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Basu, Chandranath


Basu, Chandranath (1844-1910) journalist, researcher and essayist. Chandranath Basu was born in Koikala village under Haripal Thana of Rampura sub-division under Hoogly district on 31 August 1844. His father's name was Sitanath Basu. He was admitted to Hedore School near Ximla Bazar at the age of five for learning English. After a couple of months he left' this school and got himself admitted at Oriental Seminary and from this institution he passed the entrance examination in 1860. He got himself admitted to Calcutta Presidency College in 1861 and passed the first arts examination from that college in 1862 and BA examination in 1865. He passed the MA examination with honours in 1866 and BL examination in 1867. However, he never practiced law.

The journalistic career of Chandranath Basu started with the publication of an English monthly named Calcutta University Magazine. He soon earned fame as a journalist. The main objective of his writings was to bring about a renaissance in Bengalee society. Most of his writings were published in periodicals like Babkim Chandra's Babgadarxhan, Girixhchandra Ghosh's Bengalee, Akshaychandra's Nabajiban, Jyotirindranath Thakur's Bharati and Nabyabharat, Prochar, Sahitya, etc.

Chandranath Basu worked for sometime in the education department of the government. Soon he was appointed a nominated magistrate in 1878. But he sought withdrawal from the position of magistrate after six months as the life of a magistrate did not match his temperament. He chose to make a career in education. He became the principal of Joypur College, Kolkata. Previously, he had served for a short time as the head of Bengal Library, which was the first government organisation in the country. After leaving Joypur College, he joined the post of a translator in the Bengal government in 1887. The post of translator belonged to the class one category and a very important position during the colonial rule. He retired from this position in 1904.

In recognition of his contributions to journalism and literature, Chandranath Basu was elected vice-chairman of 'Babgio Sahitya Parishad' in 1896 and' chairman in 1897. It may be mentioned that after the constitution of 'Bangio Sahitya Parishad' in 1894, Ramexh Chandra Datta (ICS) was elected its first chairman while Rabindranath Tagore and Nabinchandra Sen jointly became its vice-chairmen. Notable among the writings of Chandranath Basu: Xhakuntala Tatta (1881), Phul O Phal (1885), Hindu Bibaha (1887), Paxhupati-Sambad (historical novel, 1884), Tridhara (1891), Hindutva (1892), Bartaman Babgala Sahityer Prokriti (1899), Sabitritatta (1900). Besides, he wrote some text-books and among these Protham Neetipustak and Nutan Path were notable ones. Chandranath Basu passed away on 20 June 1910. [Shamima Akhter]