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Creator of little magazine library, Sandip Dutta, passes away at 72

A teacher by profession, Dutta single-handedly promoted little magazine for decades and set up a little magazine library off College Street

Bishwabijoy Mitra | Published 16.03.23, 06:17 PM

Photo by Sumit Chakraborty

Sandeep Dutta, author and librarian known for his extraordinary efforts to promote and collect little magazines, passed away on Wednesday evening. He was 72. 

A diabetic, Dutta had been admitted to a private hospital a few months ago and was later shifted to SSKM Hospital, where he was undergoing dialysis.


Born in north Kolkata in 1951, Dutta was drawn towards literature right from his childhood. But more than classical literature, little magazines drew his attention. He would roam around College Street to collect such magazines.

“In 1970, soon after he got admitted to Scottish Church College, he started editing a little magazine called Patraput. Till then, he had no plans to create a library for little magazines,” said Sushmayan Bose, a writer, who has worked with Dutta. After graduating from Scottish Church College in Bengali, Dutta started his career as a teacher at Mirzapur City School near College Street. 

Dutta would be remembered for his efforts to promote little magazines. “It all started with Dutta’s visit to the National Library at the age of 21. He was hugely disturbed to see a pile of old little magazines meant to be discarded. As a lover of Bengali language, he decided to do something,” said Bose.

The same year, Dutta organised a special exhibition. His teacher and artist Suvaprasanna was one of the first to lend support. “As a student, he was very much into literature and had started a wall magazine,” remembered Suvaprasanna, adding that in 1978, Dutta finally started the library. Dutta's library is situated at 18/M Tamer Lane, off Kolkata’s College Street. Along with the collection, he would often organise weekly sessions on Bengali literature. I had been to such sessions a couple of times,” Suvaprasanna said.

But that was just the beginning. In the Eighties, he started a separate struggle to popularise little magazines.

“He would visit the Book Fair and promote the same to the common man. It is because of his relentless struggle, several little magazine publishers and writers came forward,” Bose added.

He was a great admirer of folk art and lost literary work. He started a magazine called Ujjal Uddhar, where he published lost essays and stories,” Suvaprasanna added.

Last updated on 16.03.23, 06:17 PM

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