Monday, November 30, 2009


  1. Raja Ram Mohan Roy was a founder (with Dwarkanath Tagore and other Bengali Brahmins) of the Brahma Sabha in 1828 which engendered the Brahmo Samaj, an influential Indian socio-religious reform movement. His influence was apparent in the fields of politics, public administration and education as well as religion. He is best known for his efforts to abolish the practice of sati, the Hindu funeral practice in which the widow was compelled to sacrifice herself on her husband’s funeral pyre. It was he who first introduced the word "Hinduism" into the English language in 1816. For his diverse contributions to society, Raja Ram Mohan Roy is regarded as one of the most important figures in the Bengal Renaissance. His efforts to protect Hinduism and Indian rights by participating in British government earned him the title “The Father of the Bengal Renaissance” or “The Father of the Indian Nation.”
  2. Dwarkanath Tagore (1794-1846), was one of the earliest entrepreneurs from India, and founder of the Jorasanko branch of the Tagore family, and is notable for making substantial contributions to the Bengal Renaissance.
  3. Debendranath Tagore (Debendronath Ţhakur) was the founder in 1848 of the Brahmo Religion which today is synonymous with Brahmoism the youngest religion of India and Bangladesh.
  4. Satyendranath Tagore was the first Indian to join the Indian Civil Service. He was an author, song composer, linguist and made significant contribution towards the emancipation of women in Indian society during the British Raj.
  5. Rabindranath Tagore  sobriquet Gurudev was a Bengali polymath. As a poet, novelist, musician, and playwright, he reshaped Bengali literature and music in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. As author of Gitanjali and its "profoundly sensitive, fresh and beautiful verse", he won the 1913 Nobel Prize in Literature
  6. Tagore penned the anthems of Bangladesh and India: Amar Shonar Bangla and Jana Gana Mana.
  7. Michael Madhusudan Dutt (Datta), born Madhusudan Dutt, is a famous 19th century Bengali poet and dramatist.  He was a pioneer of Bengali drama. His famous work Meghnadh Badh Kabya (Bengali: মেঘনাদবধ কাব্য), is a tragic epic. It consists of nine cantos and is quite exceptional in Bengali literature both in terms of style and content. He also wrote poems about the sorrows and afflictions of love as spoken by women.
  8. Bankim Chandra Chatterjee was a Bengali poet, novelist, essayist and journalist, most famous as the author of Vande Mataram or Bande Mataram, that inspired the freedom fighters of India, and was later declared the National Song of India.Kapalkundala (1866) is Chatterjee's first major publication.
  9. Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar , was a Bengali polymath and a key figure of the Bengal RenaissanceVidyasagar reconstructed the Bengali alphabet and reformed Bengali typography into an alphabet (actually abugida) of twelve vowels and forty consonants.
    Vidyasagar contributed significantly to Bengali and Sanskrit literature.
  10. Vidyasagar was one of the first persons in India to realize that modern science was the key to India's future. He translated into Bengali the English biographies of some outstanding scientists like Copernicus, Newton, and Herschel. He sought to inculcate a spirit of scientific inquiry into young Bengalis. A staunch anti-Berkeleyan, he emphasized the importance of studying European Empiricist philosophy (of Francis Bacon) and the inductive logic of John Stuart Mill.

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