Shri Birendra Naryan Chakravarty
Born on 20th December 1904 and educated at the Universities of Calcutta and London, Shri Chakravarty joined the Indian Civil Service in 1929 and held with distinction various administrative posts under the Government of Bengal.
Shri Chakravarty served as the Counselor of the Embassy of India in Nanking in 1948. He was the head of the Indian Liaison Mission in Tokyo and the Political Advisor to the Supreme Commander Allied Powers in 1948-49. He was appointed Joint Secretary in the Ministry of External Affairs, New Delhi in 1949. In the year 1951, He was appointed Commonwealth Secretary. He served as the Ambassador in the Netherlands from 1952 to 1954. He was senior Alternate Chairman of the Neutral Nation‟s Repatriation Commission in Korea in 1953. In 1955-56, he acted as High Commissioner in Ceylon. Thereafter, for four years, he was Special Secretary in the Ministry of External Affairs. From 1960 to 1962 he served as the High Commissioner for India in Canada.
Shri Chakravarty was a Representative of India to the Sixteenth Session (1961) of the United Nations General Assembly. As a representative of India to the United Nations during July 1962 and November 1965, he not only presented India‟s true picture before the World Parliament but also expressed his real and earnest desire to stamp out racial discrimination and colonization. At a time when most of the member countries were doubtful about the United Nations role in the field of disarmament, world peace, and racial harmony, he repeatedly stressed the imperative need for this world organization, which at least, had provided a platform where people, despite racial, ideological and economic differences, could discuss their problems rationally and understand each other’s views.
Shri Chakravarty retired from Civil Service in 1965 and took over as Governor of Haryana on 15th September 1967. He made notable contribution to the smooth and steady development of the State and the onward march to progress and prosperity.
Shri Chakravarty‟s unassuming manner and his dedication to the work were the dominant aspects of his versatile personality. He was a man of practical outlook believing in action rather than in theories and dogmas. Long before the concept of planned development and welfare of backward classes emerged as a national polity, he created quite a stir by employing a Harijan as a cook in the early thirties. As a District Magistrate, he once nominated a gifted citizen, cobbler by caste, as a Municipal Commissioner. He was an enthusiastic scholar with wide interest. A devotee of Gita and other ancient Indian epics, Shri Chakravarty wielded a forceful personality. His famous book “India Speaks to America” published in the United States during 1966 is an important work on International Affairs depicting a true picture of the Indo-US relationship. On 5th February 1972, the Punjab University conferred on him an Honorary Degree of the Doctor of Laws. His speeches as the Governor of Haryana were published under the title ‘Governor Speaks’ by the public Relation Department.
Shri Chakravarty died, in harness, on 26th March 1976. At the time of his death, Shri Chakravarty was on a visit at Raj Bhawan, Calcutta. Shri Chakravarty had expressed the desire in his lifetime, that his last rites be performed at Kurukshetra, and as a mark of respect, his body was flown to Kurukshetra. The State Funeral was performed at the Kurukshetra University Campus and departed soul was given a Twenty One Gun Salute. An epitaph was erected on the spot in the memory of Late Shri Chakravarty. The Kurukshetra University and the Uchana Lake at Karnal were also named after him.