Robertson Memorial - Captivating Calcutta
04-11-2018    51 times
Robertson Memorial

After the independence of India, the socio-political situation in West Bengal was quite messy. The continuous flow of Hindu families from the former East Pakistan was a major problem. Communal riots in several places in East Pakistan in 1950 caused further influx of Hindus. Apart from the refugee problem, the state had to face a prolonged food crisis, as the fertile rice producing districts of Bengal went to the eastern half. Economic condition was in dire straits. In the mean time, the British Government withdrew funding for the maintenance of the cemeteries in Calcutta and it became an extra burden for the local authority. The North Park Street Cemetery had already been closed by that time and the abandoned cemetery became the happy hunting grounds of the anti-socials and miscreants.

Tutorial at home

In view of the above circumstances, a proposal was raised to raze both the South and North Park Street Cemeteries and lease out the recovered land to the public enterprises. After much deliberation the decision was taken in 1953, to level the North Park Street Cemetery and use the relative money for the preservation and maintenance of the more historic and more romantic South Park Street Cemetery.

In consequence of the unfortunate and probably inevitable decision, the age old North Park Street was erased from the face of Calcutta in 1953 and the Assembly of God Church and the Mercy Hospital occupied the space.

Robertson Memorial
Robertson Memorial

Today the only surviving relic of the cemetery is the Robertson Monument, which is a circular structure supported by six Ionic pillar, crowned with a dome. It is said that, the structure was spared of demolition, since it was the last resting place of Edmund Robertson, who held the position of a Senior Superintend of Calcutta Police. In fact, the family was held in high esteem as two generations of the family served the police force of Calcutta, one was a Police Commissioner the other a Senior Superintendent.  However, its positional advantage in a remote corner may have saved it from being demolished. The memorial still stands in the south- east corner of the Assembly of God Church Tower.

Tutorial at home
Robertson Memorial
softetechnologies
    Author Details
Dibyendu Banerjee
Ex student of Scottish Church College. Served a Nationalised Bank for nearly 35 years. Authored novels in Bengali. Translated into Bengali novels/short stories of Leo Tolstoy, Eric Maria Remarque, D.H.Lawrence, Harold Robbins, Guy de Maupassant, Somerset Maugham and others. Also compiled collections of short stories from Africa and Third World. Interested in literature, history, music, sports and international films.
    Related Post
  Query About the post