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Did you know a Bengali mathematician first measured the height of Mt Everest?

27 June, 2017 11:04:41
Did you know a Bengali mathematician first measured the height of Mt Everest?

Sixty-four years ago, on May 29, 1953, Tenzing Norgay and Edmund Hillary first scaled Mount Everest, the world's highestpeak. Since then, the day is celebrated as Everest Day globally and mountaineers are joined by masses to herald a day of festivities. This year, however, just before celebrations began, a demand rose to change the name of the world’s highest summit and re-name it as Mount Radhanath. This proposal was mooted by Sajal Kumar Guha, convener of Antarjatik Bangla Bhasha O-Sanskriti Samity, Siliguri. He sent a letter to the central government to consider their proposal. Members of the society asked the Union Defence Minister, to keep the ‘historical perspective’ in mind and change the name of the summit.

But what is the history behind this demand? According to Sajalbabu, previously Everest was known as Peak B and Peak 15. Radhanath Sikdar scaled the actual height of the peaks in 1854 and submitted his findings officially. The British government published the findings in 1856. But when it came to naming the peaks, instead of using mathematician-employee Radhanath’s name, it was named after the surveyor general, George Everest. After 147 years of Radhanath’s death, why can’t this error be rectified?

Sajalbabu is an ex-employee of the central defence ministry. From 2002 to 2005, for two-and-a-half years, he was sent on deputation to work in the accounts department of HMI (Himalayan Mountaineering Institute). Here he came across Tenzing Norgay’s son Jamling Tenzing, Norgay’s nephew Nowang Gombu, five time Everest climber Kushang Dorji Sherpa, Lattu Dorji, Nadre Sherpa, Miss Kunga Bhutia, T.B. Budhatki, Amar Singh and many others who have scaled the peak. According to government rule, anyone who scales seven thousand metres and above are entitled to financial reimbursement. Sajalbabu was a stickler and followed the rule. He never delayed in reimbursing the bills submitted by the mountaineers. A romantic at heart, he felt the call of the mountains and composed songs and verses on Everest. Now he has taken up the cudgels on behalf of a long-forgotten Bengali mathematician and intends to fight till the end to restore the honour that is due to Radhanath Sikdar. The honour was wrongly bestowed on George Everest.

Original Article written by Bongodorshon information desk
Translated by

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