Vidyasagar The Renaissance – Man

Ishwar Chandra Bandyopadhyay, the Renaissance- man is still remembered for his contributions in the society and in educational arena of Bengal. Today, he was born in Birsingha village in Hooghly district of Bengal on September 26, 1820. He is famous as “Vidyasagar”as he was an eminent intellectual and scholar of contemporary India.

Eshwar chandra Vidyasagar belonged to a Hindu Brahmin family, and was born to Thakurdas Bandyopadhyay and Bhagavati Devi. He was not privileged enough to have a gas lamp at his home and the desire to acquire knowledge made him study under the streetlights.

Through scholarships, he made a quick succession and joined Sanskrit College in Calcutta and graduated in the year 1841.

It took him 12 years to graduate from college as he was also pursuing his part-time job while studying at the same time. He had a qualification in Sanskrit Grammar, literature, dialectics, Vedanta, smriti, and astronomy.

He was also a social reformer, philosopher, philanthropist, and educationalist with a modern vision. He was a person with high morality, honest character, truthfulness, social reform, unselfishness, and liberalism.

Contributions of Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar:

He contributed to the removal of social justice, upliftment of women, allowing widow remarriage, and advocating against polygamy.

He played a major part in being appointed as the Head Pandit of Fort William College on December 29, 1841. During that time he felt the need to publish books. Because there’s available no books for learning Bengali and other subjects.

Ultimately, he started writing books for this purpose. For learning Bengali language, he wrote ” Barnaporichay ” which is ever remembered. We have read this book in our childhood. This was only book in our childhood to be read for learning Bengali alphabet, punctuation, meaning and so on.

The Pioneer Of English Education:

Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar, the Renaissance- man opened schools for girls and brought significant reforms in the education sector by bringing justice and equality for women through education.

He brought social reforms to change the orthodox Hindu society from within.

He was also a great intellectual activist of the 19th century who installed socio-religious reforms into modern history.

Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar established a number of model schools in Hooghly, Midnapore, Burdwan, and Nadia.

He introduced monthly exams instead of annual ones, supervised schools, and changed the syllabus.

He brought the study of English, Western Science, and Mathematics into the syllabus.

Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar also started the acceptance of tuition fees and admission fees and made Sunday a weekly holiday.

The revolution in the education system in Bengal was also made by him.

Books He Authored:

His works involved Betaal Panchavinsati (1847), Banglar Itihaas (1848), Jivancharita (1849), Shakuntala (1854), Mahabharata (1860), Seetar Vanavas (1860), Bhrantivilaas (1869), Oti Alpa Hoilo (1873), Aabaar Oti Alpa Hoilo (1873), Brajavilaas (1884), Ratnopariksha (1886).

Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar’s social reforms included ‘Bidhobabivah’ on the widow’s right to remarry (1855), ‘Bahubivah’ on the banning of polygamy (1871), and Balyabivah on the flaws of child marriage.


“Moder Garab Moder Asha/Aamori Bangla Bhasha”.

Bengali alphabet: Vowel sounds and consonants

Bengali language also known by its endonym Bangla Bhasha,is an Indo-Aryan language/Indic language primarily spoken by the Bengalis in South Asia,specially in the Eastern part of the Indian subcontinent. The Indo-Aryan language is a major language family native to northern India subcontinent, and presently found all across South Asia. Again, Indo-Aryan language and Indo-Iranian language is the branch of Indo-European language family.

Modern Indo – Aryan Languages :

Modern Indo-Aryan languages are descended from Sanskrit through Prakit. These Languages are Hindustani (Hindi-Urdu) about 350 million people’s mother tongue, Bengali (350million), Punjabi (120million), Marathi (112million), Gujarati (60million),Bhojpuri(55million), Odia (35million),Maithuli (35million), Sindhi (30million) and other languages, with an estimate placing the total number of speakers , nearly 900million.

Dialects of Bengali Language

Bengali language has many dialects,viz :. 1. Kamrupi dialect – 15million speakers, 2. Bangali – 300 million speakers : a. Rarhi -35m b. Barendri – 25 m c. Sundarbani – 20 m d. Jharkhandi15 million.

Official Language :

Bengali is the official and most widely spoken language of Bangladesh and second most widely spoken of the 22 scheduled Languages of India and another 40 million as second language speakers. Bengali is the fifth most spoken native language and the seventh most spoken language by total number of speakers in the World.

Bengali Diaspora :

Besides, Bangladesh, West Bengal, Tripura, Borak Valley of Assam, Andaman Nicobar Island, it’s spoken by the significant global Bengali diaspora (Bangladeshi Diaspora and Indian Bengalis) communities in Pakistan, the United Kingdom, the United States, and the middle East.

One Thousand Years Of Bengali Language & Literature:

Bengali language has been developed over the course of more than 1000 years. Charyapad and some other punthi (manuscript) of this time has been discovered by the researchers. It’s written in tenth to twelve century. Thirteenth century to fourteenth century was totally baren due to socio- political anarchism. So we don’t have any literature. Srikrishna kirtan Kavya of Boru Chandidas was the only Kavya in the first half of mediaeval period . It was written in fifteenth century. After the religious and social change made by Sri Chaitanya , We got a lot of Bengali literature like Vaishnava literature, Chatanya Jibani and so on.

Origin & Development of Bengali Language & Literature

Along with other Eastern Indo-Aryan languages, Bengali evolved circa 1000- 1200 CE from Sanskrit and Magadhi Prakit . The local Apabhransa of the Eastern subcontinent, Purbi – Apabhransa or Abahatta, eventually evolved into regional dialects, which in turn formed three groups of the Bengali – Assmese languages, the Bihari languages and Odia languages.

Renaissance And Modern Bengali Language & Literature :

Bengali literature enriched in the second half of the nineteenth century when a renaissance took place in Bengal . Rammohan Roy, Pandit Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar , Bankimchandra Chattapadhay, Mychael Mashusudan Dutta and other Poets and Play writers composed various types of literature.

Tagore & Bengali language & Literature :

Rabindranath came to flourish the Bengali literature with his vibrant genius and still now no other writers wasn’t found in Indian literature who is paralal to him. Rabindranath composed 4 thousands poems and hundreds of songs , 2 hundreds short stories, numerous drama and novels , essays, translations , letters which are our assets of Bengali literature.

As a result , Tagore ,by his literature and multi-talented personality , overwhelmed the Eastern and Western world .

Don’t loose trust in humanity.

Rupsagare Dub Diechi Arupratan asha Kori “. – Tagore