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     Volume 2 Issue 16 | August 04, 2007 |


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Behind the Scene

From Sylhet

In Memorium: Khirode Purkayostha

Iqbal Siddiquee

The man dedicated his life for this institution as well as for the cause of spreading education in this remote village. In order to serve the education sector, he even passed up the chance of a well-paid job at the then Assam Provincial service during the British Era. This was at the very beginning of his career. This is why many in the area respect and remember this strong principled man even 25 years after his death.

Khirode Chandra Das Purkayostha is one of the most renowned headmasters of the 109-year-old Dhaka Dakshin High School and College at the village of Dattarail in Golapganj upazila in Sylhet.

Some of the renowned people who served as the Headmasters from the starting period till 1971 are Radhanath Chowdhury, Kunja Bihari Raha, Labonya Kumar Chakravarty, Pulin Bihari Shil, Ananda Charan Dev Majumder, Srinibash Chandra Home Chowdhury, Shailendra Nath Gupta, Sanath Kumar Bhattacharya, Khirode Chandra Das Purkayostha, Latif Ahmed Chowdhury and A H Fazlul Bari.

In those teachers, Khirode Chandra Das Purkayostha did a great service to the students and the institution as well. He was there for 42 years including 35 years as headmaster till 1969.

There are a number of examples of his sacrifice for the institution. Official records show the man did not hesitate to hire a BSC teacher with a higher pay, which was above the headmaster's salary even. He did so, when the students were suffering badly for a science teacher that time. The man had a strong administrative capacity and never shied away from taking any strict decision for the institution braving all sorts of social pressure, a number of senior people remember. Highly proficient in the English language, Khirode Purkayostha also encouraged the students to pursue extracurricular activities.

Khirode Chandra Das Purkayostha was born in a well to do family in a village near Tilpara under Beanibazar upazila on 27 Ashwin of 1307 in the Bengali calendar. He was sent to the Karimganj High School in Assam and passed his SSC in 1922. Passing BA from Calcutta University in 1926, Khirode joined in the Dhaka Dakshin Middle English High School as Assistant Teacher the same year. Immediately, he earned the admiration of the students and the teachers as well. Then Khirode took over as the headmaster after the resignation of the then headmaster Sanath Kumar Bhattacharya in 1934. With the institution achieving much in the following years, the school was given approval as High English School in 1947 from Calcutta University. With a dynamic leadership and good academic performance, the school emerged as one of the best educational institutions in the district soon after.

Purkayostha took measures for bringing about a major change during his long tenure even in the face of adversity. In 1949, he was relieved of his position on a controversial decision of the school committee in an adverse political situation. It caused a large scale commotion in the area. However, the man was brought back at the initiative of the locals after a year. Then he served for another 19 years. He took his retirement on 27 March of 1969.

After that he worked for establishing Dhaka Dakshin College before taking the role of the founder-headmaster of Dhaka Dakshin Junior Girls' High School. Later, he served as advisor for Chandarpur Al-Emdad High School and Govindasri High School. Khirode Babu breathed his last at the Sylhet MAG Osmani Medical College Hospital on 27 June of 1982. Although the man was born in a well to do Jaminder family, he had to lose his paternal home even at the end of life. He, along with his family members passed 14 years of his retired life as a guest in someone else's house. A person of rare qualities and of simple desires, Khirode is still remembered by people in the area.


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