Vidyasagar’s Bangalar Itihas: a Reflection on his Thoughts and Times

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Sayantani Maitra

Research Scholar (Ph. D)
Department of History
Jadavpur University
Kolkata,West Bengal

Abstract:The second half of eighteenth century Bengal Presidency witnessed an armed resistance
against the British Raj. The warlike activities of these militant peripatetic armed monks is popularly known as Sannyasi- Faqir Rebellion, though distinct in their activities, but ran separately. It was a confused and turbulent period in the history of Colonial India, when the British had not struck roots deep in the Indian soil and the subcontinent was a battleground for the local chiefs, nawabs, zamindars, the East India Company, and other groups. This rebellion was directed against the ruling East India Company and their lackeys like the zamindars, jotedars and other property holders. It was the first formidable resistance against the British.The Indian ascetics were a strange lot, very far from the traditional ideas of a saffron- clad sadhu or one who had renounced the world for the sake of a spiritual life (monk; ascetic or mendicant). But the ascetics of our study hardly conformed to this idea. These ascetics had the owner of rent- free land, carried on trade, engaged military administration and rendered their services as mercenary soldiers. Besides, they extracted money from the people, local zamindars and also in some cases from the regional powers of Bengal and outside.

Key Words:British, Bengal, History, Intelligentsia, School Education, Text book, Vidyasagar.