premchandra-tarkabagish

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Pandit Premchandra Tarkabagish (1806 – 1867) was one of the most celebrated Sanskrit scholars of Bengal. He contributed immensely to the society and Sanskrit language through his writings both in Bengali and Sanskrit during the renaissance period of Bengal in the nineteenth century . Premchandra was a professor of Rhetoric in Govt. Sanskrit college for 32 long years from 1832 to 1864. Some of the famous oriental scholars like Horace Hayman Wilson, Prof E.B. Cowel.were his pupils and admirers. They held high opinions in the abilities and scholastics of the Pandit. His successful contribution in deciphering ancient inscriptions written in Pali and Sanskrit helped James Prinsep of Asiatic Society to translate them in English. He was in the forefront of opposition to Lord Macaulay’s recommendation to abolish Sanskrit education and closing down the Sanskrit College in Calcutta. He was a noted commentator of some of the immortal Sanskrit Poems and was himself endorsed with immense poetical prowess. His services for the improvement of Bengali Literature are not to be slighted either. Along with satire poet Iswar Chandra Gupta he edited first Bengali Weekly “Sambad Prabhakar” and was regarded as the foremost opinion maker of the contemporary Bengali society through his extensive writings and editorials in “Sambad Prabhakar” and other journals. His written slokas adorned contemporary Bengali magazines and daily newspapers of the nineteenth century Bengal. Among his pupils , was distinguished scholar and social reformer Iswar Chandra Vidyasagar, who held him in the highest veneration . Premchandra provided much needed psychological and intellectual support to Vidyasagar in his successful mission of ‘Widow Remarriage’. As a man, Premchandra was gifted with noblest qualities of the heart and seamless impersonation of all that is pure and virtuous. He edited and commented upon several celebrated Sanskrit poems and was held in much high esteem by all other professors, intellectuals, writers , social reformers of his time. His principal works are commentaries on Raghava Pandaviya, Murari Natakam, Uttara Ramcharita , Anargha Raghava, Kalidas’s Kumar Sambhavam, Raghuvansam, Dandacharya’s Kavyadarsha etc. amongst many others.

Why should we remember him in 2015?

Premchandra was a Poet par excellence and a great commentator of many famous Sanskrit epics written by Mahakavi Kalidas, Dandyacharya, Bhavabhuti and many others. His style was unique and special. With his rich writing skill he could write commentaries of difficult poems through his unique style for the benefit of all. Never before in Eastern part of the country, all those unforgettable epics were translated with such ease & fluency. Premchandra was an extraordinary teacher of Rhetoric. Through his writing skills , he became one of the most sought after scholar during his almost four decades of association with Govt. Sanskrit College . Many authors have translated his commentary in Sanskrit, Bengali and English language. These invaluable writings of Prem Chandra are guide to several Sanskrit Scholars all over the world.

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