Saturday 25 May 2019
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business-standard - 9 days ago

Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar - social reformer at centre of a modern-day political battle

A prominent figure in West Bengal, Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar has come under the spotlight after a statue of him was vandalised on Tuesday night during violence at BJP president Amit Shah s roadshow in Kolkata.Vidyasagar, who has brought great reforms in the Indian society, is often touted as a man who was ahead of his time. Mostly recalled for his contribution in introducing concepts of widow-remarriage in the traditional society, he is referred to as a philosopher, writer, reformer, printer and philanthropist.He was most influential in campaigning for widow-remarriage and fought against many traditionalists to get an act passed in its favour. He invoked scriptures, did print campaigns and engaged in debates to get his point across.It was with his continuous efforts that the Widow Remarriage Act was passed in July 1856 and the first such documented marriage also took place in Kolkata. Vidyasagar was also instrumental in spreading awareness against the practice of polygamy prevalent in


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