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Debendranath Tagore
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 2/11/20

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Image
Debendranath Tagore
Portrait of Debendranath Tagore
Born: 15 May 1817, Calcutta, Bengal, Bengal Presidency[1]
Died: 19 January 1905 (aged 87), Calcutta, Bengal, British India
Nationality: British Indian
Occupation: Religious reformer
Movement: Bengal Renaissance
Children: Dwijendranath Tagore, Satyendranath Tagore, Hemendranath Tagore, Jyotirindranath Tagore, Rabindranath Tagore, Birendranath Tagore, Somendranath Tagore, Punyendranath Tagore, Budhendranath Tagore, Soudamini Tagore, Sukumari Tagore, Saratkumari Tagore, Swarnakumari Tagore and Barnakumari Tagore.

Debendranath Tagore (15 May 1817 – 19 January 1905) was a Bengali philosopher and religious savant, active in the Brahmo Samaj ("Society of Brahman"). He was the founder in 1848 of the Brahmo religion, which today is synonymous with Brahmoism. Born in Shilaidaha, his father was the industrialist Dwarkanath Tagore.

Debendranath was a deeply religious man. His movement, the Brahmo Samaj, was formed in 1843 by merging his Tattwabodhini Sabha with the Brahmo Sabha, ten years after the death of Raja Ram Mohan Roy, founder of the Brahmo Sabha. The Brahmo Sabha had fallen away from its original aims and practices, as stated in its Trust deed of Brahmo Sabha. However, Tagore aimed to revive the importance of this deed.

Although Debendranath was deeply spiritual, he managed to continue to maintain his worldly affairs – he did not renounce his material possessions, as some Hindu traditions prescribed, but instead continued to enjoy them in a spirit of detachment. His considerable material property included estates spread over several districts of Bengal; most famously, the Santiniketan estate near Bolpur in the Birbhum district, a later acquisition, where his eldest son Dwijendranath Tagore set up his school.

Debendranath was a master of the Upanishads and played no small role in the education and cultivation of the faculties of his sons.

Family History

The original surname of the Tagores were Kushari. They were Rarhi Brahmins and originally belonged to a village named Kush in the district named Burdwan in West Bengal. Rabindra-Biographer Shri Prabhat Kumar Mukherjee wrote in page no.2 of the first volume of his book named Rabindrajibani O Rabindra Sahitya Prabeshika that, "The Kusharis were the descendants of Deen Kushari, the son of Bhatta Narayana; Deen was granted a village named Kush (in Burdwan zilla) by Maharaja Kshitisura, he became its chief and came to be known as Kushari."[2]

Thakur Bari (House of Tagores)

Debendranath Tagore was born to the Tagore family in Jorasanko, popularly known as Jorasanko Thakur Bari in North-western Kolkata, which was later converted into a campus of the Rabindra Bharati University. The Tagore family, with over three hundred years of history,[3] has been one of the leading families of Calcutta, and is regarded as a key influence during the Bengal Renaissance.[3] The family has produced several persons who have contributed substantially in the fields of business, social and religious reformation, literature, art and music.[3][4]

Children

Debendranath married Sarada Devi (died 1875) and they together had 15 children.[5] They included:

Dwijendranath (1840–1926) was an accomplished scholar, poet and music composer. He initiated shorthand and musical notations in Bengali. He wrote extensively and translated Kalidasa's Meghdoot into Bengali.

Satyendranath (1842–1923) was the first Indian to join the Indian Civil Service. At the same time he was a scholar.

Hemendranath (1844–1884) was the scientist and organiser of the family. He was a spiritual seer and Yogi and he was responsible for development of modern Brahmoism which is now the Adi Dharm religion. He was a "doer" of his Tagore generation and worthy successor to his grandfather Dwarkanath and father. He sided with his "conservative" siblings Dwijendranath and Birendranath in the family disputes against "modern" Satyendranath, Jyotindranath and Rabindranath.

Jyotirindranath (1849–1925) was a scholar, artist, music composer and theatre personality.

Rabindranath (1861–1941) was his youngest son. A Nobel laureate in Literature, his poems have been adopted as national anthems of India and Bangladesh. Rabindranath founded the Vishwabharathi University in the Shantiniketan Estate acquired by his father.

His other sons were Birendranath (1845–1915), Punyendranath, Budhendranath and Somendranath.

His daughters were Soudamini, Sukumari, Saratkumari, Swarnakumari (1855–1932) and Barnakumari. Soudamini was one of the first students of Bethune School and a gifted writer. Swarnakumari was a gifted writer, editor, song-composer and social worker. All of them were famous for their beauty and education. His part in creating the legacy of Thakurbari – the House of Tagore – in the cultural heritage of Bengal, centred in Kolkata, was not negligible. It was largely through the influence of the Tagore family, following that of the writer Bankim Chandra Chatterjee, that Bengal took a leading role on the cultural front as well as on the nationalistic one, in the Renaissance in India during the nineteenth century.

Religion

As son of Dwarkanath Tagore, a close friend of Ram Mohan Roy, Debendranath came early into the influence of Brahmoism through the Brahmo Sabha, a reformist movement in Hinduism formulating as Adi Dharma (Original Dharma) what it considered as the original pristine principles of Hinduism corrupted over time.

Image
Upasana Griha, Prayer Hall, built by Debendranath Tagore in 1863, Santiniketan.

But even earlier, deeply affected in childhood by the death of his grandmother to whom he was greatly attached, Debendranath was drawn to religion and began contemplating the meaning and nature of life. He commenced a deep study of religious literature, particularly the Upanishads. In 1839, with tutelage from Pandit Ram Chandra Vidyabageesh, a leader of the Brahmo Sabha, he formed his own active Tattwabodhini Sabha (Truthseekers' Association) to spread his new experiences and knowledge.

In 1843, Debendranath started the Tattwabodhini Patrika as mouthpiece of the Tattwabodhini Sabha. In the same year, he revived the Brahma Sabha, fallen in vigour and following since the death of Ram Mohan Roy in 1833. The Brahmo Sabha was formally absorbed into the Tattwabodhini Sabha and renamed as Calcutta Brahma Samaj. The day Pous 7 of the Bengali calendar is commemorated as the foundation day of the Samaj. The Patrika became the organ of the Samaj and continued publication till 1883.

In 1848, Debendranath codified the Adi Dharma Doctrine as Brahmo Dharma Beej (Seed of the Brahmo Dharma). In 1850, he published a book titled Brahmo Dharma enshrining the fundamental principles. These principles emphasise monotheism, rationality and reject scriptural infallibility, the necessity of mediation between man and God, caste distinctions and idolatry.

With the influence of Brahmoism under Debendranath spreading far and wide throughout India, he gathered reputation as a person of particular spiritual accomplishment and came to be known as Maharshi.

Tributes

Sivanath Sastri has paid glowing tributes to Debendranath Tagore in History of the Brahmo Samaj:

Maharshi Debendranath Tagore was one of the greatest religious geniuses this country ever produced. He was truly a successor of the great rishis of old. His nature was essentially spiritual. ... He was a devout follower of the Upanishadic rishis, but was no pantheist on that account. Debendranath in spite of his real sainthood never put on the grab or habits of sadhu or saint. His piety was natural, habitual and modest. He hated or shunned all display of saintliness...

He was a true and living embodiment of that teaching of the Gita where it is said: “A truly wise man is never buffeted by his trials and tribulations, does not covet pleasure, and is free from attachment, fear and anger; the same is a muni.” Maharshi Debendranath was a true muni in that respect. He calmly bore all; even the greatest griefs of life. After having done his duty, he quietly rested, regardless of consequences.

Though personally not much in favour of the idea of female emancipation, he was one of the first men in Bengal to open the door of higher education to women. Valuing conscience in himself, he valued it in all about him. Religious life was growth to him; not an intellectual assent but a spiritual influence that pervaded and permeated life; consequently, he had not much sympathy with merely reformatory proceedings.

From the west he took only two ideas: first, the idea of fidelity to God; secondly the idea of public worship; in all other things he was oriental. His idea was to plant the Samaj in India, as the Hindu mode of realising universal theism, leaving the other races to realise that universal faith according to their traditional methods.


Bibliography

Bengali


• Bangla Bhashay Sanskrita Vyakaran (1838, now lost)
• Brahmodharma (1st & 2nd parts, 1849)
• Atmatattvavidya (1852)
• Brahmodharmer Mat O Biswas (1860)
• Paschim Pradesher Durbhiksha Upashame Sahajya Sangraharthe Brahmo Samajer Baktrita (1861)
• Brahmodharmer Byakhyan, Part I (1861)
• Kalikata Brahmosamajer Baktrita (1862)
• Brahmo Bibaha Pranali (1864)
• Brahmo Samajer Panchabingshati Batsarer Parikshita Brittanta (1864)
• Brahmodharmer Anusthan-Paddhati (1865)
• Bhowanipur Brahmavidyalayer Upadesh (1865–66)
• Brahmodharmer Byakhyan, Part II (1866)
• Masik Brahmo Samajer Upadesh (A collection of eighteen lectures delivered during 1860–67)
• Brahmodharmer Byakhyan, Epilogue (1885)
• Gyan O Dharmer Unnati (1893)
• Paralok O Mukti (1895)
• Atyojivani (1898)
• Patravali (A collection of letters written during 1850–87)

English

• Vedantic Doctrines Vindicated (1845)
• Autobiography (Translated from the original Bengali work, Atmajivani, by Satyendranath Tagore, 1914)

References

1. Chaudhuri, Narayan (2010) [1973]. Maharshi Debendranath Tagore. Makers of Indian Literature (2nd ed.). New Delhi: Sahitya Akademi. p. 11. ISBN 978-81-260-3010-1.
2. "https://ia801600.us.archive.org/BookReader/BookReaderImages.php?zip=/5/items/in.ernet.dli.2015.339410/2015.339410.Rabindrajibani-O_jp2.zip&file=2015.339410.Rabindrajibani-O_jp2/2015.339410.Rabindrajibani-O_0041.jp2&scale=13.50599520383693&rotate=0"
3. Deb, Chitra, pp 64–65.
4. "The Tagores and Society". Rabindra Baharati University. Archived from the original on 26 June 2009. Retrieved 24 April 2007.
5. [1]

External links

• Works by or about Debendranath Tagore at Internet Archive
• Debendranath Tagore at Encyclopædia Britannica
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Wed Feb 12, 2020 12:59 am

Dwarkanath Tagore
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 2/11/20

NOTICE: THIS WORK MAY BE PROTECTED BY COPYRIGHT

YOU ARE REQUIRED TO READ THE COPYRIGHT NOTICE AT THIS LINK BEFORE YOU READ THE FOLLOWING WORK, THAT IS AVAILABLE SOLELY FOR PRIVATE STUDY, SCHOLARSHIP OR RESEARCH PURSUANT TO 17 U.S.C. SECTION 107 AND 108. IN THE EVENT THAT THE LIBRARY DETERMINES THAT UNLAWFUL COPYING OF THIS WORK HAS OCCURRED, THE LIBRARY HAS THE RIGHT TO BLOCK THE I.P. ADDRESS AT WHICH THE UNLAWFUL COPYING APPEARED TO HAVE OCCURRED. THANK YOU FOR RESPECTING THE RIGHTS OF COPYRIGHT OWNERS.


Image
Dwarkanath Tagore
Born: 1794, Calcutta, Bengal, British India (Now in West Bengal)
Died: 1 August 1846, London, England
Nationality: British Indian
Occupation: Entrepreneur
Parent(s): Rammoni Tagore (father) Menoka Devi (biological mother) Alokasundari Devi adopted Dwarakanath as son. Alokasundari was elder sister of Menoka Devi.

Dwarkanath Tagore (Bengali: দ্বারকানাথ ঠাকুর, Darokanath Ţhakur) (1794–1846), one of the first Indian industrialists[1] and entrepreneurs, was the founder of the Jorasanko branch of the Tagore family, and is notable for making substantial contributions to the Bengal Renaissance.

Family History

The original surname of the Tagores was Kushari. They were Rarhi Brahmins and originally belonged to a village named Kush in the district named Burdwan in West Bengal. Rabindra-Biographer Shri Prabhat Kumar Mukherjee wrote in page no.2 of the first volume of his book named "Rabindrajibani O Rabindra Sahitya Prabeshika" that, "The Kusharis were the descendants of Deen Kushari, the son of Bhatta Narayana; Deen was granted a village named Kush (in Burdwan zilla) by Maharaja Kshitisura, he became its chief and came to be known as Kushari."[2]

Childhood

Dwarakanath Tagore was a descendant of Rarhiya Brahmins of the Kushari (Sandilya gotra) division. Their ancestors were called Pirali Brahmin, as they were connected to a Brahmin family which had converted to Islam.[3][4]

He was the biological son of Rammani Tagore, son of Nilmoni Tagore, through Menoka Devi. But with the death of his mother, early in his birth, he was adopted by Rammani's brother Ramlochan Tagore and his wife Alokasundari Devi, who was incidentally the sister of Menoka Devi. Dwarakanth was the half brother of Radhanath and Ramanath Tagore, sons of Rammoni Tagore through Menoka Devi and Durga Devi respectively.

He was named so, because the Tagores were Baishnavites and Alokasundari, Devi considered him as a boon of their "kuladevata" i.e. home deity -- Radhagobinda, hence named the child as a name of Lord Krishna.

Dwarakanth's mother [aunt], Alokasundari Devi was a woman of strong personality, which greatly influenced him in his childhood.

His early education and upbringing was within the family home (Thakur Bari) by Gayanth Bhattacharya "Tarkalankar", a pandit from Agradwip. He and his half-elder brother, Radhanath also studied Arbi and Farsi under a "maulavi" at home. At age 10 in 1804, realising the importance of English education, he was admitted to Sherbourne's school on the Chitpur Road by Ramlochan Tagore. Mr. Sherbourne, a self-confessed half Brahmin (because of his Bengali Brahmin mother and English father) influenced Dwarakanath deeply with his liberal thoughts and eventually, he became one of Mr. Sherbourne's favourite pupils.

On 12 December 1807, Ramlochan died leaving all his property to his adopted son Dwarkanath, who was then a minor. This property consisted of zamindari estates governed by the complicated Regulations of Permanent Settlement introduced by Lord Cornwallis in 1792. The Zamindars were the ruling authority of a certain sub-division or region under The British ruling authority in India and they (the Zamindars) had the authority to collect tax or to rule their fellow residents inside the territory of their Zamindaris on behalf of the British Government in India. Therefore, to participate in the Zamindari left by his adopted father Ramlochan Thakur as the forthcoming Zamindar, Dwarkanath left school in 1810 at the age of 16 and apprenticed himself under a renowned barrister at Calcutta Robert Cutlar Fergusson and shuttled between Calcutta and his estates at Behrampore and Cuttack.[5]


His tryst with district magistrate William Willsby, while setting a dispute in Birahimpur, was a testimony to the courage and personality of a 16-year-old standing up to a tyrannical and hot-headed magistrate.

On 7 February 1811 Dwarkanath was married to Digambaridevi (then 9 years old) from Jessore.

Dwarkanath and Zamindari

Dwarkanath attained the rare quality of being well versed in languages like English, Bengali, Arabic, Farsi, etc. & also in the legal matters, which he studied under Robert Cutlar Fergusson. He quickly realised the opportunity of enormous income to increase the family wealth (which was not much, compared to the other big zamindars) through translation jobs of property wills & other official documents.

He took upon his first assignment from the wealthy zamindar of Jessore, Baradakanta Roy, who promised him 2 guineas per line to translate a firman by Murshid Quli Khan from Arabic to English.

"As a zamindar Dwarkanath was mercilessly efficient and businesslike, but not generous".[6] Dwarkanath looked upon his investment in land as investment in any other business or enterprise and claimed what he deemed a fair return. In later years Dwarkanath would appoint European managers for his estates at Sahajadpur and Behrampore. In time Dwarkanath would convert his estates to integrated commercial-industrial complexes with indigo, silk and sugar factories. In the cut-throat world of zamindari politics Dwarkanath took no nonsense and gave no quarter to either European or native. His knowledge of the tenancy laws stood him in good stead. Unlike his good friend Rammohan Roy, who pleaded for the rights of the poor ryots, Dwarkanath Tagore was the best corporate-minded entrepreneur of his contemporary age. His innovative ideas, sharp intelligence, disciplined approaches and dedication established his greatness in the history of Indian entrepreneurs of all time.

Service with the company

In 1822 Dwarkanath, while carrying on his private ventures, took additional service in the British East India Company as Shestidar to Trevor Plowden, Collector for the 24 Parganas. Although the pay was meagre at under Rs.500 per year, the prestige and avenues for additional income were considerable and gave Dwarkanath an intimate insight into the functioning of the government. Trevor Plowden formed a lifelong friendship with Dwarkanath. In 1827 there arose a great scandal in the Salt Revenue department, centred on a dishonest Dewan. Because of Dwarkanath's own personal integrity and character, he was requested to take over as Dewan of the Board. He did not take long to rend asunder the network of corruption which resulted in a counter-petition against him to the Board accusing him of defalcation. To clear his name an enquiry was ordered which at each stage of enquiry — by the Board, by the Governor General and finally by the India Office at London — cleared him unreservedly. By then Dwarkanath had had enough of Government service and resigned in June 1834 to launch into his spectacular career as a full-time entrepreneur.

Image
Bust of Dwarkanath Tagore at the National Library, Kolkata

Business life

Tagore was a western-educated Bengali Brahmin and an acknowledged civic leader of Kolkata who played a pioneering role in setting up a string of commercial ventures—banking, insurance and shipping companies— in partnership with British traders. In 1828, he became the first Indian bank director. In 1829, he founded Union Bank in Calcutta.

While empire figured in metropolitan consciousness in London to an uneven degree, Calcutta was undoubtedly first and foremost an imperial city. The 'second city of the empire' and the British capital in India until 1911, Calcutta constituted the most important political and administrative centre of British power in India. Calcutta was also the most important commercial centre of the East India Company, acting as the trading hub for the opium, textile and jute industries. By 1856-7, Bengal contributed 44 per cent of the total British Indian revenue; in 1884-5 the figure remained as high as 25 per cent.35 The degree of revenue generated by the region has led Pradip Sinha to characterise Bengal as 'the most exploited region in colonial India, with Calcutta as the nodal point of this process of exploitation'.36 In the early nineteenth century, joint commercial enterprises between Europeans and the emergent Bengali bhadralok elite -- who has prospered as monied purchasers of estates following the Permanent Settlement of 1793 -- led to the creation of business networks which brought colonisers and colonised into mutual collaboration.37 The 1830s and 1840s have been characterised by Blair Kling as a 'Age of Enterprise', symbolised by Calcutta's largest business enterprise of the period, the Union Bank, which operated under joint European and Indian management with both European and Indian stockholders, and whose policy, until 1844, was essentially controlled by the zamindar (landowner), businessman and social leader Dwarkanath Tagore.38 Commercial collaborations of this kind were, of course, restricted in general to Calcutta's rich and powered elite.

When the trade and business connections between British and elite Bengali businessmen continued throughout the nineteenth century, the global financial crisis of 1848, which led to the collapse of the Union Bank and, ultimately, to the end of Calcutta as an independent centre of capital accumulation and investment, profoundly altered the nature of commercial relations between Britons and Bengali elites in the city. Post 1848, collaboration between Bengali and British businessmen became less common, capital investment came increasingly from Britain, and the economy of Eastern India was divided increasingly into an agrarian social order and a Calcutta-centred commercial world.39 As Andrew Sartori has observed, 'The Calcutta-centred commercial world would be marked as constitutively white and Western by the marked exclusivity of European control and management of capital-based enterprise -- in the sense of the profound subordination of the regional economy to the metropolitan capital market and in the sense of the racial exclusivity of the locally based business interests that were no longer dependent on native investment'.40 By the 1870s, the commercial collaboration evident in the 1830s and 1840s had been fractured irrevocably along racial lines.


The racial divisions which became increasingly apparent in the commercial sphere from the mid-nineteenth century were evident earlier in the spatial division of Calcutta into a 'White Town', based around Chowringhee, and a 'Black Town', located in the north of the city. Sinha has contended that the 'White Town' and the 'Black Town' were separated to such a degree that the former exerted little impact, at a 'cognitive level', on the latter.41 However, other historians have stressed the extent to which a variety of 'contact zones', facilitating interaction between Europeans and Calcuttans of all classes, emerged in the city in spite of the divisions between the two 'towns'.42 Such contact, however, always took place within the context of fundamental inequalities of power immanent in the imperial relationship.

The economy and topography of Calcutta, along with its status as the centre of British administrative power in India, lent the city an overtly imperial character in comparison to other Indian urban centres. The impact of Western culture was also particularly pronounced. The Calcutta bhadralok elite came to prominent not only as a result of economic opportunities generated by the Permanent Settlement, but also due to their access to English education, which facilitated their employment in a variety of lower-level Company and government positions. Calcutta was affected more than any other Indian city by the proliferation of institutions offering English education, which resulted from the triumph of the Anglicist camp in the Orientalist/Anglicist debates of the 1830s.43 A vast literature exists exploring the effects of English education in Bengal, and the role which Indian exposure to 'Western' knowledge played in engendering the 'Bengal renaissance'.

-- Keshab: Bengal's Forgotten Prophet, by John A. Stevens


He helped found the first[1] Anglo-Indian Managing Agency (industrial organizations that ran jute mills, coal mines, tea plantations, etc.,[7]) Carr, Tagore and Company. Even earlier, Rustomjee Cowasjee, a Parsi in Calcutta, had formed an inter-racial firm but in the early 19th century, Parsis were classified as a Near Eastern community as opposed to South Asian. Tagore's company managed huge zamindari estates spread across today's West Bengal and Odisha states in India, and in Bangladesh, besides holding large stakes in new enterprises that were tapping the rich coal seams of Bengal, running tug services between Calcutta and the mouth of the river Hooghly and transplanting Chinese tea crop to the plains of Upper Assam. Carr, Tagore and Company was one of those Indian private companies engaged in the opium trade with China. Production of opium was in India and it was sold in China. When the Chinese protested, the East India Company transferred the opium trade to the proxy of certain selected Indian companies, of which this was one. In 1832 Tagore purchased the first Indian coal mine in Raniganj,[1] which eventually became the Bengal Coal Company. Very large schooners were engaged in shipments. This made Dwarkanath extremely rich, and there are legends about the extent of his wealth.

Dabbling in politics

Dwarkanath Tagore was of the firm conviction that at those times "the happiness of India is best secured by her connection with England". Dwarkanath was no doubt a loyalist, and a sincere one at that, but he was by no means a toady. Servility was as far from his character as was lack of generosity from his nature. He was also firm in defending the interest and sentiments of his people against European prejudices. With this in view, he established on 21 March 1838 an Association for Landholders (later known as the Landholder's Society). The association was overtly a self-serving political association, founded on a large and liberal basis, to admit landholders of all descriptions, Englishmen, Hindus, Muslims, and Christians. What is interesting is that it cut across racial and religious divides being founded along with his old rival Raja Radhakanta Deb with whom he had earlier founded the Gaudiya Sabha. It was the first political association in India to ventilate in a constitutional manner the grievances of the people or a section of them that were outspoken. From this grew the British Indian Association, the precursor to the Indian National Congress.

Death

Image
Monument of Dwarkanath Tagore at Kensal Green Cemetery London clicked on 11 August 2018.

Image
A commemoration to Dwarkanath Tagore at Kensal Green Cemetery on 11 August 2018 was organised by Bengal Heritage Foundation.

Dwarkanath Tagore died "at the peak of his fortune"[1] on the evening of 1 August 1846 at the St. George's Hotel in London during a tremendous thunderstorm with hail the size of walnuts.

He was buried at Kensal Green Cemetery on 5 August 1846 in a private ceremony without any religious observances. His heart, which had been previously extracted, was sent to Calcutta to conduct the Brahmo rites amidst great controversy. After his death, a Death mask was made. However, the remains of the death mask and his heart have not yet been found in England or India and are presumably lost.

In his obituary, The London Mail newspaper of 7 August wrote:

"Descended from the highest Brahmin caste of India his family can prove a long and undoubted pedigree. But it is not on account of this nobility that we now review his life but on far better grounds. However gifted, his claims rest on a higher pedestal — he was the benefactor of his country... [T]hey testified to his merits in the encouragement of every public and private undertaking likely to benefit India."[8]


A commemoration, organised by Bengal Heritage Foundation, was held on 11 August 2018 at Kensal Green Cemetery to celebrate Dwarkanath's life and completion of phase 1 of conservation of his monument. Scores of people joined in the commemoration and with eulogies reflecting on business, social and philanthropic contributions. Jnanadanandini Devi, wife of India's first Civil Servant Satyendranath Tagore, elder brother of Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore, claimed in her book that while she was in London in 1878, she gave birth to a still-born baby and the baby was buried in Dwarkanath Tagore's grave area. Another two-year-old son of Jnanadanandini Devi, named 'Chobi' died in England during that tour. But it is not clear whether he was also buried in this grave or not.

References

1. Wolpert, Stanley (2009). A New History of India (8th ed.). New York, NY: Oxford UP. p. 221. ISBN 978-0-19-533756-3.
2. "https://ia801600.us.archive.org/BookReader/BookReaderImages.php?zip=/5/items/in.ernet.dli.2015.339410/2015.339410.Rabindrajibani-O_jp2.zip&file=2015.339410.Rabindrajibani-O_jp2/2015.339410.Rabindrajibani-O_0041.jp2&scale=13.50599520383693&rotate=0"
3. Thompson, Jr., E (1926), Rabindranath Tagore: Poet and Dramatist, Read, p. 12, ISBN 1-4067-8927-5, The [Tagores] are Pirili Brahmans [sic]; that is, outcastes, as having supposedly eaten with Musalmans in a former day. No strictly orthodox Brahman would eat or inter-marry with them.
4. (Dutta & Robinson 1995, pp. 17–18).
5. "History of the Adi Brahmo Samaj (1906)"
6. Kling, Blair B., Partner in Empire: Dwarkanath Tagore and the Age of Enterprise in Eastern India, p. 32. University of California Press, 1976; Calcutta, 1981. ISBN 0-520-02927-5
7. Kulke, Hermann; Rothermund, Dietmar (2004). A History of India (4th ed.). New York, NY: Routledge. p. 265. ISBN 0-415-32920-5. Retrieved 18 September 2011.
8. Kripalani, Krishna (1981). Dwarkanath Tagore, A Forgotten Pioneer: A Life. New Delhi, India: National Book Trust, India. pp. 246–7. Retrieved 18 September 2011.

Further reading

• Blair B Kling, Partner in Empire: Dwarkanath Tagore and the Age of Enterprise in Eastern India, University of California Press, 1976; Calcutta, 1981. ISBN 0-520-02927-5
• NK Sinha, The Economic History of Bengal 1793–1848, III, Calcutta, 1984.
• Sengupta, Subodh Chandra and Bose, Anjali (editors), 1976/1998, Sansad Bangali Charitabhidhan (Biographical dictionary) Vol I, (in Bengali), p223. ISBN 81-85626-65-0

External links

• Islam, Sirajul (2012). "Tagore, Prince Dwarkanath". In Islam, Sirajul; Jamal, Ahmed A. (eds.). Banglapedia: National Encyclopedia of Bangladesh (Second ed.). Asiatic Society of Bangladesh.
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Wed Feb 12, 2020 1:26 am

Robert Cutlar Fergusson
by Wikipedia
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Robert Cutlar Fergusson (1768–1838) was a Scottish lawyer and politician. He was 17th Laird of the Dumfriesshire Fergussons, seated at Craigdarroch (Moniaive, Dumfriesshire).

Life

Robert Fergusson was born in Dumfries, the eldest son of Alexander Fergusson, Esq., of Craigdarroch and Orraland House, Kirkcudbrightshire, who was an eminent advocate. His great-grandfather was Alexander Fergusson, the husband of Annie Laurie of folksong fame. He was educated at Edinburgh and studied law at Lincoln's Inn, being called to the bar in 1797.[1]

He was gaoled for a year in the King's Bench prison in the late 1790s for being associated with Arthur O'Connor and Father James Coigly, two United Irishmen who were trying to organise an Irish revolution.


Arthur O'Connor (4 July 1763 – 25 April 1852), was a United Irishman and later a general in Napoleon's army.

Born near Bandon, County Cork, O'Connor embraced the Republican movement early on as he was encouraged by the American Revolution overseas. From 1790 to 1795 he was a Member of Parliament in the Irish House of Commons for Philipstown...

In 1796 he became a member of the Society of United Irishmen. He and Lord Edward Fitzgerald petitioned France for aid in support of an Irish revolution. While traveling to France he was arrested alongside Father James Coigly, a Catholic priest, and three other United Irishmen. Coigly, who found to be carrying an incriminating letter, was hanged, whereas O'Connor was acquitted. He was re-arrested immediately and imprisoned at Fort George in Scotland along with his brother Roger...

O'Connor was released in 1802 under the condition of "banishment".[5] He travelled to Paris, where he was regarded as the accredited representative of the United Irishmen by Napoleon who, in February 1804, appointed him General of Division in the French army. General Berthier, Minister of War, directed that O'Connor was to join the expeditionary army intended for the invasion of Ireland at Brest.

When the plan fell through, O'Connor retired from the army. He offered his services to Napoleon during the Hundred Days. After Napoleon's defeat he was allowed to retire, becoming a naturalised French citizen in 1818. He supported the 1830 revolution which created the July Monarchy, publishing a defence of events in the form of an open letter to General Lafayette. After the revolution he became mayor of Le Bignon-Mirabeau. The rest of his life was spent composing literary works on political and social topics.[6]

-- Arthur O'Connor (United Irishman), by Wikipedia


Father James Coigly (Rev. James Quigley) born in Kilmore, Co. Armagh (c.1761 – 7 June 1798) was a Roman Catholic priest and United Irishmen leader who was executed in Kent, England...

A United Irishmen, he worked at improving Catholic and Presbyterian relations. Coigly travelled to England and Paris, where he was involved with the United Britons and with James Napper Tandy.[2] While travelling to France, he was arrested alongside four other United Irishmen, one being Arthur O'Connor, a leader of the Rebels of Leinster. Upon his arrest, English authorities discovered a letter by the United Britons addressed to the French Revolutionary Government calling for an invasion of England, hidden in Coigly's garments...

He was hanged at Penenden Heath, Maidstone on 7 June 1798.

-- James Coigly, by Wikipedia


On his release he decided it would be wise to leave the country and therefore moved to India[2] where he worked as a barrister for some 30 years in the Supreme Court of Judicature at Calcutta. He was made acting Advocate-General of Bengal in 1817 when Edward Strettell left for England due to ill-health, holding the post until Robert Spankie arrived as Strettell's successor. When Spankie returned to England in 1823, Fergusson succeeded him as Advocate-General.

On his return to Britain he was elected MP for the Stewardtry of Kirkcudbright in 1826, sitting until 1838. He was appointed a Privy Councillor in 1834 and Judge Advocate General from 1835 to 1838.

Dwarkanath Tagore, the great Bengal entrepreneur, was apprenticed under him in 1810
, and Fergusson was one of the two leading influences in his life.[3]

References

1. "FERGUSSON, Robert Cutlar (?1770-1838), of Orroland, Kirkcudbright and Craigdarroch, Dumfries". History of Parliament Online. Retrieved 26 October 2015.
2. Public Characters of All Nations: Consisting of Biographical ..., Volume 1. p. 90.
3. "History of the Adi Brahmo Samaj (1906)" p 27.

External links

• Hansard 1803–2005: contributions in Parliament by Robert Cutlar Fergusson
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Wed Feb 12, 2020 1:47 am

Brahmo
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 2/11/20

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A Bengali Brahmo or the traditional Bengali elites are Bengal's upper class. They form the bulk of the historical colonial establishment of eastern India. Educated mostly in a select few schools and colleges, they were one of the wealthiest and most anglicised communities of colonial India. Presidency College's control over the development of and continued influence on the Brahmos and vice versa was complete in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

Presidency University, Kolkata, formerly known as Hindoo College and Presidency College,[2] is a public state university located in College Street, Kolkata.[3] It is probably the oldest institution in the world to have no religious connection, having being established in 1817...

With the creation of the Supreme Court of Calcutta in 1773 many Hindus of Bengal showed an eager interest in learning the English language. David Hare, in collaboration with Raja Radhakanta Deb had already taken steps to introduce English language education in Bengal. Babu Buddinath Mukherjee advanced the introduction of English as a medium of instruction further by enlisting the support of Sir Edward Hyde East, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Fort William, who called a meeting of 'European and Hindu Gentlemen' at his house in May 1816.[9] The purpose of the meeting was to "discuss the proposal to establish an institution for giving a liberal education to the children of the members of the Hindu Community". The proposal was received with unanimous approbation and a donation of over Rs. 100, 000 was promised for setting up the new college. Raja Ram Mohan Roy showed full support for the scheme, but chose not to come out in support of the proposal publicly for fear of "alarming the prejudices of his orthodox countrymen and thus marring the whole idea".[10]

The College was formally opened on Monday, 20 January 1817 with 20 'scholars'. The foundation committee of the college, which oversaw its establishment, was headed by Raja Rammohan Roy. The control of the institution was vested in a body of two Governors and four Directors. The first Governors of the college were Maharaja Tejchandra Bahadur of Burdwan and Gopee Mohan Thakoor. The first Directors were Gopi Mohun Deb of Sobhabazar, Joykissen Sinha, Radha Madhab Banerjee, and Gunganarain Doss. Buddinath Mukherjee was appointed as the first Secretary of the college. The newly established college mostly admitted Hindu students from affluent and progressive families, but also admitted non-Hindu students such as Muslims, Jews, Christians and Buddhists.

At first, the classes were held in a house belonging to Gorachand Bysack of Garanhatta (later renamed 304, Chitpore Road), which was rented by the college. In January 1818 the college moved to 'Feringhi Kamal Bose's house' which was located nearby in Chitpore.[11] From Chitpore, the college moved to Bowbazar and later to the building that now houses the Sanskrit College on College Street.[12]

-- Presidency University, Kolkata, by Wikipedia


Drawn from the ranks of the newly emerging colonial ruling class, considered to be junior partners in the enterprise of the British Empire, the Brahmos were typically employed as Bengal Presidency governors, high court judges, commissioners, collectors, magistrates, railway managers, university vice chancellors, Presidency College and Calcutta Medical College principals and professors, research think tank directors as well as those who made their major profits in big business. Politically, they were considered to be moderates in nationalist politics, with the aim of joining council politics for the furtherance of the constitutional question within the framework of the Empire. Influenced by the teachings of the Upanishads.

Brahmo

Definition


A Brahmo (Bengali: ব্রাহ্ম) is either an adherent, with or without a diksha, of Brahmoism to the exclusion of all other sects, castes and even religions, except Hinduism, or a person with at least one Brahmo parent or guardian and who has never denied his faith. This definition has evolved from legal acts and juristic decree since previously "the word Brahmo did not admit of a clear definition."[1]

Spread

The 2001 Census of India [2] counted only 177 Brahmos in India, but the number of followers (Brahmo Samajists) who constitute the wider community of Brahmo Samaj (assembly for Brahmo worship) is significantly higher, and reliably estimated at about 20, 000 Sadharan Brahmo Samajists, 10, 000 other Brahmo denominations and 8, 000,000 declared Adi Dharmists.[3] Since the Brahmo Samaj does not sanction caste, many low caste Brahmo converts in Upper India, benefiting under India's social development policies, prefer to declare themselves as followers of Adi Dharm, a practice fostered by the Brahmo Samaj of North India since the 1931 census. A state-wise study by the Brahmo Conference Organisation has tabulated 7. 83 million Adi Dharm declarants in the 2001 Census.

Influence

A recent publication describes the disproportionate influence of Brahmos on India's development post-19th Century as unparalleled in recent times,[4] It states that the "... Brahmos are amongst the elite groups of modern India, along with the Parsis of Bombay, the Chitpavans of Pune, the Iyers, Nairs and Ayyangars of the South, the Kashmiri Pandits of Uttar Pradesh and the Kayasthas of the Punjab and Bihar..." This publication further states that the Brahmos are "... the most cosmopolitan, having been overwhelmingly drawn from three castes – Brahmins, Vaidyas and Kayasthas – while the others were from a single caste..." It was the Brahmos who played an important role in organizing the Indian Political Association, which was the forerunner to the Indian National Congress.

Brahmo Samaj

The Brahmo Samaj refers to the wider socio-religious community either following the principles for Brahmo worship or subscribing to membership of a Brahmo Samaj, which is an association established for maintaining premises for assembly and worship of Brahma. A follower or subscriber member of this community is referred to as Brahmo Samajist.

When is a Brahmo not a Brahmo Samajist?

One aspect of Brahmoism is recognition that not only explicit faith and worship makes for a Brahmo, but also genealogy, which is implicit. People with even a single Brahmo parent or a Brahmo guardian are treated as Brahmos until they absolutely renounce the Brahmo faith. This often causes tension within the Samaj, for example, when an offspring of a Brahmo follows communism or atheism or another religious belief without renouncing Brahmoism formally. There are differing views between the Theist and Deist streams of Brahmoism on the retention of such people within the fold. Additionally, a Brahmo who opts not to subscribe to membership of a Brahmo Samaj remains a Brahmo but ceases to be a Brahmo Samajist.[5]

Co-faith and conversion

Brahmoism does not forbid its followers from retaining other faiths like Islam or Christianity. Neither is formal conversion to Brahmoism required nowadays, thereby affirming a very well settled legal controversy between Sir J.C. Bose and Rani Bhagwwan Koer[6] which states that a non-Brahmo Brahmo Samajist does not cease to be (say) a Hindu or Sikh by following the Samaj.

Brahmo families

Banerjee


• Sasipada Banerji (1840–1924), Social reformer.
o Sir Albion Rajkumar Banerjee, CSI, CIE (1871–1950), Diwan of Cochin.
• Amiya Charan Banerjee (1891–1968), Vice Chancellor of Allahabad University.
• Probha Banerji, first lady magistrate of India.
o Kalyan Banerji, Deputy Managing Director of the State Bank of India.
o Milon K. Banerji (1928–2010), Attorney General of India.
 Gourab Banerji, Additional Solicitor General of India.

Chakrabarty

• Nikhil Chakravarty, Founder-Editor, Mainstream Weekly.[7]
o Sumit Chakravarty, Editor, Mainstream Weekly.
• Uma Shehanobis (née Chakrabarty), Principal, Patha Bhavan, Calcutta.

Chattopadhayay

• Aghorenath Chattopadhyaya, Principal, Nizam's College, Hyderabad.
o Sarojini Naidu (1879–1949), Politician.
 Padmaja Naidu (1900–1975), Governor of West Bengal.
 Leela Naidu (1940–2009), Artist.
o Suhasini Chattopadhyay, Indian freedom fighter.
o Virendranath Chattopadhyaya (1880–1937), Indian nationalist.
o Harindranath Chattopadhyaya (1898–1990), Padma Bhushan, Member of Parliament, Vijayawada.
o Kamaladevi Chattopadhyaya, Padma Vibhushan, Social reformer.
 Krishna Chattopadhyay (1935–2009), Singer.

Bose

• Rajnarayan Basu, Writer and intellectual of the Bengal Renaissance.
o Krishnadhan Ghosh (son-in-law of Rajnarayan Basu), Civil Surgeon, Pabna, Bengal.
 Sri Aurobindo, Indian nationalist; vice principal of Baroda College.
• Girindrasekhar Bose, Psychoanalyst.

Image
Jagadish Chandra Bose

• Sir Jagadish Chandra Bose (1858–1937), Polymath who was Professor of Physics, Presidency College, Calcutta.
• Lady Abala Bose (1864–1951), Social reformer who founded the Nari Sikhshya Samities.
o Debendra Mohan Bose (1887–1975) (Sir J.C. Bose was his maternal uncle), Director, Bose Institute, Calcutta
• Anandamohan Bose (1847–1906) (brother-in-law of Sir J.C. Bose and paternal uncle of D.M. Bose), Co-founder of Indian National Association; first Indian Wrangler at Cambridge University.
• Rajsekhar Bose (1880–1960), Author
• Girindrasekhar Bose (1887–1953), Psychiatrist.

Das

Image
Chittaranjan Das

• Bhuban Mohan Das
o Chittaranjan Das, Mayor of Calcutta.
o Basanti Devi, Padma Vibhushan, Social reformer.
 Siddhartha Shankar Ray (grandson), Chief Minister of West Bengal.
 Justice Manjula Bose (granddaughter), Judge of the High Court of Calcutta.
 Jaidip Mukherjea (grandson) (1942-), Sportsman.
• Durga Mohan Das (1841–1897), Social reformer.
o Satish Ranjan Das (1870–1928), Law Member of the Viceroy's Executive Council; founder of Doon School.
 Shomie Ranjan Das (1935-), Headmaster of Doon School, Mayo College and Lawrence School, Sanawar.
• Rakhal Chandra Das
o Sudhi Ranjan Das, 5th Chief Justice of India.
 Group Captain Suranjan Das
 Anjana Sen (née Das)
 Ashoke Kumar Sen, Law Minister of India.

Image
Jibanananda Das

• Kusumkumari Das, Social Worker.
o Jibanananda Das, Poet.
 Chidananda Dasgupta, Filmmaker.
• Beni Madhab Das (1866–1952), Social reformer.
o Bina Das (1911–1986), Member, West Bengal Legislative Assembly, 1947–51.
• Arun Kumar Das, FRCS (Eng. & Edin.) (1924–2015), Orthopedist; Professor, NRS Medical College and Hospital, Calcutta.
• Nandita Dutta (1935–2007), Founder-Principal, Patha Bhavan, Calcutta.

Dey

Image
Saroj Nalini Dutt

• Brajendranath Dey, Esq., ICS (1852–1932), Bar-at-Law, Commissioner (Actg.) of Burdwan.
o Saroj Nalini Dutt (née Dey), M.B.E., (1887–1925), Social reformer.
o Hemanta Kumar Dey, Esq., Bar-at-Law, Presidency Magistrate, Calcutta.
o Lieutenant Colonel Jyotish Chandra Dey, (son-in-law), I.M.S., 2nd Indian Principal of Calcutta Medical College.
o Major (Hon.) Basanta Kumar Dey (1897–1975), 2nd Indian Commercial Traffic Manager, Bengal Nagpur Railway.
 Professor Barun Dey (1932–2013), Chairman, West Bengal Heritage Commission.

Dutta

Image
Romesh Chunder Dutt

• Romesh Chandra Dutta (1848–1908), C.I.E., Dewan of Baroda.
o Jnanendranath Gupta, Esq., ICS (son-in-law of R.C. Dutt), Commissioner of Chittagong.
 Sudhindranath Gupta, Esq., 1st Indian Commercial Traffic Manager, Bengal Nagpur Railway.
Akshay Kumar Datta (1820–1886), Poet.
o Satyendranath Dutta (1882–1922), Poet.

Ganguly

• Dwarkanath Ganguly (1844–1898), Social reformer.
• Kadambini Ganguly (1861–1923), First female medical graduate in South Asia.

Gupta

• Behari Lal Gupta, ICS, (1849–1916), Dewan of Baroda.
o Satish Gupta, IAAS.
 Ranajit Gupta, ICS, Chief Secretary, West Bengal.
 Indrajit Gupta (1919–2001), Home Minister of India (1996–98).
 Sunanda K. Datta-Ray (1937-), Journalist.
• Sir Krishna Govinda Gupta, ICS, Member of the Secretary of States Council in London.
o Atul Prasad Sen, Barrister-at-Law, Lawyer, composer and singer.

Mahalanobis

• Gurucharan Mahalanobis, President and Treasurer of Brahmo Samaj.
• Subodh Chandra Mahalanobis, Founder of the Physiology Department of Presidency College, Calcutta; 1st Indian Head of Department of Physiology, University of Cardiff.
• Prabodh Chandra Mahalanobis.
o Prasanta Chandra Mahalanobis, F.R.S., pioneer statistician and teacher of statistics, Member, 1st Planning Commission of India.

Mitra

• Braja Sundar Mitra, Excise Collector, Calcutta.
o
 Deba Prasad Mitra (1902–1978), Pathologist.
• Peary Chand Mitra (1814–1883), Deputy Librarian, Calcutta Public Library.
• Kishori Chand Mitra (1822–1873), Police Magistrate.

Mukherjee

Image
Subroto Mukherjee

• Nibaran Chandra Mukherjee, Social reformer.
o Satish Chandra Mukherjee (1865–1948), Educationist.
 Renuka Ray (née Mukherjee) (1904–1997), Politician.
 Subroto Mukerjee (1911–1960), First Chief of Air Staff of the Indian Air Force.
 Prasanta Mukherjee, Chairman, Railway Board.

Nag Chaudhuri

• Basanti Dulal Nag Chaudhuri, Physicist; Vice Chancellor, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi.

Pal

• Bipin Chandra Pal (1858–1932), Indian nationalist leader.
o Niranjan Pal (1889–1959), Playwright, screenwriter and director.
 Colin Pal (1923–2005), Film director.
 Deep Pal (1953-), Cinematographer.
o S. K. Dey (son-in-law), ICS, Union Minister for Panchayati Raj.

Palchaudhuri

• Ila Palchaudhuri, Member of Parliament, Nabadwip, 1957.
o Amitabha Palchaudhuri, Treasurer, Bengal Congress.

Ray

Image
Satyajit Ray

• Upendrakishore Ray Chowdhury (1863–1915), Scholar and entrepreneur.
o Sukumar Ray (1887–1923), Writer.
 Satyajit Ray (1921–1992), Film-maker
 Bijoya Ray (1917–2015),
 Sandip Ray (1953-), Film-maker.
 Leela Majumdar (1908–2007), Author.

Roy

• Bidhan Chandra Roy, 2nd Chief Minister of West Bengal.
o Subimal Roy, Judge of the Supreme Court of India.
• Prasanna Kumar Roy (1849–1932), Educationist.
• Sarala Roy (1859–1946), Educationist.
o Charulata Mukherjee (née Roy), Social reformer.

Sanyal

• Trailokyanath Sanyal (1848–1950), Social reformer.
o Aruna Asaf Ali (née Ganguly), Indian freedom fighter and prominent leader of the Quit India Movement.
o Purmina Banerjee (née Ganguly), Member, Indian Constituent Assembly.

Sarkar

• Susobhan Sarkar (1900–1982), Professor of History, Presidency College, Calcutta.
o Sumit Sarkar (1939-), Professor of History, Delhi University.

Sen

• Bhupati Mohan Sen, Wrangler, 2nd Indian Principal of Presidency College, Calcutta, (son-in-law of Sir Nilratan Sircar)
o Monishi Mohan Sen (1920-2019), ICS Officer
o Subrata Kumar Sen (1924–2016), MIT Graduate, Electrical Engineering
o Abhijit Sen (son-in-law), Proprietor, Sen and Pandit Co. Ltd.

Sen family[8]

Image
Keshab Chandra Sen

• Keshub Chandra Sen (1838–1884), Religious reformer & founder of the Nababidhan Brahmo Samaj.
o Suniti Devi (1864–1932), Maharani of Coochbehar & founder of Sammilan Brahmo Samaj.
o Sucharu Devi (1874–1961), Maharani of Mayurbhanj.
o Saral Chandra Sen, Bar-at-Law
 Sunit Chandra Sen, Collector, Calcutta Municipal Corporation.
 Benita Roy, Politician.
 Sadhana Bose, Artist.
 Nilina Singh, Singer.
 Pradip Chandra Sen, Deputy Managing Director, Mackinnon Mackenzie.
o Pramathalal Sen (1866–1930) (nephew of Keshub Chandra Sen), Social reformer.
o Benoyendranath Sen (1868–1913) (nephew of Keshub Chandra Sen), Social reformer and leader of the New Dispensation.

Image
Amartya Kumar Sen

• Kshitimohan Sen (1880–1960), 2nd Vice Chancellor of Visva Bharati, Santiniketan.
o Ashutosh Sen (son-in-law), Chairman, West Bengal Public Service Commission.
 Amartya Sen (1933-), 1st Asian Master of Trinity College, Cambridge; Nobel Laureate in Economics.
• Barrister Kumud Nath Sen
o P.K. Sengupta, Income Tax Commissioner.
o K.P. Sen, Post-Master General, Eastern India.
o Malati Choudhury (née Sen), Social Worker.
• Nitish Chandra Sen, Mayor of Calcutta.
• Kamini Roy (née Sen) (1864–1933), Social reformer and poet.

Sinha

Baron Sinha family
• Satyendra Prasanno Sinha, 1st Baron Sinha (1863–1923), Politician.
o Rt. Honourable Sushil Kumar Sinha, ICS.
o Romola Sinha (1913–2010), Social reformer.
o Major N.P. Sen, IMS.
 Mohit Sen (grandson) (1929–2003), Politician.

Tagore

Tagore family[9]


Image
Rabindranath Tagore

• Debendranath Tagore (1817–1905), Social reformer.
o Satyendranath Tagore (1842–1923), First Indian ICS officer, (1863).
o Jnanadanandini Devi (1850–1941), Social reformer.
 Indira Devi Chaudhurani, Upacharya, Visva Bharati, Santiniketan.
 Surendranath Tagore, Author.
 Subirendranath Tagore
 Supriyo Tagore, Principal, Patha Bhavana, Santiniketan.
o Hemendranath Tagore (1844–1884), Religious savant, founder of Adi Dharm development of Brahmoism.
o Rabindranath Tagore (1861–1941), Bengali poet and Nobel laureate in Literature
• Swarnakumari Devi (1855–1932), Noted Bengali poet, novelist, musician and social worker.

Others

• Sir Nilratan Sircar(1861–1943), famous doctor, swadeshi entrepreneur, educationist, philanthropist, Vice-Chancellor of Calcutta University
• Heramba Chandra Maitra, famous educationist after whom Heramba Chandra College is named
• Sir Nalini Ranjan Chatterjee, Judge of the High Court of Calcutta.
• Kalinath Bose, first Indian Superintendent of Police.
• Uma Bose (1921–1942), Singer.
• Kiran Chandra De, ICS, Commissioner, Chittagong.
• Sib Chandra Deb, Deputy Collector in Bengal.
• Umesh Chandra Dutta, Founder of the Harinavi Brahmo Samaj.
• Sucheta Kriplani, First woman Chief Minister of an Indian State.
• Subrata Mitra (1931–2001), Padma Shri, Cameraman; Emeritus Professor, Satyajit Ray Film and Television Institute, Calcutta.
• Sir Brojendra Lal Mitter, Advocate General of Bengal.
• Harish Chandra Mukherjee, Journalist.
• Girish Chandra Sen, Translated the Quran into Bengali.
• Sir Nripendra Nath Sircar, Advocate General of Bengal.
• Shree Suresh Chandra Roy, Padma Bhushan, Sheriff of Calcutta (1957, 1958).

See also

• Brahmo Dharma
• History of Bengal
• Indian National Congress
• Kayastha
• Prarthana Samaj
• Tattwabodhini Patrika
• Trust deed of Brahmo Sabha
• Vaishya

References & notes

1. finding of the Legal member of Viceregal Council Sir Henry Maine cited in Pt. Sivanath Sastri's History of the Brahmo Samaj 1911/1912 1st edn. p.229
2. Minor religious groups Census of India data dissemination publication of 2006, limited circulation.
3. "Brahmo Samaj FAQ Frequently asked Questions". brahmo.org. Archived from the original on 2010-01-24. Retrieved 2019-09-23.[dubious – discuss]
4. Roy, Samaren (2005). Calcutta: Society and Change 1690–1990. iUniverse. ISBN 978-0-595-79000-5: Fair use of extract vide section 52(1)(f) of Indian Copyright Act, 1957
5. "DELHI BRAHMO SAMAJ". brahmo.org. Archived from the original on 2010-12-29. Retrieved 2019-09-23.
6. Rani Bhagwan Koer & Ors v. J.C.Bose & Ors 1903, 31 Cal 11 in the Privy Council of British Empire upholding the decision of the High Court of the Punjab 1897.
7. "Mainstream Weekly". http://www.mainstreamweekly.net.
8. "SEN FAMILY". members.iinet.net.au.
9. "Tagore Family".

External links

• brahmo.org
• brahmosamaj.org
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Wed Feb 12, 2020 2:57 am

Brahmoism
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 2/11/20

NOTICE: THIS WORK MAY BE PROTECTED BY COPYRIGHT

YOU ARE REQUIRED TO READ THE COPYRIGHT NOTICE AT THIS LINK BEFORE YOU READ THE FOLLOWING WORK, THAT IS AVAILABLE SOLELY FOR PRIVATE STUDY, SCHOLARSHIP OR RESEARCH PURSUANT TO 17 U.S.C. SECTION 107 AND 108. IN THE EVENT THAT THE LIBRARY DETERMINES THAT UNLAWFUL COPYING OF THIS WORK HAS OCCURRED, THE LIBRARY HAS THE RIGHT TO BLOCK THE I.P. ADDRESS AT WHICH THE UNLAWFUL COPYING APPEARED TO HAVE OCCURRED. THANK YOU FOR RESPECTING THE RIGHTS OF COPYRIGHT OWNERS.


Brahmoism is a religious movement from the mid 19th century Bengal originating the Bengali Renaissance, the nascent Indian independence movement[1][2]. Adherents, known as Brahmos (singular Brahmo), are mainly of Indian or Bangladeshi origin or nationality. The Brahmo Samaj, literally the "Society of Brahma", was founded as a movement by Ram Mohan Roy[3]. In 1850 Roy's successor Debendranath Tagore broke from Hinduism and created the new religion of Brahmoism which was recognised as a religion distinct from Hinduism by the Privy Council in 1901, and by the Law Commission of Bangladesh in 2001[4].

Fundamental principles

The Brahmo articles of faith derive from the Fundamental (Adi) Principles of the Adi Brahmo Samaj religion.

• On God: There is always Infinite (limitless, undefinable, imperceivable, indivisible) Singularity - immanent and transcendent Singular Author and Preserver of Existence - "He" whose Love is manifest everywhere and in everything, in the fire and in the water, in the smallest plant to the mightiest oak.
• On Being: Being is created from Singularity. Being is renewed to Singularity. Being exists to be one (again) with Loving Singularity. (See Tat Tvam Asi.)

• On Intelligent Existence: Righteous (worshipful, intelligent, moral) actions alone rule (regulate [preserve]) Existence against Chaos (loss [decay, return, pervading emptiness]). Knowledge (Intelligence [reason, sentience, intuition]) of pure Conscience (light within) is the One (Supreme) ruler (authority [law, dharma]) of Existence with no symbol (creation [scripture, book, object]) or intermediary (being [teacher, messiah, ruler]).
• On Love: Respect all creations and beings but never venerate (worship) them for only Singularity can be loved (adored, worshipped).[5]

Articles of faith

The Articles of faith for Brahmos are:[6]

• Brahmos embrace righteousness as the only way of life.
• Brahmos embrace truth, knowledge, reason, free will and virtuous intuition (observation) as guides.
• Brahmos embrace secular principles but oppose sectarianism and imposition of religious belief into governance (especially propagation of religious belief by government).
• Brahmos embrace the co-existence of Brahmo principles with governance, but oppose all governance in conflict with Brahmo principles.

• Brahmos reject narrow theism (especially polytheism), idolatry and symbolism.
• Brahmos reject the need for formal rituals, priests or places (church, temple, mosque) for worship.
• Brahmos reject dogma and superstition.
• Brahmos reject scriptures as authority.
• Brahmos reject revelations, prophets, gurus, messiahs, or avatars as authority.
• Brahmos reject bigotry and irrational distinctions like caste, creed, colour, race, religion which divide beings.
• Brahmos reject all forms of totalitarianism.
• Brahmos examine the prevalent notion of "sin".
• Brahmos examine the prevalent notions of "heaven" or "hell".
• Brahmos examine the prevalent notion of "salvation".

Adherence to these articles are required only of Adi Brahmos or such Sadharan Brahmos who accept Adi-ism i.e. Trust deed of Brahmo Sabha (1830).

History

While Ram Mohan Roy aimed at reforming Hinduism from within, his successor Maharshi Debendranath Tagore in 1850 rejected the authority of the Vedas and thus broke with orthodox Hinduism. Tagore tried to retain some Hindu customs, but a series of schisms eventually resulted in the formation of the breakaway Sadharan Brahmo Samaj in 1878 based on Christian practices and dogmas.

So, in 1901, a decision of the Privy Council of British India found that "the vast majority of Brahmo religionists are not Hindus and have their own religion".[7]


The Brahma Dharma was first codified by Debendranath Tagore with the formulation of the Brahmo Dharma Beej and publication of the Brahma Dharma, a book of 1848 or 1850 in two parts. The Brahma Dharma is the source of every Brahmo's spiritual faith and reflects Brahmo repudiation of the Hindu Vedas as authority and the shift away from Ram Mohan Roy's Vedantic Unitary God per the Adi Shankara Advaita school. The traditional seed principles and Debendranath's Brahmo Dharma (or religious and moral law) now stand evolved as the "Fundamental Principles of Brahmoism" and are supplemented by precise evolving rules for adherents, akin to "Articles of Faith" which regulate the Brahmo way of life. In addition the assembly of Brahmos (and also Brahmo Samajists) for meeting or worship is always consonant with the Trust Principles of 1830 or its derivatives.

Brief history and timeline

• 1828 : Raja Ram Mohun Roy establishes Brahma Sabha (assembly of Brahmins).[8]
• 1829 : Asiatic Society admits the first Indians to its membership, the first of whom are Ramkamal Sen, Dwarkanath Tagore and Prasanna Coomar Tagore.[9]
• 1830 : Dwarkanath Tagore, Prasanna Coomar Tagore and Ors. establish the first Brahmo Place for Worship through a legal Trust Deed[10] at Chitpur (Jorasanko Kolkata India). Ram Mohun departs for Britain.
• 1833 : Ram Mohun dies in Bristol.
• 1839 : Debendranath Tagore forms Tattwabodhini (@Tattvaranjini) Sabha, the "Truth & Life Purpose Seekers" association on October 6, 1839.[11]
• 1843 : Tattwabodini Sabha merged with Brahmo Sabha [12] and Calcutta Brahmo Samaj established. Dwarkanath Tagore founds the Great Western Bengal Railway Co. in conflict with the State.[13]
• 1850: Publication of Brahma Dharma book in 2 parts by Debendranath. Repudiation of Vedic infallibility, separation from Hinduism, establishment of the new religion.
• 1855: Keshub Chunder Sen founds "The British India Society" later associated with Christian missionaries James Long and Charles Dall.[14] Dall, a roving Unitarian missionary,
is in a troubled marriage in Boston with female emancipator Caroline Wells Healey Dall, suffering a series of mental depressions, and is sufficiently persuaded to grant his wife a Boston divorce by sailing to India forever as the first foreign Unitarian missionary.[15]
• 1856 : Devendranath Thakur proceeds to hills of Simla.
• 1857 : Debendranath informs Unitarian preacher Charles Dall that he is no longer welcome at Calcutta Brahmo Samaj, and that "he would not hear the name of Jesus spoken in the Samaj". Dall then forms the Rammohun Roy Society to wean away the liberal Brahmos from Debendranath.[16] Keshub Sen then subscribes to Calcutta Brahmo Samaj while Devendranath is away in Simla. The Indian Mutiny erupts, almost every Trustee of Brahma Samaj supports the Crown while seeking exemplary punishment for the mutineers.
• 1860 : Charles Dall now openly attacks Debendranath and affiliates to liberal Brahmo neo-Christian group by promoting Theodore Parker and William Channing's methods to convert Hindus to Christianity.[16]

• 1866 : The First Brahmo Schism and Calcutta Brahmo Samaj is renamed as Adi (First) Brahmo Samaj to distinguish it from progressive breakaway group.
• 1871 : Adi Brahmo Samaj leaders publicly oppose the progressive faction over the divisive Brahmo Marriage Bill, 1871 with Debendranath stating "We are Brahmos first, and Indians or Hindus second."
• 1872 : The Marriage Bill is ostensibly not limited to Brahmos and enacted as the Special Marriages Act (Act III) of 1872. A declaration is required stating "I am not a Hindu or Muslim or Christian or Jew" to marry under this law which is used almost exclusively by Brahmos.
• 1878 : The breakaway faction splits again, the majority form the middle-path Sadharan (General) Brahmo Samaj and are formally welcomed back to Brahmoism by Debendranath Tagore and Rajnarayan Basu of the Adi Samaj. The eminent leaders of Sadharan Brahmo Samaj at the time include Sivanath Sastri, Ananda Mohan Bose and Sib Chandra Deb.[17]

See also

• Adi Dharm
• Brahmo Samaj
• Hindu reform movements
• History of Bengal
• Prarthana Samaj
• Sadharan Brahmo Samaj
• Tattwabodhini Patrika

Notes and references

1. The Brahmo Samaj and the Shaping of the Modern Indian Mind - David Kopf, https://www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctt13x0tkz
2. " The Brahmo Samaj became the first organized vehicle for the expression of national awakening in India" https://www.nios.ac.in/media/documents/ ... /CH.05.pdf
3. Chambers Dictionary Of World History. Editor BP Lenman. Chambers. 2000.
4. http://www.lawcommissionbangladesh.org/reports/36.pdf
5. Brahmo Samaj Website
6. brahmosamaj.in - BRAHMO SAMAJ
7. Official website http://www.brahmosamaj.in/ "In 1901 (Bhagwan Koer & Ors v J.C.Bose & Ors, 31 Cal 11, 30 ELR IA 249) the Privy Council (Britain's highest judicial authority) upholds the finding of the High Court of the Punjab that the vast majority of Brahmo religionists are not Hindus and have their own religion"
8. 403 Forbidden
9. Heritage Institute of India - article by Dr. Gautam Chatterjee
10. brahmosamaj.org - Banian "Trust" Deed Chitpore Road Brahmo Sabha
11. Mohanta, Sambaru Chandra (2003). "Tattvabodhini Sabha". In Islam, Sirajul; Jamal, Ahmed A. (eds.). Banglapedia: National Encyclopedia of Bangladesh (First ed.). Asiatic Society of Bangladesh. Archived from the original on 4 October 2006.
12. "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2008-05-30. Retrieved 2008-03-27.
13. http://www.ccsindia.org/lssreader/14lssreader.pdf[permanent dead link]
14. Shivanath Shastri's Brahmo History (1911) p.114
15. "Daughter of Boston: The Extraordinary Diary of Caroline Dall", by Helen Deese. p.xv"
16. Jump up to:a b " Charles Dall Archived March 14, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
17. Primary Source: History of Brahmo Samaj by Sivanath Sastri 1911, Secondary Source: Official website brahmosamaj.org
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

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Brahmo Samaj
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 2/11/20

NOTICE: THIS WORK MAY BE PROTECTED BY COPYRIGHT

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Brahmoism
Scripture: Brahmo Dharma
Theology: Monotheism
Pradhanacharya-1: Ram Mohan Roy
Pradhanacharya-2: Dwarkanath Tagore
Pradhanacharya-3: Debendranath Tagore
Founder: Ram Mohan Roy
Origin: 28 August 1828, Kolkata, West Bengal, India
Separated from Sanātanī Hinduism
Other name(s): Adi Dharm
Official website http://true.brahmosamaj.in

Brahmo Samaj (Bengali: ব্রাহ্ম সমাজ Bramho Shômaj) is the societal component of Brahmoism, which began as a monotheistic reformist movement of the Hindu religion that appeared during the Bengal Renaissance. It is practised today mainly as the Adi Dharm after its eclipse in Bengal consequent to the exit of the Tattwabodini Sabha from its ranks in 1839. After the publication of Hemendranath Tagore's Brahmo Anusthan (code of practice) in 1860 which formally divorced Brahmoism from Hinduism, the first Brahmo Samaj was founded in 1861 at Lahore by Pandit Nobin Chandra Roy.

It was one of the most influential religious movements in India[1] and made a significant contribution to the making of modern India.[2] It was started at Calcutta on 20 August 1828 by Raja Ram Mohan Roy and Debendranath Tagore as reformation of the prevailing Brahmanism of the time (specifically Kulin practices) and began the Bengal Renaissance of the 19th century pioneering all religious, social and educational advance of the Hindu community in the 19th century. Its Trust Deed was made in 1830 formalising its inception and it was duly and publicly inaugurated in January 1830 by the consecration of the first house of prayer, now known as the Adi Brahmo Samaj.[3] From the Brahmo Samaj springs Brahmoism, the most recent of legally recognised religions in India and Bangladesh, reflecting its foundation on reformed spiritual Hinduism with vital elements of Judeo-Islamic faith and practice.[4][5]

Meaning of the name

The Brahmo Samaj literally denotes community (Sanskrit: 'samaj') of men who worship Brahman the highest reality.[6] In reality Brahmo Samaj does not discriminate between caste, creed or religion and is an assembly of all sorts and descriptions of people without distinction, meeting publicly for the sober, orderly, religious and devout adoration of "the (nameless) unsearchable Eternal, Immutable Being who is the Author and Preserver of the Universe."[7]

Doctrine

The following doctrines, as noted in Renaissance of Hinduism, are common to all varieties and offshoots of the Brahmo Samaj:[8]

• Brahmo Samajists have no faith in any scripture as an authority.
• Brahmo Samajists have no faith in Avatars
• Brahmo Samajists denounce polytheism and idol-worship.
• Brahmo Samajists are against caste restrictions.
• Brahmo Samajists make faith in the doctrines of Karma and Rebirth optional.

Divisions of Brahmo Samaj

• Adi Brahmo Samaj
• Sadharan Brahmo Samaj

Anusthanic versus Ananusthanic Brahmos

To understand the differences between the two streams of Brahmo Samaj it is essential to understand that these implicit distinctions are based on caste. The Anusthanic Brahmos are exclusively either Brahmins or casteless, and exclusively adhere to Brahmoism and have no other faith. The Ananusthanic Brahmo Samajists, however, are from the remaining main caste divisions of Hinduism like Kayastha, Baidya etc. and hence within the Karmic / Rebirth wheel to eternally progress (i.e. Sanatana Dharm) to God by moving up caste hierarchies, unlike anusthanic Brahmos for whom the next step after death is reintegration and renewal with 'God'.[9]

History and timeline

Brahmo Sabha


On 20 August 1828 the first assembly of the Brahmo Sabha (progenitor of the Brahmo Samaj) was held at the North Calcutta house of Feringhee Kamal Bose. This day was celebrated by Brahmos as Bhadrotsab (ভাদ্রোৎসব Bhadrotshôb "Bhadro celebration"). These meetings were open to all Brahmins and there was no formal organisation or theology as such.[10][11]

On 8 January 1830 influential progressive members of the closely related Kulin Brahmin clan[12] scurrilously[13] described as Pirali Brahmin ie. ostracised for service in the Mughal Nizaamat of Bengal) of Tagore (Thakur) and Roy (Vandopādhyāya) zumeendar family mutually executed the Trust deed of Brahmo Sabha for the first Adi Brahmo Samaj (place of worship) on Chitpore Road (now Rabindra Sarani), Kolkata, India with Ram Chandra Vidyabagish as first resident superintendent.[14]

On 23 January 1830 or 11th Magh, the Adi Brahmo premises were publicly inaugurated (with about 500 Brahmins and 1 Englishman present). This day is celebrated by Brahmos as Maghotsab (মাঘোৎসব Maghotshôb "Magh celebration").

In November 1830 Rammohun Roy left for England. Akbar II had conferred the title of 'Raja' to Rammohun Roy.[15]

Brief Eclipse of Brahmo Sabha

With Rammohun's departure for England in 1830, the affairs of Brahmo Sabha were effectively managed by Trustees Dwarkanath Tagore and Pandit Ram Chandra Vidyabagish, with Dwarkanath instructing his diwan to manage affairs.

By the time of Rammohun's death in 1833 near Bristol (UK), attendance at the Sabha dwindled and the Telugu Brahmins revived idolatry. The zameendars, being preoccupied in business, had little time for affairs of Sabha, and flame of Sabha was almost extinguished.[16]

Tattwabodhini period

On 6 October 1839, Debendranath Tagore, son of Dwarkanath Tagore, established Tattvaranjini Sabha which was shortly thereafter renamed the Tattwabodhini ("Truth-seekers") Sabha. Initially confined to immediate members of the Tagore family, in two years it mustered over 500 members. In 1840, Debendranath published a Bangla translation of Katha Upanishad. A modern researcher describes the Sabha's philosophy as modern middle-class (bourgeois) Vedanta.[17]. Among its first members were the "two giants of Hindu reformation and Bengal Renaissance", Akshay Kumar Datta, who in 1839 emerged from the life of an "anonymous squalor-beset individual", and Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar, the "indigenous modernizer".[18]

First Covenant and merger with the Tattwabodhini Sabha

On 7th Pous 1765 Shaka (1843) Debendranath Tagore and twenty other Tattwabodhini stalwarts were formally invited by Pt. Vidyabagish into the Trust of Brahmo Sabha. The Pous Mela at Santiniketan starts on this day.[19] From this day forth, the Tattwabodhini Sabha dedicated itself to promoting Ram Mohan Roy's creed.[20] The other Brahmins who swore the First Covenant of Brahmoism are:-

• Shridhar Bhattacharya
• Shyamacharan Bhattacharya
• Brajendranath Tagore
• Girindranath Tagore, brother of Debendranath Tagore & father of Ganendranath Tagore
• Anandachandra Bhattacharya
• Taraknath Bhattacharya
• Haradev Chattopadhyaya, the future father-in-law to MahaAcharya Hemendranath Tagore[21]
• Shyamacharan Mukhopadhyaya
• Ramnarayan Chattopadhyaya
• Sashibhushan Mukhopadhyaya

Disagreement with the Tattwabodhini

In Nov 1855 the Rev. Charles Dall (a Unitarian minister of Boston) arrived in Calcutta to start his mission, and immediately established contact with Debendranath and other Brahmos. Debendranath's suspicion of foreigners alienated Dall, and in 1857 Debendranath Tagore barred him from the Sabha premises for using them to preach "the name of Christ who some people worship as God".[22][23] Debendranath then proceeded on spiritual retreat to Simla. Dall immediately formed a rival group, the "Friends of Rammohun Roy Society", and arranged for a protégé, Keshub Chandra Sen, to be admitted to Sabha. The presence of Sen (a non-Brahmin) while Debendranath was away in 1857 caused considerable stress in the movement, with many longstanding Tattvabodhini Brahmin members publicly leaving the Brahmo Sabha and institutions in protest against his high-handed ways. In September 1858, Debendranath returned to Calcutta to resolve the simmering disputes, but his natural caution prevented him from taking decisive steps. He proceeded on a sea voyage to Ceylon accompanied by Sen and his second son Satyendranath (a firm admirer of Sen), but no settlement was achieved. In 1859, the venerable and beloved Secretary of the Tattwabodhini Sabha Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar resigned from the Brahmo Sabha in the face of Debendranath's vacillation. A meeting of the Tatwabodhini was promptly summoned, and Debendranath resigned from the group he had founded. His third son Hemendranath Tagore, then a boy barely 15 years of age, and the favorite pupil of Vidyasgar, was commonly acclaimed as Debendranath's successor to head the Tattwabodhini. He would eventually become known as the MahaAcharya (or Great Teacher).

Expansion of the Tattwabodhini Sabha

Disgusted by politics within the Tagore family and the support to K. C. Sen's faction by his own brother Satyendranath Tagore, Hemendranath took the bold decisions to expand his Sabha out from Calcutta. His close associate Pandit Nobin Chandra Roy who had joined the new institution of "Railways" in 1860 as its "Paymaster" for Upper India was tasked to spread Brahmoism there. With a predominantly monotheistic populace following Islam and Sikhism it was perceived as fertile soil for Rammohun's message. The Tattwabodhini decreed that the uncorrupted faith of the original 1830 Trust Deed would be known there as the Adi Dharm to distinguish it from the distorted versions of the squabbling factions of Calcutta. The steps taken by Hemendranath Tagore, with the blessing of his father, was to institute in 1860 a suit before the Supreme Court to restore the title "Brahmo Samaj" to his faction. After losing in this suit in 1861, Keshub Sen's faction altered the name of their Samaj from "The Brahmo Samaj of India" to "Navabidhan (or the New Dispensation)". With victory in this suit and the promulgation of his Brahmo Anusthan (Code of Brahmaic doctrine and practice) in 1861, Hemendranath's Samaj-ists are henceforth known as the "Anusthanic" Brahmos (or Brahmos who follow the Code). The other factions were designated as "Ananusthanic" Brahmos (or those who do not follow the Code) (this distinction was again to be legally examined before the Privy Council of Great Britain in 1901 and in 1902 the Privy Council upheld the 1897 finding of the Chief Court of the Punjab that the Adi Dharm (anusthanic Brahmos) were definitely not Hindus whereas the Ananusthanics Brahmos of Calcutta fall within Hinduism).

Foundation of the Brahmo Samaj

In 1861 the Brahmo Somaj (as it was spelled then) was founded at Lahore by Nobin Roy.[24] It included many Bengalis from the Lahore Bar Association. Many branches were opened in the Punjab, at Quetta, Rawalpindi, Amritsar etc.

First Secession

Disagreement with the Tattvabodhini came to a head publicly between the period of 1 August 1865 till November 1866 with many tiny splinter groups styling themselves as Brahmo. The most notable of these groups styled itself "Brahmo Samaj of India". This period is also referred to in the histories of the secessionists as the "First Schism".[25]

Brahmo Samaj and Swami Narendranath Vivekananda

Swami Vivekananda was influenced by the Brahmo Samaj of India, and visited the Sadharan Brahmo Samaj in his youth.[26]

Brahmo Samaj of South of India

The faith and Principles of Brahmo Samaj had spread to South Indian states like Andrapradesh, Tamilnadu, Karnataka, and Kerala with a large number of followers.

In Kerala the faith and principles of Brahmosamaj and Raja Ram Mohun Roy had been propagated by Ayyathan Gopalan, and reform activities had been led by establishing Brahmosamaj in 1898 in the Calicut (now Kozhikode) region. Gopalan was a doctor by profession, but dedicated his life to Brahmosamaj, and was an active executive member of the Calcutta Sadharan Brahmosamaj until his death.

The Calicut (Kerala) branch of Brahmomandir (Hall for conducting prayer meetings) was opened to public in the year 1900 (Now Ayathan School which runs under the patronage of Brahmosamaj at Jail road, Calicut). Second Branch of Brahmosamaj at Kerala was established at Alappuzha (South Kerala) in the year 1924 with a Brahmomandir(Hall for conducting prayer meeting's) established at Poonthoppu ,Kommady (now Grihalakshmi Gandhi Smaraka seva sangam).

DR.Ayyathan Gopalan was a great social reformer of Kerala and was also the founder of Sugunavardhini movement which was established in order to foster human values in children and to protect the rights of women, children, and the downtrodden sections such as the Harijan communities (Dalits) and to educate them. He established the Lady Chandawarkar Elementary School with the aim of educating girls and the underprivileged.

Ayyathan Gopalan translated the "Bible of Brahmosamaj" or "Brahmodarma[27] written by Maharshi Debendranath Tagore into Malayalam in 1910.

Current status and number of adherents

While the various Calcutta sponsored movements declined after 1920 and faded into obscurity after the Partition of India, the Adi Dharm creed has expanded and is now the 9th largest of India's enumerated religions with 7.83 million adherents, heavily concentrated between the states of Punjab and Uttar Pradesh. In the Indian census of 2001 only 177 persons declared themselves a "Brahmo", but the number of subscriber members to Brahmo Samaj is somewhat larger at around 20,000 members.[28][29]

Social and religious reform

In all fields of social reform, including abolition of the caste system and of the dowry system, emancipation of women, and improving the educational system, the Brahmo Samaj reflected the ideologies of the Bengal Renaissance. Brahmoism, as a means of discussing the dowry system, was a central theme of Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay's noted 1914 Bengali language novella, Parineeta.

In 1866, Keshub Chandra Sen organised the more radical "Bharatvarshiya Brahmo Samaj" with overtones of Christianity. He campaigned for the education of women and against child marriages. But he nonetheless arranged a marriage for his own underage daughter Suniti with the prince of Coochbehar. The Brahmo Samaj of India split after this act of underage marriage generated a controversy and his pro-British utterances and leaning towards Christian rites generated more controversies. A third group, "Sadharan (ordinary) Brahmo Samaj", was formed in 1878. It gradually reverted to the teaching of the Upanishads but continued the work of social reform. The movement, always an elite group without significant popular following, lost force in the 20th century.

After the controversy of underage marriage of Keshub Chunder Sen's daughter, the Special Marriages Act of 1872 was enacted to set the minimum age of 14 years for marriage of girls.[30] All Brahmo marriages were thereafter solemnised under this law. Many Indians resented the requirement of the affirmation "I am not Hindu, nor a Mussalman, nor a Christian" for solemnising a marriage under this Act. The requirement of this declaration was imposed by Henry James Sumner Maine, legal member of Governor General's Council appointed by Britain. The 1872 Act was repealed by the Special Marriage Act, 1954 under which any person of any religion could marry. The Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 applies to all Hindus (including "followers" of the Brahmo Samaj) but not to the adherents of the Brahmo religion.

It also supported social reform movements of people not directly attached to the Samaj, such as Pandit Iswar Chandra Vidyasagar’s movement which promoted widow remarriage.

See also

• Hinduism portal
• India portal
• Society portal
• History portal
• History of Bengal
• Arya Samaj
• Brahmo
• Prarthana Samaj
• Tattwabodhini Patrika
• Brahmosamaj Kerala and Dr. Ayyathan Gopalan

References and notes

1. J. N. Farquhar, Modern Religious Movements of India (1915), p. 29
2. "Brahmo Samaj and the making of modern India, David Kopf, publ. 1979 Princeton University Press (USA)."
3. "Modern Religious movements in India, J.N.Farquhar (1915)" page 29 etc.
4. "Official Brahmo website". Brahmosamaj.in. Retrieved 15 October 2012.
5. "Bangladesh Law Commission" (PDF). Retrieved 15 October 2012.
6. page 1 Chapter 1 Volume 1 History of the Brahmo Samaj by Sivanath Sastri, 1911, 1st edn. publisher R.Chatterji, Cornwallis St. Calcutta. Brahmo (ব্রাহ্ম bramho) literally means "one who worships Brahman", and Samaj (সমাজ shômaj) mean "community of men".
7. Trust deed of Brahmo Sabha 1830
8. Source: The Gazetteer of India, Volume 1: Country and people. Delhi, Publications Division, Government of India, 1965. CHAPTER VIII – Religion. HINDUISM by Dr. C.P.Ramaswami Aiyar, Dr. Nalinaksha Dutt, Prof. A.R.Wadia, Prof. M.Mujeeb, Dr.Dharm Pal and Fr. Jerome D'Souza, S.J.
9. "Anusthanic Brahmos, Ananusthnic Brahmo Samaj". World Brahmo Council.
10. "Socio-Religious Reform Movements in British India" By Kenneth W. Jones page 33-34, publ. 1989 Cambridge Univ. Press. ISBN 0-521-24986-4 This Sabha was convened at Calcutta by religious reformer Raja Rammohun Roy for his family and friends settled there. The Sabha regularly gathered on Saturday between seven o'clock to nine o'clock. These were informal meetings of Bengali Brahmins (the "twice born"), accompanied by Upanishadic recitations in Sanskrit followed by Bengalitranslations of the Sanskrit recitation and singing of Brahmo hymns composed by Rammohun.
11. "Modern Religious movements in India, J.N.Farquhar (1915)"
12. "A History of Brahmin Clans" (Brāhmaṇa Vaṃshõ kā Itihāsa) in Hindi, by Dorilāl Śarmā, published by Rāśtriya Brāmhamana Mahāsabhā, Vimal Building, Jamirābād, Mitranagar, Masūdābād, Aligarh-1, 2nd edn. 1998. and also footnotes to Bengali Brahmin
13. "Tagore, (Prince) Dwarkanath". Banglapedia. 22 April 2009. Archived from the original on 3 July 2015. Retrieved 23 July 2015.
14. "Online copy of 1830 Trust Deed". brahmosamaj.in. Retrieved 15 October 2012.
15. Socio-Religious Reform Movements in British India By Kenneth W. Jones page 34, publ. 1989 Cambridge Univ. Press. ISBN 0-521-24986-4
16. H.C.Sarkar-History of the Brahmo Religion (1906)
17. <2007: Brian Hatcher "Journal of American Academy of Religion"
18. "Brahmo Samaj and the making of modern India, David Kopf, Princeton University press", pp 43–57
19. "Rabindra Bharati Museum Kolkata, The Tagores & Society". Rabindrabharatiuniversity.net. Archived from the original on 7 March 2005. Retrieved 15 October 2012.
20. "Bourgeois Hinduism", Brian Allison Hatcher. pg 57–58.
21. "History of the Brahmo Samaj", S. Sastri. 2nd ed. p.81
22. "The Brahmo Samaj and making of Modern India", David Kopf, publ. Princeton Univ.
23. "Brahmoism, or a history of reformed Hinduism" (1884), R. C. Dutt
24. page.4 "Pakistan journal of history and culture, Volume 11", by National Institute of Historical and Cultural Research (Pakistan)
25. Pt.Shivnath Shastri: Brahmo History- 1911.Page 106-107, 2nd edn.
26. Chattopadhyaya, Rajagopal (31 December 1999). "Book: "Swami Vivekananda in India: A Corrective Biography"". Motilal Banarsidass Publishers Private Limited. Retrieved 23 March 2017.
27. "Brāhmo Samāj". Religion Past and Present. Retrieved 2 February 2020.
28. "Brahmo Samaj FAQ Frequently asked Questions". Brahmo.org. 25 July 2011. Archived from the original on 25 July 2011. Retrieved 15 October 2012.
29. Statewise census computation Archived 3 March 2016 at the Wayback Machine by the Brahmo Conference Organisation
30. "Brahma Sabha". Banglapedia. Retrieved 23 July 2015.

External links

• The Brahmo Samaj
• Brahmo Samaj.net
• Brahmo Samaj in the Encyclopædia Britannica
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

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Adi Dharm
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 2/11/20

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Adi Dharm refers to the religion of Adi Brahmo Samaj (Bengali: আদি ব্রাহ্ম সমাজ, Adi Brahmô Shômaj) the first development of Brahmoism and includes those Sadharan Brahmo Samajists who were reintegrated into Brahmoism after the 2nd schism of 1878 at the instance of Hemendranath Tagore.[1] This was the first organised casteless movement in British India and reverberated from its heart of Bengal to Assam, Bombay State (modern Sindh, Maharashtra and Gujarat), Punjab and Madras, Hyderabad, and Bangalore.

Tenets

It was never conceived as an "anti-caste" movement, but stood for repudiation of all "distinctions between people" and foundation of a modern educated secular Indian nation under the timeless and formless One God, and its adherents as Adi-Dharmis (or worshipers of the ancient formless indivisible One god Brahma or the Parambrahma "The One without a Second" or EkAdavaitam). Although the doctrine of Adi Dharma is superficially similar to other reformatory "sects" of Hinduism which speak of "different paths to One God", the core beliefs of Adi Dharm irrevocably place Adi Dharm and Brahmoism as the youngest of India's nine religions beyond the pale of "Hinduism's catholicism and elasticity".[2]

The core Adi-Dharma doctrinal beliefs differing from Brahmanical Hinduism include:

1. There is only One "Supreme Spirit", Author and Preserver of Existence. (... Beyond description, immanent, transcendent, eternal, formless, infinite, powerful, radiant, loving, light in the darkness, ruling principle of existence .... Polytheism is denounced. Idolatry i.e. worship of images is opposed.)
2. There is no salvation and no way to achieve it. ("Works will win". Worshipful work is the way of existence. Work is for both body and soul. All life exists to be consumed. The soul is immortal and does not return to this World. There is neither Heaven nor Hell nor rebirth)
3. There is no scripture, revelation, creation, prophet, priest or teacher to be revered. (Only the Supreme Spirit of Existence can be revered – not the Vedas, Granths, Bibles or Quran etc. Worship consist of revering the "inner light within" i.e. enlightened conscience)

4. There is no distinction. (All men are equal. Distinctions like caste, race, creed, colour, gender, nationality etc. are artificial. There is no need for priests, places of worship, long sermons[3] etc. "Man-worship" or "God-men" are abhorrent to the faith and denounced since there is no mediator between man and God).

Founders of Adi Dharma

The Adi Dharma religion was started by Ram Mohan Roy, Debendranath Tagore and Prasanna Coomar Tagore.

This Adi Brahma religion Adi Dharma was originally propounded by these Brahmins of Bengal who were excommunicated from Hindu faith for opposing social and priestly evils of the time (18th and 19th centuries). Previously the original ancestors (5 legendary Brahmin scholars of Kannauj Kanyakubja school deputed to the King of Bengal) of all these Bengali Brahmins had been excommunicated from Kannauj (Uttar Pradesh) in the 10th/11th century AD after their return from Bengal.

Mobility

"Mobility" i.e. leaving the home and being exposed to external influence meant loss of caste for Brahmins (a social device to conserve meagre land holdings and priestly incomes).

Mobile scholars of priestly Brahmin clans such as these in contact with (or in the service of) foreign rulers – like the Mughals or European companies or Indian princelings – were deliberately ostracised by their "fixed" priestly Hindu clan peers (relatives) ensconced within the numerous temples of Bengal and denied their shares of ancestral undivided properties and incomes. As a consequence ghastly social evils like Sati (or the burning alive of Hindu widows) were encouraged, primarily by the fixed priestly class. The mobile clan members banded into associations (Sabhas) to oppose these un-Brahmic practices colliding head on with orthodox ("fixed") Hindu society in Bengal.


The Mughal 'Raja' Rammohun was the first Indian to cross the seas to Britain in 1833, followed by 'Prince' Dwarkanath in 1842. Rajah was so exhausted by work that he became seriously ill and died at Bristol.

Genesis of Adi Dharma

Image
Rabindranath Tagore with wife Mrinalini Devi from a Pirali Brahmin clan which some Tagores regularly married into

The Adi Dharma founders were regularly tainted and scandalised by orthodoxy as Pirali Brahmin and defamed as being officially banned from entering temples like Jaganath Temple (Puri) by Govt regulations of 1807.[4]

The term "Pirali" historically carried a stigmatized and pejorative connotation amongst Brahmins; its eponym is the vizier Mohammad Tahir Pir Ali, who served under a governor of Jessore. Pir Ali was a Brahmin Hindu convert to Islam; his example resulted in the additional conversion of two Brahmins brothers. As a result, Brahmin Hindu society shunned the brothers' relatives (who had not converted),[19] and the descendants of these Hindu relatives became known as the Pirali Brahmins — among whom numbered the Tagores.[20]

-- Bengali Brahmins, by Wikipedia


Subsequently, their families also faced great difficulty in arranging marriages for some of their children such as India's poet-laureate Rabindranath Tagore who could only manage a Pirali Brahmin bride unlike his brothers who married high caste Brahmin brides. This ultimate exclusionary weapon of Hindu orthodoxy resulted in endogamous (i.e. casteist) tendencies in Adi-Dharm marriage practice between these 2 branches of Adi Dharma in the Tagore family, placing Satyendranath Tagore and Rabindranath Tagore and their families against their exogamous brothers. The noted Adi Brahmo historian Kshitindranath Tagore (son of Hemendranath Tagore) who succeeded Rabindranath Tagore as Editor of the Adi Dharma organ, has written that it was Rabindranath who destroyed many family documents.[5]

"In those days the practice of having Gharjamai was in vogue in our family, mainly because we were Piralis and then became Brahmos; therefore, there was no possibility of somebody from a good Hindu family marrying into our (ie. the endogamous branch) family .. the system of marriages amongst relatives was started. .. it became almost impossible to get our children married. Our being ostracised by the Hindu society provided us with a certain freedom in absorbing western influences, and at the same time the Adi Brahmo Samaj was a branch of Hindu society in all respects except the practice of idolatry. Maharshi always expressed a hearty desire to establish this, and as such all the rituals and customs of Hindu society were followed in his family, and that environment prevailed at least till he was alive," wrote Indira Devi Choudhurani (Smritisamput Vol I (1997/2000), in Bengali, Rabindra Bhaban, Viswa Bharati, p. 18-19). Indira Devi Choudhurani was daughter of Satyendranath Tagore and very close to Rabindranath. "The Autobiography of Debendranath Tagore" is also "attributed" to Satyendranath Tagore and this daughter.


Adi Brahma Dharm timeline

Adi Brahma Sabha


Consequently, the Adi Brahmos then set up their own faith called Adi Brahma Sabha in 1828/1830 by Trust deed of Brahmo Sabha and codified their religion as Adi Brahma Dharma published from 1848. The founders of this Brahmo religion were foremost reformers for nationalism, equality, secularism and education which now stand enshrined in the Constitution of India as Fundamental Rights. These founding fathers of Adi Dharma believed then that Hinduism was thoroughly corrupted and debased and that strong Law (i.e. Dharma) of first Moslems and then English Rulers could cleanse India from these evils. For their associations with the Rulers of the times, they were ostracised and barred from orthodox Hindu society but were amply compensated by "being so weighed down in honours by the British that they forgot all the radicalism of their youth." It was Dwarkanath Tagore alone who could publicly lambast an English Magistrate Abercrombie Dick on the emergence of servile mai-baap (great lord) ruling culture of 19th-century Bengal as follows:

... If Mr.Dick wishes me to specify what I deem the present characteristic failings of the natives I answer that they are – a want of truth, a want of integrity, a want of independence. .. arising from being subjected to misrule of an igorant, intolerant and licentious soldiery .. falling into abject submission, deceit and fraud.[6]


Previously in 1829 Dwarkanath and Prasanna Coomar had founded the Landholders (Zamindars) Association which in its variants went on to play such role in modern India's development. The first major success of this Zamindari Sabha was arraigning the East India Company forces against Titumir a Muslim extortionist of Zamindar's (landlords who perpetuated a system of feudalism with the support of the British), at Nadia in November 1831.

Trust deed Principles (1830)

By the 1830 Trust deed of Brahmo Sabha principles it was held that all men are equal and without distinction and there is no need for priests or formal places for worship etc.

Adi Dharma doctrine (1848/1850)

By the 1848 Adi Brahma Dharma published doctrine of Debendranath Tagore, it was held that present Hinduism doctrine is corrupted, but that the original Vedas of pre-Aryan times (being relatively pure, though still fallible and not Scripture to be relied on) as reflected by 11 judiciously chosen Upanishads also speak of a single formless God who requires no temple or priest or idol for worship, only a rational and pure conscience of an intelligent mind. That there is no caste – high or low – all people are equal, in this World and before God. The doctrine of reincarnation is rejected. The doctrine of God being incarnate is also rejected.

Caste Disability Removal Act (1850)

This publication resulted in the famous "Removal of Caste Disabilities Act" of August 1850, and Brahmos were free to establish their own religion and marry amongst themselves without fear of disinheritance from ancestral property. At the 23 December 1850 annual meeting of Calcutta Brahmo Samaj, Debendranath formally announced the Brahma Dharma as doctrine of the new religion. This announcement resolving certain aspects of Hinduism in Rammohun's doctrine also served to effectively separate Brahmoism from Hinduism.[7]

Lala Hazarilal's Shudra controversy (1851)

Krishnanagar in Nadia district of West Bengal has always had special place in Brahmoism. Many old Brahmo families came from here including that of Ramtanu Lahiri who was the first Adi Dharmi to renounce his Brahmanical caste thread in 1851 (even before Debendra Nath who removed his in 1862). The gesture by Debendranath of sending Lala Hazarilal of Indore (an untouchable from the lowest Shudra caste by birth) as Adi Dharma's first preacher to Krishnagar instead of a Brahmin preacher well versed in Sankskrit literature was, however, not too well appreciated and gave great offence to the Nadia royal family.[8]

Christian missionaries banned (1856)

In 1856, Christian preachers attempting to convert Adi Dharma adherents were banned entry into Brahmo premises by Debendranath Tagore.

Adi Dharma mission to Punjab (1861)

In 1861 the famous Adi Brahmo preacher Pundit Navin Chandra Rai ("Roy") went to Punjab and spread this new faith and opened many Adi Brahmo houses of worship all over Punjab (West and East) at Jullundur, Lyallpur, Lahore, Amritsar etc. People of all faiths and castes without distinction flocked to the new creed, and over 580 Pandit families were enrolled till 1870. Subsequently, the Oriental College was established at Lahore by Pundit N.C. Rai.

Adi Dharma mission to Andhra & Telangana

In 1861 another Adi Brahmo preacher Atmuri Lakshminarasimham returned to Madras Presidency and devoted much time in the Telugu speaking areas. Many publications of Adi Samaj in Bengali were translated into Telugu language and published by him from the printing presses of Madras. In 1862, he came in contact with and converted Kandukuri Viresalingam who was to become father of Telugu language and notable Brahmo nationalist of the era. Later the two fell out over religious differences

First schism in Brahmo Samaj (1866)

In 1865/1866 there was a dispute in the Brahmo Samaj over caste distinctions, and many younger members of the Samaj who were influenced by Christian missionaries were expelled from the Adi Samaj by Hemendranath Tagore – which religion was henceforth known as the Adi Brahmo Samaj.

Character of Adi Dharma changes (1867–)

From 1867 after the First Schism, the Adi Dharam movement became stridently nationalistic. A Hindu Mela was regularly organised which became the precursor to the Swadeshi movement and then the Indian National Congress. In the meanwhile the expelled Christian factions from Adi Samaj launched a sustained and bitter campaign to wean away the Adi Dharma missions outside Bengal. A great deal of propaganda was hurled from both sides.

Brahmo marriage (bill) controversy (1871)

In 1871 the expelled group petitioned the Government to recognise them and their inter-faith marriages claiming that Brahmos are not Hindu, not Christian, Moslem, Jew or Parsi etc. The Adi Brahmo group opposed this stating, We are Brahmos first, and Hindus second and finally a compromise Law was passed as Act III of 1872 to enable marriages between Brahmos and thereby recognising the Brahmo religion by State.

Adi Dharma's Maharshi and Gurudev visit Punjab (1872)

In 1872/1873 Debendranath Tagore (the Maharshi) and his son Rabindranath Tagore (Gurudev) visited Punjab and spent much time in worship at the Golden Temple at Amritsar. A famous Sikh gentleman Sirdar Dayal Singh Majithia from the priestly family of this temple joined the Adi Dharma and subsequently contributed much money to the faith and also became a founder Trustee of the Sadharan Brahmo Samaj in 1880.

Emergence of Arya Samaj in Punjab (1875)

In the meantime (1872–1875) in Punjab due to Schisms in Adi Brahmo Samaj at Calcutta, a new variant of Adi Brahmoism called Arya Samaj began to take root. While travelling its founder Swami Dayanand came into close and extended contact with Raj Narayan Bose, Debendranath Tagore etc. Swami Dayanand closely studied Tagore's book Brahmo Dharma, a comprehensive manual of religion and ethics for Adi Dharma, while in Calcutta. The bone of contention between these two Samaj's was over the authority of the Vedas – whose authority the Adi Dharma reject and hold to be inferior works, whereas Arya Samaj hold Vedas to be divine revelation. Despite this difference of opinion, however, it seems that the members of the Brahmo Samaj and Swami Dayanand parted on good terms, the former having publicly praised the latter's visit to Calcutta in several journals and the latter having taken inspiration from the former's activity in the social sphere.

Lala Hardayal pracharok in Northern India (1876)

Another close associate of Debendranath Tagore, Lala Hardayal volunteered to promote the Adi Dharma cause in the Central Provinces and Punjab. He linked up with Sirdar Dayal Singh Majithia and the pure Adi Dharma message of One God without Caste or Priests took great root in this Province. Many low caste Sikhs, low caste Hindu converts to Christianity etc. joined the Adi Brahma Dharma to be eventually absorbed back after education into their respective faiths. It is pertinent that Debendranath was greatly influenced by works of Kabir and Baba Guru Nanak and always kept their books at his side.

Developments of Adi Dharma in Telangana (1870–1880)

By 1871 Kandukuri Veeresalingam (father of Telugu nation) was heavily influenced by Brahmoism. A movement was covertly established by him to seek independence of the Telugu speaking provinces of Madras Presidency and the Nizamate of Hyderabad. A secret society for this was organised in 1878 in Rajahmundry under the cover of Prarthana Samaj of Andhra Pradesh. He bitterly opposed immoral (i.e. polygamy and child marriage) practices of the upper classes of Telangana starting a new phase of reform for Adi Dharma in Telugu speaking regions.

"He contributed to the political sphere by his activist journalism of writing about issues such as corruption in the local administration. The presidency government kept a close tab on the Indian language press and sometimes responded to investigate such allegations. Viresalingam also intervened more directly by conducting widow remarriages and popularising new forms of voluntary association."[9]


Kandukuri vacillated between Adi Dharm nationalism and Keshab Sen's dictum of "Loyalty to Sovereign" being rewarded with Rao Bahadur title in 1893 by British. But by clinging to Keshab Sen philosophy of "Loyalty to Sovereign" till 1907, Viresalingam found himself increasingly isolated from the militant ideology of Adi Dharma's new stridently nationalistic adherents in the region.[10]

2nd phase of formation of Provincial Samajes (1878–)

In 1862 and again in 1864 the Adi Dharma stalwarts from Calcutta visited Bombay, Madras Presidencies. They also visited Hyderabad (Deccan). As a result, many anti-caste, One Formless God Adi-Dharma affiliates were started including the Prarthana Samaj in Mumbai. The Veda Samaj in Madras, and the Brahma Samajam in what is now Andhra Pradesh.

Many Christian members reabsorbed in Adi Dharma (1878–1880)

In 1878 these expelled neo-Christian members split again, but almost all of them recanted (by getting executed a Trust deed of Sadharan Brahmo Samaj in 1880 virtually identical in Principles to the 1830 Adi Trust deed) and were reabsorbed into Brahmoism by Maharshi Debendranath and Raj Narayan Bose the founders of Hindutva (i.e. Brahmoism's nationalistic religion of Adi Dharma of pre-Aryan uncorrupt times means All Indians are One without distinction, regionalism and caste) as Sadharan Brahmo Samaj. The small remainder of Adi heretics formed a Christian / Baha'i new world religion called Navabidhan or New Dispensation and are not considered part of Adi Dharma and in 1891 formed another Samaj in Bangladesh and are called Sammilani's (or Universal Brahmo Religionists) organising annual Conference of Theists.

Tragedies in Tagore family of 1884

In 1884 there were two demises in Debendranath's family. The deaths of his third son Hemendranath at the young age of 40 and the unexplained suicide of his daughter-in-law Kadambari Devi (wife of his fifth son Jyotirindranath the then Secretary of the Adi Brahmo Samaj) in April were to have significant implications for Adi Dharm.

Legal victories for Adi Dharma (1897–1903)

In 1897 a landmark decision of the High Court of the Punjab in Sirdar Dayal Singh's case after his demise, upholds that Brahmoism is a separate religion from Hinduism (except for the Adi Brahmos – Adi Dharma'ites who remain within Hinduism), whereas simultaneously affirming such gems as " .. Sikhs are Hindoos and nothing but Hindoos .." and " A Sikh (Sardar Dyal Singh) who follows Brahmoism without actually converting to it continues to remain a Hindoo". This decision is confirmed by the Privy Council in 1903 (Rani Bhagwan Koer & Anr. vs. Acharya J.C.Bose and Ors) and is the leading Judgement even today on the vexed question of "who is a Hindu?".

Adi Dharma in N.India, Pandit Nabin Chandra Ray

The heart of Adi Dharma in Punjab Province was Bengal's Adi Brahmo Samaj legend Pundit Nabin Chandra Ray. The Punjab Brahmo Samaj under his influence favoured Hindi language as against Punjabi actuated by nationalistic considerations. He looked upon Hindi as the national language of India and wanted it to be the foundation for the edifice of Indian nationality. He was the founder of Oriental College Lahore and also its principal. He was the first Asst. Registrar of Punjab University, and one of its Fellows. He was Secretary of the Stri Siksha Sabha fighting against heavy odds to establish girls schools. He was one of the most active members of the Anjumani Punjab, afterwards becoming its Secretary and renamed it as Jnan Vistarini Sabha engaging 8 Pundits to translate various works. To spread reform among the backward people of Punjab he published various newspapers in Punjabi, Urdu and Hindi and the highly controversial "Widow Remarriage Advertiser" in English. For the depressed classes he started a night school and the Chamar Sabha. His doors were open to all helpless and the poor.[11] After N.C.Rai left the Punjab in course of his service, initiation into Adi Dharm was given to castes other than Brahmin or Pandit by his successors – a few of whom were Sikh. As a result, many Sikhs also joined Adi Dharm in large numbers relying on the Mulmantra of Sikhism i.e. Japuji Sahib which begins as Ik Onkar Sat Naam Karta Purakh .. translated as "There is only one God His name is Truth He is the creator.."

Provocation in the Punjab (1900 -)

In 1900 the Government passed the Land Alienation Act. In 1907 other taxing laws were promulgated and finally in 1919 the Government of India Act was amended. As a result, the lower castes of North India were effectively deprived from land ownership. At the same time the Government divided the electorate on communal lines, resulting in sharp polarisation between Hindus, Muslims and Sikhs. To counter this the leadership of Adi Dharma (at its 1916 conference at Kanpur) resolved to propagate Adi Brahmoism as a distinct religion for the Punjab. In 1917 this resolution was also seconded by the Indian National Congress which was then closely associated with Adi Dharm.

Adi Dharma expands to Bodo people (1906)

In 1906 another preacher from Assam by name Kalicharan Brahma was initiated into Brahmoism. His reform work among the Bodo people established the Bodo Brahma Dharma among the Bathow religionists of Assam and reformed that religion of Adivasi Tribal people considerably. The followers of Adi Dharam in that region are known as Brahmas.

Schisms in Punjab branches (1922–)

From 1922 onwards, dissension in Arya Samaj factions of Punjab between the Vasant Rai and Mangoo Ram groups again split the regional Adi Dharma movement. Both groups approached the Lahore Headquarters of Adi Brahmo Samaj for recognition which was denied to both. This led to rivalry and inducements from all sides including Arya Samaj, Christian missionaries, Sikhism etc. causing considerable confusion in the Northern Provinces as to who represents Adi Dharma here. The major controversy at this time concerned many depressed caste Sikhs of Chamar grade in a supposedly casteless Sikhism rediscovered Ravidass's teachings of the 14th century (claimed by them to be incorporated in Guru Granth Sahib) and got themselves registered as Adi-Dharmi's in the 1921 and 1931 Census of Punjab after the legal decision in Bhagwan Koer's case and the Pirali precedent. This action by a section in the Punjab once again revived the Pirali controversy which echoed in Calcutta. Concerted action and representation by Adi Dharma and all sections of Brahmo Samaj ensured that after 1931 no further caste based Census took place in India. Thereafter the Congress Party revived casteism again with M.K. Gandhi asserting on 7 September 1936 ".. Sikhism is part of Hinduism and if becoming a Sikh is conversion then this kind of conversion on the part of Harijans is dangerous"

Adi Dharma leaders from the Punjab

• Lala Kashi Ramji – a widely respected person who travelled all over Northern India spreading message of the Samaj.
• Prof. Ruchi Ram Sahni – Secretary of Lahore Samaj and Secretary of Dayal Singh Educational Trust.
• Baboo Abinash Chandra Mazommdar – Set up many T.B. Sanitoria in Punjab and Simla.
• Bhai Prakash Devji – joined Adi Dharma after leaving Dev Samaj. Instrumental in drawing many adherents to Adi Dharm. Also Editor of Brahma Pracharak from 1903 till 1908.
• Bhai Sitaramji – Pillar of Punjab Samajes from Sialkot. After Partition settled in Delhi at Delhi Brahmo Samaj.
• Lala Basant Lalji – From orthodox Punjabi Kayastha family converted to Adi Dharm (Brahmo Samaj) on returning from England. Become Commissioner of Income Tax Delhi and pillar of Delhi Brahmo Samaj. His elder son was Air Chief Marshal Pratap Chandra Lal (Chief of Air Staff – India).

Marriage validity controversies (1938–)

Image
Indira Gandhi's controversial ".. neither conventional nor legal.. " Vedic wedding image. Guardian.co.uk

A considerable controversy also erupted at this time over validity of Arya Samaj marriages. With low caste converts to Christianity being reinducted into Hindu ranks after shuddhikaran or purification, orthodox Hindu society was not prepared to accept these reconverts or marry with them. With a few deaths of such converts often from very rich families or landed gentry, property disputes began reaching the Courts and the existing laws proved inadequate. With neither side willing to budge, a Marriage Law for Arya Samajis was deferred for almost 25 years. Luckily a fortituous occurrence took place. Krishna Hutheesing (a sister of Jawaharlal Nehru) wanted to marry a Prince – a Jain by religion. Such a marriage between parties of different castes although then allowed in law (by further amendment in the Brahmo law in 1923) was frowned upon and meant separation from the family and community. They arranged to be married under the Adi Brahmo Law of 1872 and gave false declarations (as was done in B.K.Nehru's case also). When these facts came out, the Adi Brahmo's fiercely objected to misuse of their Act and began to watch the banns.

In 1938 Jawaharal Nehru's daughter Indira insisted on getting married to her sweetheart Feroze. Once again being of different faiths they could not be legally married under any law of the time except the Adi Dharma Law. The elders (incl. Rabindranath Tagore) of Brahmo Samaj at Shantiniketan, Delhi and Allahabad were consulted (incl. by M.K.Gandhi) and who after considerable disagreement advised instead that the long pending Marriage Validity law for converted low caste Arya Samajis be enacted, which was speedily done in 1939 by an obliging British Government, enabling the loving couple to be wed in early 1942 by secret pre-Vedic Adi Dharm reformed Brahmic rites taught to Nehru's priest by Adi Dharma elders at Allahabad in the presence of Brahmos like Sarojini Naidu with the groom wearing a sacred Brahmic thread in secret.[12][13] Ever since, these Adi Dharma rites have been used by the Gandhi-Nehru family for their marriages – such as for Rajiv Gandhi to Sonia Gandhi, Sanjay Gandhi to Maneka Gandhi, Priyanka Gandhi to Robert Vadra etc. and the Vedic law of Adi Dharma has never been repealed despite passage of the Hindu Code in 1955 which repealed all such similar marriage validity laws for other faiths.

Post Independence developments (1947–)

After Partition of India in 1947, the Adi Brahmo Dharma Headquarters for the region shifted from Lahore to New Delhi to Adi Brahmo Brahmin descendants of Babu Raj Chandra Chaudhuri's (who married daughter of Babu N.C. Rai) family settled here.

Ambedkar and Adi Dharma (1949–)

In 1949–1950 B.R. Ambedkar approached the Adi Dharm leaders at Delhi to get absorbed his followers into Adi Dharma. Due to bitter debates in the Constituent Assembly with Brahmo members and over the Hindu Validity Marriages Validity Act 1949, he could not be accommodated within the Adi Dharma principles. This was chiefly due to his insistence on denouncing Manu – paradoxically respected by Adi Dharma's founding father's as a great Law Giver. Thereafter in about 1955 Ambedkar and his followers instead chose to join Buddhism.

Legal Status of the Brahmo (Adi Dharma) Religion

In 1901 (Bhagwan Koer & Ors v J.C.Bose & Ors, 31 Cal 11, 30 ELR IA 249) the Privy Council (Britain's highest judicial authority) upholds the finding of the High Court of the Punjab that the vast majority of Brahmo religionists are not Hindus and have their own religion unlike Sikhs ("who are Hindu and nothing but Hindus"). Debendranath Tagore was held to be the founder of the Brahmo religion. The Court distinguished Brahmo "religionists" from "followers" of the Brahmo Samaj who continue to retain their Hinduism.

In 1916 the Indian Civil Services Ethnography Administration Surveyor R.V. Russell examines in detail and publishes that Brahmo Samaj is indeed a Religion (and differentiates it from "sects").[14]

In 1949 the Government of India passes the "Hindu Marriages Validity Act". Despite discussion in Parliament Brahmos are not brought within the scope of this Law.

In 1955 the Government of India passes the "Hindu Code" (a comprehensive set of laws for Hindus). Again despite discussion in Parliament, Brahmo religionists are not brought within the scope of these laws which, however, now become applicable to Hindus who are also followers of the Brahmo Samaj .

In 2002, Bangladesh enacted a law recognising Brahmo religionists and Brahmo marriages to Hindus, Jains, Sikhs and Buddhists.

On 05.May.2004 the Supreme Court of India by order of the Chief Justice dismissed the Government of West Bengal's 30-year litigation to get Brahmos classified as Hindus. The matter had previously been heard by an 11 Judge Constitution Bench of the Court (the second largest bench in the Court's history).[15]

Future of Adi Dharma

The Adi Dharma movement of the Brahmo religion is today the largest of the Brahmo developments with over 8 million adherents. Adi Dharma has spawned not only the Indian National Congress party but also the Hindutva agenda of their opposition. Its radical contribution to India's polity was summed up by a President of India,

"It is ironic that a small dedicated group of outcaste twice born Brahmins of the highest caste of Bengal setting out to rid India of caste and prejudice have instead engendered a national Constitution which perpetuates a divisively violent Casteism in Hindu religion which tears the social fabric of India apart especially in the field of education."[16]


Brahmo Samaj of South India:

The faith and Principles of Brahmo Samaj had spread to South Indian states like Andrapradesh, Tamilnadu, Karnataka, and Kerala with a large number of followers.

In Kerala the faith and principles of Brahmosamaj and Raja Ram Mohun Roy had been propagated by Rao Sahib Dr. Ayyathan Gopalan in the year 1898 January 17th at Calicut (Now Kozhikode) region. He was a doctor by profession but dedicated his entire life towards Brahmosamaj and was an active executive member of Calcutta Sadharan Brahmosamaj till his death.

The Calicut (Kerala) branch of Brahmomandir was opened to public in the year 1900 (Now Ayathan School which runs under the patronage of Brahmosamaj at Jail road, Calicut). Second Branch of Brahmosamaj at Kerala was established at Alappuzha (South Kerala) in the year 1924 with a Brahmomandir established at Poonthoppu ,Kommady (now Grihalakshmi Gandhi Smaraka seva sangam).

DR. Ayyathan Gopalan was a great social reformer of Kerala and was also the founder of Sugunavardhini movement which was established in order to foster human values in children and to protect the rights of women, children, and the downtrodden sections such as the Harijan communities (Dalit's) of the society and educate them. He established the Lady Chandawarkar Elementary School with the aim to educate girls and the underprivileged section of society.

Dr. Ayyathan Gopalan was the one who translated the "Bible of Brahmosamaj"- "Brahmodarma" written by Maharshi Debendranath Tagore to Malayalam in the year 1910.

See also

• Adi Brahmo Samaj
• Arya Samaj
• Bodo Brahma Dharma
• Brahmo
• Brahmo Samaj
• Gayatri Mantra
• Hindutva
• History of Bengal
• Tattwabodhini Patrika
• Rao Sahib Dr.Ayyathan Gopalan

References

1. Particularly those Sadharan Brahmos who accept the core 1830 Adi Dharma Trust Principles
2. "31 Cal 11" Indian legal citation Rani Bhagwan Koer and Ors v. J.C.Bose and Ors.
3. Dwarkanath Tagore was most astounded in his First Voyage to England by the long lectures delivered as sermons at the Episcopal Kirk in Scotland. Little did he know that back home his son Debendranath was plotting a similar tradition of long sermons for Brahmos. Source: Dwarkanath tagore:A Life – Krisha Kriplani. p191.
4. Note By Dr. B. R. Ambedkar To The Indian Franchise Committee, (Lothian Committee) on the Depressed Classes, Submitted on 1 May 1932. "IV. Depressed Classes in Bengal", ".. (10) Rajbansi, (II) Pirali, (12) Chamar, (13) Dom, .."
5. Dwarkanath Thakurer Jibani publ. Rabindra Bharati University, Calcutta
6. The Englishman – 6 December 1838.
7. J. N. Farquhar, Modern Indian Religions, 1915.
8. Sivanath Sastri "History of Brahmo Samaj" 1911//1912 2nd edn.pg. 377 publ. "Sadharan Brahmo Samaj, Calcutta 1993"
9. "Fashioning Modernity in Telugu: Viresalingam and His Interventionist Strategy" Vakulabharanam Rajagopal University of Hyderabad, Sage Publications (2005) page 66
10. Rajagopal (2005) page 69
11. The Bombay Chronicle of Sunday 13 May 1929
12. Meena Agarwal (2005). Indira Gandhi. New Delhi: Diamond Pocket Books. p. 31. ISBN 978-81-288-0901-9. The pheras took place at night. The marriage ceremony was performed according to the Vedic tradition.
13. Katherine Frank (2002). Indira: The Life of Indira Nehru Gandhi. pp. 177–178. ISBN 978-0-395-73097-3. The ceremony uniting Indira and Feroze was neither conventional nor legal ... They were both reluctant to sign a declaration that they did not belong to any religion. .. Hence the illegality of ... Indira's marriage.
14. "Tribes and Castes of C.Provinces of India, R.V.Russel and Rai Bahadur Hira Lal, Vol 1 of 4 Volumes, Macmillan, London, 1916 "
15. Official Brahmo Samaj website http://www.brahmosamaj.org/
16. From the commemorative speech by N Sanjeeva Reddy, 27 Jan. 1981 at Kanpur for centenary celebrations of the Brahmo Conference Organisation.

External links

http://brahmosamaj.org
http://www.thebrahmosamaj.net
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Wed Feb 12, 2020 4:42 am

James Long (Anglican priest)
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Accessed: 2/11/20

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Image
Bust of James Long on James Long Sarani, Kolkata

James Long (1814–1887) was an Anglo-Irish priest of the Anglican Church. A humanist, educator, evangelist, translator, essayist, philanthropist and a missionary to India, he resided in the city of Calcutta, India, from 1840 to 1872 as a member of the Church Missionary Society, leading the mission at Thakurpukur.

Long was closely associated with the Calcutta School-Book Society, the Bethune Society, the Bengal Social Science Association and The Asiatic Society. He also published the English translation of the play Nil Darpan by Dinabandhu Mitra, an act for which he was subsequently prosecuted for libel, fined, and briefly jailed.

Early life

James Long was born in Bandon, County Cork, Ireland in 1814, when Ireland was still a part of the United Kingdom, to John Long and his wife Anne. At the age of twelve he was enrolled at the newly opened Bandon Endowed School, where he learnt "Hebrew, Greek, Latin, French and English languages; Euclid, Algebra, Logic; Arithmetic, Book-keeping, Reading, Writing, History and Geography".[1] He proved an excellent student, distinguishing himself especially in theology and the classics.

Long's application to join the Church Missionary Society was accepted in 1838 and he was sent to the Church Missionary Society College, Islington.[2] Following two years's training at Islington the Reverend Long was sent to Calcutta to join the CMS mission there. He arrived in Calcutta in 1840, briefly returning to England in 1848 to marry Emily Orme, daughter of William Orme.[3]

See also: Church Missionary Society in India

Calcutta and Thakurpukur

From 1840 to 1848, Long taught at the school for non-Christian students run by the CMS at its premises located on Amherst Street.[4] Returning to India a married man in 1848, he was placed in charge of the CMS mission in Thakurpukur, at the time a hamlet a day’s journey out of Calcutta in the Bengal Presidency. By 1851, Long had set up a vernacular school for boys in Thakurpukur, while his wife Emily ran a corresponding school for girls. In an 1854 letter to F. J. Halliday of the Council of Education, he boasts a roll-call of "about 100 boys, Hindu, Mussulman, and Christians."[5] His work Bengali Proverbs (1851) has been called a significant addition to Bengali literature.[6] He studied Bengali proverbs and folk literature for another two decades, publishing A Catalogue of Bengali Newspapers and Periodicals from 1818 to 1855 (1855), and the Descriptive Catalogue of Vernacular Books and Pamphlets which was forwarded by the Government of India to the Paris Exposition of 1867 .

The Nil Darpan affair

Image
Title page of Long's edition of the English Nil Darpan

In 1861, at the height of the Indigo revolt by the ryots in Bengal, Long received a copy of the Bengali play Nil Darpan (also transcribed as Neel Darpan or Nil Durpan) from its author Dinabandhu Mitra, who had been one of Long's students at the CMS school on Amherst Street. The play, published anonymously the previous year in Dacca, was sympathetic to the abject condition of the ryots or labourers on indigo plantations and critical of the British land-holding class who kept the ryots in slave-like conditions.[7] Long brought it to the notice of Walter Scott Seton-Karr, Secretary to the Governor of Bengal and ex-President of the Indigo Commission. Seton-Karr, sensing its importance, mentioned Nil Durpan in conversation with the Lieutenant Governor, John Peter Grant. Grant then expressed a wish to see a translation of it and print a few copies to be circulated privately amongst friends. Long had it anonymously translated into English "By A Native" (Long refused to divulge the name of the translator to the trial court; Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay later attributed the translation to Michael Madhusudan Dutt, although this attribution remains contentious[8]) and printed in either April or May 1861.[9] In his introduction to the play, he wrote that "[i]t is the earnest wish of the writer of these lines that harmony may be speedily established between the Planter and the Ryot..."[10] Long sent the translated manuscript to Clement Henry Manuel, the proprietor of the Calcutta Printing and Publishing Press, to print five hundred copies at the cost of some three hundred rupees. Unknown to the Lieutenant Governor, Long began sending out copies in official Government envelopes to prominent Europeans both in India and abroad that had the heading: "on her Majesty’s Service."[11]

The circulation of the play "generated hostility from indigo planters, who brought a lawsuit against Long on the charges that the preface of the play slandered the editors of the two pro-plantation newspapers, the Englishman and the Bengal Hurkaru, and that the text of the drama brought the planters a bad name."[12] As soon as the planters noticed the circulation of the play, W. F. Fergusson, the Secretary of the Landholders' and Commercial Association, wrote to the Governor of Bengal. He inquired as to which parties had sanctioned the play and whether the authority of the Bengal Government had given permission to publish it. He also threatened those who had circulated "foul and malicious libel on indigo planting, evoking sedition and breaches of the peace".[13] He wrote that they must be prosecuted "with an utmost rigour of the law".[14] The Lieutenant Governor replied that some officials had caused the offence; the planters, unsatisfied with the answer, decided to institute legal proceedings with a view to ascertain the authors and publishers of the Nil Durpan. The words mentioned in Long’s Introduction to the play stated that what was presented in it was "plain but true"; this was subsequently used by the planters in their prosecution of Long for publishing defamatory statements. C. H. Manuel, whose name was mentioned as printer of Nil Durpan, was indicted in the Calcutta Supreme Court on 11 June 1861. He pleaded guilty, and his counsel (acting on Long’s advice) named Long as his employer in the matter of publishing.

Long's trial lasted from 19 to 24 July 1861, at the Calcutta Supreme Court. Mr. Peterson and Mr. Cowie prosecuted, Mr. Eglinton and Mr. Newmarch appeared on behalf of the defendant, and Sir M.L. Wells presided as judge. Wells found Long guilty of libel,[15] fined him one thousand rupees and sentenced him to one month’s imprisonment, which he served in the period of July–August 1861.[16] Kaliprasanna Singha paid the fine of Long's behalf.


Later life and legacy

Following three years of home leave following the indigo controversy, Rev. and Mrs Long returned to Calcutta. Mrs Long died of amoebic dysentery while on a voyage back to England in February 1867.[17] After her death, Long shared a house in Calcutta with the Rev. Krishna Mohan Banerjee, a longtime friend and associate who had lost his wife the same year. Together the two men hosted joint Indo-British soirees—rare events in those segregated times—and generally sought to foster a rapprochement between the British colonizers and the natives. Guests included Bishop Cotton and Keshub Chunder Sen among others.

As Long continued his educational work, he developed a keen interest in Russia, which he visited for the first time in 1863, and twice after his retirement in 1872. In his paper entitled Russia, Central Asia, and British India published in London in 1865, he wrote of his optimism about the prospects of serf emancipation, and against the current attitude of paranoia towards Russia about the valuable role of the Russian government and of the Orthodox Church in propagating Christianity in central Asia to serve as a bulwark against Islam.


In 1872, Reverend James Long retired from the Church Missionary Society and left India for good. He lived for the rest of his life in London, where he continued to write and publish until his death on 23 March 1887. Long set up a posthumous endowment called the Long Lectureship in Oriental Religions in 1885, for the appointment of one or more lecturers annually to deliver lectures at certain centres of education in Britain.[18]

Rev. Long lends his name to James Long Sarani, a major thoroughfare running through Thakurpukur.

References

Notes


1. Oddie, p.5
2. Oddie, p.14
3. Oddie, p.35
4. Oddie, p. 25
5. "To the Hon'ble F. J. Halliday", Issue no.22 of Selections from the records of the Bengal Government, (Calcutta Gazette Office, 1855) p.74 [1]
6. Choudhury, Nurul Hossain (2012). "Long, Rev. James". In Islam, Sirajul; Jamal, Ahmed A. (eds.). Banglapedia: National Encyclopedia of Bangladesh (Second ed.). Asiatic Society of Bangladesh.
7. Bhatia, p.24
8. Preface to Nil Durpan by Sudhi Pradhan, p.xxv
9. Editorial note to Nil Darpan by Sudhi Pradhan, p.i
10. Introduction to Nil Durpan by James Long ed. Pradhan, p.xiv
11. Oddie,p.119
12. Bhatia pp.21-22
13. Oddie, p.119
14. Oddie, p.120
15. Nil Durpan ed. Pradhan, p.115-116
16. Bhatia p.22
17. Oddie, p.143
18. Oddie, p.178

Bibliography

• Nandi Bhatia, Acts of Authority, Acts of Resistance: Theater and Politics in Colonial and Postcolonial India (Ann Arbor: Michigan University Press, 2007), ISBN 0-472-11263-5
• Dinabandhu Mitra, Nil Durpan, or The Indigo Planter’s Mirror, translated by Michael Madhusudhan Dutt, edited by Sudhi Pradhan and Sailesh Sen Gupta (Calcutta: Paschimbanga Natya Academi, 1997)
• Geoffrey A. Oddie, Missionaries, Rebellion and Protonationalism: James Long of Bengal 1814-87 (London: Routledge, 1999), ISBN 0-7007-1028-0
Further reading[edit]
• Kling, Blair B. The Blue Mutiny: the indigo disturbances in Bengal, 1859-1862. University of Pennsylvania Press, 1977. ISBN 978-0-8364-0386-2
• Lal, Ananda ed. The Oxford Companion to Indian Theatre. New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2004. ISBN 978-0-19-564446-3
• Oddie, Geoffrey A. Social Protest in India: British Protestant missionaries and social reforms, 1850-1900. New Delhi:Manohar, 1979. ISBN 978-0-8364-0195-0
• Roy, Samaren. Calcutta: Society and Change 1690-1990. Kolkata: iUniverse, 2005. ISBN 978-0-595-34230-3

External links

• Indigenous plants of Bengal (1859)
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Wed Feb 12, 2020 5:01 am

Church Missionary Society in India
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 2/11/20

NOTICE: THIS WORK MAY BE PROTECTED BY COPYRIGHT

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By the time the Bedi family moved to Kashmir late in 1947, they had already made a name for themselves there. Freda Bedi had braved attempts by the maharaja's government to expel her from the princely state and had been dressed in Kashmiri bridal clothes in an unlikely attempt to pass incognito when meeting underground political leaders. Her son unwittingly served as a messenger between Kashmiri leaders forced into exile in Lahore and activists seeking an end to princely autocracy. B.P.L. Bedi's most abiding political achievement was as principal architect of the defining document of progressive Kashmiri nationalism -- at the time the dominant political force in the Kashmir Valley. Freda and B.P.L. became firm friends and allies of Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah, the commanding figure in Kashmiri politics. When they moved to Srinagar it was to work alongside him to achieve his goal of a secular, democratic and socially progressive Kashmir -- and to strengthen India's contested claim to the state.

The Bedis' involvement in Kashmiri politics was partly an accident of geography. From the late 1930s, the Kashmiri capital, Srinagar, became a summer refuge for Punjabi intellectuals. It was more than five thousand feet up in the foothills of the Himalayas, a place of legendary beauty which offered respite from the bleaching summer sun. An attractive alternative to Andretta, Kashmir offered lakes, houseboats and opportunities to camp and trek particularly in the upper Lidder valley beyond the resort town of Pahalgam. It became 'like a second home for us,' Freda remarked; 'somebody ought to make a film round Kashmir with the Kashmir Valley as Hero no. 1.'1 Among the roll call of Punjabis and north Indians who spent part of the summer in the Kashmir Valley was Faiz Ahmad Faiz, the pre-eminent progressive Urdu poet, whose nikah or marriage ceremony with an English communist, Alys George, was conducted by Sheikh Abdullah in Srinagar in 1941. Alys's sister Christabel had already married M.D. Taseer, a leftist writer and intellectual at one time a college principal in Srinagar.2 The novelist Mulk Raj Anand, the actor (and veteran of the Monday Morning venture in Lahore) Balraj Sahni and the cultural figure K.A. Abbas were also among the more renowned of the left-leaning literati who assembled in the Kashmir Valley.

Kashmiri political leaders similarly spent time in the Punjabi capital, Lahore. Sheikh Abdullah and many other young Kashmiris had been students there. Hundreds of Kashmiris settled in the city, which offered a bigger canvas and more opportunities for educated Muslims. The poet Hafeez Jullundhri in particular forged friendships with the coming generation of Kashmiri leaders, and the Bedis too got to know -- and on occasion host -- the key figures in Kashmir's national movement.

At this time, Kashmir was emerging from a long period of isolation and popular politics was taking root. The maharaja, Hari Singh, was a Hindu and, in the eyes of most Kashmiris, an outsider, while his princely state was largely Muslim and the Kashmir Valley emphatically so. He was also part of a generation of Indian princes who were much more comfortable hunting, shooting and fishing than in engaging with social and political reform. The princely states were not formally part of the British Raj, but in Srinagar -- as in many other princely capitals -- a British Resident kept a careful watching eye and on occasions intervened to seek to ensure political stability and protect British interests. Princely autocracy and the accompanying restraints on political activity and public expression were increasingly an anachronism as the temper of Indian politics began to rise. Sheikh Abdullah and a like-minded group of young, educated Kashmiris -- most of them from the state's Muslim majority -- sought to challenge the oppressive feudalism still prevalent in the villages and to mobilise public opinion.

The Bedis came to see the Kashmir Valley not simply as a picturesque location offering respite from the summer heat but as the site of a political struggle to which they could, and should, contribute. This was probably a mix of personal initiative and prompting by the Communist Party, which viewed Kashmir as a promising place to seek recruits and influence. Sheikh Abdullah had a firm personal friendship and political alliance with the Congress's Jawaharlal Nehru, himself of distant Kashmiri descent. But the communists were keen to help support Abdullah's party, the National Conference, and shape its policy and strategy. When in the summer of 1942 Bedi was released from Deoli and Freda was able to disengage from her lecturing job in Lahore, their involvement in Kashmiri politics stepped up. In August 1942, Bedi was in Srinagar as the Indian National Congress launched the Quit India movement, its biggest civil disobedience movement to date. At this time, the communists were opposed to protests which would hamper the war effort. By his own account -- and Bedi was prone to exaggerate his role in the events he recounted -- he persuaded the National Conference leadership to keep a distance from the Congress's initiative:

Sheikh Abdullah, [C.M.] Sadiq and Bakshi [Chulam Mohammad], all three were lunching with me that day. So instead of arriving at 12 o'clock for lunch, they arrived at about 10.30. 'Ah,' they came laughing and joking and said, 'now good-bye Bedi Saheb, instead of lunching we will be behind bars by the time lunch comes, because this is the situation which has come about.' So, we immediately went into consultations and realised that the ruthless administration of the Maharaja was looking for an opportunity to smash the national movement in Kashmir ... We said, 'Leave alone anti-fascism and anti-imperialism, who is there if the National Conference is removed at the moment to stand between the Maharaja's ways and the people and stem the tide of destruction and suffering.' With this argument we completely assessed the situation and came to the conclusion that no 1942 movement could be launched in Kashmir.3


Bedi said he was given the job of making the opening speech at a rally that evening to argue the case for standing aloof from the Congress-launched campaign. In the tussle between the Congress and communists for influence within Kashmir's main political movement, the left had won a victory. Bedi's argument that Kashmiri nationalists could achieve more if they were out-and-about rather than behind bars was well made. The Quit India campaign placed the Congress leadership behind bars and out-of-action at a crucial stage in the advance towards independence. 'Whereas in other parts of India the national movement was smashed,' Bedi argued somewhat self-servingly, 'in Kashmir, the national movement emerged with ten times more strength by following this policy.'4

The following spring, both Freda and Bedi attended the annual session of the National Conference at Mirpur. Freda chaired a meeting of women activists; Bedi presided over a gathering of student supporters. Freda wrote in her weekly column in the Tribune about the difficult journey she made to Mirpur, the final stage of which was a 'shabby' ferry boat across the Jhelum. We got across the river being alternately pulled and pushed and rowed and towed in about two hours. For us it was easy enough since we never left the boat. But the other passengers had to get down on the islands and walk across the burning sand, the round hot stones and the spiked grasses.' Unsurprisingly, the main demand of local women at the meeting Freda convened was for a bridge.

It is no joke for old women and mothers with children to face such a primitive journey every time they want to come to the Punjab or the Frontier. They were indignant about it 'and we even have to ride on donkeys' they said with a smile half mischievous and half ashamed. They formed their own committee. So many have tried and failed. Now it is for the women of Mirpur to show that they will not be refused. Alone a woman is helpless and knows it. Together with her sisters bound by common trouble and suffering she can show greater strength than she or the world dreams of, for none can refuse the weak when they band together.5


From a small incident, she drew a parable which reflected her own commitment to social justice and the agency of women in achieving that.

Freda also wrote lyrically about a journey in Kashmir, by donkey and on foot, retracing the old Mughal route into the valley. Sheikh Abdullah accompanied the group for at least part of the journey, and was welcomed as if a saviour.

The Kashmiri women had found out that their leader had come. They huddled together in a shy group on the roof of one of the huts, as though undecided what to do. Then they started a song of welcome: 'To-day our Rajah has honoured the house with his presence,' they sang. I looked again at their faces lined with poverty, the dirty and ragged clothes on their backs. Had they been as dirty and as poor when the great ones of history ruled the earth? Probably so, for the poor have always been poor .... The lively, happy faces of the women were sharp before the dark arches: beggars at the door of history, they were singing for the only ray of light they knew. For one who fought for the poor, and would see them ruling in the land of their poverty.6


In another 'From a Woman's Window' column, Freda wrote about attending a martyrs' day ceremony with Sheikh Abdullah in Srinagar, a tribute to those killed by the maharaja's forces in 1931 at the inception of what became a mass movement demanding civil and political rights. Again, her attention focused on the women, about 150 of them, who gathered outside the walls of the cemetery while the men laid flowers on the graves.

To outward seeming they were like any other crowd of Kashmiri women. Most were in the burqua, with its crown-like head-piece, making it particularly ungainly and ugly. The others were working women, in their loose-fitting tunics, the white thick veil on the back of their heads, heavy earrings, carved circles of silver, hanging in bunches on their distended ears ....

They were the silent background of the animated meeting. And it occurred to me looking at them that they had been the silent background of all the history of Kashmir and the struggles of its people. ...

It was women such as these who ran out into the streets and became the heroines of those early fiery days. It was such women who rattled stones and frightened the horses of their soldiery. Some village woman, like that plump aging woman over there, took a club on her shoulder and strode at the head of one of the village 'armies' of the people that marched into Srinagar.7


She foresaw Kashmiri women coming on to the streets again, 'throwing that power-house of energy which they hoard as a bee hoards its honey into another great movement of the people.' On this, she was right.

Freda Bedi's empathy with Kashmiri women, and her emphasis on their role in political and social change, is striking. Women were also conspicuous in the iconography of Kashmiri nationalism. When the 'New Kashmir' manifesto was published, it featured a drawing of a woman on its front cover, wearing a Kashmiri pheran or smock and with her head covered-not quiescent but politically assertive, wielding the National Conference flag of a hand-plough in white on a red background. It bears more than a faint echo of Delacroix's famous depiction of Marianne, emblem of the French republic, mounting a barricade flag in hand. The Kashmiri woman depicted appears to have been Zooni Gujjari, a local activist from a disadvantaged background who featured in other National Conference publications.

The content of the manifesto was also notably progressive on gender issues, extending to equal wages, paid leave during pregnancy, the right to enter trades and professions, to own and inherit property and to consent to marriage. But this was simply one aspect of a remarkably far-reaching political programme, which has been described as 'the most important political document in modern Kashmir's history'.8 It was written in response to an initiative by the maharaja to consult about political and constitutional reform. This was the National Conference's submission -- a hugely ambitious, forty-four page document which was a draft constitution, an economic programme and party manifesto combined. It proposed a constitutional monarchy with universal suffrage for those aged eighteen and over; equal rights irrespective of race, religion or nationality; freedom of speech, press and assembly; free and compulsory primary education in the mother tongue; state ownership and management of all key industries; and the abolition of feudalism through an agrarian programme of which the key points were 'abolition of landlordism' and 'land to the tiller'. Sheikh Abdullah noted with justification that his party had come up with a much more detailed prescription for the future than the Indian National Congress, or indeed any other movement in the region.

The authorship of the 'New Kashmir' manifesto was, at the time, opaque. Sheikh Abdullah recounted many years later that to 'compile the manifesto we requisitioned the services of a famous progressive friend from Panjab [sic], B.P.L. Bedi. ... Bedi's sharp-minded, elegant wife Freda typed the manuscript.'9 Bedi worked with a small group of leftists, mainly from outside Kashmir. Although he took credit for the manifesto, which he described as a '100% Communist document', he never claimed authorship.10 'There was not much drafting to be done except to write the introduction,' a veteran Kashmiri communist P.N. Jalali recalled, as it was 'almost a carbon copy' of a Soviet document.11 For the key opening section, the draft constitution, Bedi turned to an item he had published in Contemporary India a few years earlier -- Stalin's 1936 constitution for the Soviet Union. It was a resourceful rummage through his personal archive. Although this was adapted to meet Kashmir's circumstances, many of the points were simply copied out. The longer economic programme, including charters for workers, peasants and women, was more loosely based on kisan sabha (peasants' movement) documents, which Bedi would also have known well. The only considerable piece of writing to be done was Sheikh Abdullah's foreword. This was even more explicitly communist in tone. 'The inspiring picture of the regeneration of all the different nationalities and peoples of the U.S.S.R., and their welding together into the united mighty Soviet State that is throwing back its barbarous invaders with deathless heroism,' Sheikh Abdullah was made to declare, 'is an unanswerable argument for the building of democracy on the cornerstone of economic equality.'

As far as the communists were concerned, Bedi had carried out a brilliant political manoeuvre. An important regional party with close links to the Congress had adopted a manifesto drafted by communists, staunchly pro-Soviet in content and reflecting the CPI's political line. 'New Kashmir' was for decades the watchword by which Sheikh Abdullah's ambition for a social transformation of Kashmir was known. Sheikh Abdullah himself described it as 'a revolutionary document'.12 While much of the manifesto remained simply an aspiration, the far-reaching pledges on land reform were acted upon once the National Conference came to power and remain one of the most radical and egalitarian measures introduced in independent India.

P.N. Jalali's recollection is that Bedi had been 'deputed' by the Communist Party in Punjab to 'look after' the communists in Jammu and Kashmir. Kashmiri communists operated not as a separate party but inside Sheikh Abdullah's National Conference, and were particularly influential among students and the trade unions. 'They did not raise their hand [and say] that: here we are, communists. Except that everybody knew they were communists. Even Sheikh sahib knew.... But we were conscious not to rub Sheikh sahib on the wrong side because he was very sensitive about any parallel political activity.' While B.P.L. Bedi had the greater political influence in Kashmir, Jalali also had keen memories of Freda and her 'very striking' appearance:

She was a wonderful lady, very modest, and she was very well known throughout the valley in Kashmir. Every summer they would come, early visitors if you call them visitors. And Mrs Bedi used to deliver lectures on the USSR, they used to be very well attended ... weekly lectures. These were very popular lectures ... Strangely enough, they were held in a hall which belonged to the Church Mission Society.


-- The Lives of Freda: The Political, Spiritual and Personal Journeys of Freda Bedi, by Andrew Whitehead


Very Rev Dr Alexander Duff (26 April 1806 – 12 February 1878 in Sidmouth), was a Christian missionary in India; where he played a large part in the development of higher education. He was a Moderator and Convenor of the Church of Scotland and an unashamed scientific liberal reformer of anglicized evangelism across the Empire. He was the first overseas missionary of the Church of Scotland to India. On 13 July 1830 he founded the General Assembly's Institution in Calcutta, now known as the Scottish Church College. He also played a part in establishing the University of Calcutta. He was twice Moderator of the Free Church of Scotland in 1851 and 1873, the only person to serve the role twice.

Alexander Duff was born in the heart of Scotland, at Auchnahyle, in the parish of Moulin, Perthshire. His parents were James Duff, gardener and farmer at Auchnahagh, and Jean Rattray. After receiving his initial schooling at a local country school, he studied arts and theology at the University of St. Andrews.

He then accepted an offer made by the foreign mission committee of the Church of Scotland's general assembly to become their first missionary to India, and was ordained in August 1829.

After an adventurous voyage during which he was twice shipwrecked, Duff arrived in Calcutta on 27 May 1830. After inspecting the Bengali schools, he concluded that students were not receiving an adequate education in a broad range of subjects and secondly, that he would instruct his students using English instead of the local dialects. He at once identified himself with a policy which had far-reaching effects. Christian missions in India had been successful only in converting a few low-caste groups from a poor socio-economic background by giving them monetary benefits. The upper caste Hindu and Muslim communities had been practically untouched. Duff shrewdly assessed that these affluent communities could not be accessed by traditional evangelical methods. He recognised that holding out the prospect of upward mobility, by offering a western education, would bring the children of the affluent classes into his range of influence, which could then be extended to encompass religion. Duff devised the policy of an using western system of education to slowly convert Hindus and Muslims to Christianity...

By teaching Biblical courses as well as courses in the physical sciences, Duff hoped that students would logically come to realize the contradictions and impracticality of Hinduism and embrace wholeheartedly the truth of Christianity. While a few students converted, Duff seems to have widely miscalculated the resilience of Hinduism as well as its ability to adapt itself to western knowledge. Whereas Duff and many of his fellow evangelists saw Christianity and Hinduism as diametrically opposed, Hindus did not generally consider the knowledge either tradition provided as mutually exclusive with the other.

Duff opened a school in which all kinds of secular subjects were taught, from the rudiments upwards to a university standard, alongside the Bible. The English language was used as the medium of instruction on the grounds that it was the key to Western knowledge. Alexander Duff proposed a theory which he called the "downward filter theory" in which he believed that by catering to the middle and upper social classes, the knowledge of Christianity would eventually filter down the social ladder. Although he promoted the teaching of English in schools, he still viewed the vernacular as an important language for spreading Christianity among "the masses" but deemed it inferior to the English language because it was not progressive. Duff wrote a pamphlet on the question, entitled A New Era of the English Language and Literature in India. A government minute was adopted on 7 March 1835, to the effect that in higher education, the object of the British government in India should be the promotion of European science and literature among the natives of India, and that all funds appropriated for purposes of education would be best employed on English education alone. His views influenced Peter Percival, a pioneering educator, linguist and missionary who worked in Sri Lankan Tamil dominant Jaffna peninsula in Sri Lanka...

In 1844, governor-general Viscount Hardinge opened government appointments to all who had studied in institutions similar to Duff's institution. In the same year, Duff co-founded the Calcutta Review, of which he served as editor from 1845 to 1849...

In 1870 he was the principal force in founding the Anglo-Indian Christian Union (an alliance of Protestant churches to minister to scattered British communities in India), of which he became the first President, and sent Rev. John Fordyce to India as the Union's Commissioner there...

By the age of thirty he was already a remarkable preacher. Joining the Church Missionary Society in 1836 he was and his friend Rev Dr James Lewis were shapers of the new Church of Scotland Mission...

[H]e could influence serious political figures in the Indian civil Service through the media of Calcutta Review. In one article he made an advancement in liberal theology exposing the cruelty of Female Infanticide in Central and Western India (1844). And in the same year his power in the Free Church was rehearsed in a lecture to The Free Churchmen of Calcutta in the Masonic Hall. Its title "The Sole and Supreme Headship of the Lord Jesus Christ over His Own Church, or a voice from the Ganges relative to the courses which led to the recent disruption..." symbolised his conviction in the supremacy of Christianity to bring enlightened education to Indians. Two Bengali intellectuals travelled to Edinburgh to be baptised at Duff's request. Mahendra Lal Bazak and Khailai Chandra Mukherjya were closely watched by Dr Thomas Chalmers, a renowned writer and church leader...

Duff's methods were widely imitated and his cumulative twenty-five years in the subcontinent were largely characterized by the establishment of western-style educational institutions warmly received by Ram Mohan Roy. Duff can be credited with creating a framework that influenced educational policy and practice during the nineteenth century and beyond. Since his schools catered mostly to the Hindu middle class, he was able to receive attention from the government which helped to spread his methods and ideas. Several other English schools were established because the General Assemblies Institution was so successful. The success and influence of Duff's college led to the founding of the Calcutta Medical College.

-- Alexander Duff (missionary), by Wikipedia


James Long (1814–1887) was an Anglo-Irish priest of the Anglican Church. A humanist, educator, evangelist, translator, essayist, philanthropist and a missionary to India, he resided in the city of Calcutta, India, from 1840 to 1872 as a member of the Church Missionary Society, leading the mission at Thakurpukur.

Long was closely associated with the Calcutta School-Book Society, the Bethune Society, the Bengal Social Science Association and The Asiatic Society. He also published the English translation of the play Nil Darpan by Dinabandhu Mitra, an act for which he was subsequently prosecuted for libel, fined, and briefly jailed...

In 1861, at the height of the Indigo revolt by the ryots in Bengal, Long received a copy of the Bengali play Nil Darpan (also transcribed as Neel Darpan or Nil Durpan) from its author Dinabandhu Mitra, who had been one of Long's students at the CMS school on Amherst Street. The play, published anonymously the previous year in Dacca, was sympathetic to the abject condition of the ryots or labourers on indigo plantations and critical of the British land-holding class who kept the ryots in slave-like conditions.[7] Long brought it to the notice of Walter Scott Seton-Karr, Secretary to the Governor of Bengal and ex-President of the Indigo Commission. Seton-Karr, sensing its importance, mentioned Nil Durpan in conversation with the Lieutenant Governor, John Peter Grant. Grant then expressed a wish to see a translation of it and print a few copies to be circulated privately amongst friends. Long had it anonymously translated into English "By A Native" (Long refused to divulge the name of the translator to the trial court; Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay later attributed the translation to Michael Madhusudan Dutt, although this attribution remains contentious[8]) and printed in either April or May 1861.[9] In his introduction to the play, he wrote that "[ i]t is the earnest wish of the writer of these lines that harmony may be speedily established between the Planter and the Ryot..."[10] Long sent the translated manuscript to Clement Henry Manuel, the proprietor of the Calcutta Printing and Publishing Press, to print five hundred copies at the cost of some three hundred rupees. Unknown to the Lieutenant Governor, Long began sending out copies in official Government envelopes to prominent Europeans both in India and abroad that had the heading: "on her Majesty’s Service."[11]

The circulation of the play "generated hostility from indigo planters, who brought a lawsuit against Long on the charges that the preface of the play slandered the editors of the two pro-plantation newspapers, the Englishman and the Bengal Hurkaru, and that the text of the drama brought the planters a bad name."[12] As soon as the planters noticed the circulation of the play, W. F. Fergusson, the Secretary of the Landholders' and Commercial Association, wrote to the Governor of Bengal. He inquired as to which parties had sanctioned the play and whether the authority of the Bengal Government had given permission to publish it. He also threatened those who had circulated "foul and malicious libel on indigo planting, evoking sedition and breaches of the peace".[13] He wrote that they must be prosecuted "with an utmost rigour of the law".[14] The Lieutenant Governor replied that some officials had caused the offence; the planters, unsatisfied with the answer, decided to institute legal proceedings with a view to ascertain the authors and publishers of the Nil Durpan. The words mentioned in Long’s Introduction to the play stated that what was presented in it was "plain but true"; this was subsequently used by the planters in their prosecution of Long for publishing defamatory statements. C. H. Manuel, whose name was mentioned as printer of Nil Durpan, was indicted in the Calcutta Supreme Court on 11 June 1861. He pleaded guilty, and his counsel (acting on Long’s advice) named Long as his employer in the matter of publishing.

Long's trial lasted from 19 to 24 July 1861, at the Calcutta Supreme Court. Mr. Peterson and Mr. Cowie prosecuted, Mr. Eglinton and Mr. Newmarch appeared on behalf of the defendant, and Sir M.L. Wells presided as judge. Wells found Long guilty of libel,[15] fined him one thousand rupees and sentenced him to one month’s imprisonment, which he served in the period of July–August 1861.[16] Kaliprasanna Singha paid the fine of Long's behalf...

As Long continued his educational work, he developed a keen interest in Russia, which he visited for the first time in 1863, and twice after his retirement in 1872. In his paper entitled Russia, Central Asia, and British India published in London in 1865, he wrote of his optimism about the prospects of serf emancipation, and against the current attitude of paranoia towards Russia about the valuable role of the Russian government and of the Orthodox Church in propagating Christianity in central Asia to serve as a bulwark against Islam.

-- James Long (Anglican priest), by Wikipedia


1855: Keshub Chunder Sen founds "The British India Society" later associated with Christian missionaries James Long and Charles Dall.

-- Brahmoism, by Wikipedia


Keshub Chandra Sen was born on 19 November 1838 into an affluent Kayastha family of Calcutta (now Kolkata). His family originally belonged to Gariffa village on the banks of the river Hooghly. His grandfather was Ramkamal Sen (1783–1844), a well known pro-sati Hindu activist and lifelong opponent of Ram Mohan Roy...

In 1855 he founded an evening school for the children of working men, which continued through 1858. In 1855, he became Secretary to the Goodwill Fraternity, a Masonic lodge associated with the Unitarian Rev. Charles Dall and a Christian missionary Rev. James Long who also helped Sen establish a "British Indian Association" in the same year. Around this time he began to be attracted to the ideas of the Brahmo Samaj.

Keshub Sen was also briefly appointed as Secretary of the Asiatic Society in 1854.

-- Keshub Chandra Sen, by Wikipedia


Church Missionary Society
Abbreviation CMS
Formation 12 April 1799
Founder Clapham Sect
Type Evangelical Anglicanism
Ecumenism
Protestant missionary
British Commonwealth

The Church Missionary Society in India was a branch organisation established by the Church Missionary Society (CMS), which was founded in Britain in 1799 under the name the Society for Missions to Africa and the East,[1] as a mission society working with the Anglican Communion, Protestant, and Orthodox Christians around the world. In 1812, the British organization was renamed the Church Missionary Society.[2]

In 1814 the CMS began sending missionaries to India and established mission stations at Chennai (Madras) and Bengal, then in 1816 at Travancore.[3] The mission stations were extended across India in the following years. The work among women was mainly left to the Church of England Zenana Missionary Society and the Zenana Bible and Medical Mission.[4]

The missions were financed by the CMS with the local organisation of a mission usually being under the oversight of the Bishop of the Anglican diocese in which the CMS mission operated. The successors of the Protestant church missions are the Church of South India and the Church of North India.[2]

The CMS in India

Image
Henry Martyn, missionary to India and Persia

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Holy Trinity Cathedral, Palayamkottai, Tirunelveli - Built by Rev. Charles Rhenius

The East India Company controlled access to India and only allowed its chaplains to work among the European communities. The Reverend Henry Martyn wanted to offer his services to the Church Missionary Society, however a financial disaster in Cornwall deprived him and his unmarried sister of the income their father had left for them. It was necessary for Martyn to earn an income that would support his sister as well as himself.[5] He accordingly obtained a chaplaincy under the East India Company and left for India on 5 July 1805.[6] William Wilberforce campaigned for the revision of the charter of the East India Company to permit missionaries to work in India. When the Charter Bill was passed in 1813 the CMS had missionaries ready for the India mission.[2] The Revd Charles Rhenius and the Revd John Christian Schnarre were the first CMS missionaries to arrive at India and were sent to work at Chennai (Madras).[7] Charles Rhenius later worked in Tirunelveli (Tinnevelly).

The CMS sent 7 missionaries to India in 1814-1816: two were placed at Chennai (Madras), two at Bengal and three at Travancore (1816).[3] The Indian missions were extended in the following years to a number of locations including Agra, Meerut district, Varanasi (Benares), Mumbai (Bombay) (1820), Tirunelveli (Tinnevelly) (1820) and Kolkata (Calcutta) (1822).

New mission stations were later established in the Telugu Country (1841) and at Lahore in the Punjab region (1852).[3][8]

While the Revolt of 1857 resulted in damage to the missions in the North West Provinces, after the revolt the CMS expanded its missions to Oudh, Allahbad, the Santhal people (1858), and to Kashmir (1865).[2][3][8]

Kolkata (Calcutta)

The CMS mission in Calcutta was started in 1822. The first CMS school was opened at Kidderpore, a suburb of Calcutta, in 1816; and the first girls’ school in 1822, by Miss M. A. Cooke, at Calcutta.[7] Reginald Heber, the Bishop of Calcutta (1823–1826) supported the work of the CMS mission.

The Revd James Long joined the mission in 1840. Edward Stuart served in India from 1850 to 1874. He was the Secretary of the Church Missionary Society at Calcutta. He also served at Agra and at Jalalpur.[9]

Agra

Valpy French arrived in India in 1851. He was sent to Agra, where he founded the St. John's College, Agra in 1853.[10]

Lahore

The CMS mission in Lahore started in 1852. The Revd H. U. Weitbrecht was sent to India in 1875 to be the Vice Principal of St. John's Divinity College, Lahore. Valpy French became the first Bishop of Lahore in 1877.[10]

Mission in Kerala

The contribution made by the society in creating and maintaining educational institutions in Kerala, the most literate state in India, is significant. Many colleges and schools in Kerala and Tamil Nadu still have CMS in their names. Among the oldest in modern India, the CMS College Kottayam is regarded a pioneer in popularising secondary education in southern India, whose famous alumni include former Indian President K. R. Narayanan, career diplomats K.P.S. Menon and K. M. Panikkar as well as scientist E. C. George Sudarshan.

The Revd Benjamin Bailey was appointed to the Kottayam mission in the Indian state of Kerala in 1816 and in 1821 he established a printing press.[3] Benjamin Bailey translated the complete Bible to Malayalam language. He also authored the first printed Malayalam-English Dictionary. He is considered as the father of Malayalam printing.[11]

CMS activities in the 20th Century

The CMS continued to send missionaries to India, including Frank Lake in 1937.

See also

• Christianity portal
• Christianity in India
• List of Protestant missionaries in India
• History of Christian missions

Notes

1. Mounstephen, Philip (2015). "Teapots and DNA: The Foundations of CMS". Intermission. 22.
2. Keen, Rosemary. "Church Missionary Society Archive". Adam Matthew Publications. Retrieved 29 January 2017.
3. "The Church Missionary Atlas (India)". Adam Matthew Digital. 1896. pp. 95–156. Retrieved 19 October 2015.
4. The Centenaru Volume of the Church Missionary Society for Africa and the East 1799-1899 (PDF). London : Church Missionary Society, digital publication: Cornell University. 1902. p. 19.
5. Lee, Sidney, ed. (1893). "Martyn, Henry" . Dictionary of National Biography. 36. London: Smith, Elder & Co.
6. F. L. Cross, E. A. Livingstone, eds. (13 March 1997). The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church, 3rd edition. USA: Oxford University Press. pp. 1046. ISBN 019211655X.
7. The Centenaru Volume of the Church Missionary Society for Africa and the East 1799-1899 (PDF). London : Church Missionary Society, digital publication: Cornell University. 1902. p. 16.
8. "The Church Missionary Atlas (Church Missionary Society)". Adam Matthew Digital. 1896. pp. xi. Retrieved 19 October 2015.
9. Stock, Eugene (1913). "The Story of the New Zealand Mission". Retrieved 4 March 2019.
10. Thomas Valpy French Britannica.com.
11. Benjamin Bailiyum Malayala Saahityavum. By Dr. Babu Cherian. Published by the Department of Printing and Publishing, Mahatma Gandhi University, Kottayam.
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

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David Hare (philanthropist)
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 2/11/20

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Image
A statue of David Hare kept at Hare School

David Hare (1775–1842) was a Scottish watchmaker and philanthropist in Bengal, India (see East India Company and their rule in India). He founded many important and prestigious educational institutions in Calcutta (now Kolkata), such as the Hindu School, and Hare School and helped in founding Presidency College.

Early life

David Hare was born in Scotland in 1775. He came to India in 1800 to make a fortune as a watch maker. However, while he prospered in his business his mind was distracted by the deplorable conditions of the native population and unlike most of the other people who returned to their native land after gathering a fortune to live a life in peace and prosperity, he decided to stay back in the country and devote himself entirely to the cause of its uplift. However, he was no missionary, seeking to convert others to his religion. He lived his own life and allowed others to live their own, only helping to improve their condition.

Contribution

Hare felt that the need of the country was English education. He used to discuss the topic with many of his customers, who came to buy watches in his shop. Raja Rammohun Roy went to Kolkata in 1814 and within a short time, they became friends. In 1816, he went on his own and attended a session of the Raja’s Atmiya Sabha. Both of them discussed at length the proposal to establish an English school at Kolkata. Babu Buddi Nath Mukherjee - another member of Atmiya Sabha - later discussed the matter with Sir Hyde East, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. That led to the foundation of Hindu College, later renamed Presidency College, Kolkata, on 20 January 1817.[1]

Thereafter, David Hare was instrumental in establishing the School Book Society on 6 May 1817. It took the initiative to print and publish text books in both English and Bengali. This society contributed substantially to the flowering of the Bengal Renaissance.

On 1 September 1818, he established the Calcutta School Society. He and Radhakanta Deb were secretaries of the society. He worked tirelessly to establish some schools to teach in English and Bengali, according to new methods of teaching, at such places as Thanthania, Kalitala and Arpuly. Every day, he visited the schools and Hindu College and met almost every student. So great was his attachment and commitment to these students that it acted as a great inspiration of many of them. Some of the greatest names in subsequent years were all his students. It was much later that Alexander Duff or Henry Louis Vivian Derozio came on the scene and influenced the course of events.

Additionally, David Hare was a subscriber to the Ladies' Society for Native Female Education (formed in 1824), and would be present in the periodical examinations held by the society.[2]

Later life

In later life, he did not find time to devote to his watch business and so he sold it to a friend named Grey and spent some of the money to buy a small house for himself and the rest for the development of the schools. After a long life of activity he fell ill. He was attacked by cholera. One of his students, Dr. Prasanna Kumar Mitra, tried his best but all efforts failed and David Hare died on 1 June 1842. As news spread around the city, a pall of gloom spread over the city. The Christian missionaries refused to allot him land in their cemeteries, as they thought that he was a non-believer. He was buried in what was then the compound of Hare School-Presidency College that he had donated. The tomb, marked with a bust statue, currently falls within the College Square (recently renamed Vidyasagar Udyan) swimming pool, opposite to Hare School.

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The grave of David Hare, college square, Kolkata

According to Sivanath Sastri, “As his body was brought out of Mr. Gray’s house, thousands of people, some in vehicles, others on foot, followed it. The scene that was witnessed by Kolkata on that day will not be witnessed again. Right from Bowbazar crossing to Madhab Dutta’s bazaar, the entire road was flooded with people.”

The road where he lived, is called Hare Street, just off Binoy-Badal-Dinesh Bagh (earlier Dalhousie Square). A life-size statue (pictured) was built with public donations and placed in the compound of Hare School.

Further reading

• Reverend Krishnamohan Bandyopadhyaya (in Bengali) by Mayukh Das, Kolkata:Paschimbanga Anchalik Itihas O Loksanskriti Charcha Kendra (2014) ISBN 978-81-926316-0-8
• "A biographical sketch of David Hare" by Peary Chand Mittra.
• Ramtanu Lahiri O Tatkalin Banga Samaj in Bengali by Sivanath Sastri (English Translation)

References

1. Sivanath Sastri (1903). Ramtanu Lahiri O Tatkalin Bangasamaj. Calcutta.
2. Mittra, Peary Chand (1877). A Biographical Sketch of David Hare. Kolkata: W. Newman & Co. p. 63.

External links

• Islam, Sirajul (2012). "Hare, David". In Islam, Sirajul; Jamal, Ahmed A. (eds.). Banglapedia: National Encyclopedia of Bangladesh (Second ed.). Asiatic Society of Bangladesh.
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