Dr Anirban Ganguly is Hony. Director, Dr. Syama Prasad Mookerjee Research Foundation (SPMRF), the New Delhi based think tank of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) (www.spmrf.org). He is Member, of BJP’s, National Executive Committee (NEC) and has extensively worked in the areas of public policy and political research.
Since his taking over as Director of SPMRF, the think tank has emerged among the top forty global think tanks with political party affiliation. Over the years, under his leadership the Foundation has expanded its activities and enlisted the active involvement of a large number of scholars and experts across a number of fields. From ideological and political issues, to public policy, to foreign and internal security-defence issues, to climate change and rivers, the SPMRF’s activities with a robust publication programme has touched upon a number of areas. He has immensely contributed to popularising the legacy of Dr Syama Prasad Mookerjee, on new research on his life and times and in widely disseminating the new findings. In his wide international travels and outreach Dr Ganguly has represented the Foundation as well as the BJP on several forums in several countries: Russia, France, Germany, Singapore, Belgium, Vietnam, Myanmar, Japan, Mongolia, China, Taiwan ROC, Spain, to name a few.
Dr Ganguly is also a scholar of civilisation, history – especially the history of India’s freedom movement and in it the early nationalist phase, of politics and culture and has written and continues to write on these subjects. He was a Member of the Central Advisory Board of Education (CABE), Ministry of Education, Government of India, Member of the Indian National Commission for Cooperation with UNESCO (INCCU) Ministry of Education, GoI, Member of the Governing Board of Auroville Foundation (Ministry of Education), Member of the Visva-Bharati Samsad (Court), Santiniketan. He is also a member of the Nehru Memorial Museum & Library, Society, Ministry of Culture, GoI.
Dr Ganguly’s great grandfather, Upendra Nath Bandyopadhyay (1879-1950), a close revolutionary and political colleague and acolyte of Sri Aurobindo, and a legendary revolutionary of the early nationalist era who was transported for life to the Cellular Jail, having been convicted in the famous Alipore Bomb Case for waging war against the British Raj along with other iconic Bengali revolutionaries such as Barindra Kumar Ghose, Ullaskar Dutt, Abinash Bhattacharya, Hemchandra Kanungo et.al. Besides revolutionary activism, Upendra Nath Banerjee was also a household name in Bengal of 1920s – 1940s in Bengali literature and journalism. His ‘Nirbasiter Atmakatha’ (Memoirs of an Exile) is a classic in Bengali literature. In later years he joined the Hindu Mahasabha and become a close collaborator of Dr Syama Prasad Mookerjee. This connection led Dr Ganguly to be taken to Sri Aurobindo Ashram in Puducherry for his education. His grandfather poet late Dinesh Gangopadhyay was a well-known Bengali poet of his time, who counted among his friends the likes of Poet Kazi Nazrul Islam, Padmabhushan Balai Chand Mukhopadhyay (Banaphul), legendary actors Pahari Sanyal, Uttam Kumar and others.
Dr Ganguly had his early education at Sri Aurobindo International Centre of Education, Puducherry, founded by The Mother of Sri Aurobindo Ashram. He studied languages, philosophy, history and music among other subjects. He is proficient in English, French, Sanskrit, Bengali and can converse in Tamil and Odiya as well besides following Gujarati. He was taught, among others, by leading Odiya and English writer Padmabhushan late Prof Manoj Das (1934-2021). Deft in sports, Dr Ganguly held age-group records in 100 meters Sprint, Long Jump and was also an expert swimmer and weight lifter besides excelling in games. He holds a Masters in International Relations from Annamalai University, a Post- Graduate Diploma in Mass Communication & Journalism from Jadavpur University, Kolkata and a Ph.D. in education from Jadavpur University. His thesis, the first of its kind on Sri Aurobindo and the quest for a philosophy of national education focused on the nationalist education movement in India during the freedom movement. It was while in college that he came in contact with Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) this altered the course of his life.
Having worked in Northeast and in West Bengal, Dr Ganguly also worked as a Research Fellow at Vivekananda International Foundation (VIF) working in the areas of civilisational studies, governance and politics. Dr Ganguly was deputed to the BJP as Director of SPMRF in 2013. During the general elections of 2019 he campaigned extensively across West Bengal leading the special outreach – ‘Bengal for Modi – Modi for Bengal’. In the run up to the Assembly elections in West Bengal in 2021, Dr Ganguly led the BJP’s special outreach campaign – named Lokkho Sonar Bangla (Aim Golden Bengal) – across 200 plus Assembly constituencies, mobilising opinion makers, intellectuals, professionals, educators etc for change in West Bengal.
Dr Ganguly contested the West Bengal Assembly election in 2021, as a BJP candidate, from Bolpur-Santiniketan Assembly constituency and came second having polled 94,000 plus votes (40.89%). In 2016 Assembly elections, in the same seat, the BJP had garnered 19,000 votes. It was an exponential growth.
Dr Ganguly has authored/edited/co-edited the following books, “Modi 2.0: A Resolve To Secure India” (2021), “Dattopant Thengadi: The Activist Parliamentarian” (2020), “Amit Shah and the March of BJP” (2019), “Making of New India: Transformation Under Modi Government” (2018), “Syama Prasad Mookerjee: His Vision of Education” (2017), “The Modi Doctrine: New Paradigms in India’s Foreign Policy” (2016), “Redefining Governance: Essays on One year of Narendra Modi Government” (2015), “Swami Vivekananda, Buddha & Buddhism” (2014) “Debating Culture” (2013), “Education: Philosophy & Practice” (2011). ‘The Modi Doctrine’ & ‘Amit Shah and the March of BJP’, became best sellers in foreign policy and political categories.
Dr Ganguly has authored numerous papers, chapters and monographs on civilisational issues, politics, education and culture. He also writes regular columns.