Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar Life History
Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar was a famous Indian reformist and philanthropist, born on 26 September 1820 at Birsingha village, Paschim Midnapore District in Bengal province. His father was Thakurdas Bandyopadhyay and Mother Bhagavati Devi. They belonged to an orthodox Brahmin family. At an early age of 6, his parents sent him to Calcutta to live with Bhagabat Charan’s house. He started studies by joining in a local school. Ishwar Chandra influenced a lot by staying in Bhagabat Charan’s family. Especially, Raimoni the youngest daughter of Bhagabat Charan showed a lot of motherly affection towards the boy. This made a immerced influence on Ishwar and was the cause to fight for women’s equal status with the men in Indian society in further years. According to the Hindu customs in those days he married Dinamani Devi at the age of 14. They were blessed a son named Chandra Bandyopadhyaya.
Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar Education
Since his childhood days, the boy was very intelligent in the studies. He completed his education with high marks. The colleges and local princely states awarded him with the scholarships for his eminent success in the education. He passed in Sanskrit Grammar in 1841 with disguised marks. Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar wanted to support his family due to their poor status of the family. So he joined in a Sanskrit College to teach as a part-time job. He also got eminent knowledge in Vedanta and Astronomy. He also completed Law examinations and finally joined in Fort William College as a professor to teach the Sanskrit language. There he worked five years and tried to bring the reforms in the education system in those days. Later in 1856 AD, he opened a school in Kolkata in the name of Barisha High School. He runs the school according to his views on education.
Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar as a Social Reformist
As a good educator, his thoughts were revolving around the women status in the society. Especially, the orthodox customs made him vex at the beliefs. He wanted to bring the reforms in the status of women in those days. Raimondi the youngest daughter of Bhagabat Charan had a noble character. She had been depressed about the status of Hindu widows in the society. Her thoughts made Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar to make something of the helplessness and pains of Hindu widows. As a Sanskrit professor, he questioned the Brahminical authorities about the widow status in the ancient scriptures. He also proved how the Vedic scriptures allowing the remarriage of a widow. He didn’t stop his efforts, met the British Authorities and forced them to bring the Hindu Widows’ Remarriage Act. The convinced British authorities brought the decree on July 26, 1856, about the ‘Widows Remarriage Act. 1856. Since then he searched in the society the adolescent widows and convinced the families and celebrated the marriages to the widows. Even his own son Chandra also marriage an adolescent widow in 1870.
Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar Death
He was awarded the title of ‘Vidyasagar’, from the ‘Sanskrit College’ in Calcutta. The Sanskrit word, ‘Vidya’ means knowledge and ‘Sagar’ was Ocean. So ‘Vidya Sagar’ means ‘Ocean of Knowlege’. He wrote many books on the social issues and the need of reforming the Orthodox beliefs. Anil Kumar Gain, the famous Mathematician founded ‘Vidyasagar University’ in Calcutta to honour Ishwara Chandra Vidyasagar. Ishwara Chandra Vidyasagar died at the age of 70 on 29 July 1891