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THE LEGEND: Acharya Prafulla Chandra Ray (Aug 2, 1861 – June 16, 1944) ‘Revolutionary in the
Garb of a Scientist’
The devotion with which this nationalist scientist strove to unshackle the country and its science from colonial rule made him a freedom fighter in true sense
n Dr Rajeev Singh
“There are occasions that demanded that I should leave
the test tube to attend to the call of the country...”
Acharya P C Ray on Rowlatt Act, 1919
Acharya, as he was respectfully called by his students, Prafulla Chandra Ray was a larger-than- life inspiration, a sage-scientist defined by indomitable courage and patriotism, who achieved a high level of perfection in his times. Ray is regarded as the first In- dian who started the integration process of vast ocean of ancient Indian chemistry with realms of emerging modern scienc- es, a researcher who led India towards modern chemistry, played a pivotal role in educational reforms, and a startup entrepreneur who established India’s first pharmaceutical industry. Fondly acknowledged as the Father of Modern Chemistry in India, he is an idol worth worshipping by young generations for
Acharya Prafulla Chandra Ray
his scientific integrity and nationalist feelings.
Prafulla Chandra Ray was born on Au- gust 2, 1861, in the village of Raruli- Katipara, Jessore, presently in Bangla- desh. His parents Harish Chandra Ray and Bhubanmohini Devi, appreciated higher education and had an extensive
library at home. His education started at the school founded by his father and was later completed in Calcutta. Half- way through his BA studies, he won the Gilchrist scholarship (1882) and at the age of 26, was awarded a D.Sc. in Inor- ganic Chemistry (1887) from the Edin- burgh University.
A nationalist, Ray was determined to see India regain its former glory. He
        Image Courtesy: Internet

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