J C Bose was born in Mymensingh, India (now in Bangladesh) on November 30, 1858. He was educated first at the village school in Faridpur, where his father was a magistrate, Bhagwan Chandra Bose. Later he migrated to St. Xavier’s College, Calcutta at the age of 13. There he met Father Eugene Lafont, who was very interested in promoting modern science in India. He later went to the UK, where he got degrees from the universities of Cambridge and London.
He came back and was made a Professor of Physics at Presidency College on the Viceroy's recommendation. However, the principal and other faculty, who were White, were very racially biased against him and gave only an acting appointment. He was offered one-third the salary of the school's The White professors, and in protest at this slight he took no salary at all for several years. They denied him any laboratory facilities, but he carried on his research work, buying equipment with his own salary.
He remained at Presidency for his entire career, where he assembled the first modern scientific research facilities in Indian academia. He conducted landmark research of the response of plant and animal life to stimuli including electricity, light, sound, and touch, and showed how water and sap in plants and trees is elevated from roots due to capillary action. He invented the Cresco graph.
His 1902 paper "Responses in the Living and Non-living" showed that plant and animal tissues share a similar electric-impulse response to all forms of stimulation, a finding which challenged conventional science of the time, and also showed that even inanimate objects - certain rocks and metals -have similar responses. In a 1907 paper Bose established the electro transmission of excitation in plant and animal tissues, and showed that plants respond to sound, by growing more quickly in an environment of gentle speech or soft music, and growing more poorly when subjected to harsh speech or loud music.
The invention of radio is usually credited to G. Marconi, but a comparison of their records suggests that at certain points of Bose's radio research. Bose was the first Indian scientist to be widely respected as an equal in the halls of western science. When he demonstrated his mechanisms for generating and detecting radio waves in a January 1897 lecture before the Royal Institution in London, it was the first such lecture given by an Indian.
He was elevated to knighthood in 1917, and in 1920 he became the first Indian elected to membership in the prestigious Royal Society. Bose, who came from a fairly affluent family, had no particular interest in the profit potential of his work, and refused to file patent claims. A patent was filed by friends in Bose's name for his 1901 invention of a solid-state diode detector to detect electromagnetic waves.
He founded the Bose Research Institute in Calcutta in 1917. In the pages of history are recorded the glorious achievements of many great men whom the world recognises, loves and respects. Such men prove to be a true asset not only to their own countries but also to the world. Their lives become a message and a source of inspiration for generations to come. Bose was a creative and imaginative scientist, a connoisseur of literature and a great lover of nature.