Satyendranath Bose (1894-1974)


This photograph taken on 30 January 1957 depicts the awarding of Visva-Bharati’s highest accolade, the Desikottama, to Chou-En-Lai (Zhou Enlai), the Chinese Premier by Professor Satyendranath Bose. This award to an individual from China represents in the words of the recipient, “an expression of the profound friendship of the Indian people for the Chinese people...”  We recall Rabindranath’s visit to China in the summer of 1924, his support in their struggle for national independence and the emphasis he laid on the need for research and study of the heritage of this ancient civilization. Professor Satyendranath Bose, who was the Vice-Chancellor of Visva-Bharati during the years 1956-58, was one of the foremost scientists of the twentieth century. The word ‘boson’ to describe certain fundamental particles that obey the Bose-Einstein statistics is now a part of language. Apart from the fact that Bose won Einstein’s recognition for his work on light quanta, he was also the recipient of Rabindranath’s dedication of his Bengali primer on Science, Visva-Parichay (translated as Our Universe). The best minds of the world, their ideas and the culture of different lands and faiths converge through Rabindranath in Visva-Bharati. Let us in all humility attempt to deserve this privilege.

(Rabindra-Bhavana Newsletter, Vol.3, Issue 1, Spring 2005)