Team

Ispad Board Members:

 

M C Das; Board Member

Engineer, IT professional and social activist.

 

Das belongs to an East Bengali-origin (Bangladesh) Hindu family settled in Kolkata, India. Her father’s family hails from Faridpur and mother’s family is from Mymansingha. Her widowed grandmother and mother grounded then in East Bengali culture through food, stories of our ancestral home, religious practices (including bratha katha, puja alpona, fasting for puja etc.) After my mother and grandmother’s death when Das was still in high school, her connection to East Bengal and Hindu religious practices faded away to a large extent. Her attachment to Hindu religion severed completely when she joined Jadavpur University, Kolkata, India in 1995 and was influenced by Democratic Socialist Federation (leftist) ideology. Das became an anti-Hindu atheist until early 2000s. In 2009/2010 she chanced to read Dr. Sachi Dastidar’s books on East Bengal. It opened a floodgate of memories of stories her grandmother and mother told them. After probing relatives about their experiences and MC came to know that Das’ father had come to Calcutta the day of Great Calcutta Killing on August 16, 1946, when the city and Bengal Province was ruled by pro-partition Muslim League Party, and narrowly escaped death. That experience traumatized him to such an extent that the father never talked about it for 60+ years!

Today Das is a Hindu agnostic. MC has taught their children basic tenets of Hindu religion – but never forced them to follow the religion. Das hopes that Bengalis of Hindu and Muslim faith will reconcile the common heritage share and accept each other’s existence.

Dr. Shefali Sengupta Dastidar, Board Member

Planner, New York City

 

Planner, educator and social activist. Dr. Dastidar is from a Hindu refugee family of East Bengal/ East Pakistan, now Bangladesh. Her mother is a secondary victim of Partition as she died immediately after fleeing from their homeland, when Shefali was a toddler. Dr. Dastidar’s teenage sister became the mother of the family, remaining bachelorette forever. Dastidar visited her ancestral home of tens of generations, taken over by a Muslim family, and now has very close connection with her ancestral village, where the small Hindu minority calls her ‘Mother.’ At her village she and her friends have built a brick-and-mortar school-cum-shelter which has grown to be a pilgrimage site with a 300-year old mott (temple).

She raised funds for schools for the poor and orphaned by selling tea for 50 cents in New York’s Hindu festivals, constructing ten dorm or school buildings. Dastidar’s project now supports hundreds of students and teachers in the Subcontinent.

Dr. Dastidar is now (2019) trying to retrieve centuries-old granite Bishnu/Vishnu deity statue of her family’s mandir (temple) lost during an attack in post-partition East Pakistan.

 

B.A. Presidency College, Calcutta University, India

M.A. Presidency College, Calcutta University, India

M.R.P. (Regional Planning), Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur, India

Ph.D. Florida State University, U.S.A.

Post-Doc for Ph.D.s in Management, Harvard University, U.S.A.

 

Publication:

Memories of Homeland: Refugees of 1947 Bengal Partition in India, with Dr. Sachi G. Dastidar, Firma KLM Publishers, Kolkata, India; 2015

Regional Disparities and Regional Development Planning of West Bengal, with Dr. Sachi G. Dastidar, Firma KLM Publishers, Calcutta, West Bengal State, India; 1990

Mr. Ramen Nandi, Board Member

Engineer and social activist.

 

US Citizen of Bangladesh origin. Nandi is a Retired Professional Engineer with experience in various fields in engineering for about 40 years. He is presently interested in the study of Human Rights. Also interested in the Sociocultural and Archaeological/Architectural research on Indian Subcontinent, especially during medieval period. Nandi has been associated with ISPaD from the time of its inception, and a few other social/cultural organizations in US.

I.Sc. (Intermediate Science) St. Paul’s College, Calcutta, India

B.Tech (Chem. Engg.) Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay, India

M.E. (Chem. Engg.) Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, India

M.E. (Mech. Engg.) New Jersey Institute of Technology, U.S.A.

Professional Engineer License from States of New York and New Jersey

Prof. Dr. Tom Lilly, Jr., Board Member

Educator, arbitrator, social and labor activist.

 

Thomas J. Lilly, Jr. is the Chair of the Politics, Economics and Law Department at the State University of New York College at Old Westbury. He received his BA cum laude from Holy Cross College and his JD from Georgetown University Law Center where he was Executive Editor of the Georgetown Law Journal. Following law School he clerked for the Hon. Frank X. Altimari, first in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York, and then in the Second Circuit Court of Appeals. He practiced law until 2011 when he became a full time academic and arbitrator. He gives frequent presentations on labor and employment law, and has published several law review articles. In 2017 he received the Robert W. MacGregor Labor Relations and Community Service Award from the Long Island Labor and Employment Relations Association.

 

Associate Professor, Chair

Department of Politics, Economics & Law

State University of New York, Old Westbury, New York

B.A. Holy Cross College

J.D. George Washington University Law Center

Dr. Dilip Nath, Board Member

IT Expert in Health Sector and political activist.

 

At the age of 16, a teenage Dilip Nath left all that he knew behind, and emigrated from Bangladesh to the United States alone. Since he first arrived in this great country, he has been residing in the same Queens community and has established himself to be a community leader and activist for over three decades.

As a community and labor activist, Dr. Nath developed a reputation as a visionary, team player, compassionate, and dedicated leader. He gained the respect of his community as one who is honest and efficient due to his unwavering integrity. Dr. Nath’s involvements and concerns include a wide range of problems that affect his community. He worked on issues such as affordable health care, hate crimes, immigrant rights, domestic violence, environmental issues, improving elderly care, improving the public educational system, children’s day care and after school programs, affordable housing, and improving and making transportation efficient. Dr. Nath led the fight to save local hospitals and local communities’ vital services.

In 2019 Dr. Nath was appointed a member of newly elected Queens District Attorney Transition Committee. Additionally, he serves on many professional and nonprofit boards including ISPaD. In addition to his community activism, Nath also gained recognition and established himself as a Health Care transformation leader.

Currently he serves on New York City Community Board 8, also serving as a member of the Community Education Council 26 of New York City. Dilip Nath is a senior administrative officer of a State University of New York Medical Center.

Mr. Shuvo Roy, Board Member

Educator, IT Analyst and Political Activist

 

Mr. Roy is a Bangladeshi-American social activist, organizer, and educationalist. He is the President of Secular Bangladesh Movement, U.S.A. He served as the Organizing Secretary of Sector Commander’s Forum (of Bangladesh Liberation War) Muktijuddha (Liberation Warrior) 71, and Executive Secretary of Muktadhara Foundation (of U.S.A which organizes book sale, social, and political events.)

He has been a teacher in NYC school since 2016, and is engaged in activism. He is seen in all Bangladeshi-American events in New York, and has been active with our Partition Project as well. He has a bachelor’s and master’s degree from NY.

 

IT Analyst, Data & Personalization

Marriott International, Gaithersburg, Maryland.

B.A. Baruch College, City University New York

Prof. Dr. Sachi G. Dastidar, Chair of ISPaD Board

Educator, Author and Researcher

 

Dr. Dastidar is from a family of Hindu refugee from East Pakistan, now Bangladesh. With help from his Muslim friends, he found their ‘new home’ of 500 years, as well as their ‘old home’ for centuries prior to their ‘new’ one. Since the first visit he has visited his homeland for dozens of times, as well as India and Pakistan. Although his parents were highly educated, yet after partition-caused homelessness could not send many of their children to school for few years. Sachi G Dastidar is now engaged in saving a 500-year Bishnu/Vishnu mandir in his ancestral village, while the 300-year old mandir of Black Mother Kali was demolished during a pogrom in 1950s. His grandparents, one of them lawyer, and two uncles spent more than 17 years in British Colonial prison for their pacifist struggle for India’s independence yet had to flee penniless to the Indian side once India and Bengal Province were partitioned. They found shelter in a refugee camp in southern Kolkata, India.

Dastidar is a founder of Nassau (County Bangla) Pathshala (school) on Long Island, New York, in 1982; South Asia Forum in 1989; South Asia Forum Quarterly with Dr. Mohsin Siddique, in 1989; Probini Foundation in late 1980s with formal registration in early 1990s, and in 2008 Indian Subcontinent Partition Documentation Project.

 

Distinguished Service Professor

State University of New York, Old Westbury, New York, U.S.A.

B.Arch. (Architecture), Bengal Engineering College, Calcutta University, India

M.C.P. (City Planning), Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur, India

Ph.D. Florida State University, U.S.A.

Publications:

Editor, 2019 Partition Center Journal, Indian Subcontinent Partition Documentation Project, NY; October

Editor, 2018 Partition Center Journal, Indian Subcontinent Partition Documentation Project, NY; October

Editor, 2017 Partition Center Journal, Indian Subcontinent Partition Documentation Project, NY; October

Editor, 2016 Partition Center Journal, Indian Subcontinent Partition Documentation Project, NY; October

Mukti: Free to be Born Again – Partitions of Indian Subcontinent, Islamism, Hinduism, Leftism and Liberation of the Faithful, Author House. Indiana; December 201 5

Editor, 2015 Partition Center Journal, Indian Subcontinent Partition Documentation Project, NY; October

Memories of Homeland: Refugees of 1947 Bengal Partition in India, with Dr. Shefali S. Dastidar, Firma KLM Publishers, Kolkata, India; 2015

Editor, 2014 Partition Center Journal, Indian Subcontinent Partition Documentation Project, NY; October

Editor, 2013 Partition Center Journal, Indian Subcontinent Partition Documentation Project, NY; October

Ei Aamar Desh (This is my home [country]): JMS Enterprise, 2013; Kolkata, India

Editor, Partition Center Journal, Indian Subcontinent Partition Documentation Project, NY; October 2012

Ai Bangla, Oi Bangla [This Bengal, That Bengal]; Expanded Edition, [from a secular united Bengal Province of British India to Islamist Bangladesh and Communist West Bengal State of India, in Bengali], Firma KLM Publisher, Kolkata, India; 2012

Empire’s Last Casualty: Indian Subcontinent’s Vanishing Hindu and Other Minorities, Firma KLM Publishers, Kolkata (Calcutta); 2008

Living among the Believers: Stories from the Holy Land down the Ganges, Firma KLM Publishers, Kolkata (Calcutta); 2006

Gandhi Smriti Anjali [Memorial Offering], Gandhi Ashram Trust, Bangladesh, 2003. Principal organizer of a bilingual English-Bengali booklet on Mahatma Gandhi’s life and on his peace mission to Noakhali district [now Bangladesh] in 1946 after an anti-Hindu pogrom in colonial British India. This is the official publication of the Gandhi National Museum, Gandhi Ashram, Noakhali, Bangladesh.

Central Asian Journal of Management, Economics and Social Research [CENMES Journal], Premier Issue, January 2000, published by KIMEP Press, Almaty, Kazakhstan.

A Aamaar Desh [This is My Home, in Bengali], College Street Publication, Calcutta, India; 1998

Bengal Studies 1994: Essays on Economics, Society & Culture, Editor, Old Westbury Foundation, Long Island, NY; 1998

Calcutta 300 Kolkata: Memoirs of a Diverse City, Overseas Tribute to Calcutta on Her Tercentenary, (Editor), South Asia Forum of North America, New York & Washington D.C.; 1992 ISBN 0-9634363-0-9

Ai Bangla, Oi Bangla [This Bengal, That Bengal], Tulat Publisher, Calcutta, India; 1991

Regional Disparities and Regional Development Planning of West Bengal, with Dr. Shefali S. Dastidar, Firma KLM Publishers, Calcutta, West Bengal State, India; 1990

Project Coordinator:

Mr. Shuvo G. Dastidar

Former teacher of High School Math in New York City High School. Traveled extensively in India, Bangladesh and Pakistan. Engaged with Probini Foundation and Partition Project from its inception.

 

B.A. Vassar College, U.S.A.

B.Ed. New York State