Kolkata, Jan 1 (UNI) Eminent academician, Congress leader and former Union Education Minister Pratap Chandra Chunder breathed his last in a city hospital here today after protracted illness.
He was 88 and is survived by his wife and four sons.
According to family sources, the body would be brought to his central Kolkata residence and the last rites completed tomorrow.
Dr Chunder, who was born in 1919, studied history and law at the University of Calcutta. He had a brilliant career and topped the BA (History Honours), MA (Ancient Indian History and Culture) and LLB examinations. He was awarded D Phil in Arts.
Dr Chunder was an attorney-at-law of Calcutta High Court and an advocate of the Supreme Court. He had been a member of Senate and the Faculty of Law of Calcutta University between 1961-68.
He had been a member of the Executive Council of the Rabindra Bharati University and was serving as the chairperson of West Bengal State Heritage Commission till before his death.
As the President of the state Congress and member of the party's Working Committee and the Parliamentary Board, Mr Chunder was active in public affairs.
''He was a great visionary with a strong leadership quality. We have learnt so many things from him in politics,'' West Bengal Pradesh Congress Committee working president Pradip Bhattacharya said.
During 1962-68, he served as a member of the West Bengal Assembly and became the Finance and Judicial Minister in 1968.
He also served as a Union Cabinet Minister in the Morarji Desai ministry from 1977 to 1979.
Mr Chunder authored a number of historical novels and dramas.
Some of his famous books are 'Kautilya on Love and Morals', 'Glimpses of Indian Culture:Ancient and Modern'.
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