The Protesting Voices of Iswar Chandra Vidyasagar with special reference to Polygamy
Department of History
Abstract: Iswar Chandra Bandhyopadhyaya (1820 –1891) was popularly known as ‘Vidyasagar’. He was pioneer of Renaissance in Bengal as well as India. Vidyasagar had set on an agitation of social reform namely the prevention of the practice of polygamy among the Hindus, particularly the Kulin Brahmanas of Bengal. But before initiative of Vidyasagar, public opinion against polygamy was attempted through the discussion of newspapers. The ‘Vidyadarshan’ magazine tried this. For polygamy, the main reason for the financial plight of the Kulin Brahmins of Bengal was due to their moving away from direct production. Polygamy was not scriptural approval. Maharaja Dasratha (Rama’s father) had many wives. Vidyasagar has said that Dasaratha married so many wives for the procreation of a male issue and that what he did was therefore, not uncanonical. Polygamy movement was not confined to Kolkata. This movement spread many places of East Bengal.
Key Words:Iswar Chandra Vidyasagar, Kulin Brahmana, Polygamy, King Adisura