Renaissance in Bengal was a glorious awakening. Bengal Renaissance was a cultural, social, intellectual and artistic movement in Bengal . It evolved interaction between certain sympathetic British officials and missionaries on one hand and the Hindu intelligentsia on the other. In its early years, the movement adopted the virtues of Western education and liberalism. It was largely confined to the Hindu community. However, the representatives of the British in India were mainly responsible for positive aspects of modernization. They consisted a group of ” acculturated” civil, military, judicial officials and missionaries who were identified as Orientalists. They were neither nationalists nor imperialists, rather they were sensitive and sensible humans who were shaped by the eighteenth century world of rationalism, classicism and enlightenment.
Contribution of William Carey
THE ORIENTALIST WHO CONTRIBUTED HUGELY TO BENGAL RENAISSANCE was William Carey . In other words was one of the biggest contributors to Bengal Renaissance. Bengalis refer to the contribution of William Carey as ” Nabo Jagoron“. He came to British India as a missionary in 1793. Started to know the people of India, their religions, social and economic conditions. He loved, lived and worked with people in Bengal till his death. During his long stay of 41years in Bengal, he worked relentlessly for the spread of modern education. He not only translated Bible into many languages but also translated Indian classics into Bengali and contributed substantially to the development of Bengali prose. That apart, he worked tirelessly to reform many social ills and thus transformed the lives of millions. He was indeed a reformer par excellence. No wonder, Tagore called Carey, ” The father of modern Bengal “.
As quoted by the eminent historian Sir Jadunath Sarkar ” The greatest gift of English to India is….the Renaissance, which marked our 19th century “. Above all Modern India owes everything to it. Calcutta being the capital of imperial India, many of the prominent intellectual figures associated with Bengal Renaissance come from this city. Therefore Known as the “Father of Modern India” being the foremost is Raja Ram Mohan Roy. He was an outstanding progenitor who imbibed oriental contribution as effectively as he did literary and linguistic modernization. As an advocate of Renaissance and modernity, it was not merely religious reforms which he advocated but social reform as well.
Contribution by the Indians towards Bengal Renaissance,included Leaders including Rabindranath Tagore. During this period and had a particular interest in educational reform. In addition to the one mentioned above Contribution of legends like Abanindra Nath Tagore, Gaganendra Nath, Jyotirindra Nath, Jnanada Nandini Devi is remarkable .
Iswar Chandra Vidyasagar and Others
Iswar Chandra Vidyasagar was another was another towering cultural icon and one of the greatest proponents of Bengal Renaissance. Above all He constructed the modern bengali alphabet and initiated path breaking social reforms in the society.
In addition to the few above , some other prominent names include Swami Vivekananda, Michael Madhusudan Dutta, Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay, Akshay Kumar Dutta, Dinabandhu Mitra and others. You should know the contribution of Bengali scientists like Satyendra Nath Bose, Prafulla Chandra Roy, Meghnad Saha, Jagadish Chandra Bose who advanced science In addition to social, cultural and literary aspect.
However Under the impact of British rule the Bengali intellectual learned to raise questions about life and beliefs. In other words The Bengal Renaissance led to the proliferation of modern Bengali literature, fervent and diverse intellectual enquiry and ultimately fostered an engagement with rationalism and nationalism and alternately questioned the foreign subjugation of the country. In addition the Bengal Renaissance can be interpreted as a cultural symbiosis between the East and the West. Henceforth, Renaissance in Bengal became a period glorious awakening.