Basak, Radhagovinda

Basak, Radhagovinda (1885-1982) a Sanskrit scholar, known for his contributions to the study of ancient history, archaeology and classical languages. Born in Dhaka, Radhagovinda studied epigraphy and palaeography under Harinath Dey, the noted linguist. He learnt the method of reading the Asokan inscriptions on stone and tried to render them in Sanskrit by applying the grammar of Panini. After obtaining MA degree from Calcutta University (1907), he served as a teacher at dhaka college, rajshahi college, Calcutta University, Dhaka University and presidency college.

Among his important works are History of North-Eastern India (320 AD-760 AD), 1933; Murder of Rajyavardana, 1936; Ramacharitam of SandhyaKaranandi 1939 and Kautilya's Arthashastra (Bangla version), 1950. In recognition of his contributions, he received the honorary title of 'Vidyavachaspati' from the sanskrit college of Calcutta. The University of Burdwan commended him with an honorary D Lit. The Asiatic Society of Calcutta elected him a fellow and the Indian government honoured him with the President's Award in 1965. Radhagovinda Basak died on 10th December 1982. [Saifuddin Chowdhury]