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Biography: Prafulla Ghosh

Dr. Prafulla Ghosh is one of the most valued among the few remaining links which unite us with the age of Bengal's greatest fame and most magnificent achievements.

It requires an immense effort to bring under one view the gigantic political upheavings of Bengal. But in Dr. Prafulla Ghosh's life they are truly reflected.

He was born at Dacca, December 1891. He went to the Jagannath College and earned a reputation for high scholarship. At the Calcutta University he graduated in science, securing the first rank in both B.A and M.A degree examinations. For to years he worked in Dacca College as a research scholar in chemistry.

There after he was appointed to the Provincial Education Service. For some time he was a Professor in the Presidency College. After that he was recruited to the Imperial Service. He acted as the Deputy Assay Master of the Calcutta Mint. He was the first Indian to hold that post. In 1920 he got the Doctorate degree of the Calcutta University, for his research on synthetic and natural dyes.

While quite young in life he associated with Dr.Suresh Chandra Banerjee in organizing political work. The members of this organization are avowed workers in the cause of freedom. On the advice of Gandhiji the members joined the Non Cooperation movement. Dr. Ghosh resigned his service in the Mint and started the Abhoy Ashram. In 1921 he organized a volunteer corps and was arrested.

In 1922 he was elected the Secretary of the Provincial Congress Committee. The Abhoy Ashram is the work of a practical genius. It is a shining model to other welfare institutions. It is unsurpassed for its constructive work in the field of khadi propaganda, village reconstruction, agricultural improvement, medical mission and national education. This organization, which was the radiating centre of fruitful activities, was declared illegal in 1932. The ban has not yet been lifted as yet.

In 1930 Dr. Ghosh became the Secretary of the Civil Disobedience Council. He broke the Salt Law and was sentenced to two and a half years imprisonment. He was released when the Gandhi Irwin Pact was signed.

He was elected the Chairman of the Indian National Congress held at Calcutta. As the Congress session was declared illegal he was arrested. After his release he was again imprisoned for half a year.

Since 1934 he is working with tireless zeal to promote the village industries. Under his guidance the Ashram rendered splendid service to the victims of the flood ravages in East Bengal. He collected Rs 35,000 to succor the famished. In 1936 he was elected the President of the West Bengal Relief Committee. He raised Rs 32,000 to relieve the sufferers.

Few can match him for his sincerity and convictions and none at all for patience under reserves and magnamity in the hour of victory. He is pone of the most devoted champions of the peasants that the Indian Nationalism has produced.

Source: Haripura Congress Souvenir, 1938

After India's Independence (in 1947) Prafulla Chandra Ghosh served as the first Chief Minister of West Bengal. This is a biography written prior to India's Freedom.

 

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