There is a small auditorium adjoining the complex of Jadavpur University, called ‘Indumati Sabhagriha’. In fact, it is the auditorium of the National Council of Education Bengal, founded in 1906, by the Indian nationalists in Bengal to promote science and technology as part of a national (swadeshi) movement. The Council established the Bengal National College and Bengal National School on 14 August 1906. Prior to that, the Bengal Technical Institute was founded, by the Society for the Promotion of Technical Education (SPTE) on 25 July 1906.
(To know more about the Bengal National College, interested persons may please visit- Bengal National College )
In 1928, the Bengal Technical Institute merged into the College of Engineering and Technology of the National Council of Education (NCE), while the Bengal National College continued to teach arts and science subjects. Gradually, they thrived and ultimately became the Jadavpur University.
Used for seminars and lectures of the Council, Indumati Sabhagriha, with a capacity of around 200 guests is equipped with inbuilt public address system. The fully air-conditioned auditorium with uninterrupted power supply can be booked by the outsiders on all days other than Sundays and holidays.
Indumati Sabhagriha has a history behind its naming. A few questions naturally come to any inquisitive mind, as to why the auditorium is named after a lady, who was Indumati and what was her connection with the National Council of Education and the University.
Indumati was married to Hirendtranath Dutta. Born on 16 January 1868 at Hathkhola, Calcutta, Hirendranath was a philosopher, scholar, attorney and politician. He participated in most political movements of the time and was involved with Anne Besant in the 'Home Rule' movement. He had no confidence in non-violence movement professed by Mahatma Gandhi and when Gandhi rose to prominence in the Congress, he left active politics. He was one of the exponents of the foundation of the National University in Calcutta and along with other reputed persons of the time, led a movement for that. The movement resulted in the formation of the Bengal National College and Bengal National School on 14 August 1906. In the mean time, the Society for the Promotion of Technical Education (SPTE), founded the Bengal Technical Institute on 25 July 1906, which subsequently, thrived and finally became the Jadavpur University. It is therefore evident that, Hirendranath Dutta had some valuable contribution in the foundation of Jadavpur University.
Indumati was the sister of Raja Subodh Chandra Basu Mullick, who donated Rupees one lakh, for the foundation of the Bengal National College and School, though his selfless contribution to the national movement was far greater than the sum he donated. He was also one of the collaborators of Sri Aurobinda in his secret mission and afterwards became involved in Congress politics. Jadavpur University stands on a road named after him.
(To know more about Raja Subodh Chandra Basu Mullick, interested persons may please visit - House of Raja Subodh Chandra Mullick )
Indumati was the mother of Sudhindra Nath Dutta, a great poet in Bengali language, who for some time worked as a teacher of comparative literature at the Jadavpur University, under Buddhadeb Basu. Sourendranath Dutta, another son of Indumati donated the money for the construction of the auditorium named after his mother, which was inaugurated on 11 March1991.