Educational and Social Reforms In Bengal

Early education TimeLine

YearEvents
1781Calcutta Madarsa The aim was to spread Arabic, Persian, and Muslim Laws.
1784Asiatic Society was established to promote oriental Education. (It was founded by William Jones on 15 January 1784.)
1792Varanasi Sanskrit College was founded by Jonathan Duncan to promote Sanskrit Studies. 
1800Fort William College was founded by Lord Wellesley to help the senior British Employee to learn Indian Languages, law, cultures, and Traditions.  

Beginning of Education

YearEvents
Ward’s Writing 1803 ADAlmost every village of Bengal had Pathsala.
 Early education is performed in Pathsala, Tols, and Maktabs, and Madarsa, in Arabic, Persian, and Sanskrit Language.
 Tola and Madarsa were centres of higher education. Sashtra were studied in the Arabic and Persian Language. 
OrientalistsMembers of the orientalists were not in favour of Western Education in India. Members were Warren HastingHorace WilsonHolt Mackenzie Henry Prinsep  
AnglicistsMember of Anglicists was in favor of Western Education. Members were Charles Grant Thomas Babington MacaulayTrevelyan
Charles GrantStrongly recommended western education to Indian Society. He said Only western Education can cure the decadent and moral values of Indians.

Western education TimeLine

Year Order wiseEvents
1800Baptist Mission was founded by Marshman, Ward, and William Carey in Serampore.
1813Chartered Act, of 1813 was the beginning of western education in India. Further extension of 20 years term to rule over India  
1817Founded Hindu College (20 Jan 1817) Founder of Hindu CollegeRaja Rammohan Roy David HareSir Edward Hyde EastRaja Radhakanta DebBaidyanath Mukhopadhya Rani Rashmoni Rasamay Dutt
1817Founded School Book Society with the aim of writing and Publishing school-level textbook for Indian students. (4 Jul 1817)
1818School Society Objective was set up schools across Kolkata. On 1 September 1818 David Hare Found Hare School.
1822Anglo-Hindu school founded by Raja Ram Mohan Roy
1823The General Committee of Public Instructions. British Government spends ‘a Sum of not less than one lack of rupees in each year’ for the spread of English Education.
1828Raja Ram Mohan Roy founded Brahmo Samaj (28 Aug 1828) Pradhanacharya-1 Ram Mohan Roy Pradhanacharya-2 Dwarkanath Tagore Pradhanacharya-3 Debendranath Tagore
1829Governor-General Lord Bentinck passed Sati declared as illegal by regulation XVII.
1830Ram Mohan Roy helped Rev. Alexander Duff in establishing the General Assembly’s Institution (now Scottish Church College).
1835Founded Calcutta Medical College – (By Lord William Bentinck) – (28 Jan 1835)
1835Maculay’s presented his famous Minutes to the Governer-General. (2 Feb 1835)
1835Lord William Bentinck declared English education as the Govt. Official policy. (07 Mar 1835)
1842The ‘Council of Education was formed.
1844Lord Hardinge’s Decleraded who have command of English would be given priority in government jobs.
1848Bethune Joined Law member of the Governor General council. 
1849Hindu Female School (Now, Bethune Scool) was established by Drinkwater Bethune (started with 21 female students) School near Hedua Pond (Now, Azad Hind Bagh in North Calcutta) (7 May 1849)
1854Charles wood published Wood’s Dispatch known as ‘Magna Carta’. To spread the English language. (19 July 1854) The Modern Education System of India is based on wood’s Dispatch. He divided the education system into 5 Groups Primary Secondary College GraduationPost-Graduation In wake of college education – Presidency college in Calcutta, Bombay, and Delhi.
1855Vidyasagar Published pamphlet on issue of Hindu Widow remarriage. 
1856Hindu Widow Remarriage legalised act XV. (Lord Dalhousie) – (26 Jan 1885)
1857Foundation of University of Calcutta (24 Jan 1857)
1857The first chancellor – Governor-General Lord Canning Vice-chancellor – Sir William Colvile (Chief Justice of the Supreme Court)
1858Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay and Joddu Nath Bose became the first graduates of the university.
1882Dr. Kadambini Ganguly and Chandramukhi Basu were the first Indian female graduates of the university.

Ram Mohan Roy

  • Ram Mohan Roy was born in Radhanagar, Hooghly District, Bengal Presidency.
  • He was given the title of Raja by Akbar II, the Mughal emperor.
  • Raja Ram Mohan Roy was the ‘first modern man of India.
  • He realized that traditional Indian learning is not sufficient for Scientific outlooks for Indians.
  • He set up English School (Now, Anglo Hindu School) in Shuripara, near Hedua.  
  • He worked for the introduction of English Education in India. 
  • He wrote a letter to the British government addressed to Lord Amherst to introduced scientific education and western education in India.   
  • He wrote a book named ‘Bengalee Grammar in the English Language’.
  • He was known for his efforts to abolish the practices of ‘Sati’ and child marriage.
  • Raja Ram Mohan Roy founded Brahmo Samaj (28 Aug 1828)
  • Known as the “Father of the Bengal Renaissance”.
  • He founded the general assembly’s Institution in Calcutta.
  • Prof. P. Spear the British historian called Ram Mohan Roy “The Founder of Modern India”.

Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar

  • He is considered the “father of Bengali prose”.
  • Vidyasagar was Sanskrit Scholar.
  • Vidyasagar plays important role in the spread of Women’s education in Bengal.
  • He was the most prominent campaigner for Hindu widow remarriage
  • He believed that the regeneration of India is possible only through the indifference to women’s education.
  • He started a few schools to promote female education in India.
  • Also, he help Bethune to establish in Hindu Female School in 1849. 

Debendranath Tagore

  • Debendranath Tagore was the son of Prince Dwarkanath Tagore friend of Ram Mohan Roy. He joined the Brahmo Samaj
  • Debendranath Tagore showed great initiative in spreading the ideals of the Brahmo Samaj in different places.
  • He founded the ‘Tattvvabodhini Sabha’ (1839 AD) and the ‘Tattwabodhini Patrika’ (1843 AD) and they enriched the educational, social, and cultural aspects of Bengal’s life.
  • During his tenure, the Samaj works against child marriage, polygamy, and other social ills and worked at length on spreading education and introducing widow remarriage.

Keshab Chandra Sen

  1. Keshabchandra Sen joined the Brahmo Samaj in 1858 AD.
  2. He and his followers were not in favour of Samaj so, they founded the ‘Bharat Barshiya Brahmo Samaj’ in 1866 AD.
  3. Keshabchandra Sen, Samaj worked extensively in favour of
    1. widow remarriage
    1. women’s education
    1. inter-caste marriages
    1. setting up night schools
    1. spread of education

opposed

  • child marriage
    • drinking alcohol
  • At the initiative of the Brahmo Samaj, the government passed the famous ‘Native Marriage Act’ which annulled child marriage and polygamy and legalized widow remarriage and inter-caste marriage.
  • Supporters of Bharat Barshiya Brahmo Samaj was
    • Shibnath Shastri
    • Anandamohan Basu,
    • Ramkumar Vidyaratna
    • Dwarakanath Gangopadhyay
    • Shashipada Bandyopadhyay.
  • Above persons have formed the ‘Sadharan Brahmo Samaj’ on 15 May 1878 AD.

David Hare

  • David Hare was a watch-maker from Scotland.
  • He arrived in Calcutta in 1800 AD and setup set up a successful watch-making business.
  • Since 1816 AD, he dedicated himself to the spread of English education in the country.
  • David Hare played a prominent role in foundation in Hindu College
  • He was a member of the institution’s management committee of Hindu College.
  • Hare believed in rationalism, liberal thinking and secularism, and his primary goal was to nurture all-round development in people.
  • He was the only one who supports Derozio, over allegations of misleading students, and declared that Derozio was a most capable teacher.
  • Hare led the founding of the ‘School Book Society’ in 1817 AD to fulfil the shortage of text book in schools.
  • He donated Rs.100 every year from 1817 AD to 1842 A.D., till his death.
  • He established the ‘School Society’ in 1818 AD in order to open and develop new schools in Calcutta and across Bengal.
  • He played significance role in established Calcutta Medical College

Derozio

  • Henry Louis Vivian Derozio was a Portuguese.
  • He was 23 years old Teacher of Hindu College. Join Hindu college at the age of 17 years. 
  • He was rationalist and he refuse to accept anything without any logical reasoning.
  • He joins Hindu college as a professor in 1827 AD, and became popular among students because he was a free-thinking youth.
  • These youth students were known as Younga Bengal and their movement is known as Young Bengal Movement.
  • He encourages his students to discuss and debate freely on literature, religion, philosophy and science.
  • Derozio formed a debating society in Manictala known as ‘Academic Association’.
  • He Published Magazine ‘Parthenon’ in 1829 AD, discussed about women’s Education and Independency of Women in society.
  • Derozio died of cholera at age 22 on 26 December 1831 in Calcutta. His body was buried in South Park Street Cemetery.

Anti-Sati Movement

  1. Sati is cruel and barbaric practice of burning widow in funeral of their death husband.
  2. Muhammad-bin-Tughlaq, Akbar and Jahangir were opposed sati practice.
  3. Sikh Guru Amardas, the maratha Queen Ahalyabai, and the pesawar restrict the sati practice in their state.
  4. Government published a report in 1821 AD on Sati Practice Incidents.
  5. Lord Cornwallis, Lord Wellesley, Lord Minto and other Governor-Gornal did not support it.
  6. To abolish sati practice Raja Ram Mohan Roy paly significance role to abolished Sati Movement.
  7. In 1818 AD Atmiya Sabha published two booklets opposing the sati custom.
  8. In 1818 AD a booklet published named “Sahamaran Bishaye Prabartak O Nibartaker” strongly oppose the sati. After published booklet a few weeks later it translated into English to convince the British Government.
  9. Radhakanta Dev published a journal called ‘Samachar Chandrika’ to oppose the sati custom.

Widow Remarriage Movement

  1. Beginning of Widow Remarriage – In 1756 AD, Raja Raj Ballabh of Dhaka tried to marry his eight-year-old widowed daughter, named Abhaya. He consults many scholars over country but he failed to do this, because the king of Nadia, Krishnachandra opposed the decision.
  2. Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar was the most prominent campaigner. He petitioned the Legislative council, but there was a counter petition against the proposal with nearly four times more signatures by Radhakanta Deb and the Dharma Sabha.
  3. Ishwarchandra Gupta the popular poet rhymed “So much of hubbub, so much of loud rows As drum tom-tom the wedding of widows”. Vidyasagar respond and criticised in October 1855 by supporting widow remarriage Act. 
  4. The young Bengal Group strongly support the widow remarriage, but the Dharma Sabha oppose.
  5. The first priest of Brahmo Samaj Pt. Ramchandra Vidyabagish, came out in support of widow remarriage.
  6. Defendant Tagore ‘Tattwabodhini’ group joins the movement.
  7. In 1854 AD Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar ‘Tattwabodhini’ Patrika publish first article regarding the widow remarriage act.    
  8. First widow Kalimati Devi, the groom was Srishchandra Vidyaratna a Sanskrit Professor.
  9. 60 Widow remarried and total spent Rs. 82,000.
  10. On 4 October 1855 AD a memorandum singed by 987 people was sent in Legislative Councils with a plea remarriage of widow (the signatories were – Debendranath Tagore, Justice Dwarkanath Mitra, Akshoy Kumar Dutta, Dakshinnaranjan Mukhopadhyay, Rajnarayan Basu an others)
  11. Opposing them Radhakanta Dev send another memorandum singed by 36,763 people.
  12. Finally on 26 January 1856 AD Lard Dalhousie passed the Widow Remarriage Act.
  13. Vidyasagar noted the ‘introducing widow remarriage was noblest deed of my life.’
  14. Common people written a poem and sung

“Long live Vidyasagar, the greatest and the blessed,He appeals to the councils, and widows will wed.”

University of Calcutta

  • In 1857 AD, the Indian University Act’ was passed and three Universities were set in the three presidency cities — Calcutta, Bombay and Madras.
  • It received the Governor-General’s assent on 24 January. Hence, the foundation day of the Calcutta University is celebrated on 24 January.
  • Chancellor
    1. Governor General Lord Canning (First)
  • Vice Chancellor
    1. Sir James William Colvile – The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. (first)
    1. Ashutosh Mukherjee was the vice-chancellor for four consecutive two-year terms.
  • At the initial stage, the aims of the University were to conduct examinations for students studying in government-owned and affiliated schools and colleges and awarding certificates or degrees to successful candidates.
  • During the early days
    1. 7 government
    1. 6 missionary and
    1. 14 private colleges
    1. Total 27 in all, were under the jurisdiction of the University of Calcutta.
  • University conduct Examination in 1858 AD in which eleven students appeared and only two of them passed.
    1. Bankirnchandra Chattopadhyay
    1. Joddu Nath Bose
  • First two women graduated in 1883 AD,
    1. Kadambini Ganguly
    1. Chandramukhi Basu.
  • Set up funds for awards and prizes and organized lectures and conferences as well.
    1. Premchand Raichand, a Bombay-based industrialist, made a huge contribution and the P.R.S. or the Premchand Raichand Scholarship was instituted.
    1. Other scholarships, such as the Ishan Scholarship, the Griffith Memorial Prize, Sir Ashutosh Gold Medal and many other awards and scholarships came into being for meritorious students.
  • Sir Ashutosh Mukhopadhyay : He joined the Calcutta University as its Vice-Chancellor in 1906 AD.
    • His regime could be called the golden age in the University’s history.
    • The varsity’s library was set up at the Darbhanga Hall around this time.
    • The University Press in 1908 AD
    • The Law College in 1910 AD
    • The Science College in 1914 AD
  • Scholars of Calcutta University
    • Chandrashekhar Venkatraman
    • Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan
    • Devdas Ramkrishna Bhadarkar
    • Kimura (Japanese Scholar)
    • Siddhanta (Ceylonest Monk)

Swami Vivekananda (1863 AD-1902 AD)

Swami Vivekananda’s ideals of Religious Reforms: Navya Vedanta-Charactertics and Observations

  1. Swami Vivekananda was born on 12 January 1863 – 4 July 1902), his other was Narendranath Datta
  2. He was an Indian Hindu monk. He left home at the age of 25 and became a monk.
  3. He was a chief disciple of the 19th-century Indian mystic Ramakrishna.
  4. he was a key figure in the introduction of the Indian darsanas (teachings, practices) of Vedanta and Yoga to the Western world.
  5. His father, Vishwanath Datta, was an attorney at the Calcutta High Court.
  6. Durgacharan Datta, Narendra’s grandfather was a Sanskrit and Persian scholar.
  7. His mother, Bhubaneswari Devi, was a devout housewife.

Religious Belief

  • Swami Vivekananda was the perfect successor of Sri Ramakrishna’s ideals, reforms and accomplishments.
  • Indians, at that time, were a downtrodden, oppressed and humiliated race, overwhelmed by the foreign regime.
  • He was a symbol of profound patriotism and inculcated self-confidence in his countrymen through his exemplary life, philosophy and teachings.
  • Swami Vivekananda’s words infused a new life in his fellow-countrymen, to him, the weak and those devoid of self-confidence and faith in themselves were no less than atheists. He is a sinner who all other a sinner.
  • He was on mission of ‘Man-making religion’ for all, and goal of ‘man-making’ and character-building.
  • he founded the Ramakrishna Mission in 1897 AD, the ‘Anandamath’ of new India.
  • He came out strongly against contemporary social malpractices such as poverty, untouchability, lack of learning, slavery, caste discrimination, abuse of women, blind aping of others and religious conflicts.
  • Swamiji was instrumental in bringing back Indian’s faith in and respect for the Hindu religion and culture.
  • His triumphant address at the Parliament of World Religions in 1893 AD was emblematic of the victory of India as well as Advaita Vedanta.
  • He said that everyone and every ideology would equally contribute in building this new India the high and the low, the rich and the poor, the women and the men and, of course, the Vedantic brain and Islamic body.
  • Swamiji realized that the actual source of power lay in the masses the workers of the country.
  • The legendary monk’s words still echo in our ears: “Let New India arise out of the peasants’ cottages, grasping the plough; out of the huts of the fisherman, the cobbler, and the sweeper.
  • Let her spring from the grocer’s shop, from beside the oven of the fritter-seller. Let her emanate from the factory, from marts, and from markets. Let her emerge from groves and forests, from hills and mountains …”

Navya Vedanta

  • Swamiji’s religious philosophy, his work, ethics and ideals as well as his lifelong endeavours were founded on Vedanta and the teachings of his mentor, Sri Ramakrishna.
  •  All the messages of Swami Vivekananda are the eternal and immortal messages of Vedanta and the Upanishad.
  • The Vedanta talks about tolerance, service, progress and awakening.
  • It says – God resides in all human beings, beliefs and all means of attaining salvation.
  • Swamiji followed selfless service for all and thus worshipping the Almighty God. ‘Shiva gyane jiva seba’ (not kindness to living beings, but serving the living being as Shiva Himself).
  • Swamiji claimed that the ultimate and purest form of faith was service to mankind. He wanted to merge service into worship.
  • Ritualistic religion was not true religion, he said. The truth of religion lies in the service to all creatures and this is the core of ‘Practical Vedanta’.
  • The Ramakrishna Mission transformed this secular service to sacred service, by walking in Swamiji’s footsteps. Social service has elevated itself to ‘spiritual worship’.
  • Work is worship.

Question and Answers

What was the sati practice?

Ans – When a woman burns to death on her husband’s funeral pyre is known as Sati Practice.

Who was known as the Young Bengal group?

Ans – The Young Bengal was a group of students of Hindu college who followed their teacher Henry Louis Vivian derozio, a free thinker and rationalist.

In which year was the Atmiya Sabha Founded?

Ans – Raja Ram Mohan Roy, founded the Atmiya Sabha in 1815

Who founded the academic Association?

Ans – Henry Louis Vivian Derozio

In which year was the Sadharan Brahmo Samaj founded?

Ans – Founded on 15 May 1878 by Ananda Mohan Bose, Umesh Chandra Dutta, Sivnath Sastri

In which year was the Ramkrishan Mission founded?

Ans – 1 May 1897 by Swami Vivekananda.

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