It was October 20, 1935. A 26-year-old white boy stood in front of Bombay’s Victoria Terminal railway station. That young man came to India on the same day from Belgium, a country in Europe. The purpose of his coming was to work as a missionary in a Roman Catholic Church. He was very fond of India because he had read a lot about India while living in Belgium. That’s why he chose India for religious work. The name of that young man was Kamil Bulke. Later in India, he became famous as Father Kamil Bulke.
Kamil Bulke’s purpose was to propagate religion, but as soon as he came to India, he aimed to serve Hindi. The reason for this was that when Kamil Bulke reached Bombay, he saw that English dominated there. He also realized that people with a good eye did not look upon a Hindi speaker. He found this very strange and bad. Also, he knew that Hindi is the language of the majority of the people of India, yet Hindi-speaking people do not get respect here.
Flemish was the mother tongue of the region of Belgium from which Kamil Bulke came. But the people of that region took pride in speaking French, ignoring their mother tongue. He had also agitated against that thing in his student life. Therefore, when he came to India and saw the same neglect of Hindi, he resolved that by learning Hindi, the language of the people of India, he would acquire proficiency in it and then serve Hindi for life.
The early life of Kamil Bulke
Kamil Bulke was born on September 1, 1909, in a village called Rams Kapelle in the West Calendars province of Belgium. It was a matter of coincidence that after being born in a village named Rams Kapayle, Bulke came to India and reverence Ram. About The Ramlila In Different Countries. While studying engineering in Belgium, Kamil Bulke desired to serve the religion by becoming a priest of a church. The family in which Kamil Bulke was born had a religious atmosphere. Although Kamil Bulke’s parents wanted him to be an engineer, they gladly permitted it when he talked about religious service.
Before becoming a priest for religious service, it was necessary to learn Latin. So Bulke started learning Latin. After that, he also learned the Greek language. Simultaneously, he also started doing MSc in higher mathematics and Einstein’s relativism subjects. He studied German in high school. Kamil Bulke, who came to India as a missionary after learning Latin, Greek, and German languages, along with engineering, mathematics, and science from Belgium, will take a pledge to learn Hindi, this seems like a contradiction. But there was no contradiction in his mind. He was firm on his resolve.
Kamil Bulke in India
Since childhood, he was so talented that there was no doubt in the fulfillment of his resolve. Taking a pledge to learn Hindi, Kamil Bulke first went to a place called Sitagarh in Hazaribagh (Bihar). There he started studying Hindi and Sanskrit from Pandit Badrinath Shastri. Soon he became proficient in both languages. Then in 1940, he passed the examination of Visharad from Hindi Sahitya Sammelan, Prayag (Allahabad), which is considered equivalent to graduation in Hindi.
In 1945, Kamil Bulke took a BA degree in Hindi and Sanskrit from Kolkata University. After this, he went to Allahabad University to do an MA in Hindi in the same year. There the head of the Hindi department met Dr. Dhirendra Verma. Dr. Dhirendra Verma was of the view that no foreigner can do MA in Hindi. He first saw Bulke’s BA degree with Hindi and Sanskrit subjects and then tested his Hindi knowledge in his way. Satisfied, Dr. Verma allowed him to do an MA in Hindi.
Kamil Bulke did his MA in Hindi in 1947, but while living in Allahabad, he studied Ramcharitmanas deeply, which made him an exclusive devotee of Rama and Tulsidas. Goswami Tulsidas: Great Creator of Ramcharitmanas. When Dr. Verma was advised to do D-Phil in Hindi, he first chose Rambhakti of Tulsi as his subject. Still, After doing a detailed study of Ramakatha, his subject became the origin and development of Ramakatha. In 1950, he completed his thesis on the same subject and received his D Phil degree. It is what is now called a Ph.D.
He made English Hindi dictionary
Kamil Bulke reached Ranchi with a D-Phil in Hindi and took the title of doctor. In 1950, he became the head of the Hindi and Sanskrit department of St. Xavier’s College. Initially, he had difficulty in finding words to teach Hindi. To overcome that, he read a Hindi novel every week for a year. While teaching in Ranchi, Bulke realized that there is no good and reliable dictionary of English Hindi. That’s why at first, he prepared a small dictionary named A Technical English Hindi Glossary. He prepared this dictionary mainly for Christian clergy. Samuel Johnson: Father Of The English Dictionary
After this small dictionary, as a result of five years of hard work, his English Hindi dictionary came out in 1968. This book soon became popular. Even today, it is used extensively as a reliable and authentic dictionary. Kamil Bulke wrote 27 books. Of these, 8 are original, and 19 are translated. In the original books, there is a dissertation on Ramkatha. Apart from this, there are two other important books named Ramkatha and Tulsidas, and Manas Kaumudi.
In the field of translation, he translated the Bible from Greek and Latin languages. Hindi translation of a famous French-language play titled Neel Panchhi. Father Kamil Bulke also wrote 64 dissertations. Seeing his Hindi service, the Government of India decorated him with Padma Bhusan in 1974. He died on August 17, 1982, in Delhi. He is always remembered for his Hindi service.
While living in India, Father Kamil Bulke acquired proficiency in Hindi. He did so much service to Hindi throughout his life that even great scholars of Hindi were astonished to see him. Given the background from which he had come from Belgium and the kind of education, his Hindi service was indeed commendable.