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Prafulla Chandra Ghosh
Ghosh at Writers' Building in 1947
1st Premier of West Bengal
In office
15 August 1947 – 22 January 1948
GovernorChakravarti Rajagopalachari
Preceded byOffice Established
(Huseyn Shaheed Suhrawardy as Prime Minister of Bengal)
Succeeded byBidhan Chandra Roy
4th Chief Minister of West Bengal
In office
2 November 1967 – 20 February 1968
GovernorDharma Vira
Preceded byAjoy Kumar Mukherjee
Succeeded byPresident's rule
(Ajoy Kumar Mukherjee as Chief Minister)
Member of West Bengal Legislative Assembly
In office
Preceded byKumar Deba Prosad Garga
Succeeded bySushil Kumar Dhara
Constituency Mahisadal
In office
Preceded byMahendranath Mahato
Succeeded byPanchkari De
Personal details
Born24 December 1891
Maliakanda, Bengal, British India[1][2][3][4]
Died18 December 1983(1983-12-18) (aged 91)
Calcutta, West Bengal, India
Political partyProgressive Democratic Front
Other political
Indian National Congress Praja Socialist Party Independent
RelativesPriyanka Yoshikawa (great-granddaughter)
Alma materM.Sc in chemistry
(Dhaka University)
Ph.D in chemistry
(University of Calcutta)

Prafulla Chandra Ghosh (24 December 1891 – 18 December 1983) was the first Premier of West Bengal, India from 15 August 1947 to 14 August 1948. He also served as the Chief Minister of West Bengal in the "Progressive Democratic Alliance Front" government from 2 November 1967 to 20 February 1968.[5]

Early life

Prafulla Chandra Ghosh was born in a Kayastha Family on 24 December 1891 at a remote village, Malikanda, in Dhaka district, British India (now Bangladesh) as son of Purna Chandra Ghosh and Binodini Devi.[6] Both his parents were religious devout and simple persons. Prafulla Ghosh was a brilliant student throughout his academic life and always stood first with scholarship. Prafulla had very rural upbringing and enjoyed cultural festivals such as Jatra, Kirtan, Padavali Gan, and also participated in agricultural activities.[7]

Prafulla first attended Jagannath College and then moved to Dhaka where he graduated with B. A. (First Class First) and B. Sc (Chemistry) in 1913. In 1916, he obtained his M. A. and M. Sc (Chemistry) as first class first in both. Immediately, he joined research in Chemistry at Dhaka University. In 1919, he joined Presidency College, Calcutta as Demonstrator. In Jan 1920, he started work at Calcutta Mint as ASA master and he was the first Indian to be employed in that position. He was awarded doctorate in 1920 in Chemistry by Calcutta University.[8]

Political life

Ghosh developed an interest in the Swadeshi Movement early on, but was most impressed and inspired by the ideas of armed revolution propagated by the Dhaka Anushilan Samiti, which he joined in 1909. However, the methods of the Samiti for raising money through theft and then defending the same in Court eventually alienated him, and he finally quit in 1913 to focus on academia. During the same time, while working for the Damodar flood relief, he met Surendranath Banerjee and other moderate leaders. Yogendra Nath Saha introduced him to the non-violent principles of Mahatma Gandhi. At the beginning, Gandhian principles did not impress him but he was moved by Gandhi's speech at Dhaka in December 1920 and soon afterwards met with him in Calcutta. In January 1921, he resigned from his position at the Calcutta Mint and along with other members of the Anami Sangh joined the Freedom Struggle.[9]

Following the division of Bengal, Ghosh was appointed as the Premier of the Hindu-majority portion of West Bengal by the Indian National Congress. His tenure saw the influx & rehabilitation of Hindu refugees from East Bengal fleeing persecution from Muslims in the wake of communal riots inflamed throughout the country & widespread crackdown on the Communist Party of India, following it being banned by the Interim Government of India. He was accused of trying to convert the state into a police-state by enacting the West Bengal Special Powers Act of 1947. The Congress leadership was dissatisfied with his method of handling the matters, & replaced Ghosh with Dr. Bidhan Chandra Ray.

In 1957 state elections, he was elected as an MLA from Mahisadal on a PSP ticket. He lost the seat to Bangla Congress leader Sushil Kumar Dhara in the next election. In 1967 state election, he was re-elected as an MLA from Jhargram as an Independent candidate & was appointed as Food Minister in the First United Front Ministry of Ajoy Kumar Mukherjee. He was tasked with dealing the food crisis in the state caused due to famine, but the CPI(M), a key alliance member in the United Front coalition, launched strikes demanding his resignation after he controversially stated that poor Bengalis should give up their traditional consumption of rice & dal in favour of roti & boiled bananas to mitigate the effects of famine. Due to breakdown of co-operation between the Bangla Congress & CPI(M) due to clash of opinions & breakdown of law-and-order in the state due to Naxalite insurgency, Ghosh formed the Progressive Democratic Front with 16 other MLAs from the Bangla Congress & was sworn in as Chief Minister in November 1967 with the support of the Congress. However his government was dismissed within 3 months due to increasing political violence between the cadres of CPI(M) & Congress & President's rule had to be promulgated.


His great-granddaughter is Priyanka Yoshikawa, who won the 2016 Miss World Japan contest.[10]

P. C. Ghosh, Member, Congress Working Committee and External Affairs-Premier, West Bengal broadcasting a talk on Indo-Pakistan Agreement from AIR. Calcutta on 26 July 1950.



  1. ^ Kantho, Kaler (September 2016). "এবার মিস জাপান হলেন বাংলাদেশি কন্যা প্রিয়াঙ্কা - কালের কণ্ঠ".
  2. ^ "দোহারের মেয়ে প্রিয়াঙ্কা হলেন মিস জাপান - daily nayadiganta". The Daily Nayadiganta.
  3. ^ "আমাদের - Kaler Kantho".
  4. ^ "জাপানের সেরা সুন্দরী প্রিয়াংকা দোহারের ঘোষ পরিবারের মেয়ে - নগর-মহানগর - Jugantor".
  5. ^ Modern Bengal A Short History of Bengal. Retrieved 18 April 2009.
  6. ^ Prayer, Mario (2001). "The "Gandhians" of Bengal: Nationalism, Social Reconstruction and Cultural Orientations 1920–1942". Rivista degli Studi Orientali. University of Rome. 74 (Supplement No. 1–2): 236. ISSN 0392-4866. JSTOR 41913060. Ghosh was born in Malikanda, in the Dacca District, of a well-to-do Kāyastha family.
  7. ^ Ghosh, Praphullachandra (1976). Jībana-smr̥tira bhūmikā. Kalikātā: Maḍārṇa Buka Ejeṇsī. pp. 3–5. OCLC 20496530.
  8. ^ Ghosh, Praphullachandra (1976). Jībana-smr̥tira bhūmikā. Kalikātā: Maḍārṇa Buka Ejeṇsī. pp. 18–20. OCLC 20496530.
  9. ^ Ghosh, Prafulla Chandra (1960). Jiban-smritir Bhumika. pp. 21–22.
  10. ^ Kantho, Kaler. "বাংলাদেশি বংশোদ্ভুত প্রিয়াংকাকে নিয়ে ভারতে মাতামাতি - কালের কণ্ঠ" (in Bengali). Retrieved 10 September 2016.
Political offices Preceded by(new post) Chief Minister of West Bengal 15 August 1947 – 14 January 1948 Succeeded byB. C. Roy Preceded byAjoy Kumar Mukherjee Chief Minister of West Bengal 2 November 1967 – 20 February 1968 Succeeded byPresident's Rule