Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar (26 September 1820– 29 July 1891) is a nineteenth-century Bengali educator, social reformer and prose. His real name is Ishwar Chandra Bandyopadhyay. He got the title Vidyasagar in his early life for his prominent scholarship in Sanskrit language and literature.
Apart from Sanskrit, he had specialized mastery in Bengali and English. Ishwar Chandra was the first to reform the Bangla script and make it consistent and unassuming. He is the first substantive form of Bengali prose. Rabindranath Tagore called him the first artist of Bengali prose.
He has Composition a number of textbooks, including Sanskrit grammar books, including popular children’s text alphabet. Many works on literature and cognitive translation translated from Sanskrit, Hindi and English into Bengali.
on the other hand, Vidyasagar was also a social reformer. His tireless effort to annihilate social curses such as widow marriage and the education of wives, polygamy and child marriage still remembered with due respect.
This ancient personality of the Renaissance of Bengal was known to the people of common in the country called ‘Daya Sagar’. The poor, the stricken and the afflicted would never return empty-handed from his door. He has done right with debt, even during his most severe financial crisis.
His reliable commitment to his parents and the thunderous character are proverbial in Bengal. Michael Madhusudan Dutt saw in him the wisdom of the aged sages, the power of the English and the heartbreak of the Bengali mother. Vidyasagar is still a remarkable figure in Bengali society.
Vidyasagar University has been set up in memory of him in West Midnapore, West Bengal. The Vidyasagar Bridge, dedicated to the capital, is one of the best architectural designs of modern architecture in Kolkata. In 2004, Vidyasagar was ranked 9th in the largest Bengali BBC poll of all time.
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The beginning of life
Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar was born on September 26, 1820, in the village of Bir Singh in present-day West Midnapore district, on September 26 (Bangla 1227, 12th Ashwin, Tuesday). Bir Singh then included in the Hooghly district of West Bengal at that time.
Ishwar Chandra’s grandfather Ramjoy Tarkabhushan was a learned and strong man. He was named Ishwar Chandra. Ishwar Chandra’s father Thakurdas Bandyopadhyay worked in Kolkata.
Living in the city with her family was past her reach. That is why the boy lived with God Bhagwati Devi and Thakuma in the village of Ishwar Chandra. His real name is Ishwar Chandra Bandyopadhyay.
At the age of four, nine months, Thakurdas boy admitted Ishwar Chandra to the village’s traditional faith school. But the conventional belief was more enjoyable in punishment than in electricity.
For this reason, Ram Jyoti established a new school in Birsingh village, an enthusiastic young man named Kalikant Chattopadhyay from the neighbouring village in the initiative of Tarkabhushan.
Ishwar Chandra joined this school when at the age of eight. In his eyes, Kalikant was the ideal teacher. At the school of Calicant, Ishwar Chandra got the traditional Bengali education. In November 1828, after completing his schooling, he came to Calcutta with his father for higher education.
Kalikant and servant Anandram Guti also came to Kolkata with them. It said that when he came to Kolkata from Medinipur on foot, he noticed the milestones on the sidewalk and he mastered them in a concise period of time. They took shelter in the famous lion family of Kolkata’s Barbazar region.
The master of this family was then Jagaddurlav Singh. On 1st June 1829, he admitted to the third class of grammar at the Calcutta Government Sanskrit College (now known as Sanskrit Collegiate School). It should be noted that this Sanskrit college established in 1824; That is, only five years before Ishwar Chandra admitted to this college.
He was nine years old. Madanmohan Tarkalankar was his classmate at this college. Vidyasagar’s autobiography exhibits that he studied in that class for a whole of three and a half years.
In 1830, while studying grammar, Ishwar Chandra also enrolled in the English class of Sanskrit College. In March 1831, he received a scholarship at the rate of five rupees a month for the achievement of the annual examination and a grammar book and eight rupees as ‘out student’.
Monthly scholarship students at Sanskrit College were called ‘Pay Student’ and other students were called ‘Out Student’. On the other hand, after joining the grammar class for three years, he began the poetry class at the age of twelve. In that era, the teacher of this class was the prominent scholar Jyogopal Tarkalankar.
As a ‘pay student’ of 1833, Ishwar Chandra received 2 rupees. In 1834, Ishwar Chandra, an English sixth grade student, received a book of 5 rupees as a reward for his achievement in the annual examination. This year, he was married to Deenamayi Devi, daughter of Shatrughan Bhattacharya, a resident of Khirpai.
In 1835, as a fifth-grade English student, he was awarded Political Reader No. 3 and English Reader No. 2. English classes were withdrawn from Sanskrit College in November this year. In the second year, at the age of fifteen, he took first place in the literary examination and entered the jewellery category.
The rhetoric is a very difficult subject. But within a year, he got his etymology in the form of ornaments, such as literary darpana, poetry, and rasgangadhara. Finished the ornament lesson in 1836.
Taking first place in the annual examination, Raghubangasam, Sahitya Darpan, Kavaprakash, Ratnabali, Malati Madhav, Uttar Ramacharit, Mudrakshaks, Vikramrobashi and Mithraktik received the award.
In May 1837, his and Madanmohan’s monthly scholarship increased to eight rupees. This year, Ishwar Chandra admitted to the memory class (the equivalent of this part is the reading of today’s Sanskrit College).
In that age, to read minds, before, Vedanta and justice were to be read. But, with the talent of Ishwara Chandra, the authorities accepted him directly into the memory class. In this examination, he also made excellent performances and passed the Hindu Law Committee examination.
Despite receiving the post of District Judge Scholar in Tripura, he refused to accept the request of his father and joined the Vedanta class. In 1938 Vedanta finished the lesson.
He took first place in this experiment and received the award of Manushahita, Prabodh Chandrodaya, octagonal science, Adopt Chandrika and Adopt Mimangsa. Ishwar Chandra also received a prize of Rs 100 for composing the best prose in Sanskrit.
In 1840-41, Ishwar Chandra studied in the justice class. In the second annual examination in this class, he was rewarded on multiple subjects. He secured first place in the judicial exam at Rs 100, Rs 100 for writing poems, Rs 8 for Devanagari handwriting and Rs 25 for the Regulation of the company in Bengal – 233 in total.
Vidyasagar used to sign Ishwar Chandra Sharma.
Awarded the title of Vidyasagar
At birth, his grandfather named his family line “Ishwar Chandra Bandyopadhyay”. On 22 April 1839, Ishwar Chandra appeared for the Hindu Law Committee examination. On the 16th of May, the certification from the Law Committee was first used in this test.
The testimonial was as follows: After studying twelve years at Sanskrit College, he received another certificate from this college. In this Sanskrit testimonial written in the Devanagari text received in December 1841, the college professors called Ishwar Chandra as ‘Vidyasagar’.