Topic: The Freedom Struggle – its various stages and important contributors /contributions from different parts of the country.
1) Discuss the contributions of Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar to the social reform movements with a special emphasis on the contributions made by him through literature.(250 words)
Why this question:
The question is in the light of recent incident in Bengal where in his statue was vandalized in Kolkata during a clash between Trinamool Congress and Bharatiya Janata Party cadres.
Key demands of the question:
The answer must briefly discuss the contributions of Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar in the social reform movements through his literary contributions.
Discuss – This is an all-encompassing directive – you have to debate on paper by going through the details of the issues concerned by examining each one of them. You have to give reasons for both for and against arguments.
Structure of the answer:
In a few introductory lines explain how he was a proponent of “do your work yourself”, Vidyasagar is considered a legend ahead of his times—someone who could challenge the staunch Hindu patriarchy to bring in modern reforms.
The body of the answer has to capture the following aspects:
- Brief about Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar – Born in 1820 in Midnapur as Iswar Chandra Bandopadhyay, he received the title Vidyasagar for his outstanding academic performance when he graduated from Sanskrit College.
- Literary contributions – Vidyasagar’s Barna Parichay (an introduction to the Bengali alphabet) is still the first book a Bengali child is handed more than 160 years after it was written, His contribution to the alphabet, translation of several Sanskrit books, including Kalidas’s Shakuntala, has helped Bengali literature, Vidyasagar wrote two volumes on the mistreatment of widows, which set the tone for major social reform in the state etc.
- Discuss then his contributions as a social reformer – took on conservative power centers of the Hindu society to force through reforms that would allow widow remarriage, women’s education and the rights of lower caste Hindus to study Sanskrit, challenged the widespread practice of child marriage, He challenged the staunch Hindu patriarchy to bring in modern reforms etc.
Conclude that he was an important He was an educationist, a reformer and a pundit of grammar in the history of India.