On the death anniversary of Siddhartha Shankar Ray, a prominent figure in Indian politics and education, we take a moment to reflect on his life and contributions. Siddhartha Shankar Ray, a prominent political figure in India's history, was not only known for his controversial political career but also left behind a significant educational legacy. Born on October 20, 1920, Ray's contributions spanned politics, law, and education.
Ray's educational journey began in Kolkata, where he studied at Mitra Institution, Bhowanipore Branch, Presidency College, Calcutta, and the University Law College of the University of Calcutta. During his college and university years, he was not just an academic but also an active participant in sports and politics. He excelled in cricket, captaining the Presidency College cricket team and winning the Inter Collegiate cricket Championship in 1944. Ray's sporting prowess extended to football, where he played for the Kalighat Club and led the victorious Presidency College football team in 1939.
After being called to the bar by the Honourable Society of Inner Temple, London, in 1947, Ray pursued a career in law.
He became one of the junior Central Government counsels in the Calcutta High Court in 1954. His political journey began when he was elected to the Bhowanipore Assembly seat in 1957. He continued to serve in various capacities within the West Bengal Cabinet, including as the Law and Tribal Welfare Minister.
Ray's political career reached new heights when he became the Minister for Education & Youth Services in Indira Gandhi's cabinet in 1971. He was also entrusted with overseeing West Bengal affairs. His tenure as the Chief Minister of West Bengal from 1972 to 1977, marked by controversy and violence, left a lasting impact on the state's political landscape.
Siddhartha Shankar Ray passed away on November 6, 2010, at the age of 90, leaving behind a legacy that transcends the controversies of his time.