Rajshahi College: The Department of Sanskrit

--Associate Professor Chittaranjan Mozumdar


According to an academic calendar of the Kolkata University published in 1879-80, one of the most prominent departments of Rajshahi College was Sanskrit form the time of its establishment  because at that time there were only three subjects (1) Mathematics, (2) Chemistry,  (3) Sanskrit. Sanskrit as one of the most important Honours subjects was started in Rajshahi College in 1878. One Paresh Lahiri got first honours degree from this department in 1887.

In 1904 “Maharani Hemonto Kumari Sanskrit College” was established as an attached institution of Rajshahi College. It was controlled by the Principal of Rajshahi College. On Ist July 1904 the foundation stone was laid and its construction was completed in 1908. In the mean time in 1905 the college started with 3 teachers and 35 students.

Veda, Nyaya, Smriti, Puran Darshan, Sanskrit grammar, Mimansa etc were taught then free. Initially maintenance cost was provided by Maharani Hemonto Kumari. Though some donation was made by some people later, the main patron was the Maharani herself. However after the death of the Maharani the college fell in a great financial crisis.

The Sanskrit College became totally dysfunctional in 1963 because of the partition of India in 1947, the indifference of the authority and decreasing number of teachers and students. With the establishment of the present Rajshshi Regional Education Office or DDPI, the college memento becomes totally abolished.

Though the Sanskrit College as an attached institution of Rajshahi College was closed, the department of Sanskrit is being run on in Rajshahi College. Now the position of the department is not so glorious as it was in the past. At present Sanskrit is not being taught in HSC or Honours course. The subject is only taught in Degree (pass) course and the number of students is very few. If Sanskrit is further introduced in Honours and Masters courses the department will be able to regain its glorious position and the department of Sanskrit of Rajshahi College can be saved from decaying.

Now the number of teachers in this department is only four (Associate professor-1, Assistant professor-1 and Lecturer-2). A list of current faculty members of the department of Sanskrit is given below: