Sudhindra Nath Ghose

Locations

1 St Mary Abbots Court Kensington
London, W14 8PS
United Kingdom
51° 29' 50.5788" N, 0° 12' 12.222" W
12 St Simon's Avenue Putney
London, SW15 6DU
United Kingdom
51° 27' 28.9656" N, 0° 13' 28.272" W
9 Corringway North Ealing
London, W5 3EU
United Kingdom
51° 31' 23.7756" N, 0° 17' 4.3332" W
Other names: 

Sudhin N. Ghose

1
Date of birth: 
30 Jul 1899
City of birth: 
Burdwan
Country of birth: 
Bengal, India
Current name city of birth: 
Bardhaman
Date of death: 
30 Dec 1965
Location of death: 
London, England
Date of 1st arrival in Britain: 
01 Jan 1940
Precise 1st arrival date unknown: 
Y
Dates of time spent in Britain: 

1940-65

Location: 

135 Oakwood Court, London, W14

2
About: 

Sudhindra Nath Ghose was a Bengali novelist. After studying at the University of Calcutta, he travelled to Europe in the 1920s to continue his studies in Western Art at the University of Strasbourg where he graduated with a D.Litt. He subsequently worked as a research scholar at the Universities of London, Paris, Berlin, and Geneva. While at university he worked as a journalist, becoming foreign correspondent for The Hindu of Madras from 1924-32. He was also associate editor of World's Youth, the official organ of the YMCA from 1929-31. In 1931, he joined the staff of the Information Section of the League of Nations Secretariat in Geneva.

Ghose moved to England in 1940. He lectured to H. M. Forces and to US units about India from 1940-6. He was part of the panel of speakers that regularly toured for the India-Burma Association. Much of the research of his papers was conducted in the British Museum Reading Room, for which he had a reader’s pass. In the late 1940s, Ghose worked as the librarian for Student Movement House, 103 Gower Street, London, WC1, trying to persuade the British Council to offer translations of books about British life into Indian languages. He also organized its literary events. Ghose was not part of the Indian organizations fighting for independence, but worked as part of the political system and through his lectures tried to counter what he called ‘the systematic misrepresentation and vilification of Great Britain’ (Mss Eur F 153). He wrote lengthy reports on India League meetings and also attended meetings of the Committee of Indian Congressmen in Great Britain in the 1940s to write detailed reports for the India-Burma Association. Furthermore, Ghose wrote reports for the India-Burma Association following his lectures for Bevin trainees ('Bevin Boys') from India at Letchworth in 1944, fearing they might be led astray by Indian organizations campaigning for Indian independence in Britain.

Ghose was the proof-reader for the Bengali version of the government-produced brochure ‘War in Pictures’. During the war, he also worked as an ARP Warden in North Ealing. He tried on several occasions to get work with the BBC Eastern Service. He was invited to participate in a Round Table Discussion on India for the Home Service Department in May 1942. He was severely criticized by his friends at the Bibliophile Bookshop for taking part in this debate. Subsequently he became an occasional broadcaster for the BBC. He was commissioned by George Orwell in June 1942 to write a talk programme on the Future of Hinduism. However the talk was not accepted for broadcast, as Orwell thought it was not altogether suitable. Bokhari had blocked the broadcast of the programme for fear of antagonising the Hindu community in India and Ghose was subsequently released from his contract because he was deemed to be too expensive, after another venture for a Bengali-language news bulletin fell through. While the organization recognized Ghose’s proficiency in Bengali and his excellent delivery as a microphone speaker, it did not rate him as a script writer and did not employ him again.

Ghose was intensely critical of the Eastern Service, especially Bokhari and Anand, whose left-leaning politics he denounced in his private papers. Ghose alleged that Anand, Shelvankar, and Bokhari were conspiring against him. From 1943 onwards Ghose was a lecturer for the Imperial Institute’s Empire Lecture Scheme to Schools. After the end of the war, he stayed in England and continued to lecture on eastern and western art, architecture, philosophy and literature. He also published a successful tetraology of novels, based on his childhood in Bengal. He returned to India as a Visiting Professor of English at Visvabharati University, Santiniketan from 1957-8. He died in London in 1965 from a heart attack.

Connections: 

Lord Amery, Mulk Raj Anand (BBC), Z. A. Bokhari (BBC), G. H. Bozman, Hilton Brown (BBC), S. K. Datta, Alexander Duff, Edwin Haward (India-Burma Association),  Michael Joseph, C. H. Joyce, Edwin Haward (Secretary, India and Burma Association), S. Lall, (Deputy High Commissioner of India),  Salvador de Madariaga (BBC), Firoz Khan Noon, George Orwell (BBC), F. Richter (India Society), Krishnarao Shelvankar (BBC), L. F. Rushbrook Williams (BBC Eastern Service Director), Sir Francis Younghusband.

Committee of the International Assembly (London), Charles Lamb Society (London),International Friendship League, International P.E.N. Club, Member of the Allies Club (1942), Royal Institute of International Affairs, Student Movement House.

Involved in events: 
3
Published works: 

The Colours of a Great City: Two Playlets (London: C.W. Daniel Co. 1924)

Rossetti and Contemporary Criticism (London: Bowes, 1928) [non-fiction]

Post-War Europe: 1918-1937 (Calcutta: University of Calcutta, 1939) [non-fiction]

And Gazelles Leaping (London: Michael Joseph, 1949)

The Cradle of the Clouds (London: Michael Joseph, 1951)

The Vermillion Boat (London: Michael Joseph, 1953)

The Flame of the Forest (London: Michael Joseph, 1955)

Folk Tales and Fairy Stories from India (London: Golden Cockerel Press, 1961)

Folk Tales and Fairy Stories from Father India (London: Thomas Yoseloff, 1966)

Contributions to periodicals: 

The Aryan Path

The Envoy

The Hindu, Madras

The Observer

World's Youth

Secondary works: 

Narayan, Shyamala A., Sudhin N. Ghose (New Delhi: Arnold-Heinemann India, 1973)

Who's Who of Indian Writers

4
Archive source: 

Mss Eur F153: Papers and correspondence, 1940-65, Asian and African Studies Reading Room, British Library, St Pancras

L/I/1/1383, India Office Records, Asian and African Studies Reading Room, British Library, St Pancras