Print this page

Observations placeholder

Bose, Sir Jagadis Chandra - Playmates are a better source of understanding than school

Identifier

021015

Type of spiritual experience

Background

Sir Jagadish Chandra Bose was born in Mymensingh, Bengal Presidency, (present day Bangladesh)on 30 November 1858. His father, Bhagawan Chandra Bose, was a Brahmo and leader of the Brahmo Samaj and worked as a deputy magistrate/ assistant commissioner.

Bose's education started in a vernacular school, because his father believed that one must know one's own mother tongue before beginning English, and that one should know also one's own people. Speaking at the Bikrampur Conference in 1915, Bose said:

A description of the experience

At that time, sending children to English schools was an aristocratic status symbol. In the vernacular school, to which I was sent, the son of the Muslim attendant of my father sat on my right side, and the son of a fisherman sat on my left.

They were my playmates.

I listened spellbound to their stories of birds, animals and aquatic creatures.

Perhaps these stories created in my mind a keen interest in investigating the workings of Nature. When I returned home from school accompanied by my school fellows, my mother welcomed and fed all of us without discrimination. Although she was an orthodox old-fashioned lady, she never considered herself guilty of impiety by treating these ‘untouchables’ as her own children.

It was because of my childhood friendship with them that I could never feel that there were ‘creatures’ who might be labelled 'low-caste'. I never realised that there existed a 'problem' common to the two communities, Hindus and Muslims.

The source of the experience

Bose, Sir Jagadish Chandra

Concepts and Symbols used in the text or image

Activities

Observation contributed by: Margaret Booth