Rash Behari Ghosh (23 December 1845 – 28 February 1921) was an Indian politician, lawyer, social worker, and philanthropist.

Early Life and Career

Rash Behari Ghosh was born on 23 December 1845, in West Bengal, India. He attended Burdwan Raj Collegiate School for his early education. After that, he went to Presidency College in Kolkata and graduated in 1865. He got his MA in English with first-class honors, becoming the first Indian to do so.

He graduated from law school in 1867 and began his legal career at the High Court Bar of Calcutta.

Afterward, Ghose took one of the hardest exams in the world, the Honours in a Law exam. He passed that exam and got his doctorate in 1871.

He also occupied the Tagore Law Chair at Calcutta University in 1875.

Ghose succeeded Dadabhai Naoroji as president of the Indian National Congress. He was president of two sessions, one in Surat and one in Madras.

Between 1891 and 1894, and then again between 1906 and 1909, he was a member of the Bengal Legislative Council.

Also, he served as a member of the Secretary of State’s Council of India in 1891 and 1893. He drafted two bills that were enacted by the government during his tenure there. The first was about court sales in debt cases, and the second was about preemption.

His knowledge of the law made him highly regarded. Even today, his work on mortgage law is a classic.

He was knighted in 1915.


He made a lot of money through his law practice, but he gave most of it away. To start up the National Council of Education in Jadavpur, he contributed Rs.13 lakhs. Later, it became Jadavpur University. The first president of NCE was Ghosh.

In his village, he also built schools and a hospital.


He died on 28 February 1921, in West Bengal, India.

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