Bose, Girish Chandra

Bose, Girish Chandra (1853-1939) agriculturist, born on 29 October 1853 at Berugram in Burdwan, son of Janaki Prasad Bose. Girish Chandra passed the Entrance Examination from the Hughli Branch School in 1870, FA and BA from the Hughli College in 1873 and 1876. After graduating, he joined Ravenshaw College, Cuttack as a lecturer of Botany. While teaching here, he obtained the MA degree in 1978. In 1881 he went to London on a Bengal Government scholarship for higher studies in agriculture. In recognition of his extraordinary academic talent, he was made a life member of the Royal Agricultural Society in 1882 and was elected a Fellow of the Chemical Society of England in 1883. After completing his studies, Girish Chandra traveled to Scotland, France and Italy before returning home in 1884.

Returning to India, Girish Chandra devoted himself to the development of agriculture. In 1886 he set up Bangabasi School for the dissemination and expansion of agricultural knowledge. The school was upgraded into a college the next year. Girish Chandra served the college as its Principal from 1887 to 1933, and in 1935 was nominated Rector.

Girish Chandra believed that economic self-sufficiency was possible only through the development of agriculture. He published a weekly magazine Krishi Gazette (1885), in both Bangla and English, the aim of which was to develop the Indian agricultural system and to disseminate agricultural education. To this end he also wrote several books on botany and agriculture, among them A Manual of Indian Botany, Bhu-tattva (1821), Krsi Darshan (1st part, 1897), Krsi Sopan (1888), Krsi Parichay (1890), Gachher Katha (1910) and Udbhid Jnan (1923-25). Bilater Patra (1876) and Europe Bhraman (1884) narrates his European experience.

Girish Chandra was a member of the university of calcutta Senate and Syndicate. He was President of the Science Section of Bangiya Sahitya Sammelan (1919) and the founder president of the Botanical Society of Bengal (1935).

Girish Chandra possessed a liberal and progressive outlook. He did not believe in unsociability or in the caste system. He firmly supported education in the mother tongue. He possessed considerable respect for female education. He boldly protested against polygamy. Though he did not take part in the nationalist movement actively, but his nationalist spirit was very strong. Girish Chandra Bose died on 1 January 1939. [Sambaru Chandra Mohanta]