Jagadish Chandra Bosu was
born on 30 November 1858, at Bikrampur in Dhaka, Bangladesh. His father Bhagwan
Chandra Bosu, was the Deputy Magistrate of Faridpur district. But more
importantly, Bhagwan Bosu being a member of Brahma Society was a free thinker
and chaired a small freethinking forum comprised the leading secular intellectuals and
professionals of East Bangla. So Jagadish's rational and scientific mind was
largely a legacy of the secular culture prevailed in the Bosu family.
On completion of his secondary school, Jagadish moved to Kolkata and enrolled in Physics (honors) program at St. Xavier’s College. He finished his graduation with distinction. Following his graduation, Jagadish left India for his higher studies at Cambridge. At Cambridge Jagadish assisted scientist Ralley at the Cavendish Laboratory.
In 1885, Jagadish obtained his BS from London University and his Tripos from the Cambridge as well. Back home, Jagadish joined Presidency College as a professor. Endowed with an engineering bent of mind, Jagadish loved making scientific instruments. In his boyhood, his father, Bhagwan Bosu had opened a technical school where the teenager showed his great talent in assembling technical instruments. The somewhat better resourced (India being a colony of England scientific advancement was the least of the priorities of the English rulers in India) lab of Presidency College yielded Jagadish an opportunity to perfect his technical skills and he made many precision instruments. A committed scientist Jagadish also founded a well-equipped laboratory in the College he worked.
Initially, Jagadish started his research on the aspect of transmission of electrical waves. On invitation from the Royal Society, he presented his findings in the scientific world. He was elected a member of the Royal Society in 1920.
Jagadish Chandra Bosu was born at a time when India was a hapless British colony and as such many scientific discoveries and technical innovations of the native Indians were represented as being English. One such instance was Jagadish's invention of the Radio which was accorded to Marconi because he belonged to the white master race and the rest of the world did not care to imagine a half starved loin clothed Indian could have such talent. Only recently, the scientific community has acknowledged the contribution of Jagadish Bosu as a pioneer in developing the Radio technology. Apart from pure Physics, his researches in the field of Biophysics were also original and well regarded. To prove that plants are live organisms, he undertook several experiments. For an Indian Jagadish Chandra Bosu was quite sensitive about his self-esteem and status. When he was offered a lesser pay (Indian teachers were offered on tenth of what an English was paid in all the services, Mujtoba Ali's short story presents an Indian school teacher of Sanskrit who was paid one fourth of the allowance an English officer received for his dog) in comparison to a British professor in the same pay scale in the college, he simply refused accept it. In protest against the racial discrimination in the colonial education system of British India, Jagadish refused to draw salary for a long time. At last, the authorities were forced to give in to his demand.
Towards the end of his life, with all his resources, Jagadish founded the ‘Bosu Bigyan Mandir.’ Rabindranath Thakur was one of Jagadish Bosu’s special friends. It was Rabindranath Thakur who encouraged Jagadish Bosu to share his scientific breakthrough with the world. Rabindranath also helped Jagadish in raising funds for the Bosu Bigyan Mandir (The Bosu Temple of Science). Jagadish Bosu founded this center exclusively for the purpose of pursuing independent scientific research. For a long time, this centre remained the only center of its kind in India. Many important breakthroughs came out this center. Jagadish Bosu, the greatest Bangalee scientist of British India passed away on 23 November 1937 at Giridih.
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