A Glorious Past

The birth and evolution of Krishnath College School is redolent with the history of blossoming of education in post renaissance Bengal in all its regalia. Over the past one hundred and forty nine years, the school has weathered many a storm, has been witness to history, and, in the process, has become an indelible part of the history of the district of Murshidabad.

The school was established in 1853 as a part of Berhampore College, and both the school and the college were nomads, as it were, moving from one building to another, driven by the desire to drink to lees the elixir of knowledge. When the building of Berhampore College was completed (a structure modeled on Oxford University, with its clock tower standing tall and proud) in 1869, the school shifted to the premises of the college. The college consisted of two divisions: college proper, and the school that itself was divided into two sections, Junior School Department and Senior School Department. Overall, the school used to take care of the educational needs of the people till the equivalent of present intermediate standard.

In 1887, the administration of the school and the college was entrusted to a board and the school flourished under the patronage of Maharani Swarnamayee, and later Maharaja Manindra Chandra Nandy, both patrons of education, always munificent, taking an active interest in the development of the college and the school. The college and the school acquired their present names in 1902, in memory of Raja Krishnath, another inspiring figure who had been bountiful in his support towards the development of the region.

From its inception, the school and the college were a single entity, sharing buildings, equipment, resources, teachers, and a common past. However, pursuant to a university regulation that prohibited hosting a school and a college at the same building, the school started off on a nomadic life again, this time alone.

The dream of having a building of its own was fulfilled in 1911. A donation of Rs. 1,35,000 from the Maharaja of Cossimbazar, Manindra Chandra Nandy helped a lot. The new building, a testimony to the spirit of seeking out knowledge stands erect till date, a landmark in the town of Berhampore.

The history of the school has also been characterized by a resolve to be self-reliant. In keeping with this tradition, the school refused government aid in 1917, simply because it did not feel the necessity of more money when the revenues and donations from the patrons were sufficient to take care of its needs. It is the same spirit of freedom and quest for justice that prompted the school to wage a protracted battle with the Inspector of Schools, Presidency Division during the late thirties. Krishnath College School remained steadfast in its refusal to recruitment of teachers on communal grounds. This resulted in the withdrawal of government aid, but the school flourished with the quality of education it imbibed, and with able educators who rose above considerations of caste, creed and religion and showed that knowledge knows no communal divide.

The wheel had really turned full circle when Krishnath College School celebrated a hundred years of its inception in 1953. From a fledgling institution, it had grown to an institution that could justify, in its own right, the laurels that it gathered during the journey.

The quest for knowledge has continued, as the school has produced a lineage of illustrious alumni who have made the region proud. The alumni of the school include renowned archaeologists Dr. Rakhaldas Banerjee, scholars Dr. Radhakumud Mukherjee and Dr. Radhakamal Mukherjee, actor Utpal Dutta, educationists Dr. Narayan Chandra Chatterjee and Dr. Dulal Mukherjee, noted economist Amiya Kumar Bagchi; Dr. Sujit Bose, the vice chancellor of VishwaBharati University; B.K.Basu, S.K.Haldar, R.K. Mitra of the Indian Civil Services and renowned classical singer Girija Shankar Chakraborty, to name a few. The alumni of this great institution have shone in every sphere of life, in every part of the world; it is only constraints of space that prevents us from naming all of them. At a time when state subsidy to education has either been dwindling or has remained stagnant, Krishnath College School was accorded the status of a government sponsored school in the early nineties. It is a flourishing institution with 1200 students in the secondary and higher secondary sections. The students have consistently been securing ranks in the state secondary and higher secondary examination and have been worthy bearers of the motto of the school: “Tamaso Ma Jyotirgamaya”.

An Appeal

Today, as the school stands on the threshold of yet another milestone, it faces one of the gravest financial crises in its history. Time has taken its toll on the magnificent school building; a building that can aptly be called a heritage building now lies in a dilapidated state, a mute witness to the past. The need for repairs is urgent, and a team of qualified engineers has estimated that a full-scale repair would cost around Rs. 35 lakhs. The school also proposes to construct a new cycle shed, a new garden and carry out repairs of the existing facilities. The authorities propose to equip the existing laboratories with modern instruments. The estimated total expenditure for all these is around Rs. 50 lakhs. This is an onerous task, and the school needs the help of its well-wishers, its alumni and the government at this juncture for the fulfillment of its long cherished mission of being the everlasting beacon of knowledge in Murshidabad.

Terming Krishnath College School as merely a ‘school’ will be stating only a part of the story, a story where the whole is considerably greater than the sum of the individual parts. It is the manifestation of collective aspiration of the people of Murshidabad, an institution that has seen a lot, endured a lot, inherited a lot, and flourished amidst all odds.

It would be appreciated if you able to send some contribution to keep alive our past. Send it using following information -

Payable to KNCS 150th Anniversary Fund
Bank Name U.B.I., Berhampore Branch
Account Number     347337