Volume 2 Issue75| July 17, 2010 |


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Behind The Scene

From Jhenidah

K.P. Basu's Palatial Building at Risk

K.P. Basu is a world famous mathematician who made considerable contribution to the development of Algebra in the late 1800s. His palatial house at Jhenidah is slowly losing its beauty and structural integrity due to the lack of maintenance.
Azibor Rahman

THE fully furbished house of the world famous mathematician Kalipada Basu (K.P.) is on the verge of ruination due to lack of maintenance in Jhenidah. The elite persons of this locality have requested the authorities to transform the house into a tourist spot.

Kalipada Basu is known globally for his contributions to the field of Algebra. He was born in Harishangkarpur village under Jhenidah sadar upazila. His father's name was Mohima Charan Basu.

K.P. Basu was educated under the village's primary teacher Nosim Uddin Mondol. He was the first introduction for Basu to the world of Mathematics. He joined Dhaka College in 1882 as a Mathematics Faculty and continued teaching for the rest of his life. He married Meghmala Ghosh of his own village. Basu was amicable and of very simple traits.

Although teaching was his primary occupation, he was not confined to it. He investigated modern European algebra and made it easier and more lucid in terms of scientific expression; his work was recommended by the Hunter Commission in the late 1880s. He also invented new mathematical proofs and elevated the standard of the locally available algebra book at the time.

He also had an interest in geometry. He published 'Algebra Made Easy', 'Modern Geometry' and 'Intermediate Solid Geometry'. He also established K.P Basu Publishing in Kolkata. He ultimately became wealthy by virtue of his perseverance and merit. In 1907, he established a palatial building in his own village.

In 1914, the famous mathematician contracted per nisus malaria and breathed his last in Dhaka. All the offices in Jhenidah closed at the arrival of his dead body. Thousand of people including his devotees thronged by the side of Nabaganga River to convey regards; the local authority also named a road after him in Jhenidah.

K.P Basu built a two storied palatial building in his native village Harishangkarpur on one acre land in 1907. Once this building used to attract the attention of visitors but at present it has lost its aesthetic beauty due to not lack of care and maintenance. Besides, there are also a lot of furniture which are in dilapidated condition. K.P Basu's descendents are living there. If many visitors come to visit this palatial building, then it would be a good source of revenue for the family who could spend the money to restore the building.