Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar: The Powerful Voice Against Women Oppression

Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar birth anniversary is observed on September 26 every year. Bengal is celebrating 'Vidyasagar week' to commemorate this day in honour of the great polymath.

Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar: The Powerful Voice Against Women Oppression

Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar was a 19th century reformer from Bengal.

New Delhi:

Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar is the 19th century polymath reformer from Bengal who became a powerful voice against women oppression in the state and also propagated widow remarriage. He is a revered figure in Bengal as he also played an important role in modernising and simplifying the Bengali alphabet by creating "Barnaparichay". Today is Ishawar Chandra Vidyasagar's birth anniversary. To celebrate this day, Bengal is observing "Vidyasagar week". For this, essay competition, cultural functions, exhibition and seminars on Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar are being organised in schools.

Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee paid respect to the great polymath.

"Homage to the great educationist, social reformer, and the creator of 'Barnaparichay', Iswar Chandra Vidyasagar, on his birth anniversary. From education of women to institutionalising widow remarriage - he has left an indelible mark in society,"  she tweeted.

Born as Ishwarchandra Bandyopadhyay in 1820, he earned the title "vidyasagar" -- the "ocean of knowledge" after he translated a number of the William Shakespeare's dramas into Bengali. He also translated a number of Sanskrit classics. By simplifying Bengali typography, he made the language more accessible to the common man.

Growing up, he became a powerful voice against oppression faced by women in 19th century Bengal.

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Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar not only opened a school for women and was instrumental in bringing the Hindu Widows' Remarriage Act in 1856.

Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar was at the forefront of Bengali Renaissance along with social reformer Ram Mohan Roy. He helped shape modern Bengali, and in an extension, the Indian society. He also modified the rules of getting admission in Sanskrit college to allow non-Brahmin students there.