Krishna Chandra Bhattacharya
Krishna Chandra Bhattacharya
Krishna Chandra Bhattacharya
Born(1875-05-12)12 May 1875
Died11 December 1949(1949-12-11) (aged 74)

Krishnachandra Bhattacharyya, commonly referred to as K.C. Bhattacharyya, (12 May 1875 – 11 December 1949), was a modern Indian philosopher affiliated with the University of Calcutta. He gained renown for his method of "constructive interpretation," a scholarly approach employed to elucidate and elaborate upon the interrelationships and intricacies inherent in ancient Indian philosophical systems.[1] This method facilitated an examination of these systems akin to the scrutiny applied to contemporary philosophical problems. Bhattacharyya dedicated particular attention to the inquiry into the manner in which the mind (or consciousness) engenders what appears to be a material universe.[2] Notably, Bhattacharyya advocated for an immersive cosmopolitanism, wherein Indian philosophical frameworks were contemporized through a process of assimilation and immersion, eschewing a mere replication of European ideas in favour of a more nuanced integration.[3]

Early life

Bhattacharyya, born on 12 May 1875 in Serampore into a family distinguished for its Sanskrit scholarship, received his early education in a local school. Subsequently, having successfully completed the matriculation examination in 1891, he matriculated to the Presidency College, an institution then associated with the University of Calcutta.[2]

It is noteworthy that Bhattacharya was the father of Kalidas Bhattacharyya, a prominent philosopher.[4]

Swaraj in Ideas

During a period marked by escalating demands for India's political emancipation from British colonial dominance, Bhattacharyya articulated a fervent appeal for liberation from what he termed "cultural subjection" – a subtle and nearly imperceptible form of intellectual servitude. This entreaty is encapsulated in "Svarāj in Ideas," an oration delivered in Candranagar in October 1931, although it remained unpublished during Bhattacharyya's lifetime. In elucidating the concept, Bhattacharyya posits that "cultural subjection is ordinarily of an unconscious character and it implies slavery from the very start... There is cultural subjection only when one's traditional cast of ideas and sentiments is superseded without comparison or competition by a new cast representing an alien culture which possesses one like a ghost."[3]



  1. ^ Chattopadhyaya, Debiprasad (1992). Lokayata: A Study in Ancient Indian Materialism (Seventh ed.). New Delhi: People's Publishing House. p. xi. ISBN 81-7007-006-6.
  2. ^ a b Basant Kumar Lal (1978). Contemporary Indian Philosophy. Motilal Banarsidass. p. 223. ISBN 978-81-208-0261-2.
  3. ^ a b Ganeri, Jonardon. "Freedom in Thinking: The Immersive Cosmopolitanism of Krishnachandra Bhattacharyya (2017)". The Oxford Handbook of Indian Philosophy.
  4. ^ "Kalidas Bhattacharyya | Indian philosopher [1911–1984] | Britannica". Retrieved 16 November 2023.