Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar left an indelible mark in society, tweets Mamata Banerjee | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar left an indelible mark in society, tweets Mamata Banerjee

Hindustan Times, New Delhi | By
Sep 26, 2019 10:21 AM IST

Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar, an educator and a social reformer, is one of the tallest figures of the Bengal Renaissance who started women’s education in mid-19th century.

The 200th birth anniversary of social reformer Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar will be celebrated across Bengal as “Vidyasagar Week”, chief minister Banerjee tweeted on Thursday morning.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee garlands the statue of Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar at Hare school ground in Kolkata on July 11(ANI)
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee garlands the statue of Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar at Hare school ground in Kolkata on July 11(ANI)

“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.

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Vidyasagar, an educator and a social reformer, is one of the tallest figures of the Bengal Renaissance who started women’s education in mid-19th century.

Mamata Banerjee had visited Birsingha, Vidyasagar’s native village, on Tuesday. She garlanded a statue of the Bengali icon and visited a museum dedicated to him.

Ahead of the Lok Sabha elections in May, a bust of Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar was destroyed and a college named after him ransacked in Kolkata. The clashes that took place around the time BJP president Amit Shah was holding a roadshow in Kolkata. Both the BJP and the Trinamool had blamed each other for the violence.

Banerjee did unveil a new statue of Vidyasagar in June and targeted the BJP saying that “Bengal is not a toy to play with it.” The Trinamool chief is seen as opting for Bengali identity politics to fight a surging BJP in Bengal which goes to polls in two years. The BJP had made massive inroads in the parliamentary polls winning 18 of the 42 seats, up from 2 in 2014.

Though the BJP candidates failed to win a single of the nine constituencies that went to polls on May19, four days after Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar’s bust was damaged. All the 18 seats BJP won were won in the 33 constituencies, elections to which were held in six phases between April 11 and May 12.

Vidyasagar holds an important place in the Bengali psyche and BJP leaders admitted in private that the incident stood between them and victory in at least three constituencies.

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