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Manmatha Nath Dutt-I

Bibek Debroy is chairman of the Prime Minister’s Economic Advisory Council
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The man and his work

Sucheta Kriplani (1908-74) was several things – freedom-fighter, member of the Constituent Assembly, first lady Chief Minister.  A lot has been written about her.  Those biographical sketches typically start with her studying in Indraprastha College, Delhi.  Beyond her having been born to a Bengali Brahmo family in Ambala, there won’t be much information about her parents or grandparents.  Sucheta Kriplani did write her autobiography, though she left it incomplete and called it “An Unfinished Autobiography”.  It was published in 1978.  That tells us about her parents and grandparents.  She was born in Ambala because her father, Dr S. N. Mazumdar, was a medical officer in the Punjab Medical Service. “My father, Surendra Nath Mazumdar, came from an old Brahmo family.  My grandfather, Dinanath, born in a well-to-do zamindar family of Bengal, voluntarily left his home and embraced a life of hardship and poverty, though perhaps one of much spiritual and psychological satisfaction to him.  As a young man on a visit to Calcutta, he attended a meeting of Keshab Chandra Sen, the leader of the Brahmo Samaj, purely out of fun and curiosity.  But the eloquence of Keshab Chandra so moved him that, then and there, he decided not only to be initiated into the Brahmo faith, but to dedicate his life to its propagation.  Keshab Chandra had twelve close disciples or associates who organized the work of the Samaj and took its message to different parts of India.  My grandfather Dinanath was one of them.” 

            This was the father’s side.  On the mother’s side, “My maternal grandfather Manamathanatha (sic) Dutt was a scholar both in Sanskrit and in English.  He had his own flourishing publishing house.  He translated into English the Ramayana, Mahabharata, Gita and other Sanskrit classics.  In those days the Indian States often organized conferences of scholars and honoured them with titles and other rewards.  My grandfather had been honoured on several such occasions.  His eldest daughter, Prembala, was my mother.”  After Surendra Nath Mazumdar’s death, Sucheta Kriplani’s mother eventually settled down in Santiniketan. When her father died, “That year, none of our elder relatives cared to pay a visit to us except mother’s youngest brother who was a barrister practicing in Kuala Lumpur in distant Malaya.”  As we will see later, Manmatha Nath Dutt (the way he spelt his name) died in 1912.   Since Sucheta Kripalani was born in 1908, it is unlikely she ever met her maternal grandfather.  Therefore, whatever she gathered about him was probably information gleaned from her mother, Prembala.  We also have the reference to a maternal uncle who was a lawyer in Kuala Lumpur.

          That first Sucheta Kriplani quote had a reference to Keshub Chandra Sen (1838-84) (it is usually spelt this way).  Prosanto Kumar Sen (1874-1950) was the son of Prasanna Kumar Sen and both father and son were identified with Keshub Chandra Sen and the Keshub Chandra Sen side of the Brahmo Samaj movement, after the schism in the Brahmo Samaj.  Prosanto Kumar Sen was a lawyer, a judge and several other things and his books on criminal law and monopolies are still read.  Sushama Sen was Prosanto Kumar Sen’s wife.  She was several things too – social worker, Parliamentarian.  Her autobiography tells us Prosanto Kumar Sen’s sister, Charubala, was married to Manmatha Nath Dutt.  The reference to Manmatha Nath Dutt in Sushama Sen’s autobiography is the following.  “Prosanto’s elder sister Charubala was married to Manmathanath Dutt.  She died at childbirth leaving her daughter Prembala (Noni), and her two infant sons.  ‘Noni’ was a great pet of Prosanto’s mother, she was also taken in charge by her grandmother (Didima).  Later all the girls were happily married after our marriage.”  Therefore, we now have a name for Sucheta Kriplani’s maternal grandmother.  She was Charubala, Prembala’s mother, Manmatha Nath Dutt’s wife and Sushama Sen’s sister-in-law.  Charubala died in childbirth, leaving behind a daughter (Prembala) and two infant sons.  This younger son would go on to become a lawyer in Kuala Lumpur.  Sivanath Sastri (1847-1919) was author, historian, educationist, social reformer and much more.  Sivanath Sastri wrote a history of the Brahma Samaj and here is a quote from the second volume. “…the efforts of Bhai Prasanna Kumar Sen, formerly a member of the Apostolical Durbar, also require mention. Shortly after the death of his master, with the aid of his son-in-law, he established a higher class English School called Keshub Academy and carried it on for years till it has become a permanent institution.”  The master is a reference to Keshub Chandra Sen and the son-in-law is none other than Manmatha Nath Dutt, though Sivanath Sastri did not mention the name.

Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose (born 1897) also left his autobiography incomplete.  Subhas Chandra Bose was the son of Prabhavati Dutt Bose and Janakinath Bose.  In that unfinished autobiography, he wrote, “My father was descended from the Boses of Mahinagar, while my mother, Prabhabati (or rather Prabhavati) belonged to the family of the Dutts of Hatkhola….As mentioned in the first chapter, my mother belonged to the family of the Dutts of Hatkhola, a northern quarter of Calcutta. In the early days of British rule, the Dutts were one of those families in Calcutta who attained a great deal of prominence by virtue of their wealth and their ability to adapt themselves to the new political order. As a consequence, they played a role among the neo-aristocracy of the day. My mother’s grandfather, Kashi Nath Dutt, broke away from the family and moved to Baranagore, a small town about six miles to the north of Calcutta, built a palatial house for himself and settled down there. He was a very well-educated man, a voracious reader and a friend of the students. He held a high administrative post in the firm of Messrs Jardine, Skinner & Co., a British firm doing business in Calcutta. Both my mother’s father, Ganganarayan Dutt, and grandfather had a reputation for being wise in selecting their sons-in-law.”  On his mother’s side, Subhas Chandra Bose was thus descended from the Hatkhola Duttas and his maternal grandfather was named Kashi Nath Dutta.  There is a road named Kashinath Dutta Road in Kolkata and it is in Cossipore, in ward number one.   Prior to the Hindu Widows’ Remarriage Act of 1856, there was considerable debate, with petitions and counter-petitions.  On 4th October 1855, a petition was submitted to the Legislative Council, supporting this legislation.  This was led by Ishwarchandra Vidyasagar.  However, other than Vidyasagar, the first person to sign it was Kashinath Dutta, from the Hatkhola Dutta family.

The Hatkhola Duttas are an old zamindar family and descendants have traced the roots of the family tree, or at least some of its branches, pretty far back, sometimes as far back as the 10th century ACE.  At that time, the king of Bengal was Adisura.  Historians have questioned the account, as they have the very existence of a king named Adisura.  However, the belief is that King Adisura brought five brahmanas from Kanyakubja/Kannauj to Bengal.  At that time, Purushottama Datta also moved from Kanyakubja to Bengal, along with the brahmanas. “Purushottam Dutta, our ancestor, settled down at a village called Bally which is currently a town in the Howrah district of South-West Bengal (Dakshin Rahra), on the bank of the Bhagirathi River….Purushottam’s grandsons were Kanak Dutta and Nilambar Dutta. Nilambar stayed back in Bally, but, Kanak moved to a village known as “Kadam Dandi” of West Midnapore in 11th century A.D.”  Further down the line, there was Narayan Dutta. “Murari Dutta, the great grandson of Narayan Dutta, had two sons – Ganapati Dutta and Tekari Dutta. The elder son, Ganapati, moved to a place called “Halisahar”. The younger son, Tekari (12th in Purushottam's lineage) moved from Bally to Andul and established his residence in the 14th century. Tekari Dutta had inherited enough capital from his father to be able to acquire the extensive property of Muzzaffarpur Pargana, and become established as the first zamindar of Andul.”  Andul is in Howrah and we have still not moved to Calcutta. “In the 16th century, Kandarpa Ram Dutta Chaudhury, inherited his father's zamindari. He had three sons – Ram Sharan, Gobinda Sharan and Hari Sharan, who were constantly at loggerheads with each other regarding the distribution of ancestral property. Gobinda Sharan Dutta Chaudhury severed ties with Andul, and went over to a place called “Badar Rasa” somewhere in South Calcutta to establish his residence. It is believed that “Badar Rasa” eventually expanded to become “Gobindapur”, named after Gobinda Sharan.”  Gobindapur, Kalikata and Sutanuti were merged to form the city of Calcutta.  Gobindapur was to the south, Kalikata was in the middle and Sutanuti was to the north.  This naming after Gobinda Sharan varies with another account.  According to this, four families of Basaks and one of Sheths founded Gobindapur, the village being named after the family deity, Gobindaji. Gobinda Sharan Dutta’s grandson was Ramchandra Dutta, born around 1630 ACE.  The East India Company wanted to build Fort William.  Therefore, Ramchandra Dutta gave up some of the land in Gobindapur and obtained land in Chitpur instead.  The Ram Bagan area in Kolkata is named after Ramchandra Dutta, as is the market in Chitpur known as Ram Bazar. Sushama Sen was descended from the Rambagan Dutt family. But Chitpur was too noisy for Ramchandra Dutta.  Without selling the Chitpur property, he moved to Hatkhola.  Although many of them are referred to as Hatkhola Duttas, strictly speaking, Hatkhola is the area around Nimtala Ghat Street, where there is a Dutta Para Lane in the region near Beadon Street.  Ramchandra Dutta’s grandson, Madan Mohan Dutta, had Madan Mohan Dutta Lane named after him and a famous puja is annually held there.  Raja Binay Krishna Deb’s book tells us, “Madan Mohan Dutt, the son of Ram Krishna Dutt, lived at Nimtola in Sutanooti.” There was/is a Dutta branch in the Chitpur/Baranagar area too and the Kashi Nath Dutta Road is in Baranagar/Cossipore, where Kashi Nath Dutta built a large house. To complete the lineage story, Kashi Nath Dutta’s father was Debi Prasad Dutta, Debi Prasad Dutta’s father was Ramhari Dutta, Ramhari Dutta’s father was Gorachand Dutta and Gorachand Dutta’s father was Ramchandra Dutta.

By the time Sushama Sen was born in 1887, that branch of the family had moved to 20 Beadon Street.  After Sushama Sen married Prosanto Kumar Sen in 1904, they initially lived in 26 Beadon Street.  There was a family association with the Beadon Street and we will return to Beadon Street later.  Before moving away from Sushama Sen and her autobiography, let us bring in Romesh Chunder Dutt (1848-1909).  Among several other things, Romesh Chunder Dutt translated, albeit abridged, the Ramayana and the Mahabharata into English.  He was Sushama Sen’s elder brother and therefore, part of the Rambagan Dutt lineage.  That is, he was Manmatha Nath Dutt’s kin.  Romesh Chunder Dutt studied in Hare School.  Here is some information from Sushama Sen’s autobiography.  Romesh Chunder Dutt’s father was Ishan Chander Dutt and Romesh Chander Dutt’s paternal uncle was Soshee Chunder Dutt, who died in 1885.  Romesh Chunder Dutt’s elder brother was Jogesh Chunder Dutt.  “On Ishan Chunder’s death, his brother Soshee Chunder became the guardian of his nephews and nieces.  Soshee Dutt, also a distinguished scholar of Hindu College, won fame for his idiomatic English…..Jogesh Chunder said of his uncle Shoshee Dutt – “He too used to sit with us at nights, and our favorite study used to be pieces from the works of English poets.””  At that time, the family lived in Maniktola Street, now known as Romesh Chunder Dutt Street.  Ramesh Datta Street (the way it is spelt now) is very close to Beadon Street.

We will end this bit with a story/novella.  When there is little information, some educated guesswork should be permissible.  In all probability, Rabindranath Tagore knew Manmatha Nath Dutt.  A bit on the numbers first. The Calcutta then, and the Calcutta now, differ in many ways.  For a start, the population of Kolkata’s urban agglomeration was more than 14 million in the 2011 Census.  Censuses are of recent vintage.  A census for the town of Calcutta was held in 1876, on 6th April 1876 to be precise.  This gives us a total population of 429,535 – 409,036 for the town of Calcutta, 2,803 for Fort William and 17,696 for the port of Calcutta.  In Manmatha Nath Dutt’s growing up years, that was Calcutta’s total population.  As part of the 1901 census, there was a census of Calcutta town and its suburbs.  In 1901, Calcutta’s “population consists of 847,796 souls”.  As in every census, literates and illiterates were counted separately.  In 1901, the number of literates was 210,442.  In Manmatha Nath Dutt’s working years, his social and intellectual interactions would have been with a set of around 200,000 people.  But this is a gross over-estimate.  After all, the definition of literacy, used in any census, is very basic.  There can be a better perspective though.  But one has to make an assumption and it can hardly be called heroic.  One has to assume Manmatha Nath Dutt studied in Calcutta.  In principle, he could have studied somewhere else and lived in Calcutta subsequently.  While this is possible, it is not very plausible.  Hence, it is safe to assume he studied in Calcutta. The Education Commission tells us, in 1881-82, 356 students passed the F.A. examination of the University of Calcutta, 266 passed the B.A. examination and 40 passed the M.A. examination.  This is a far cry from the numbers we are used to now. From 1857 to 1881, 20,503 students passed the Entrance examination of the University of Calcutta.  16,000 were Bengalis.  By 1881, 1,494 Bengalis obtained the B.A. degree and 344 obtained the M.A. degree.  Between 1881 and 1894, 11,340 Bengalis passed the Entrance examination, 1,695 obtained the B.A. degree and 276 obtained the M.A. degree.  Adding up the numbers, a cumulative total of 3,189 with B.A. degrees and 620 with M.A. degrees.  Some with B.A. degrees naturally went on to study for the Master of Arts.  Therefore, there is a little bit of double counting in this.  Nevertheless, we have a pool of something like 3,000 people.  That’s the set Manmatha Nath Dutt would have interacted with, a size that is smaller than the membership aggregate of an average club.  We aren’t talking about 200,000 people.  It is just about 3,000.  A close-knit group and everyone would have known everyone else, not even six degrees of separation required.

However, for the Tagore connection, there is more than the close-knit group argument.   Rabindranath Tagore was born in 1861.  Thus, he was Manmantha Nath Dutt’s contemporary.  There is a 1964 film known as “Charulata”, directed by Satyajit Ray.  This is based on a novella/long story written by Tagore.  In Bengali, the novella is titled “Nashtanida”, which translates as “Broken Nest”.  “Nashtanida” was written in 1901.  Bhupati has independent means and does not need to work.  He is interested in politics and the freedom movement and publishes a newspaper/magazine in English.  His young wife, Charu, is neglected, though Bhupati does love her.  Bhupati’s brother-in-law, Umapati, is a lawyer, one who is not too successful.  It is Umapati who encourages Bhupati to start the magazine and helps him run the magazine and the associated printing press.  Since Charu is lonely and bored, Umapati’s wife, Mandakini, moves in as her companion.  But she is too crass for Charu.  Bhupati’s cousin, Amal, studies in college and drops in often.  A close relationship develops between Amal and Charu.  Amal is a writer and also encourages Charu to write.  Eventually, Amal thinks the attachment has gone too far and leaves, intending to study in England.  Charu is shattered.  Realizing the close relationship that had developed between Amal and Charu, so is Bhupati.  The nest is broken.  This is the gist of the story.

It doesn’t make sense to quote from the Bengali.  I will quote bits from Lopamudra Banerjee’s translation. “Bhupati had inherited a lot of money and generous ancestral property, so it was quite natural if he didn`t bother to work at all. By sheer destiny, however, he was born a workaholic. He had founded an elite English newspaper and that was how he decided to cope with the boredom that his riches and time, which was endlessly at his disposal, brought to him.”  This is how the novella begins.  Remember these sentences.  Let’s turn to the relationship between Charu and Amal now. “Charu, befuddled, came up to the end of the inner apartments of the house and clapped a number of times to draw his attention, but nobody seemed to listen. Angered, frustrated, she tried to concentrate on a book written by Manmatha Dutta in her verandah….Manmatha Dutta was a new author, whose style of writing was somewhat akin to Amal’s, therefore Amal consciously refrained from praising him, reading out instead some excerpts of his books to his sister-in-law with enough mockery in his voice. Charu, irritated, would snatch that book from him and throw it away in disdain….Amal entered the verandah, and Charu pretended to read on, unnoticing, indifferent. Amal asked, “What are you reading so raptly?” Watching her silence for some time, Amal lifted his head to her back, trying to read the name. “Manmatha Dutta’s ‘Galaganda’ (Goiter)!” he mocked.”  Non-Bengalis may not have read the novella, Bengalis will have.  How many people notice the name Manmatha Dutta when they read it? This is fiction and fiction need have no resemblance to reality.  However, the depicted relationship between Amal and his sister-in-law is often asserted to have a basis in the relationship between Rabindranath Tagore and his sister-in-law.  Autobiographical elements creep in, sometimes through the sub-conscious.  If this logic is accepted for the relationship between Tagore and his sister-in-law, why should Manmatha Dutta not have been a real person?  What was Charu’s full name?  Most people will say Charulata, which is why the film has that name.  That’s true.  But if one reads the novella (in Bengali) carefully, one will find Tagore was a bit inconsistent in naming.  Umapati is also Umapada and Charulata is also Charubala.  Though there was indeed a close-knit group of around 3,000 people, given Rabindranath Tagore’s interests and Manmatha Nath Dutt’s interests, their paths are unlikely to have crossed, unless they actually met.  There was no particular reason for Rabindranath Tagore to read what Manmatha Nath Dutt had written.  However, it was perfectly possible for them to have known each other.

We know almost nothing about Manmatha Nath Dutt and about an amazingly productive period from 1891 to 1912, a period just over twenty years.  There is a piece written by Shashi Shekhar in “The Pioneer” in 2011 and there is a German website with some information.   That’s about it.  We can speculate that he died in 1912, because the Rig Veda Samhita translation was left incomplete and ended abruptly.  Shashi Shekhar drew on the German website too.  Between Shashi Shekhar and the website, we have the following – (1) translator of Valmiki Ramayana, Mahabharata, Hari Vamsha, Markandeya Purana, Agni Purana, Vishnu Purana, Garuda Purana, Bhagavata Purana, Mahanirvana Tantra, Manu Samhita, Parashara Samhita, Gautama Samhita, Kamandakiya Nitisara; (2) author of a book on Buddha; (3) author of a book called “Gleanings from the Indian Classics”; (4) editor of a magazine called “Wealth of India”; (5) Rector of Keshab Academy; (6) Rector of Serampore College; (7) M.A., M.R.A.S. and Shastri.  This is accurate enough, though the list of books is incomplete and “Gleanings” had three volumes, not one.  But that bit about being a Rector of Serampore College is plain wrong.  Manmatha Nath Dutt never described himself in that fashion.  Nor is there anything to indicate any kind of association with Serampore College. Serampore College was set up in 1818 by English missionaries, with an original charter from the king of Denmark.  It has a theological college and a non-theological college that, since 1857, has been affiliated with the University of Calcutta.   A Rector is a Principal and Manmatha Nath Dutt’s name does not figure on the list of Serampore College principals.  Nor was there any reason for him to get identified with something like Serampore College.

I believe that the following list of books/monographs authored/edited by Manmatha Nath Dutt is exhaustive.  In any day and age, not to speak of the last decades of the nineteenth century and the beginning of the twentieth, this is an impressive list.  Before 1914, there was no copyright legislation in India.  Therefore, once printed, books and monographs were freely reprinted.  That was the case with Manmatha Nath Dutt’s books too.  This is list of the original publications, not reprints by other publishers.  There is one such book that I have not included in the list.  This is titled “Vrata, Sacred Vows and Traditional Fasts”.  It is ascribed to Manmatha Nath Dutt and there is an unsigned “Introduction”.  The style and the English are completely unlike Dutt’s, though there certainly is a late-19th century/early-20th century flavor.  That’s not surprising, because this Vrata book is based on a volume written by Rai Bahadur B.A. Gupte, and not by Manmatha Nath Dutt.  The “Introduction” is also by Rai Bahadur Gupte, who was a distinguished author in his own right and didn’t need to disguise himself as Manmatha Nath Dutt.  Evidently, we have forgotten Manmatha Nath Dutt, but there is still some brand recognition.  We have forgotten Rai Bahadur Gupte more.

References

A few more words about this list.  First, in these books/monographs, the production quality is not very good and there are several typos. For example, in the listing below, names like H. C. Das/Dass, Furiapukur/Furriapukur or Nayan Chand Dutt/Noyan Chand Dutt, are not always spelt consistently.  Second, this is a chronological list of publications of books/monographs.  This is not necessarily the sequence in which the texts were translated, or the works written.  Many of these were serialized in a magazine first and thereafter, published as books.  The Press and Registration of Books Act was passed in 1867 and after this piece of legislation, a copy of every book published had to be delivered to the government.  Thus, every year the Home Department produced reports on publications.  From the 1896 report, “Babu Pratap Chandra Ray’s translation of the Mahabharata was finished and a new and cheap edition by Babu Manmatha Nath Dutt commenced during the year.  Several parts of the series entitled The Wealth of India, also by the latter author, giving English translations of the Srimadbhagavata, the Markandeya Purana, and the Kamandaki Nitisara…were received in the course of the year.”  We will return to the monthly “Wealth of India” later.  From the 1897 report, “The Hindu publications under this head include among others Babu Manmatha Nath Dutt’s translation of the Mahabharata, F. E. Pargiter’s translation of the Markandeya Purana with annotations, and a dissertation on the Vedas, also by Babu Manmatha Nath Dutt. Babu Manmatha Nath Datta's book entitled Vedas presents in a small compass the results of the researches of Colebrooke and other European scholars on the subject of those sacred books, and gives an analysis of their contents with a short dissertation on the Vedic theology and the state of society in the Vedic age. Many of the theories and suggestions put forth in the course of the work on the authority of European scholars can be hardly accepted as conclusive by orthodox native scholars.”  Third, the many Dharmashastra texts (samhitas) published between 1906 and 1908 are actually slim monographs.  In contrast, the subsequent 1908 Dharmashastra volume is a compendium of sixteen samhitas published together in one volume.  In terms of size, they aren’t comparable.

The Ramayana, Girish Chandra Chackravarti, Deva Press, 65/2 Beadon Street, 1891. (The first six kandas were published in 1891).

Gleanings from Indian Classics, Tales of Ind, Deva Press, 65/2 Beadon Street, 1893.

The Ramayana, Uttarakandam, H. C. Das, Elysium Press, 65/2 Beadon Street, 1894.

A Prose English Translation of Gita, Or the Teachings of Srikrishna on the Field of Kurukshetra, D.D. Bose, 46, Brojo Nath Mitter’s Lane, Jhamapooker, 1895.

Srimadbhagavatam, A Prose English Translation, H. C. Dass, Elysium Press, 65/2 Beadon Street, 1896.

A Prose English Translation of the Mahabharata (translated literally from the original Sanskrit text), H. C. Dass, Elysium Press, 65/2 Beadon Street, 1895-1897, 1901-05.

A Prose English Translation of Vishnupuranam (Based on Professor H. H. Wilson’s translation), H C. Dass, Elysium Press, 65/2 Beadon Street, 1896.

Kamandakiya Nitisara or The Elements of Polity, H. C. Dass, Elysium Press, 65/2 Beadon Street, 1896.

A Prose English Translation of Markandeya Puranam, H. C. Dass, Elysium Press, 65/2 Beadon Street, 1896.

Gleanings from Indian Classics, Vol. II, Heroines of Ind, H. C. Dass, Elysium Press, 65/2 Beadon Street, 1897.

A Prose English Translation of Hari Vamsha, H. C. Dass, Elysium Press, 65/2 Beadon Street, 1897.

Vedas, H. C. Dass, Elysium Press, 65/2 Beadon Street, 1897.  (I have included this because it is mentioned in the Home Department’s 1897 report.  I find no other indication that such a book was ever published.)

Gleanings from Indian Classics, Vol. III, Prophets of Ind, R.K. Bhatta, Elysium Press, 65/2 Beadon Street, 1899.

Ayurveda or the Hindu System of Medical Science, Society for the Resuscitation of Indian Literature and H. C. Dass, Elysium Press, 65/2 Beadon Street, Calcutta, 1899.  (This can only be ascribed to Manmatha Nath Dutt, because of the style.  The preface was left unsigned and no author was mentioned.)

A Prose English Translation of Maha Nirvana Tantra, H. C. Dass, 65/2 Beadon Street, 1900.

A Short Sketch of Posta Raj Family, H. C. Dass and Elysium Press, 65/2 Beadon Street, 1900.

Buddha, His Life, His Teachings, His Order (Together with the History of Buddhism), Society for the Resuscitation of Indian Literature, Elysium Bower, Baranagore, 1901.

A Prose English Translation of Agni Puranam, H. C. Das, Elysium Press, 40 Nayan Chand Dutt’s Street, 1903.

Outlines of Hindu Metaphysics, Society for the Resuscitation of Indian Literature and H. C. Dass, Elysium Press, both addresses given as 40 Nayan Chand Dutt’s Street, 1904.

Domestic Duty, Society for the Resuscitation of Indian Literature and H. C. Das, Elysium Press, both addresses given as 40 Nayan Chand Dutt’s Street, 1905.

Harita Samhita, Original Text with a Literal Prose English Translation, H. C. Das, Elysium Press, 40 Nayan Chand Dutt’s Street, 1906.

Us’anas’ Samhita, Original Text with a Literal Prose English Translation, H. C. Dass, Elysium Press, 40 Nayan Chand Dutt’s Street, 1906.

Angiras Samhita, Original Text with a Literal Prose English Translation, H. C. Das, Elysium Press, 40 Nayan Chand Dutt’s Street, 1906.

Yama Samhita, Original Text with a Literal Prose English Translation, H. C. Das, Elysium Press, 40 Nayan Chand Dutt’s Street, 1906.

The Upanishads, the E. Roer translation, edited by Manmatha Nath Dutt, Society for the Resuscitation of Indian Literature, 1907.

Atri Samhita, Original Text with a Literal Prose English Translation, H. C. Das, Elysium Press, 40 Nayan Chand Dutt’s Street, 1907.

Samvarta Samhita, Original Text with a Literal Prose English Translation, H. C. Das, Elysium Press, 40 Nayan Chand Dutt’s Street, 1907.

Ka’tya’yana Samhita, Original Text with a Literal Prose English Translation, H. C. Das, Elysium Press, 40 Nayan Chand Dutt’s Street, 1907.

Vrihaspati Samhita, Original Text with a Literal Prose English Translation, H. C. Das, Elysium Press, 40 Nayan Chand Dutt’s Street, 1907.

Daksha Samhita, Original Text with a Literal Prose English Translation, H. C. Das, Elysium Press, 40 Nayan Chand Dutt’s Street, 1907.

S’a’ta’pata Samhita, Original Text with a Literal Prose English Translation, H. C. Das, Elysium Press, 40 Nayan Chand Dutt’s Street, 1907.

Likhita Samhita, Original Text with a Literal Prose English Translation, H. C. Das, Elysium Press, 40 Nayan Chand Dutt’s Street, 1907.

Vyasa Samhita, Original Text with a Literal Prose English Translation, H. C. Das, Elysium Press, 40 Nayan Chand Dutt’s Street, 1907.

The Upanishads, the E. Roer translation, edited, Society for Resuscitation of Indian Literature and H. C. Das, Elysium Press, 40 Nayan Chand Dutt’s Street, 1907.

Gautama Samhita, Original Text with a Literal Prose English Translation, H. C. Das, Elysium Press, 3 Furiapukur Street, 1908.

Vasishtha Samhita, Original Text with a Literal Prose English Translation, H. C. Das, Elysium Press, 3 Furiapukur Street, 1908.

A’pastamba Samhita, Original Text with a Literal Prose English Translation, H. C. Dass, Elysium Press, 3 Furriapukur Street, 1908.

Vishnu Samhita, Original Text with a Literal Prose English Translation, H. C. Dass, Elysium Press, 3 Furriapukur Street, 1908.

The Garuda Puranam, Society for the Resuscitation of Indian Literature, 3 Furriapukur Street, 1908.

The Dharma S’astra Text, Sanskrit texts of sixteen samhitas, H. C. Dass, Elysium Press, 3 Furriapukur Street, 1908.

The Dharma Sa’stra or The Hindu Law Codes (English Translation), Vol. II, H. C. Dass, Elysium Press, 3 Furriapukur Street, 1908.

Manu Samhita, H. C. Dass, Elysium Press, 3 Furriapukur Street and Society for the Resuscitation of Indian Literature, 1909.  (This does not explicitly say that this translation was done by Dutt.  Instead, it mentions Manmatha Nath Dutt as the Founder of the Society.)

Vedanta Sara, the Sadananda Yogindra translation, edited by Manmatha Nath Dutt, H. C. Dass, Elysium Press, 3 Furriapukur Street and Society for the Resuscitation of Indian Literature, 1909.

Manu Samhita (English Translation), Society for the Resuscitation of Indian Literature and H. C. Das, Elysium Press, both addresses given as 3 Furriapukur Street, 1909.

Rig Veda, Text with Sayana’s Commentary and a Literal Prose English Translation, Society for the Resuscitation of Indian Literature and H. C. Das, Elysium Press, both addresses given as 40 Nayan Chand Dutt’s Street, 1906-1912.

Broadly, the corpus that goes beyond mere editing has some distinct buckets: (1) Translations of Bhagavad Gita, Ramayana, Mahabharata, Hari Vamsha; (2) Translations of Puranas; (3) Translations of Dharmashastra texts; (4) Incomplete translation of Rig Veda; (4) Translation of Mahanirvana Tantra; (5) Retelling stories (Gleanings); (6) Books on Hinduism (Ayurveda, Metaphysics, Domestic Duty); (7) a book on the Buddha; and (8) as an outlier, a monograph on the Posta Raj.  I did a rough word count on how many words Manmatha Nath Dutt wrote in these books.  The number of words he wrote himself, in the translations and in the introductions/prefaces, excluding the work of others.  This is a rough word count and is by no means exact.  It is a rough count, because I calculated the average number of words in a typical Manmatha Nath Dutt page and multiplied it by the number of pages.  I didn’t exactly count the number of words in the entire corpus.  The estimate is 2.6 million words.  The productive period was from 1891 to 1912, twenty-one years.  That figure translates to around 124,000 words a year, 10,300 words a month, not a very easy track record to emulate in any age.

“An Unfinished Autobiography”, Sucheta Kripalani, Navajivan Publishing House, Ahmedabad, 1978.

Memoirs of an Octogenarian, Sushama Sen, Anjali, Shimla, 1971.

History of the Brahmo Samaj, Vol.II, Brahmo Mission Press, Calcutta, 1912.

Netaji: Collected Works: Volume 1: An Indian Pilgrim: An Unfinished Autobiography, originally published by the Netaji Publishing Society in 1948.

https://ia600406.us.archive.org/32/items/THEDUTTADhrubaDuttaChaudhury/THE%20DUTTA-%20Dhruba%20Dutta%20Chaudhury.pdf

This alternative account is given in Calcutta Old and New.  A Historical and Descriptive Handbook to the City. H.E.A. Cotton, W. Newman and Company, Calcutta, 1907.

The Early History and Growth of Calcutta, Raja Binaya Krishna Deb, Romesh Chandra Ghoshe, Calcutta, 1905.

https://catalog.hathitrust.org/Record/100615605

Vol. VII of the Census.  The Statistical Report is in Part IV.  Bengal Secretariat Press, 1902.

These numbers and the subsequent ones are from Marriage and Modernity: Family Values in Colonial Bengal, Rochona Majumdar, Duke University Press, 2009.

Note that Manmatha Nath Dutt’s brother-in-law was a lawyer.

The Broken Home and Other Stories, Lopamudra Banerjee, Authorspress, 2017.  This has translations of two Tagore novellas and six short stories.

“Genius who translated the epics”, Daily Pioneer, 7 November 2011, http://rec.arts.books.narkive.com/vFNlHfxW/the-genius-who-translated-hindu-epics

http://www.ramayana.pushpak.de/mndutt.html

Specifically, William Carey, Joshua Marshman and William Ward.

The present Copyright Act of 1957 was preceded by a Copyright Act of 1914.  Before that, the applicability of copyright legislation was tenuous, though British legislation from 1911 existed.  Stated simply, there was no copyright on his works.

Vrata, Sacred Vows and Traditional Fasts, Manmatha Nath Dutt, Indigo Books, 2002.

Hindu Holidays and Ceremonials, with Dissertations on Origin, Folklore and Symbols, B. A. Gupte, Thacker, Spink and Company, 1916.

This is the Ganguli translation.

Report on Publications Issued and Registered in the Several Provinces of British India during the year 1896/1897, Government Printing Press, Calcutta, 1898.

The head of “religion”.

Karna Parva (1901) suddenly has the name of Rash Mohun Sircar as a publisher, in addition to Elysium Press.  The Elysium Press address changes to Kashi Ghoshe’s Lane, Beadon Street, and is no longer 65/2 Beadon Street.  From Sauptika Parva (1902), both Rash Mohun Sircar and Elysium Press continue to be publishers, but the addresses of both change to 40 Nayan Chand Dutt’s street.

“An Unfinished Autobiography”, Sucheta Kripalani, Navajivan Publishing House, Ahmedabad, 1978.

Memoirs of an Octogenarian, Sushama Sen, Anjali, Shimla, 1971.

History of the Brahmo Samaj, Vol.II, Brahmo Mission Press, Calcutta, 1912.

Netaji: Collected Works: Volume 1: An Indian Pilgrim: An Unfinished Autobiography, originally published by the Netaji Publishing Society in 1948.

https://ia600406.us.archive.org/32/items/THEDUTTADhrubaDuttaChaudhury/THE%20DUTTA-%20Dhruba%20Dutta%20Chaudhury.pdf

This alternative account is given in Calcutta Old and New.  A Historical and Descriptive Handbook to the City. H.E.A. Cotton, W. Newman and Company, Calcutta, 1907.

The Early History and Growth of Calcutta, Raja Binaya Krishna Deb, Romesh Chandra Ghoshe, Calcutta, 1905.

https://catalog.hathitrust.org/Record/100615605

Vol. VII of the Census.  The Statistical Report is in Part IV.  Bengal Secretariat Press, 1902.

These numbers and the subsequent ones are from Marriage and Modernity: Family Values in Colonial Bengal, Rochona Majumdar, Duke University Press, 2009.

Note that Manmatha Nath Dutt’s brother-in-law was a lawyer.

The Broken Home and Other Stories, Lopamudra Banerjee, Authorspress, 2017.  This has translations of two Tagore novellas and six short stories.

“Genius who translated the epics”, Daily Pioneer, 7 November 2011, http://rec.arts.books.narkive.com/vFNlHfxW/the-genius-who-translated-hindu-epics

http://www.ramayana.pushpak.de/mndutt.html

Specifically, William Carey, Joshua Marshman and William Ward.

The present Copyright Act of 1957 was preceded by a Copyright Act of 1914.  Before that, the applicability of copyright legislation was tenuous, though British legislation from 1911 existed.  Stated simply, there was no copyright on his works.

Vrata, Sacred Vows and Traditional Fasts, Manmatha Nath Dutt, Indigo Books, 2002.

Hindu Holidays and Ceremonials, with Dissertations on Origin, Folklore and Symbols, B. A. Gupte, Thacker, Spink and Company, 1916.

This is the Ganguli translation.

Report on Publications Issued and Registered in the Several Provinces of British India during the year 1896/1897, Government Printing Press, Calcutta, 1898.

The head of “religion”.

Karna Parva (1901) suddenly has the name of Rash Mohun Sircar as a publisher, in addition to Elysium Press.  The Elysium Press address changes to Kashi Ghoshe’s Lane, Beadon Street, and is no longer 65/2 Beadon Street.  From Sauptika Parva (1902), both Rash Mohun Sircar and Elysium Press continue to be publishers, but the addresses of both change to 40 Nayan Chand Dutt’s street.

“An Unfinished Autobiography”, Sucheta Kripalani, Navajivan Publishing House, Ahmedabad, 1978.

Memoirs of an Octogenarian, Sushama Sen, Anjali, Shimla, 1971.

History of the Brahmo Samaj, Vol.II, Brahmo Mission Press, Calcutta, 1912.

Netaji: Collected Works: Volume 1: An Indian Pilgrim: An Unfinished Autobiography, originally published by the Netaji Publishing Society in 1948.

https://ia600406.us.archive.org/32/items/THEDUTTADhrubaDuttaChaudhury/THE%20DUTTA-%20Dhruba%20Dutta%20Chaudhury.pdf

This alternative account is given in Calcutta Old and New.  A Historical and Descriptive Handbook to the City. H.E.A. Cotton, W. Newman and Company, Calcutta, 1907.

The Early History and Growth of Calcutta, Raja Binaya Krishna Deb, Romesh Chandra Ghoshe, Calcutta, 1905.

https://catalog.hathitrust.org/Record/100615605

Vol. VII of the Census.  The Statistical Report is in Part IV.  Bengal Secretariat Press, 1902.

These numbers and the subsequent ones are from Marriage and Modernity: Family Values in Colonial Bengal, Rochona Majumdar, Duke University Press, 2009.

Note that Manmatha Nath Dutt’s brother-in-law was a lawyer.

The Broken Home and Other Stories, Lopamudra Banerjee, Authorspress, 2017.  This has translations of two Tagore novellas and six short stories.

“Genius who translated the epics”, Daily Pioneer, 7 November 2011, http://rec.arts.books.narkive.com/vFNlHfxW/the-genius-who-translated-hindu-epics

http://www.ramayana.pushpak.de/mndutt.html

Specifically, William Carey, Joshua Marshman and William Ward.

The present Copyright Act of 1957 was preceded by a Copyright Act of 1914.  Before that, the applicability of copyright legislation was tenuous, though British legislation from 1911 existed.  Stated simply, there was no copyright on his works.

Vrata, Sacred Vows and Traditional Fasts, Manmatha Nath Dutt, Indigo Books, 2002.

Hindu Holidays and Ceremonials, with Dissertations on Origin, Folklore and Symbols, B. A. Gupte, Thacker, Spink and Company, 1916.

This is the Ganguli translation.

Report on Publications Issued and Registered in the Several Provinces of British India during the year 1896/1897, Government Printing Press, Calcutta, 1898.

The head of “religion”.

Karna Parva (1901) suddenly has the name of Rash Mohun Sircar as a publisher, in addition to Elysium Press.  The Elysium Press address changes to Kashi Ghoshe’s Lane, Beadon Street, and is no longer 65/2 Beadon Street.  From Sauptika Parva (1902), both Rash Mohun Sircar and Elysium Press continue to be publishers, but the addresses of both change to 40 Nayan Chand Dutt’s street.

“An Unfinished Autobiography”, Sucheta Kripalani, Navajivan Publishing House, Ahmedabad, 1978.

Memoirs of an Octogenarian, Sushama Sen, Anjali, Shimla, 1971.

History of the Brahmo Samaj, Vol.II, Brahmo Mission Press, Calcutta, 1912.

Netaji: Collected Works: Volume 1: An Indian Pilgrim: An Unfinished Autobiography, originally published by the Netaji Publishing Society in 1948.

https://ia600406.us.archive.org/32/items/THEDUTTADhrubaDuttaChaudhury/THE%20DUTTA-%20Dhruba%20Dutta%20Chaudhury.pdf

This alternative account is given in Calcutta Old and New.  A Historical and Descriptive Handbook to the City. H.E.A. Cotton, W. Newman and Company, Calcutta, 1907.

The Early History and Growth of Calcutta, Raja Binaya Krishna Deb, Romesh Chandra Ghoshe, Calcutta, 1905.

https://catalog.hathitrust.org/Record/100615605

Vol. VII of the Census.  The Statistical Report is in Part IV.  Bengal Secretariat Press, 1902.

These numbers and the subsequent ones are from Marriage and Modernity: Family Values in Colonial Bengal, Rochona Majumdar, Duke University Press, 2009.

Note that Manmatha Nath Dutt’s brother-in-law was a lawyer.

The Broken Home and Other Stories, Lopamudra Banerjee, Authorspress, 2017.  This has translations of two Tagore novellas and six short stories.

“Genius who translated the epics”, Daily Pioneer, 7 November 2011, http://rec.arts.books.narkive.com/vFNlHfxW/the-genius-who-translated-hindu-epics

http://www.ramayana.pushpak.de/mndutt.html

Specifically, William Carey, Joshua Marshman and William Ward.

The present Copyright Act of 1957 was preceded by a Copyright Act of 1914.  Before that, the applicability of copyright legislation was tenuous, though British legislation from 1911 existed.  Stated simply, there was no copyright on his works.

Vrata, Sacred Vows and Traditional Fasts, Manmatha Nath Dutt, Indigo Books, 2002.

Hindu Holidays and Ceremonials, with Dissertations on Origin, Folklore and Symbols, B. A. Gupte, Thacker, Spink and Company, 1916.

This is the Ganguli translation.

Report on Publications Issued and Registered in the Several Provinces of British India during the year 1896/1897, Government Printing Press, Calcutta, 1898.

The head of “religion”.

Karna Parva (1901) suddenly has the name of Rash Mohun Sircar as a publisher, in addition to Elysium Press.  The Elysium Press address changes to Kashi Ghoshe’s Lane, Beadon Street, and is no longer 65/2 Beadon Street.  From Sauptika Parva (1902), both Rash Mohun Sircar and Elysium Press continue to be publishers, but the addresses of both change to 40 Nayan Chand Dutt’s street.

Footnotes

1. “An Unfinished Autobiography”, Sucheta Kripalani, Navajivan Publishing House, Ahmedabad, 1978.
2. Memoirs of an Octogenarian, Sushama Sen, Anjali, Shimla, 1971.
3. History of the Brahmo Samaj, Vol.II, Brahmo Mission Press, Calcutta, 1912.
4. Netaji: Collected Works: Volume 1: An Indian Pilgrim: An Unfinished Autobiography, originally published by the Netaji Publishing Society in 1948.
5. https://ia600406.us.archive.org/32/items/THEDUTTADhrubaDuttaChaudhury/THE%20DUTTA-%20Dhruba%20Dutta%20Chaudhury.pdf 6. This alternative account is given in Calcutta Old and New. A Historical and Descriptive Handbook to the City. H.E.A. Cotton, W. Newman and Company, Calcutta, 1907.
7. The Early History and Growth of Calcutta, Raja Binaya Krishna Deb, Romesh Chandra Ghoshe, Calcutta, 1905.
8. https://catalog.hathitrust.org/Record/100615605
9. Vol. VII of the Census. The Statistical Report is in Part IV. Bengal Secretariat Press, 1902.
10. These numbers and the subsequent ones are from Marriage and Modernity: Family Values in Colonial Bengal, Rochona Majumdar, Duke University Press, 2009.
11. Note that Manmatha Nath Dutt’s brother-in-law was a lawyer.
12. The Broken Home and Other Stories, Lopamudra Banerjee, Authorspress, 2017. This has translations of two Tagore novellas and six short stories.
13. “Genius who translated the epics”, Daily Pioneer, 7 November 2011, http://rec.arts.books.narkive.com/vFNlHfxW/the-genius-who-translated-hindu-epics
14. http://www.ramayana.pushpak.de/mndutt.html
15. Specifically, William Carey, Joshua Marshman and William Ward.
16. The present Copyright Act of 1957 was preceded by a Copyright Act of 1914. Before that, the applicability of copyright legislation was tenuous, though British legislation from 1911 existed. Stated simply, there was no copyright on his works.
17. Vrata, Sacred Vows and Traditional Fasts, Manmatha Nath Dutt, Indigo Books, 2002.
18. Hindu Holidays and Ceremonials, with Dissertations on Origin, Folklore and Symbols, B. A. Gupte, Thacker, Spink and Company, 1916.
19. This is the Ganguli translation.
20. Report on Publications Issued and Registered in the Several Provinces of British India during the year 1896/1897, Government Printing Press, Calcutta, 1898.
21. The head of “religion”.
22. Karna Parva (1901) suddenly has the name of Rash Mohun Sircar as a publisher, in addition to Elysium Press. The Elysium Press address changes to Kashi Ghoshe’s Lane, Beadon Street, and is no longer 65/2 Beadon Street. From Sauptika Parva (1902), both Rash Mohun Sircar and Elysium Press continue to be publishers, but the addresses of both change to 40 Nayan Chand Dutt’s street.

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