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De, Sushil Kumar


De, Sushil Kumar (1890-1968) educationist, scholar, was born in Kolkata on 29 January 1890, son of Satish Chandra De, a civil surgeon. Sushil Kumar passed the Entrance examination from Ravenshaw Collegiate School, Cuttack. He completed FA and BA (1909) with honours in English from Presidency College and MA (1911) in English from Calcutta University. In 1912 he secured the BL degree. He obtained the DLitt degree (1921) from the London School of Oriental Studies for his thesis on Sanskrit rhetoric. He also studied linguistics and editing at the University of Bonn.

In 1912 Sushil Kumar joined presidency college. Next year, he joined Calcutta University as professor of English as well as Indian Language and Culture. In 1923 he joined the university of dhaka as reader in the Department of English. He subsequently joined the Department of Sanskrit as its head and held this position till his retirement in 1947. He was also dean of the Faculty of Arts a number of times.

Sushil Kumar De collected several manuscripts for the Dhaka University Library. He also edited some Sanskrit books (Kichakabadh, Padyavali etc), which were published by the University. After retirement Sushil Kumar continued to work as Chief Researcher, Government of Bengal, Research Professor at the sanskrit college, Kolkata, Head of the Department of Bangla, Jadavpur University, Chairman of the Board of Editors of a historical Sanskrit dictionary. He was also visiting professor at the University of London (1951).

Sushil Kumar De edited two chapters, Udyoga Parva and Drona Parva, of an edition of the mahabharata published by the Bhandarkar Research Institute of Pune. He was an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland (1954), a Member of the Sanskrit Advisory Council of the Literary Academy of Delhi (1955), a Member of the Commission for Practicing Indian Culture (1956-1957), and a Fellow of Calcutta University (1956-1964). He was a Premchand Roychand scholar of Calcutta University. He was associated with the vangiya sahitya parishad for a long time and was its chairman for two terms (1950 and 1956).

Sushil Kumar De was a researcher of high standard. He wrote more than one hundred articles, in different languages. Among his important publications are Dinabandhu Mitra (1951), Bangla Prabad (Bangla Proverbs) (1952), Nana Nibandha (Miscellaneous Articles, 1953), Bengal Literature in the Nineteenth Century (1919), Studies in the History of Sanskrit Poetics (Two parts, 1923, 1925), Early History of Vaisnava Faith and Movement in Bengal (1942), History of Sanskrit Literature (1947), Sanskrit Poetics as a Study of Aesthetics (1963), Padyavali of Rupa Goswami (1934) and Meghaduta of Kalidasa (1959). In recognition of his scholarship, he was awarded the Griffith Award (1915), the title of Vidyaratna (1943) from the Saraswata Samaj of Dhaka, the Sarojini Bose gold medal (1948) from calcutta university and the title of Vidyasindhu (1950) from Bibudhajanani Sabha of Nabadwip. Sushil Kumar De died on 31 January 1968. [Manas Majumdar]