Transoceanic – Benefactors 1806 – : Alexander Duff

আলেক্সান্ডার ডাফ, ১৮০৬ – ১৮৭৮

Alexander Duff, D.D. LLD. (15 April 1806 – 12 February 1878 in Sidmouth), was a Christian missionary in India; where he played a large part in the development of higher education. Duff arrived in Calcutta on 27 May 1830. Shortly after landing, Duff opened his institution in a house located at upper Chitpur Road in the Jorasanko neighbourhood of Calcutta. The house was made available to him by Feringhi Kamal Bose, an affluent Hindu. The school soon began to expand into a missionary college, known as the General Assembly’s Institution. In 1857, when the University of Calcutta was established, the Free Church Institution was one of its earliest affiliates, and Duff would also serve in the university’s first senate. These two institutions founded by Duff, i.e., the General Assembly’s Institution and the Free Church Institution would be merged in 1908 to form the Scottish Churches College. In 1844, Duff co-founded the Calcutta Review, of which he served as editor from 1845 to 1849.
Several important Indian figures were products of Duff’s Institutions. Most notably, Rev. Lal Behari Dey, who wrote two books (Folk Tales of Bengal and Bengal Peasant Life) that were widely distributed among Indian schools, and Krishna Mohan Banerjee, who became registrar at the University of Calcutta and later became a co-founder of the Indian National Congress. Students from Duff’s college expressed that their liberal, English education had “freed their minds from prejudice. While Duff was a highly skilled scholar who was devoted to India, his evangelist ideals and western prejudice may have influenced his students in ways that he did not anticipate. Instead of initiating a mass conversion to Christianity he may have instead provided another catalyst for Hindu reform movements. See more

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