Bijoy Singh:1906-1997, Bikram Singh:1910-?) and five daughters (Tara Kumari, Meena Kumari, Lachmi Kumari, Kiran Kumari and Raj Kumari). Keshari Singh was an exponent of Indian Classical Music and was also the founder of “Bengal Music Conference” along with his brother Bikram Singh. Bijoy Singh was an active politician; he became a minister in the Congress-led Government in West Bengal and also served as deputy Chief Minister for some time. Bikram Singh—an engineer by profession and eminent violinist as well— was also an actor who acted in a few Hindi and Bengali movies like President (starring Kundanlal Saigal) in which he played the second lead. He renounced the world and became a monk at a later stage of his life. For several years he remained untraceable and by the time the Nahar family could trace him after much efforts, he had left his body.

    5)Prithwi Singh was born on 3 June 1898 at Azimganj in Murshidabad district of Bengal. Bijoy Singh remembers: “My elder brother Prithwi Singh Nahar was born in that Ayena-Mahal [a two storeyed building within the ancestral home of the Nahars at Azimganj; it was so called as the doors and the windows were adorned with a variety of coloured glass]. At the age of seventeen years he married Suhag Kumari, the eldest daughter of Pratap Chand Sipani of Jiaganj who was fifteen years of age at the time of their wedding. He was a great follower of Rishi Arabindo.

  3. This site is not giving correct information. There were 5 sardars in Azimgunj. In the section about famous people from Azimgunj please mention about other fanous people too.

  4. AnonymousMay 06, 2010

    Please delete "Gorbachev award" sentence. This is absolutely wrong.


  5. Hi,
    There is nothing incorrect to the best of my knowledge. If you have some more information you can feel free to inform me.

    This blog can be enriched with contributions from fellow Shaharwalis.

    Thanks for commenting,

    Jyoti Kothari

  6. Dear Pradip,
    Thanks for commenting. It was Gorbachev award to the best of my knowledge, if not, please info the fact. It will be corrected accordingly. Please also info about you.

    Jyoti Kothari

  7. Jyoti, This bog is becoming more interesting day by day. At some point you have to correct the typos. Many thanks to Suraj for his very valuable addition. I hope he adds materials on other saharwali families too.

  8. Sri Jyoti Bhaisaab,
    Do you have any historical facts regarding the Bhandia Family and the 5 Sardar's of Azimgunj?
    I have the Bhandia Family Tree line up of 16 generations. If that will help your research works.
    Please keep up your good work and make frequent updates. This is becoming interesting.

    Dinesh Kumar Bhandia

  9. Dear Jyoti Bhai,
    How are you? I have not received any Gorbachev award. So, delete this.

    Dr. Pradip Nahar, S/o Late Dr. Ajit Singh Nahar

  10. Also please provide some information on the Kothari family from Sagardighi.

  11. Hiii..
    jyoti..its a very wonderful experiance to know the hidden facts which i used to listen from my grandfather...Actually i am following the generation of GANPAT SINGH RAI BAHADUR`S empire manager..its so exciting..plz continue ur good work..I will be very thankful to u if you are having details of jaychand jhajlani they are the tree of GANPAT SINGH family only,once i meet him in journey but nw no contact.....

  12. The other notable Nahar whose name features in "Glimpses of Bengal" is Rai Bahadur Setab Chand Nahar.