Satyendra Prasanno Sinha, 1st Baron Sinha


Satyendra Prasanno Sinha, 1st Baron Sinha

Satyendra Prasanno Sinha, 1st Baron Sinha KCSI PC KC (24 March 1863 – 5 March 1928) was a prominent lawyer and statesman in British India. He was of Indian ancestry, and set many "first"s:
*in 1908, he became the first Indian to be appointed as Advocate-General of Bengal;
*in 1909, he became the first Indian member of the Governor-General of India's Executive Council;
*in 1919, he became the first Indian to be appointed as Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for India;
*also in 1919, he became the first Indian member of the British House of Lords;
*he was appointed Governor of the Province of Bihar and Orissa in 1920, becoming the first Indian to be appointed governor of an Indian province, but retired on grounds of health in 1921.

Early life

Sinha was born in Raipur, India into a wealthy family of the Hindu Kayastha caste. He was the youngest son of Sitikantha Sinha, zamindar of Raipur. He married Gobinda Mohini Mitter on 15 May 1880 at Mahata, Burdwan, Bengal and studied law in England from 1881 to 1886 at Lincoln's Inn, returning to Calcutta as a barrister.

From 1886, he and his wife became followers of Sadharan Brahmo Samaj, becoming leading members of the Brahmo community. He had three sons (Aroon Kumar Sinha, Sirsir Kumar Sinha and Sushil Kumar Sinha, born on 22 August 1887, 22 September 1890, and 9 June 1894 respectively) and four daughters (Tarun Kumar Sinha, born 9 February 1899, and three others).

Career

After returning to India in 1886, Sinha established has a successful legal practice in Calcutta. He was a member of the Indian National Congress from 1896 to 1919, when, along with other moderates, he left the organisation. He was elected to preside over the Bombay session of the Congress in 1915.

Sinha became Standing Counsel of the Government of India in 1903. He was the first Indian to be appointed as Advocate-General of Bengal in 1908, and the first Indian member of the Governor-General's Executive Council in 1909. He went to England in 1914 as a member of the War Conference following the outbreak of the First World War, and represented India in the Peace Conference in Europe in 1919.

He was knighted in the New Year's Honours List on 1 January 1915. He was the first Indian to be appointed as Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for India in 1919. In the same year he was elevated to the peerage as Baron Sinha, of Raipur in the Presidency of Bengal, becoming the first Indian member of the British House of Lords, taking his seat in February 1919. After his ennoblement, he navigated a bill regulating the Government of India through the House of Lords, which became the Government of India Act 1919, which transferred legislative power from the Governor-General of India to an Indian Legslature as a step towards self-government. Sinha also became a member of the Privy Council.

He became Governor of the Province of Bihar and Orissa in 1920, the first Indian to be appointed such a high rank in the administartion. But he retired on grounds of health in 1921. He became a member of the judicial committee of the Privy Council in 1926.

External links

*Biographies:
** [http://www.movinghere.org.uk/galleries/roots/asian/pullingittogether/casestudy.htm www.movinghere.org.uk]
** [http://banglapedia.search.com.bd/HT/S_0405.htm Banglapedia]
** [http://www.indiannationalcongress.com/history/presidents/lord_satyendra_prasanna_sinha.html www.indiannationalcongress.com]

* [http://www.npg.org.uk/live/search/person.asp?search=ss&sText=sinha&LinkID=mp56090 Portraits] at the National Portrait Gallery

DEFAULTSORT: Sinha, Satyendra Prasanno]


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