Krishna Kanta Handique

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Krishna Kanta Handique (Assamese: কৃষ্ণকান্ত সন্দিকৈ Krishnô Kantô Xôndikoi) (July 20, 1898 – June 7, 1982) was a Sanskrit scholar, an Indologist and philanthropist from Assam.

Biography[edit]

Krishna Kanta Handique was born on July 20, 1898 in a Tai-Ahom family in Jorhat town of Assam, to Rai-Bahadur Radha Kanta Handique. He was educated at Cotton College, Guwahati (1913–15), Sanskrit College, Calcutta (1915–17), Calcutta University (1917–19), Oxford University, Paris University and Berlin University (1920–27). He also studied and learned many languages like Latin, Greek, French, German, Russian, Italian and Spanish. He is known to have known 13 languages: 8 European languages and 5 Indian languages including Pali and Prakrit.

Handique was the founder Vice-Chancellor of Gauhati University for nine years (1948–57). Prior to this he was the founder Principal of J.B. College, Jorhat (1930–48) and established the Hemalata Handique Memorial Institute in Jorhat. He is well known for his munificence to literary and educational foundations. He bequeathed his massive personal library to Guwahati University making available to the public rare and valuable books in 11 languages of the world. He also gave the copyright of all his books to Deccan College PG & Research Institute, Pune; The Jaina Samskriti Samrakshaka Sangh, Maharastra and Prakrit Test Society, Ahmedabad.

Krishna Kanta Handique was the President of Axom Xahitya Xabha during the Guwahati conference in 1937 at the young age of 39, President of Classical Sanskrit Section, XVI All India Oriental Conference, Lucknow in 1951 and was elected the general President of the Srinagar Session of the same in 1961.

The Indian Posts and Telegraphs Dept. issued a commemorative stamp in honor of Prof. Handique on October 7, 1983. The Govt of Assam has instituted the prestigious Krishna Kanta Handique Memorial Award in his honour in the field of promotion of Sanskrit language and literature.

Works[edit]

Handique, the Sanskrit scholar is known for his three major works:

  • Naisadhacarita of Sriharsa, 1934
  • Yasastilika and Indian Culture 1949
  • Pravarasena's Setubandha 1976