Calcutta Debating Circle

Debate is a method of interactive and representational argument in a structured form where the speaker seeks to prevail in matters of opinion over his audience.

Debating is a stylized form of expression that is gradually fading away from our educational institutions, with the image of the debater being tarnished by political frivolity in the guise of parliamentary democracy. Yet, debates are great fun, both for participants and the audience.

Calcutta Debating Circle is a non-profit making organization based in Kolkata which works primarily towards encouraging healthy discussions and interactions based on contents and perspectives for the overall benefit of the society. The Calcutta Debating Circle strongly believes that the students are to be energized with the objective of strengthening the foundation of their development.

Over the past six years the Calcutta Debating Circle has invited students from the leading Universities from across the world like Oxford(UK), Cambridge(UK), Harvard(USA), Yale(USA), EMORY(USA), University of Sydney and London School of Economics  to Kolkata to participate in exhibitions and competitive debates. In order to continue the tradition of hosting such events and enriching the vibrant cultural heritage of Kolkata the Calcutta Debating Circle has endeavoured to.

Every winter, it brings to its hometown its signature event, Festival of The Spoken Word”.

Mission Statement

DR. KUNAL SARKAR, Managing Trustee

Senior Vice Chairman, Director and Head of Cardiac Surgery at Medica Superspecialty Hospital, Dr Sarkar practices coronary surgery as his pursuance of passion. He is intimately associated with the academic activities of IACTS and EACTS; he also aspires to bring the South Asian nations together in the South Asian Forum of Cardiothoracic Surgeons. A passionate debater, orator and writer, Dr Sarkar is the President of the Calcutta Debating Circle (CDC), and chairs the largest live debate in India during Calcutta’s Festival of the Spoken Word’.

PROF (DR.) SANDIP CHATTERJEE, Trustee

Academic Co-ordinator at Park Clinic, Kolkata and Professor and Head of Neurosurgery of VIMS, Kolkata, he is Editor-in-Chief of 2 neurosurgical journals, apart from being associate Editor of 6 other global neurosurgical journals. Dr Chatterjee has over 70 scientific publications and 20 book chapters to his credit; he is also an avid photographer and a founder member of the Calcutta Debating Circle in addition to serving as faculty for the European Society of Pediatric Neurosurgery and the Asia-Australasian Society of Pediatric Neurosurgery Dr Chatterjee introduced microneurosurgery for brain and spinal disorders in the private sector in Kolkata when neither was available in the city two decades ago. He is also a Faculty of the Academic College of the Neurological Society of India.

PRADEEP GOOPTU, Trustee

Pradeep Gooptu is a trustee of the Calcutta Debating Circle. He is the Founder & team leader of the think-tank Bengal Initiative & its research, writing & publishing wing. He is the Author of multiple books, the latest being ‘ATITHI DEVO BHAVA- The Indian Odyssey’ (an internationally circulated volume, published by FHRAI & Incredible India campaign, at the global summit in Bhuvaneswar in October2015; and the to be published biography of a one of the doyens on Indian industry. He is the Author of over a 500 editorials and articles in ‘The Economic Times’ & ‘Business Standard’ newspapers. In addition he is the Advisory editor of the city urban heritage and adventure magazine, ‘Wheels’.

SHANKAR RAMALINGAM, Trustee

Director of Megaa Moda Pvt Ltd, which deals in export of seafood, Mr Ramalingam is an expert in consumer marketing and wholesale distribution in EU\USA\Japan, and has put Indian industry at par as a level player in the global scenario. He represents India at trade delegations and is also an adviser of the Rotary Club of Belur. Mr Ramalingam is interested in and conducts philanthropically oriented projects for the needy.

SWATI GAUTAM, Trustee

Swati is a full time entrepreneur: a manufacturing-retailer with her own brand of customised lingerie retailing out of her own chain of stores in West Bengal, India. In between, she’s found time to teach undergrads at St. Xavier’s College, Kolkata, , write and produce Coffee Table Books on an eclectic range of subjects, speak aloud at various national and international forums, and volunteer with the monastics at the Ramakrishna Sarada Mission Matri Bhavan and the Sarada Kalyan Bhandar.

Abhijit Dasgupta

AHIJIT DASGUPTA, Executive Member

He has been associated with news photography and television production for more than fifty years in various capacities with Doordarshan, WTN and ESPN. Presently, Abhijit is the National coordinator for India and a past Board Member of INPUT (International Public Television) which is the largest TV organisation of the world in so far as public television is concerned. He has received Two National and twenty-four International Awards for Best Documentary films. Abhijit is the Secretary of Kolkata Sukriti Foundation, a registered not for profit NGO that uses TV as a tool to reach its target with socially purposeful issues. He is also a trustee of the Tanusree Dasgupta Breast Cancer Trust, a registered NGO that fully supports BPL breast cancer patients.

Raju Raman

RAJU RAMAN, Executive Member

A civil engineer by education, Mr S V Raman, popularly known as Raju Raman, is the former Programme Director of the Goethe-Institute / Max Mueller Bhavan, Kolkata. A keen debater since his schooldays he is regularly invited to chair and judge debates. Raju also dons the mantle of quizmaster and anchorperson for talk shows, panel discussions and other events. He has served as the all-India General Secretary of the Federation of Film Societies of India from 1988-92 with the legendary Satyajit Ray as its President. Presently he is a Programme Consultant to the Victoria Memorial Hall and a guest lecturer for German/Communication/Public Speaking/Personality Development/Film at various institutions and universities. A freelance translator and interpreter, he also regularly contributes as a free-lance journalist to newspapers and periodicals in India and abroad.

Jayanta Sengupta

JAYANTA SENGUPTA, Executive Member

Jayanta Sengupta is currently Secretary and Curator (Director) of the Victoria Memorial Hall, India’s most-visited museum and leading museum of Indo-British history, and also Director-in-Charge of the Indian Museum, Kolkata, the oldest museum outside of Europe, and of the Anthropological Survey of India. Educated at the Universities of Calcutta and Cambridge, he taught History for many years at universities in India, Germany, and the United States, and held several visiting appointments – including two Fulbright fellowships – before joining the Victoria Memorial Hall in 2013. In 2015-16, he was the Getty Foundation International Fellow of the American Alliance of Museums and a representative of the Government of India on the UNESCO Intergovernmental Expert Committee on the Protection and Promotion of Museums and Collections. His first book, titled At the Margins: Discourses of Development, Democracy and Regionalism in India, was published by Oxford University Press in 2015. Under his leadership the Victoria Memorial Hall was recognized by Tripadvisor as one of Asia’s best 25 museums in 2016.

Rudrangshu Mukherjee

RUDRANGSHU MUKHERJEE, Executive Member

He is an Indian historian and author who is- the Opinions Editor for The Telegraph newspaper, Kolkata and the Vice Chancellor of Ashoka University. An alumna of  Calcutta Boys’ School, Presidency College Kolkata, Jawaharlal Nehru University New Delhi, and St Edmund Hall Oxford, he has taught History at the University of Calcutta and held visiting appointments at Princeton University, the University of Manchester, the University of California, Santa Cruz and the Young India Fellowship, New Delhi.