Basu, Bidhubhushan

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Basu, Bidhubhushan (1875-1972) journalist, writer and social worker, was born on 27 May 1875 in the village of Kanthal in bagerhat. He lost his parents at an early age and was brought up by relatives. He taught at a number of schools, including Shivpur School, Kolkata, where the famous linguist, suniti kumar chatterji and the Indologist, sushil kumar de were his students.

Bidhubhushan started his literary career with contributing to a magazine, Sakha O Sathi. His first novel, Laksmi Meye (1897), was written on family and social problems. Among his other novels written on similar themes are Laksmi Ma (1898), Laksmi Bau (1898) and Sati Laksmi (1899), which were translated into Hindi and Gujrati. His other novels are Charuchandra (1900), Amrte Garal, Subhadra (1912), Papistha (1914), Kamini-Kanchan (1925), Dipalir Baji (1926), Godhan, Prakhara (1928), Kuler Kali (1928), Nastoddhar, Biser Batas (1928), Jyathai Ma (1928), Pautranta (1958), Parinam (1961), etc. He also wrote a collection of stories, Banomala (1914), which he dedicated to rabindranath tagore. He edited the monthly magazines Sanjibani and Pallichitra. Bidhubhushan was associated with the swadeshi movement and wrote a number of plays on nationalist themes. Dada (1922) was one such play, as were the plays Mirkashim and Raktayajna, which were banned by the British Government. His other plays on nationalist themes are Brahmacharini (1925), Bhagini Bidroha, Bimata, Baper Bhita, Sudarshan, Duibigha Jami and Kalapahad. His story 'Shikar' invited the wrath of the government, which resulted in his being imprisoned for four years. Bidhubhushan was again imprisoned in 1930 for taking part in the Anti-Law Movement. He was also accused of libel by a zamindar, whom he had satirised in the poem Vote Ranga.

Bidhubhushan was also a philanthropist and founded schools, started a post office, and had ponds excavated in his native village. He became completely blind in later life. He died on 31 January 1972. [Sushanta Sarker]