Sri. Harihar Sett is one of the eminent personalities whose contribution to modern-day Chandannagar is considered to be remarkable. He was awarded the title of Legion D’honneur.

Legion D’honneur (Legion of Honour), was the highest French Order of Merit for military or civil merits. He was a historian, educationist, and also collector.

Sri Harihar Sett was the man who had been at the forefront of the nationalist movement, which led to the referendum. With this referendum, the rule of the French ended in Chandannagar.

An Administrative Council, consisting of the representatives of the people of Chandannagar, was set up immediately, with Harihar Seth being the first President of this Council. This Council brought about a sweeping change in the taxation system so far carried out by the French administration. Head Tax and Cycle Tax were abolished. Amendments were made to Rental Act and the Education System was reconstituted with effect from Jan 1st, 1948.

This administration carried on till May 2nd, 1950 when the Indian Administrator took over control of Chandannagar under the Indian Union. Chandannagar officially became a part of India from that day – that is 3 years after India got independence from British rule.

Chandannagar still seems like a whiff of French perfume escaping from old love letters in an unlocked casket. But Chandannagar today is not only about the French but also about a host of important personalities from Bengal.
Krishna Bhabani Nari Siksha Mandir is a girls’ school set up by Sri. Harihar Seth in his mother’s name in 1926. Kabiguru Rabindranath Tagore had also graced this school.

Sri. Harihar Sett was elected as the Chairman of the Chandannagar Municipality when the French declared Chandannagar as a free city after India got its independence from the British in 1947. He wrote the book titled ‘Sankhipta Chandannagar Porichoy‘ (Brief Introduction to Chandannagar), which is considered the mine of information related to Chandannagar.

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