On 29 July 1891 popular social reformer, writer, philosopher, educator and translator, Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar passed away in Calcutta (now Kolkata) at the age of 70. In this edition of This Day in History, one can quickly learn the life and important contributions of Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar.
Aspirants would find this article very helpful while preparing for the IAS Exam.
|Aspirants taking history as an optional subject in the UPSC mains can refer to the UPSC History Syllabus to understand the type of questions that will be asked from this subject!!
To complement your preparation for the upcoming exam, check the following links:
Biography of Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar
Ishwar Chandra Bandyopadhyay was born in a Bengali Hindu Brahmin family to Thakurdas Bandyopadhyay and Bhagavati Devi at Birsingha village in Hooghly district.
His family was of modest means and hence could not afford the amenities that would allow him to continue his education in a feasible manner. For example, they could not afford a gas lamp at home, but so intense was the quest for knowledge that Ishwar Chandra studied under the street light. Despite his hardships, he excelled in all of his examinations in quick succession, being awarded a number of scholarships as a result. He took admission in Sanskrit College, Calcutta and graduated in 1841, 12 years after joining.
It took him a long to graduate because he was working part-time to support himself and his family, while managing his studies at the same time. He qualified in Sanskrit Grammar, Literature, Dialectics, Vedanta, Smriti and Astronomy. As was the custom then Ishwar Chandra married at the age of fourteen. His wife was Dinamayee Devi. Narayan Chandra Bandyopadhyaya was their only son.
Birth of Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar Notes:- Download PDF Here
Work of Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar
- Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar worked tirelessly for social emancipation and as a social reformer, he is remembered for his contribution towards the removal of social injustice, upliftment of women, allowing widow remarriage and advocating against polygamy.
- Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar was a far-sighted social reformer, philosopher, philanthropist, and educationalist with a modern vision. Throughout his long life, he stood for morality, honest character, truthfulness, social reforms, unselfishness, and liberalism.
- During the period from 1829 to 1841, Ishwar Chandra studied Vedanta, Vyakaran, Literature, Rhetoric’s, Smriti and Ethics in Sanskrit College. And in 1839 the title ‘Vidyasagar’ was conferred on him for his unusual talent.
- He was appointed as the Head Pandit of the Fort William College on 29th December 1841. Soon he learnt English and Hindi.
- Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar, along with many other active reformers, opened schools for girls. This was because, for him, educational reform was more important than any other reform. He believed that the status of women and all kinds of injustice and inequalities that they face could be changed only through education.
- Vidyasagar worked to uplift the status of women in India, especially in his native Bengal. He was a social reformer and wanted to change the orthodox Hindu society from within. Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar introduced the practice of widow remarriage and worked against polygamy.
Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar UPSC Notes:- Download PDF Here
See previous ‘This Day in History’ here.
Aspirants can find more UPSC related preparation materials through the links given below. Candidates can find out more about the general exam pattern, by visiting the UPSC Syllabus page.