Prafulla Chandra Ghosh was born on 24 December 1891 in Dhaka. Ghosh completed his schooling in his village and then moved to Dhaka, where he pursued a degree in Chemistry (1913). After completing his Masters in Chemistry (1916), he joined Dhaka University to conduct research in this field. In 1920, he was awarded a doctorate in chemistry by the Calcutta University.
Role in India’s Independence Movement
Ghosh had a keen interest in the Swadeshi Movement but chose to focus on his education. Around 1913, when he was working for the Damodar flood relief, Ghosh got acquainted with Surendranath Banerjee which rekindled his interest in the nationalist movement. Followed by this interaction, he was inspired by Gandhi’s speech at Dhaka in December 1920 and joined India’s independence movement.
Not much is known about his role in the movement.
Contribution to Constitution Making
Ghosh was elected to the Constituent Assembly from Bengal Presidency on a Congress party ticket. He did not actively participate in the Assembly debates.
Ghosh was elected to the West Bengal Legislative Assembly (1947) and was appointed as West Bengal’s first chief minister. However, due to internal disputes within the Congress party, he had to step down as Chief Minister in 1948.
Ghosh was elected again as an independent candidate to the West Bengal Legislative Assembly in 1967 and was allocated the Department of Food. Ghosh was heavily criticised by the United Front Committee for his failure to handle the food shortage crisis during the 1967 drought. Later in the year, he resigned from the government and formed a new party – Progressive Democratic Front (PDF). PDF started to get support from other assembly members and by the end of November, 1967 Ghosh had enough supporters to form the government. However, this did not last for long and the assembly was dissolved in 1968.
He passed away on 18 December 1983.