It is well known now that the Cardiological Society of India was conceived in a dramatic fashion during a train ride in 1946 and revealed itself as the first Cardiological body in India on 4th April 1948 in Calcutta, one year before the formation of the American College of Cardiology, with none other than Dr. Bidhan Chandra Roy at the helm of the affairs. The glorious history is nicely depicted in the official web site of the Cardiological Society of India (www.csi.org.in) and is a must read for all cardiologists.

Over next few decades, one by one, various state branches and city branches were born under the constitutional guidance of the central CSI. They act autonomously with their own constitutions but like in a federal system are reportable to the mother organization.

The central CSI evolved through various phases, eventually having separate annual conference from the API and then the cardiothoracic surgeons made their own society. The membership kept on steadily increasing, the activities proliferated by leaps and bounds, and the international presence became more and more conspicuous. Then in the year 1996 with great efforts of Dr. Asoke Kumar Chaudhuri, Dr. S.C.Kundu, Dr. Manatosh Panja and other members of the branch the CSI moved to its present three storey building. Installation of a state of the art elevator is the latest feature and there is plan to expand the building in near future.

Sometime during this colorful journey of the central CSI, the West Bengal Branch was born.

Though the facts surrounding the birth of the CSI-West Bengal Branch are somewhat obscure, the history is not lost. Time tells its own story. Let us look back to whatever little the past has to tell us about our branch. When Dr. D.P.Basu was the President of the national CSI in 1966, the annual conference took place at PG Hospital, Calcutta, with Dr. Asoke Kumar Chaudhuri and Dr. Saibal Gupta as the organizing secretaries. A surplus amount of forty thousand rupees was generated from the conference. It was a dilemma at that time regarding how to keep the money and in which account as by constitution the local branch should get the money but there was no local branch! So the thinking of starting a local branch began in the mind of the senior cardiologists of Calcutta. But as all other functioning was going on smoothly under the central CSI, there was no pressing need to initiate a new branch. Then, in 1972, while coming back from the Madras Conference, the important members from Calcutta seriously thought of starting the West Bengal branch of the CSI. Dr.J.C.Banerjea was entrusted to convene a meeting to execute the same. The meeting was convened in the Sisu Nivas Morning Room at PG Hospital where Dr.D.P.Basu, Dr.Nilmoni De and Dr.J.C.Banerjea were present among others. And the West Bengal Branch of CSI was born.

The account was open. But the official structure was not formed. Then in 1977, Dr.J.C.Banerjea formally became the 1st President and Dr. Asoke Kumar Chaudhuri, the 1st Secretary. There was no formal voting at that time and this most able duo took the branch through the initial unstable years with their natural efficiency and organizational skill.

During 1987-88, while Dr. Asoke Kumar Chaudhuri was the President and Dr. Sanjib Mukherjee was the Secretary, the Constitution of the CSI West Bengal Branch was written. It was reprinted in 2005-06 with Dr.G.C.Das as the President and Dr.M.K.Das as the Secretary and amended and reprinted in 2013-14 with Dr.Kajal Ganguly as the President and Dr. Saumitra Ray as the Secretary.

From early nineties annual conference of the branch took place regularly. Two prestigious memorial orations increased the attraction of the conference, - Sushila Bala Kundu Memorial Oration started in the year 2000 by Dr.S.C.Kundu in the memory of his mother and Juthika Majumdar Memorial Oration started in the year 2002 by Dr. R.S.Majumdar in the memory of his wife.

The branch was formally registered with the West Bengal Societies Act on 23 May, 2001.

Since 2009, there started the annual conference of the interventional cardiology. In 2011 this conference spread its wings and was named as the Eastern India Interventional Cardiology Conclave (EIICCON).

West Bengal could not host the annual conference of the central CSI for three decades after 1965-66. The jinx was broken in 1997 with Dr. Anjan Lal Datta as the Organizing Secretary of 1997 conference which took place in Calcutta. The branch then hosted the annual national conferences with great success in 2003 with Dr. A.K.Kar as the Organizing Secretary and in 2010 with Dr. P.K.Deb as the Organizing Secretary. These events greatly glorified the West Bengal Branch at the national and international levels. The branch also boasts to host the midterm NIC conference in 2008 when Dr. Amal Kumar Banerjee was the President of the West Bengal Branch with Dr. Suvanan Ray as the Organizing Secretary and then in 2013 with Dr. Santanu Guha as the Organizing Secretary. Both the occasions broke the contemporary standards and attained newer heights.

Twice in its history, the West Bengal Branch was adjudicated to be the best branch and received the Best Branch Award, once in 2005-06 when Dr G.C. Das was the President and Dr. M.K.Das was the Secretary and then in 2013-14 when Dr. Kajal Ganguly was the President and Dr. Saumitra Ray was the Secretary.

Now our branch is one of the most vibrant and active branches with tremendous progress on all fronts like the benevolent fund activities (spearheaded by Dr.K.B.Baksi), free health check up clinics, heavily subsidized ECG and echocardiography services, brisk research work, round the year high quality academic activities, active DM/DNB training programs (first time organized by Dr. Arup Das Biswas in March, 2014), World Heart Day observations (spear headed by Dr. S.C.Kundu), regular updating of the Members’ Directory (the last update was in 2012 when Dr. P.K.Deb was the President and Dr. Soumitra Kumar was the Secretary), a well-equipped library with online and hard copy access to most prestigious national and international cardiology journals and latest text books, regularly conducted audit and highly active executive body, duly elected every two years. We have our own website: (www.csiwb.org.in).The current membership strength is 263.

With this glorious legacy bestowed on us, let us take a pledge to take our branch to that new height yet unknown to ourselves.

The names of the past Presidents and the Secretaries of the branch have been compiled and displayed on a board at the Indian Heart House. Below is a photograph of that.

Long live CSI-West Bengal Branch.

From early nineties annual conference of the branch took place regularly. Two prestigious memorial orations increased the attraction of the conference, - Sushila Bala Kundu Memorial Oration started in the year 2000 by Dr.S.C.Kundu in the memory of his mother and Juthika Majumdar Memorial Oration started in the year 2002 by Dr. R.S.Majumdar in the memory of his wife.