Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar Life History
Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar was a famous Indian reformist and philanthropist, born on September 26, 1820, at Birsingha village, Paschim Midnapore District in Bengal province. His father was Thakurdas Bandyopadhyay, and his Mother was Bhagavati Devi. They belonged to an orthodox Brahmin family. At 6, his parents sent him to Calcutta to live at Bhagabat Charan’s house. He started his studies by joining a local school. Ishwar Chandra was 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 had an immersed influence on Ishwar and was the cause of fighting for women’s equal status with men in Indian society over further years. According to the Hindu customs in those days, he married Dinamani Devi at 14. They have blessed a son named Chandra Bandyopadhyaya.
Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar Education
Since his childhood, the boy has been brilliant in his studies. He completed his education with high marks. The colleges and local princely states awarded him scholarships for his outstanding success in education. He passed in Sanskrit Grammar in 1841 with disguised marks. Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar wanted to support his family due to the poor status of the family. So he joined a Sanskrit College to teach as a part-time job. He also got superior knowledge in Vedanta and Astronomy. He also completed Law examinations and finally joined Fort William College as a professor to teach the Sanskrit language. There he worked for five years and tried to bring reforms to 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 revolved around women’s status in society. Especially the orthodox customs made him vexed by the beliefs. He wanted to bring reforms to the level 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 society. Her thoughts made Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar make something of the helplessness and pains of Hindu widows. As a Sanskrit professor, he questioned the Brahminical authorities about the widow’s status in the ancient scriptures. He also proved how the Vedic scriptures allow the remarriage of a widow. He didn’t stop his efforts; he met the British Authorities and forced them to bring the Hindu Widows’ Remarriage Act. The convinced British authorities obtained the decree on July 26, 1856, about the ‘Widows Remarriage Act. 1856. Since then, he searched for adolescent widows in society, convinced the families, and celebrated marriages with the widows. Even his son Chandra also married an adolescent widow in 1870.
Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar Death
He was awarded the ‘Vidyasagar’ title from the ‘Sanskrit College’ in Calcutta. The Sanskrit word ‘Vidya’ means knowledge, and ‘Sagar’ is Ocean. So ‘Vidya Sagar’ means ‘Ocean of Knowledge’. He wrote many books on social issues and the need to reform 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 July 29, 1891