Raja Jatindra Mohan Roy is the eleventh generation of Raja Basanta Roy, whose nephew Raja Pratapaditya was in the Baro Bhnuiya (Twelve Kings) group that fought against the Mughal invasion in Bangladesh.
Pratapaditya (Bengali: প্রতাপাদিত্য) (1561–1611 CE) was the Kayastha king of Jessore and among the most prominent of the Baro-Bhuyan of Bengal, who declared independence from the Mughals. He established an independent Hindu state in Bengal, which, at its zenith encompassed the districts of Nadia, North 24 Parganas and South 24 Parganas in West Bengal, as well as extending into modern-day Bangladesh from Kushtia district in north, Barisal in east and Sundarbans and Bay of Bengal to south.
His father Srihari (or Sridhar), was an influential officer in the service of Daud Khan Karrani, the last independent Sultanate of Bengal. Daud Khan Karrani bestowed upon Srihari the title of ‘Vikramaditya’ and the zamindari of one Chand Khan, (referred to as Chandecan by the Portuguese) who had deceased without leaving any heir. On the fall of Daud Khan in 1576, Srihari declared independence and assumed the title of “Maharaja”. Pratapaditya was born to Srihari in 1561. Srihari divided his kingdom – 5/8th to Pratapaditya and 3/8th to his brother Basanta Ray.
Jatindra Mohan grew up and graduated from Scottish Church College, Calcutta not only once, but twice – in English and History. He wrote a book on the history of Raja Pratapaditya and his legacy in three parts. He was mighty influenced by the Indian independence movement, particularly the work and ideals of Bipin Chandra Pal, a famous freedom fighter. He went back to Khulna to look after his zamindari and participated actively in the Swadeshi movement as an assistant to Bipin Pal, managing the Sunderban area. Jatindra Mohan was a staunch believer of Swadeshi and dreamed that the British would be ousted. He married and fathered two sons, the younger of them was my great grandfather, Nepal Chandra Roy. When my great grandfather grew up to be a teenager, Jatindra Mohan began training him on horse riding, sword fighting and Lathi Khela – a traditional stick fighting. A few years later, he transferred reigns of the zamindari to my great grandfather Nepal Chandra and concentrated further on Swadeshi movement.
Japan had already begun working on various kinds of nuclear bombs in the initial decades of the 20th century and the news had spread till India. Bipin Pal had planned to acquire the formulae from his Japanese allies and try making a few to counter the British. He sent Jatindra Mohan to Japan on a journey via the sea, who copied the formulae on his body, hid himself and headed back. Jatindra Mohan arranged for boats and small ships to carry arms and weapons for the freedom fighters through the waters of Sunderbans. But somehow the British officials were aware of this plan and sabotaged it.
Jatindra Mohan had an untimely and ill fated death in 1939 when his boat was caught in a whirlpool and he drowned.
Needless to say, Raja Jatindra Mohan Roy was a zamindar who cared more about his people and country than his wealth and possessions.