Father Camille Bulcke, a Belgium-born Jesuit and a preeminent Hindi scholar, was honored by Professor Raaj Sah, who gifted a plaque to Father Bulcke’s birthplace of Ramskapelle, a village in Knokke-Heist.
After arriving in India as a young Jesuit, Father Bulcke spent most of his life at St. Xavier’s College, Ranchi, until he passed away in 1982. Transcending cultures, he became an architect of modern Hindi literature. His contributions include those on the epics of Lord Rama, and on the peerlessness of Goswami Tulsidas.
Sah gifted the plaque as a symbol of his gratitude for Father Bulcke’s mentorship. At the plaque’s unveiling in September 2020, Count Leopold Lippens, Mayor of Knokke-Heist, said, “It is important for us Belgians to appreciate, and to pass on to our future generations, the magisterial heritage that Father Bulcke created in India. We are grateful to Professor Sah for memorializing the virtuous legacy of his mentor at his birthplace.”
Sah is Professor of Public Policy and Economics at the University of ChicagoThe Government of Japan has conferred on him the Imperial honor “The Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Neck Ribbon.” This honor was for his contributions to the Japanese government’s economic and financial policies. Sah is a Distinguished Fellow at the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad. He previously held faculty positions at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Princeton University, the University of Pennsylvania, and Yale University.
Father Nicholas Tete, former Principal of St. Xavier’s College Ranchi, observed that “Father Bulcke strived to integrate intellectual work with wisdom and virtue. The teacher-student bond between him and Dr. Sah was phenomenal. The present commemoration reflects that tangible and intangible bond. It inspires us and warms our hearts.”
“In the Indian preceptor-pupil relationship, the pupil’s gratitude is lifelong, and its expression is unaffected by the passage of time, or by the preceptor having passed away years ago,” remarked Dr. Ralph Nicholas, Professor Emeritus of Anthropology at the University of Chicago.
Summary of the note for Editors
Father Camille Bulcke, a Belgium-born Jesuit, transcended cultures and languages and became an architect of modern Hindi literature. His contributions include those on the epics of Lord Rama, and on the peerlessness of Goswami Tulsidas.
A plaque honoring Father Bulcke was unveiled in September 2020 at his birthplace in Belgium. Raaj Sah, Professor at the University of Chicago, gifted this plaque in gratitude for Father Bulcke’s mentorship.