Biswas, Fredrick Amarendra Kumar (1909-1972)

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A. K. Biswas, Dhamtari, India, 1964.
Mennonite Church USA Archives - Goshen. Goshen, Indiana.
India, 1898-1967. IV-10-007.2 Box 4 Folder 7.

Fredrick Amarendra Kumar "Freddie" Biswas: Mennonite educator, and lay church leader in the Mennonite Church in India (MC), was born 3 January 1909 in Itarsi, Madhya Pradesh. He was the youngest of three sons born to Chunilal and Kamolini (Ganguli) Biswas, a Bengali Christian family serving with the British Friends Mission in Itarsi. In 1919 he came to Dhamtari to live with his older brother R. N. K. Biswas, who had received a position as headmaster of the American Mennonite Mission English school. Here A. K. also joined the Mennonite Church in India and received his education in the mission schools. After completing high school he earned a BA degree from Allahabad University, and a BT degree from Spence Training College in Jabalpur, Madhya Pradesh. In 1932 he joined the staff of the Dhamtari Christian Academy (later named Mennonite Higher Secondary School) in Dhamtari, where he taught, served as warden of the boys' hostel, and later as assistant headmaster, until he succeeded J. W. Samida as principal in 1962. He retired from the school in 1963. In 1934 A. K. Biswas married Rachel Haidar. They had five children, of whom one died in infancy. He died 6 January 1972.

A. K. was dynamic, a natural leader, and an aggressive and courageous voice in the Mennonite Church in India. He championed the cause of the poor and challenged missionary paternalism, working to lift the church out of its "orphan" legacy to active maturity. He was treasurer of the conference, a regular member of its executive committee, and a member of the Mennonite Educational Board and the Mennonite Medical Board.


Lapp, John Allen. The Mennonite Church in India, 1897-1962, Studies in Anabaptist and Mennonite History, vol. 14. Scottdale, PA: Herald Press, 1972: chapters 17 & 19.

American Mennonite Mission Annual Reports (1945, 1962).

Biographical information supplied by Mrs. Kamolini (Biswas) Martin; interview with Minnie Graber, Irene Weaver, and S. Paul Miller.

Author(s) John A Friesen
Date Published 1986

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MLA style

Friesen, John A. "Biswas, Fredrick Amarendra Kumar (1909-1972)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1986. Web. 24 Apr 2018.,_Fredrick_Amarendra_Kumar_(1909-1972)&oldid=130665.

APA style

Friesen, John A. (1986). Biswas, Fredrick Amarendra Kumar (1909-1972). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 24 April 2018, from,_Fredrick_Amarendra_Kumar_(1909-1972)&oldid=130665.


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 5, p. 88. All rights reserved.

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