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     Volume 1 Issue 11 | December 9 , 2006 |


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Guru Griho
From Mymensingh
A Century Old School

Aminul Islam

Mrityunjay School, a boys' school over a hundred years old, has justified its name as one which has won over time and death by producing some memorable sons of the country. Innumerous brilliant sons were produced from the school since its starting in 1901.

Eminent politician and litterateur Abu Mansur Ahmed, internationally renowned artist Shilpacharya Zainul Abedin, Rahat Khan, a litterateur and acting editor of The Ittefaq, journalist Bazlur Rahman, editor the Sangbad, famous writer of the West Bengal Shirshendu Mukhupadhay, film actor Ashish Kumar Loho, Kamrul Islam Mohan, Director General of Petrobangla are some of the many illustrious alumni of this school who have earned name and fame in their respective fields.

Anath Bandhu Guha, an eminent lawyer of the then Mymensingh Bar, established Mrityunjay School after the name of his grandfather at Atul Chakbarty Road on the southern side of the river old Brahmaputra.

It was his ambition to render modern education to the children of the remote areas of the region. Education at that time was not within the reach of the common people of many districts and Sub-divisional towns of the country.

Founder: Anath Bandhu Guha

The founder of the school, Anath Bandhu, was born in a poor family of Tangail, then a Sub-division of Mymensingh. After completing his primary education, he was eager to get higher education but his poor parents could not manage the means to give what their son desired so intently. At that time English education was not possible in Tangail and it could be obtained only in Mymensingh town of greater Mymensingh.

A good neighbor of Anath Bandhu who used to visit Mymensingh courts for case related purposes assured Anath's parents that he would try to make all arrangements in Mymensingh town for Anath's further education. However, no residential accommodation could be managed for the boy. Later, a lawyer of Mymensingh Bar after hearing the pityful story from the man who accompanied the boy from Tangail, took charge of the boy's future studies. Anath Bandhu engaged himself in his studies seriously and successfully completed his graduation and later Bachelor of Law under the affectionate guidance of his host. Later, the host got his only daughter married to Anath whom he loved as his own son. In this way Anath inherited a vast property from his in-law's side.

Anath Bandhu arranged hostel facilities at free of cost for the students coming from far away places, and for poor but brilliant students at his residence. The present Mymensingh College, best known as Akhtaruzzaman College, is now located here. He also introduced stipends in 1907 for students with outstanding results at the Secondary level. The stipend continued to be given till 1969. Jatindra Kumar Chowdhury was the first stipend recipient from this school in 1907 and the amount was 10 Rupees. The teachers of the school were also supported financially by Anath Bandhu on many occasions when they faced problems.

Gopinath Datta

Anath Bandhu could never forget the sufferings that he faced in his boyhood which prompted him to do something for the welfare of the society. He bought an abundant two-storied court building from the then Government and started the school's academic activities in it on February 14, 1901. Shree Amiya Bhushan Ganguli, M.A. was the first Headmaster, from 1901 to 1906, of the school. In 1906, Shree Chintahoron Majumder, B.A, B.T was appointed as the second Head (1906-1946) of the school and held that position till 1946.

The other heads of the school who contributed greatly to make the school one of the best ones in the country were Hirendra Nath Ray, MA, BT, (1946-1948), Bijoy Krishna Bhattacharya, B.A, (1948), Annanda Charan Boumik, B.A, BT, (1949-1950), Gopinath Datta, B.A, BT, (1950-1974), Abdur Rashid, B.A, BT, (1971), Anil Chakrabarti, B.A, (1974-1980), Md. Moizuddin, B.A, Dip-in-Edu, (1981), Maulana Md. Abdul Basir, M.A, M.Ed, (1981-1985), AKM Ismail Hossain, M.A, M.Ed,(1985-1989), Ahmed Salek, B.A, B.Ed, (1989-1995), Noresh Chandra Mondol, B.Sc, B.Ed, (1995-1997), Anil Chandra Acharya, B.Sc, B.Ed, (1997-1999), Sunil Kanti Dutta B.A, B.Ed, (1999-2000) and Pranesh Ranjan Chandra, M.A, the present Headmaster of the school.

The most successful headmasters of the school were Chintahoron Majumder and Gopinath Datta who especially contributed to the school's wide-spread fame in and outside the country. With iron hands and a liberal mind, Chintahoron served the school for 40 years while Gopinath Datta did the same for 34 years. The academic activities of the school were disrupted during the non-cooperation movement led by Mahatma Ghandhi in 1921. However, soon under the leadership of Chintahoron Majumder the number of students increased sharply and it reached to over 1300 during the British rule. Boys from all over Mymensingh region thronged at the school as their first choice for admission.

Present Headmaster :
Pranesh Ranjan Chandra

Following the Hindu-Muslim riots in 1950, the number of students declined to only 300, but soon after the riot the normal situation got back in the school due to proper initiatives taken by Gopinath Datta, a young Headmaster of the school at that time. The school was famous in this Sub-continent not only for its brilliant results but also for its sports and cultural activities.

It is learnt that Shilpacharya Zainul Abedin, a student of this school won the first prize in an Art Competition organized by Bombay Chronicle, a newspaper of India, and Headmaster Chintahoron made all arrangements to send more paintings of Zainul to that competition in India to encourage the young artist. Eventually his hope became a reality as Zainul Abedin became a great painter of international reputation.

Among many of its students who later became celebrities are the former Principal of Vidyasagar College in Kolkata Jatindra Kishore Majumder, Dr. Niharendu Majumder, former Chairman of Depertment of English of Kolkata University, Poresh Chandra Bhattacharya, former Governor of Reserve Bank of India.

The centenary programme of the school was celebrated in 2001. It was attended by thousands of students from different corners of the country. A group of former students from West Bengal in India also attended the function making the function a remarkable reunion of olds and the young. An association titled “Mrityunjay School Former Students' Association” has been formed in Kolkata of India.

Remembering the evergreen memories of his school days, Dr. Ranjan Majumder, a doctor working at Mymensingh Medical College Hospital, and Swapon Kumar Basak, a businessman in the district town said to the writer that the sweet memories of their classmates and the perfect teaching of the learned teachers would remain strong in their minds as long as they live.



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