Dr. Prithwindra Mukherjee conferred with the ‘Padma Shri’ by the Government of India

Dear Friends and Well-wishers of Overman Foundation,

26th January 2020 has brought to us the delightful news that Paris-based legendary researcher, author, musicologist, grandson of illustrious revolutionary Jatindranath Mukherjee alias ‘Bagha Jatin’ and respected member of Overman Foundation, Dr. Prithwindra Mukherjee has been conferred with the prestigious ‘Padma Shri’ for his contribution in the field of literature and education.

Born on 20th October 1936 to Tejendranath and Usha Mukherjee, Dr. Prithwindra Mukherjee is the grandson of the famous revolutionary Jatindranath Mukherjee alias Bagha Jatin. He came to Sri Aurobindo Ashram in 1948, studied and taught at Sri Aurobindo International Centre of Education. He was mentioned by the Sahitya Akademi manuals and anthologies as a poet before he attained the age of twenty. He has translated the works of French authors like Albert Camus, Saint-John Perse and René Char for Bengali readers, and eminent Bengali authors into French. He shifted to Paris with a French Government Scholarship in 1966. He defended a thesis on Sri Aurobindo at Sorbonne. He served as a lecturer in two Paris faculties, a producer on Indian culture and music for Radio France and was also a freelance journalist for the Indian and French press. His thesis for PhD which studied the pre-Gandhian phase of India’s struggle for freedom was supervised by Raymond Aron in Paris University. In 1977 he was invited by the National Archives of India as a guest of the Historical Records Commission. He presented a paper on ‘Jatindranath Mukherjee and the Indo-German Conspiracy’ and his contribution on this area has been recognized by eminent educationists. A number of his papers on this subject have been translated into major Indian languages. He went to the United States of America as a Fullbright scholar and discovered scores of files covering the Indian revolutionaries in the Wilson Papers. In 1981 he joined the French National Centre of Scientific Research. He was also a founder-member of the French Literary Translators’ Association. In 2003 he retired as a researcher in Human and Social Sciences Department of French National Centre of Scientific Research in Paris. A recipient of ‘Sri Aurobindo Puraskar’, in the same year he was invited by Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra for the world premiere of Correspondances, opus for voice and orchestra where the veteran composer Henri Dutilleux had set to music Prithwindra’s French poem on Shiva Nataraja, followed by texts by Solzhenitsyn, Rilke and Van Gogh. In 2009 he was appointed to the rank of chevalier (Knight) of the Order of Arts and Letters by the Minister of Culture of France. In June 2014, he received from the French Academy (Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres) the 2014 Hirayama Award for his long career as an author, especially for his French Thesis on the pre-Gandhian phase (1893-1918) of India’s freedom movement. On 1st January 2015, the Prime Minister of France appointed him Chevalier in the Ordre des Palmes Academques.

Dr. Prithwindra Mukherjee has penned books in English, Bengali and French and some of his published works include Samasamayiker Chokhe Sri Aurobindo, Pondicherryer Dinguli, Bagha Jatin, Sadhak-Biplobi Jatindranath, Undying Courage, Vishwer Chokhe Rabindranath, Thât/Mélakartâ : The Fundamental Scales in Indian Music of the North and the South (foreword by Pandit Ravi Shankar), Poèmes du Bangladesh, Serpent de flammes, Le sâmkhya, Les écrits bengalis de Sri Aurobindo, Chants bâuls, les Fous de l’Absolu, Anthologie de la poésie bengalie, In Quest of the Cosmic Soul and Les racines intellectuelles du movement d’independence de l’Inde (1893-1918) ending up with Sri Aurobindo, “the last of the Prophets”.

We take the opportunity to congratulate Dr. Prithwindra Mukherjee for being conferred with the prestigious ‘Padma Shri’.

With warm regards,

Anurag Banerjee


Overman Foundation.

14 Replies to “Dr. Prithwindra Mukherjee conferred with the ‘Padma Shri’ by the Government of India

  1. Congratulations, my dear Prithwin. We are proud of you. When you come for the award to delhi, do come and stay with us at the Sri Aurobindo Ashram delhi Branch. Old memories of our childhood are crowding my mind. Hope to see you soon.

    1. Dear Tara, what you mention as old memories are for me as yet a living reality: neither Space (the almost-10.000 kilometres) nor Time (the more than half a century) can as yet strip me of this life which attains its fulfilment in my experience of the Mother’s constant presence protecting me. Do you remember the words you uttered on returning from a visit to Dilip-dâ (D.K. Roy): “at once you feel how intensely Sri Aurobindo is present with him!”?
      Thank you for the invitation to the Ashram at Mehrauli. I can never forget the affection with wich Jauhar-sâheb welcomed me: the first thing he would do was to ask his faithful servant Bhavâni to get me a bunch of hot paraThâs with sabji and a big bowl of milk. In jolly moods he would entertain me with his favourite parody: “phâTi hai patloon !”
      It will always be a pleasure to see you… soon !

  2. Dear Prithwin- da -Congratulations on your this richly deserved ‘ Padma Award ‘ – has added further lustre to your colouful creative live
    Surendra S Chouhan

  3. Dr. Prithwindra Mukherjee Sab

    We feel proud as an Aurobindonian was conferred Padma Sri. Mother’s recognition was given to you.
    Congratulations Sir.
    Dhanasekaran A

  4. Cher Docteur Mukherjee,
    Je suis un Québécois vivant en France (à Challans, Vendée). J’ai découvert le Yoga de Sri Aurobindo/Mère en 1975 à l’âge de 15 ans par le Centre Sri Aurobindo de Montréal, Québec, dont je suis membre depuis ce temps. En 1984, j’ai participé à une expédition organisée par votre amie Tara Jauhar, dans l’Himalaya. J’ai appris votre existence et vos réalisations il y a quelques mois (en 2020) en même temps que je découvrais tout le travail de la Fondation Overman que je continue d’assimiler aussi consciencieusement que possible. Je viens de lire la biographie de votre grand-père sur Wikipédia en me rendant bien compte que les informations proviennent au moins à 90% de vos bons soins. Je suis très admiratif de vos réalisations même si je devrai prendre énormément de temps pour en faire le tour si tant est que cela puisse être possible. En résumé, je ressens le besoin impérieux et irraisonné de vous rencontrer puisque vous êtes à Paris alors je demande à Monsieur Anurag Banerjee de bien vouloir vous transmettre mon numéro de téléphone en France: 07 80 36 07 41. Pour le reste, que la volonté de Mère soit faite. Évidemment, ce message n’est pas pour publication! Ensemble au service de Mère et de Sri Aurobindo.

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