ePaper

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

The linguist with a scientific insight

  • Print

Suniti Kumar Chatterji was an Indian linguist, educationist and litterateur. He was a recipient of the third highest Indian civilian honour of Padma Bhushan. He was born on 26 November 1890 at Shibpur in Howrah. He was the son of Haridas Chattopadhyay, an affluent Kulin Brahmin.

Suniti Kumar was meritorious as a student, and passed the Entrance (1907) Examination from Motilal Shil Free School, ranking sixth, and the FA from Scottish Church College, standing third. He did his Major (Honours) in English literature from Presidency College, Kolkata, standing first in the first class in 1911.

His childhood friend was famous industrialist Nagendra Nath Das founder of Power Tools And Appliance Co. Ltd. In 1913, he completed his M.A. in English literature, again standing first. The same year, he was appointed lecturer in English at Vidyasagar College, Kolkata where his colleague was the thespian, Sisir Kumar Bhaduri.


He did his diploma in Phonetics (1909) and DLitt (1921) from London University on an Indian government scholarship. In London, he studied Phonology, Indo-European Linguistics, Prakrit, Persian, old Irish, Gothic and other languages. He then went to Paris and had research at the Sorbonne in Indo-Aryan, Slav and Indo-European Linguistics, Greek and Latin. Returning to India in 1922, he joined Calcutta University as a professor. After retirement he was made Professor Emeritus and, in 1963, National Professor.

Suniti Kumar accompanied Rabindranath Tagore to Malaya, Sumatra, Java, and Bali, where he delivered lectures on Indian art and culture. He represented Calcutta University at the second session of the International Conference on Phonetic Sciences in London and took part in conferences on linguistics in Asia, America, Australia and Africa. As a visiting professor he delivered lectures at both Indian and foreign universities.

He presided over the national language panel of the All-India Hindi Conference in Karachi. He was Speaker of the West Bengal Assembly (1952-58) and President (1969) of the Sahitya Academy.

Among his important publications on both language and literature are the origin and development of the Bengali language, Bengali Phonetic Reader, Bangla Bhasatattver Bhumika (Introduction to Bangla Linguistics), Bharater Bhasa O Bhasa Samasya (Language and Language Problem of India), Jati Sangskrti Sahitya (Nation, Culture, Literature), Sangskrti Ki (What is Culture), Rabindra Sabgame (Towards Unity with Raindranath), Pashchimer Yatri (Traveller to the West), Europe Bhraman (Travels in Europe), Dvipamay Bharat (India of Many Islands), etc.

He was awarded the title of Bhasacharya by Rabindranath Tagore, Sahitya Vachaspati (1948) by Allahabad Hindi Literary Conference and Padmabibhusan (1948) by the Government of India. Suniti Kumar breathed his last on 29 May 1977 in Calcutta.


More News For this Category

A famous Bengali essayist and novelist

| By Feature Desk
Abul Fazal was a Bangladeshi writer and educationist. Abul Fazal was a famous Bengali essayist and novelist as well as a Humanist and free-thinker. Fazal was a fearless and
A famous Bengali essayist  and novelist

Interview with Kazuo Ishiguro

| By
Kazuo Ishiguro is a Nobel Prize-winning English novelist, screenwriter, and short story writer. He was born in Nagasaki, Japan; his family moved to England in 1960 when he was
Interview with Kazuo Ishiguro

Who are the Dalits?

| By and Kallie Szczepanski
Even now, in the 21st century, there is an entire population of people in India and in Hindu regions of Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and Bangladesh who are often
Who are the Dalits?

The father of Bengali theater

| By Feature Desk
Girish Chandra Ghosh was a Bengali musician, poet, playwright, novelist, theater director and actor. He was largely responsible for the golden age of Bengali theater. He was a versatile
The father of Bengali theater

An interview with Sarah Waters

| By and Interview by Ron Hogan
Sarah Waters (born 21 July 1966) is a Welsh novelist and lives in Kennington, south-east London. She is a three-time Man Booker Prize shortlisted author. She is best
An interview with Sarah Waters

The origins of ice cream can be traced back to at least the 4th century B.C.

| By and Mary Bellis
The origins of ice cream can be traced back to at least the 4th century B.C. Early references include the Roman emperor Nero (A.D. 37-68) who ordered ice to
The origins of ice cream can be traced back to at least the 4th century B.C.

The pipers of social media and the mechanically driven youth

| By and Sifat Tajrimin Simi
Spending time on the virtual world is like inhaling oxygen to the young people nowadays. Entertainment or recreation or education whatever the purpose is, young people are indulging more
The pipers of social media and the mechanically driven youth

An interview with Guillermo del Toro

| By and Interview by Joe Utichi
Guillermo del Toro Gomez is a Mexican film director, screenwriter, producer, and novelist. In his filmmaking career, del Toro has alternated between Spanish-language dark fantasy pieces, such as the
An interview with Guillermo del Toro

A self-taught Bangladeshi philosopher

| By Feature Desk
Aroj Ali Matubbar was a Bangladeshi philosopher, rationalist and prolific thinker. He was born on 17 December 1900 in the village of Charbaria Lamchari, about 11 kilometres (6.8 mi)
A self-taught Bangladeshi philosopher

An interview with Helen Macdonald

| By
Helen Macdonald, born in 1970, is an English writer, naturalist, and an Affiliated Research Scholar at the University of Cambridge Department of History and Philosophy of Science. She is
An interview with Helen Macdonald

© 2018 The Asian Age