Nirbacita prabandha [ePub]

by Nirad C. Chaudhuri

Nirad C. Chaudhuri (Bangla: নীরদ চন্দ্র চৌধুরী Nirod Chôndro Choudhuri) was a Bengali−English writer and cultural commentator. He was born in 1897 in Kishoreganj, which today is part of Bangladesh but at that time was part of Bengal, a region of British India.

He was awarded the Sahitya Akademi Award, in 1975 for his biography on Max Müller called Scholar Extraordinary, by the Sahitya Akademi, India's national academy of letters. In 1992, he was honoured by Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom with the title of Commander of Order of the British Empire (CBE). His 1965 work The Continent of Circe earned him the Duff Cooper Memorial Award, becoming the first and only Indian to be selected for the prize.

In 1951 he published his most famous book, Autobiography of an Unknown Indian, a penetrating and challenging analysis of Indian history, culture and British rule. The controversial dedication to the memory of the British Empire caused a furore at the time but the book is now considered a classic work of Indian literature. He was awarded the Duff Cooper Memorial Prize for The Continent of Circe (1965), was made CBE in 1992 and received the Hon.D.Litt from the University of Oxford; the University of Viswa Bharati also awarded him Deshikottama, its highest honorary degree.

A passionate admirer of western culture, he first visited England in 1955, a visit which inspired his book Passage to England. He decided to make his home in Oxford in 1970 when he was over seventy. He was a familiar and arresting sight out and about in Oxford, a diminutive figure, always impeccably dressed in a three-piece suit, although he wore Indian attire at home. He wrote his last book Three Horsemen of the New Apocalypse only a year before his death at the age of nearly 102.

25.11.2012

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