TRANSFORMING BENGAL: A TRIBUTE TO ISWAR CHANDRA VIDYASAGAR FOR HIS ROLE IN SPREADING EDUCATION AMONG THE MASSES

Avishek Chaudhury

Abstract


In this post-modern world human beings are viewed as potential resources and the prosperity of a nation largely depends upon its literate people. Education is thus regarded as compulsory for an all-round development of a country. Indeed, it is integrally linked with the development process. But the scenario was altogether different during the 19th century in Bengal. The people of present generation can’t even imagine the then socio-cultural milieu. It was a sorry sight. There was no such conception of universal education. And if any such system was prevailing there its access was only confined to the affluent class. The laymen, devoid of education, were dictated and controlled by religious orthodoxy, social rites and prejudices, different customs and degrading superstitions. Vidyasagar was well aware about this virtual wasteland. He realised that only true education can break the inertia of the society. In other words he regarded education an instrument of social change. It was his firm conviction that true education would empower individuals and communities by generating an awareness of one’s own potentialities and inner strength thus enabling people to combat oppression, exclusion and discrimination. This study attempts to point out the crucial role played by Vidyasagar in spreading education among the masses during the 19th century.

Keywords


Mass Education, Bengal Renaissance, Empowerment, Vernacular Education etc.

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References


Hatcher, Brian A. Idioms of Improvement : Vidyasagar and Cultural Encounter in Bengal. Reprint Ed. New Delhi : Oxford University Press, 2001.

Samanta, Amio. Prasanga Vidyasagar. Kolkata : Orient Book Company, 1994.


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