Banerjea, Sir Surendranath (sŏrĕnˈdrənät bäˈnərjē) [key], 1848–1926, Indian nationalist. One of the first Indians to join the Indian civil service, he was dismissed (1874) for a minor error and was considered by many to be the victim of discrimination. He became a teacher in Calcutta (now Kolkata) and editor of the nationalist paper Bengalee, and in 1876 he founded the Indian Association, a predecessor of the Indian National Congress. He served twice (1895, 1902) as president of the latter organization but withdrew in 1918 to espouse a more moderate nationalism that called for Hindu-Muslim cooperation and gradual reform. Knighted in 1921, he served (1921–24) as minister for local self-government in Bengal. He was a founder (1882) of Ripon College in Calcutta, which in 1947 was renamed Surendranath College.
See his autobiography, A Nation in Making (1925); L. Gordon, Bengal: The Nationalist Movement 1876–1940 (1973).
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