Suniti Kumar Chatterji (1890-1977) was a Bengali Indian linguist, educationist, litterateur. He was born on 26 October 1890 at Shibpur in Howrah. He was the son of Haridas Chattopadhyay, an affluent Kulin Brahmin.
Suniti Kumar was a meritorious student, and passed the Entrance (school leaving) examination from the Mutty Lal Seal's Free School (1907), ranking sixth, and the FA (pre-university examination) from the renowned Scottish Church College, standing third.
He went abroad to study at the University of London where he studied Phonology, Indo-European Linguistics, Prakrit, Persian, old Irish, Gothic and other languages. He then went to Paris and did research at the Sorbonne in Indo-Aryan, Slav and Indo-European Linguistics, Greek and Latin. After returning to India in 1922, he joined the University of Calcutta as a professor. After retirement he was made Professor Emeritus and later in 1963, the National Professor of India. He caused a great uproar and controversy after declaring that Ramayana has its origin in Buddhist Dasaratha Jataka No. 461 in Asiatic society in 1968.
Suniti Kumar accompanied Rabindranath Tagore to Malaya, Sumatra, Java, and Bali, where he delivered lectures on Indian art and culture. He was Speaker of the West Bengal Legislative Assembly (1952-58) and President (1969) of the Sahitya Akademi.
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