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Ishwarchandra Vidyasagar

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Ishwarchandra Vidyasagar

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Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar CIE (Bengali: ঈশ্বর চন্দ্র বিদ্যাসাগর Ishshor Chôndro Biddashagor 26 September 1820 – 29 July 1891), born Ishwar Chandra Bandopadhyaya (Bengali: ঈশ্বর চন্দ্র বন্দ্যোপাধ্যায়, Ishshor Chôndro Bôndopaddhae), was an Indian Bengali polymath and a key figure of the Bengal Renaissance.[1][2]

Vidyasagar was a philosopher, academic, educator, writer, translator, printer, publisher, entrepreneur, reformer, and philanthropist. His efforts to simplify and modernize Bangla prose were significant. He also rationalized and simplified the Bengali alphabet and type, which had remained unchanged since Charles Wilkins and Panchanan Karmakar had cut the first wooden Bangla type fonts in 1780.[3]

He received the title "Vidyasagar" ("Ocean of learning" or "Ocean of knowledge") from the Calcutta Sanskrit College (where he graduated), due to his excellent performance in Sanskrit studies and philosophy. In Sanskrit, Vidya means knowledge or learning and Sagar means ocean or sea. This title was mainly given for his vast knowledge in all subjects which was compared to the vastness of the ocean.[4]

Contents
1 Early life
2 Teaching career
3 A compassionate reformist
4 Widow remarriages
5 Alphabet reform and Vidyasagar's other contributions
6 Meeting with Sri Ramakrishna
7 References
8 Further reading
9 External links

[edit]Early life

Iswar Chandra Vidyasagar was born at Birsingha village, in the Ghatal subdivision of Midnapore District, in 26 September 1820 A.D.[4] to a poor religious family. Actually, Birsingha is now a village in the Ghatal subdiviison of Pashchim Medinipur district, but at the time when Vidyasagar was born, this village was part of then Hooghly district. His parents were Thakurdas Bandyopadhyay and Bhagavati Devi. The childhood days of Vidyasagar were spent in abject poverty. After the completion of elementary education at the village school, his father took him to Calcutta. Ishwar Chandra was a brilliant student....