We had received many questions asking who the first Indian in Poland was, who was the first man to marry a Polish woman etc. Thanks to the recent post by Ms. Mira S Ghoshal in Twitter, we got the answer.
It is Dr Hiranmoy Ghoshal.
Dr Hiranmoy Ghoshal a multi-talented Bengali man, who was born on 7 August 1908, is a writer, journalist, polyglot, diplomat, professor and the first known Indian to set foot in Poland. Dr Ghoshal was a multilingual genius who could speak 26 languages, the first-ever Indian authority on the Slavic group of languages, and the author of nine books in Bengali and two in English. He translated Russian novelist Nikolai Gogol into Bengali and accomplished a PhD on Russian playwright Anton Chekhov. Dr Ghoshal was also probably the only Indian to write a book on first-hand experiences of the catastrophic World War II in Poland.
In 1929, Hiranmoy graduated in Philosophy and Romance Studies from the University of Calcutta. Then he went to England where he studied law. In 1934 he came to Poland. The World War II-ravaged Poland not only gave him a prestigious job as a professor in the Indology Department of Warsaw University but also significantly acknowledged his scholarship. He began working as a lecturer and teacher of foreign languages at the University of Warsaw.
Netaji Shubhash Chandra Bose visited the Polish capital in 1934, around the same time when Dr Ghoshal was working as a lecturer at the Warsaw University.
In 1940, he and his Polish fiancée managed to leave Poland and get to India. There he wrote and published his memoirs from the September Campaign and life in occupied Poland. Then he got married to his Polish fiancée and he moved to Delhi, where he joined the Ministry of Information and Radio and All India Radio. In 1947 he became the cultural attaché and the first secretary of the Indian Embassy in Moscow.
He returned to Poland in 1957 and he took the position of a reader, going on to become a professor. As his first wife passed away, a year after returning to Warsaw, the Indian widower married Halina Kosinkiewicz.
Mira S Ghoshal, was born in Warsaw, to Dr Ghoshal and his second wife Halina Kosinkiewicz. Dr Hiranmoy Ghoshal ultimately settled in Poland, where he taught Sanskrit, Bengali language, literature, the history of India, as well as Indian geography and ethnography.
On September 24, 1969, at the age of 61, Dr Ghoshal breathed his last in Warsaw. The maverick man from Bengal was buried at Warsaw’s famous Powzki Cemetery.
Currently based in the Polish village of Teresin near the Polish capital Warsaw, musicologist Mira was just 10 when her father passed away. She relocated to New York along with her mother a year after Dr Ghoshal’s death.
A hall at the Warsaw University has been named after Dr Ghoshal. And the Polish government made a documentary titled “Borne by Two Rivers” on the incredible trans-continental life of Dr Ghoshal and his daughter Mira.