Chotoder Vidyasagar


  • Type: Book
  • Genre: Biography
  • Author: Sunirmal Basu
  • Book Edition: Paperback
  • Language: Bengali

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Biography of Iswarchandra Vidyasagar

Iswarchandra Vidyasagar (1820-1891) was a renowned Indian scholar, educator, social reformer, and philanthropist who worked towards improving the social conditions and status of women in colonial India.

Born in Birsingha village in the Midnapore district of West Bengal, Vidyasagar faced many hardships in his early life. However, he was an excellent student and became proficient in Sanskrit, Bengali, English, and mathematics. In 1839, he was appointed as an assistant teacher at the Fort William College in Calcutta (now Kolkata). Later, he joined Sanskrit College as a head clerk.

In 1846, Vidyasagar became the principal of Sanskrit College, and during his tenure, he introduced several reforms, including the inclusion of English and Bengali as subjects, and allowing lower-caste students to enroll. He also wrote many textbooks on various subjects, which were widely used in schools across Bengal.

Vidyasagar was deeply concerned about the state of women in India and was a strong advocate of women’s education and empowerment. He established several schools for girls and worked to improve their social status. He also played a key role in passing the Hindu Widow Remarriage Act of 1856, which allowed widows to remarry, and the Age of Consent Act of 1891, which raised the age of consent for marriage from 10 to 12 years.

Apart from his work in education and social reform, Vidyasagar was also a prolific writer and translated many important texts from Sanskrit to Bengali. He also wrote extensively on various social issues and advocated for the rights of marginalized communities.

Vidyasagar’s contributions to Indian society were recognized during his lifetime, and he was awarded the title of “Vidyasagar,” which means “ocean of knowledge.” His legacy continues to inspire generations of Indians, and he remains a revered figure in Indian history.