(other spellings: Mahendra Lal Sarkar, Mahendralal Sircar, Mahendralal
Sircir) (1833–1904) was a conventional-turned-homeopath doctor, social
reformer, and propagator of scientific studies in nineteenth-century India.
He was the founder of the Indian Association for the Cultivation of Science.
Early life and education
Mahendralal Sarkar was born at Paikpara village in
Howrah district, He lost both his parents early in life, his father
when he was five years old and his mother when he was nine years old. His
mother had shifted to his maternal uncles’ house earlier and subsequently,
he was brought up by his maternal uncles, Iswar Chandra Ghosh and Mahesh
Chandra Ghosh in their house at Nebutala in Calcutta. First he was sent to a
‘gurumasai’ or tutor to learn Bengali and subsequently to another tutor
named Thakurdas Dey, to learn English. On learning some English he secured
admission in Hare School as a free student in 1840. In 1849, he passed the
junior scholarship examination and joined Hindu College, where he studied up
to 1854. At that time, Hindu College did not have facilities for teaching
science and as he was bent upon studying medicine, he transferred to
Calcutta Medical College. He obtained IMS in 1861 and MD degrees in 1863. He
and Jagabandhu Bose were the second MDs of the Calcutta University after
Chandrakumar De (1862).
Although educated in the traditional European system of medicine,
Mahendralal Sarkar turned to homeopathy. He was influenced by reading
William Morgan's The Philosphy of Homeopathy, and by interaction with
Rajendralal Dutt, a leading homeopath practitioner of Calcutta. Indeed, in a
meeting of the Bengal branch of the British Medical Association, he
proclaimed homeopathy to be superior to "allopathy." Consequently, he was
ostracised by the British doctors, and had to undergo loss in practice for
some time. However, soon he regained his practice and went to to become a
leading homeopath practitioner in Calcutta, as well as India.
In course of his
career, he treated several notable persons of those days, including the
author Bankimchandra Chattopadhyay, the ascetic Ramakrishna, the Maharaja of
Tripura and others.
Mahendralal Nagar Station in the name of
From : Jelar Khabar Samikhha - Sukanta