"India cannot afford to remain forever an intellectual parish, a beggar for crumbs at the doors of Oxford or Cambridge, Paris or Vienna. She must create within herself a source of the highest original research and assume her rightful place as the School of Asia, even as Periclean Athens made herself 'the School of Hellas'."
Jadunath Sarkar 15th June, 1955 born in an East Bengal village (Karachmaria, Rajsahi district, now in Bangladesh) on 10 December 1870, Jadunath Sarkar attended his village school, then the Rajsahi Collegiate Schools, Hare School and City Collegiate School at Calcutta. After passing his First Arts examination from Rajsahi College in 1889, he offered double honours in English and history at Presidency College and took his B. A. degree in 1891. Next year he obtained his M. A. with a fist class first in English.
He began his varied teaching career at Ripon (now Surendranath) College, Calcutta, in June 1893 and changed his place of work several times thereafter-Metropolitan (Vidyasagar) College, Calcutta, 1896-98; Presidency College, 1898-99; Banaras Hindu University, 1917-19; Ravenshaw College, Cuttack, 1919-23. he had been inducted into the Indian Educational Service in 1919; he retired from this in 1926 and served as Vice-Chancellor, Calcutta University, 1926-28.
Declining another term as vice-chancellor, he devoted himself full time to research and shifted to Darjeeling for this purpose in 1928. Medical reasons compelled his return to Calcutta in 1941, but he continued to do research, write and publish until his death on 19 may 1958.
In pursuit of his research interests he travelled extensively, collected valuable source-materials, and built up a library which contained many rare manuscripts. He learnt several languages in order to read such sources-French, Portuguese, Persian, Arabic, Sanskrit, Marathi, Rajasthani-and got important 17th and 18th century materials arranged and catalogued.
All his life he remained closely associated with the Calcutta Historical Society, the Asiatic Society of Bengal and the Bengiya Sahitya Parishad. Among learned bodies abroad, the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain & Ireland (in 1923), the American Historical Association (in 1927) and the Royal Historical Society (in 1935) conferred honorary memberships on his. He was made a C.I.E. in 1926 and Knighted in 1929.
Summing up his long and richly productive life, a friend and close associate G.S. Sardesai the historian wrote: "Sir Jadunath Sarkar, as a historian, is not an accident, not a fortunate child of opportunities, but the consummation of a life of preparation, planning, hard industry and ascetic devotion to a great mission.
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