REMEMBRANCE : A TRIBUTE TO ISWAR CHANDRA VIDYASAGAR FOR HIS ACHIEVEMENTS AND INNOVATIONS IN THE FIELD OF EDUCATION DURING THE 19TH CENTURY IN BENGAL

Avishek Chaudhury

Abstract


The world today we live in is a world of material ease and comfort, of luxury and abundance. And in such a society education plays a vital role in achieving the country’s vision of attaining the status of a fully developed nation in terms of economic development, social justice, spiritual, moral and ethical strength towards creating a society that is united democratic, liberal and dynamic. But the scenario was altogether different in the eighteenth century Bengal. Education was then not considered as compulsory and there was no concept of universal education or state-sponsored education. People were then naive and ignorant but this ignorance was not a bliss for them. Being devoid of education they were then controlled and dictated by religious orthodoxy and tyranny, various rituals, customs and degrading superstitions. Casteism, untouchability were very much in practice. And in such an ando-centric society the condition of women was pathetic. It was indeed a beggars description. They were not regarded as human beings. Being born as a girl was regarded a curse. Polygamy, child marriage, kulinism and the abominable rite of sati i.e. the barbaric practice of burning Hindu widows made the life of the women ‘hell’. Society was in this time in a state of stupor. It was this time when the waves of  Eurocentric enlightenment reached the contours of Indian soil. There were a few men who tried to go beyond the decadent tradition of Bengal. Vidyasagar was one of them. The present study intends to discuss the achievements and innovations of Vidyasagar in the field of education during the 19th century in Bengal.


Keywords


Dissemination of Knowledge, Mass Education, Gender Inequality, Assimilation & Integration.

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