The Department of English and The Heritage Society of The Bhawanipur Education Society College had organised a Special Talk by Shri Jawhar Sircar on Tuesday, the 29th of January, 2019. Shri Jawhar Sircar, former Chief Executive Officer at Prasar Bharati, and a renowned scholar spoke on the topic ‘Kolkata- A Heritage City.’ The event was attended by 60 students, scholars and teachers from The Bhawanipur Education Society College as well as from institutions like University of Calcutta, Institute of Cost Accountants, Dhola Mahavidyalaya, and Kingston Educational Institute.
Souraja Tagore of The Department of English and Debika Chatterjee from the Heritage Society were the joint convenors of the event.
A notable feature of the event was that the convenors had tried to keep it as eco-friendly as possible. Food was served in clay bhars and talpata plates and gifts were wrapped with recycled newspaper.
Shri Sircar was felicitated by the Teacher-in-Charge of the college, Dr. Suchandra Chakravarty, after he had been introduced.
The event began by showcasing the projects the members of the Heritage Society had undertaken in the past year. Students from the Departments of English and History presented slides on a sketch walk to Chhoto Raas bari, a walk exploring the bonedi baris of Kolkata and a walk along the grey town of Kolkata. They had also compiled a video documenting the Bonedi bari walk which they presented to an applauding audience.
Shri Jawhar Sircar expressed his appreciation of the work done by The Heritage Society before beginning with his talk. In a deeply informed yet lucid talk which left the audience enthralled, he explained that Kolkata was set up on the Left Bank of the Hooghly by Job Charnock in 1690 to escape from the Fauzdar of Hughli and also to be far away from the other European Colonies on the Right Bank. The Portuguese ruled Bandel, the French were at Chandanagore, the Dutch at Chinsurah and the Danish were in Serampur. Once he took lease from the Sabarna Raychaudhuri family for the three villages of Sutanati, Govindapur and Kolikata, he was totally safe as the English ships commanded the Hooghly river and their guns could blast off any ships attempting to attack them. Sircar further went on to explain that all around Kolkata were rivers like Nowai, Sonai and Bagjola as also huge Salt Lakes that were infested by crocodiles and tigers. No one could attack from that side.
It was the safety and security of Kolkata that attracted trade and traders — it prospered more than other European settlements and finally became the Capital of the British Empire in the East.
The participants were very interested and exclaimed that Shri Sircar had provided them with new eyes to view the city with.