History of Kolkata
How Kolkata got its name ?
formerly known by the name of Calcutta has undergone a sea change in a
very short span of time. Kolkata as it stands today is the largest
metropolitan city of India. There is much discussion about the origin of
the city's name. According to some the name of the city has been
derived from the Bengali word Kalikshetra, meaning the ground of goddess
Kali. Yet others are of the opinion that the name has been derived from
the term Kilkila, meaning flat surface in Bengali. Historically as per literature, there is an ironical story that relates
to how Calcutta got its name. Calcutta had its name when an English
person inquired about the name of the place to a farmer. The farmer
unable to understand English language interpreted it and thought they
were asking "When did you cut this paddy?" The farmer assumed the
question and frantically replied "cul kata"( meaning cut yesterday in
Hindi) and then it was named Calcutta.
Evolutionary History of Kolkata
The above depiction of Kolkata makes it absolutely clear to us that Job Charnock had an undeniable role in the evolution of the city. So, many people in the yester years thought Mr. Charnock as the founding father of the city of Kolkata. But the extensive research works in recent years have proved that there was no specific year and date (24th August, 1690) in so far as the foundation of the city is concerned. In this regard we can refer to the historic judgment of the Kolkata High Court on 16th of May 2003. The court formed an expert committee of historians to look into this matter. The judgment clearly showed that the city of Kolkata has evolved through a process of rural settlement; and this process further intensified as a result of the establishment of the British trading factories. Consequently, the modernization of the city began with the rapid growth of free trade in the region. Researchers have also found that Kolkata had an important value as a trading port during the Gupta’s and the Mauryas. During the days of Raj, Kolkata was second in status after London with all the liberal flavor and vibrancy. It was like a jewel in the crown of the British umpire.
The city kept progressing until 1756, when Nawab of BengalSiraj-Ud-Daula assailed and prospered in driving the British away from the town. The British civilians had eluded, but a few of them were captured and confined in a suffocating room often called as the Black Hole of Calcutta. This incident has become a history in itself and was given the designation 'Ebony aperture tragedy'. In 1757, the following year, Battle of Plassey took place, in which Robert Clive surmounted the city by vanquishing the Nawab.
During the time of the British rule in India, Kolkata played a key role in both political and cultural reformation. Eminent personalities like Subhash Chandra Bose, Rabindra Nath Tagore and Swami Vivekananda had chosen this place as their Karma Bhumi or a place of activity. Till 1911, Calcutta was the capital of India, with important establishment like the Supreme Court. The capital was then shifted to Delhi and the city became the capital of West Bengal.