The Young Bengal Movement
- The Young Bengal movement was launched in Calcutta by a group of radical Bengali free thinkers, called Derozians, emerging from Hindu College. They were known as Derozians after Henry Louis Vivian Derozio.
- Henry Louis Vivian Derozio was a poet and teacher of Hindu College, Calcutta, a radical thinker and one of the first Indian educators to disseminate Western learning and science among the young men of Bengal. He was Anglo-Indian (born to an Indian father and an English mother). In 1826, at the age of 17, Derozio was appointed teacher in English literature and history at the Hindu College.
- At Hindu College, through his reportedly brilliant teaching, he influenced his students and won him their loyalty. Derozio’s intense zeal for teaching and his interactions with students created a sensation at Hindu College. He organised debates where ideas and social norms were freely debated. His students came to be known as Derozians. They were inspired and excited by the spirit of free thought and revolt against the existing social and religious structure of Hindu society.
- He constantly encouraged students to think freely, to question and not to accept anything blindly. His teachings inspired the development of the spirit of liberty, equality and freedom. His activities brought about intellectual revolution in Bengal.
- In the spirit of English rationalism and French Revolution, Derozio criticized the social practices and religious beliefs of orthodox Hinduism. Round Derozio rallied the best boys of the College who ridiculed old traditions, defied the social and religious rites, demanded education for women, and to flaunt their independence indulged in wine-drinking and beef-eating.
- Accused of irreverence by his students’ orthodox Hindu parents, he was forced to resign by the directors of Hindu College in 1831 due to his radical teachings. Derozio died of cholera soon after at the young age of 22 in 1831.
- Long after Derozio’s death, his influence lived on among his former students, who came to be known as Young Bengal and many of whom became prominent in social reform, law, and journalism.
- In economy, Young Bengal followed classical economics, and was composed of free traders who took inspiration from Jeremy Bentham, Adam Smith, and David Ricardo. They were passionate advocates of women’s rights and demanded education for them.
- Derozio and/or the Young Bengal group set many establishments and published journals which played a role in the Bengal Renaissance. Two of them are:
(1) Academic Association
- Derozio joined Hindu College in 1828 and within a short period attracted students. The Academic Association, established in 1828 under the guidance of Derozio, arranged discussions on subjects such as: free will, free ordination, fate, faith, the sacredness of truth, the high duty of cultivating virtue, and the meanness of vice, the nobility of patriotism, and the arguments for and against the existence of the deity, the hollowness of idolatry and the shames of priesthood. It drew both Britons and Indians to discussions of religion and philosophy.
- After moving around for a place for its meetings, it settled down in Mainktala. Derozio was its president. One of his students, Uma Charan Basu, was its secreatry.
- The sessions of the Academic Association attracted attention to such an extent that amongst those who used to be present fairly regularly were. David Hare, Col. Benson, private secretary of Lord William Bentick etc.
- Derozians kept up Derozio’s Academic Association upto about 1839.
- Radical activities in England seem to have exercised an influence over Derozians for we find them setting up a Society for the Acquisition of General Knowledge in 1838, to be followed by a Mechanical Institute in 1839.
(2) Society for the Acquisition of General Knowledge
- The Society for the Acquisition of General Knowledge was established on 20 February 1838 by Young Bengal group. Trachand Chakrabarti was its president, Ramgopal Ghosh its vice president. The society elected David Hare as honorary visitor.
- Some of the prominent papers it published were: Nature of Historical Studies and Civil and Social Reform by Krishna Mohan Banerjee, Interests of the Female Sex and the State of Hindustan by Peary Chand Mitra.
- These associations of the Young Bengal group were forerunners of later organisations such as the Landholders’ Society, British India Society, and British Indian Association with all of which the Young Bengal group had links.
Impact of Young Bengal Movement
- Derozian ideas had a profound influence on the social movement that came to be known as the Bengal Renaissance in early 19th century Bengal. And despite being viewed as something of an iconoclast by others like Alexander Duff and other (largely evangelical) Christian Missionaries; Derozio’s ideas on the acceptance of the rational spirit were accepted partly as long as they were not in conflict with basic tenets of Christianity, and as long as they critiqued orthodox Hinduism.
- Derozians carried forward Raja Rammohan’s tradition of educating the people in social, economic and political questions through newspapers, pamphlets and public associations. They carried on public agitation on public questions such as the revision of the Company’s Charter, the freedom of the Press, better treatment for Indian labour in British colonies abroad, trial by jury, protection of the riots from oppressive zamindars, and employment of Indians in the higher grades of government services.
- Derozio was an atheist but his ideas are generally believed to be partly responsible for the conversion of upper caste Hindus like Krishna Mohan Banerjee and Lal Behari Dey to Christianity.
- Christianity claimed many other converts like Madhusudan Datta (another promising student of the College who left his ancestral faith in 1843) and Jnanendra Mohan Tagore (the only son of Prasanna Kumar Tagore).
- Drinking which the Derozians had introduced as a symbol of emancipation began to spread in an alarming manner amongst people who were untouched by the nobler marks of Derozian free thought.
- Derozio was perhaps the first nationalist poet of Modern India .His famous poem is To India – My Native Land.
Why Young Bengal Movement did not last long?
- The Young Bengal movement was unsuccessful because the group failed to gather support from other Bengali literati or academics. Raja Rammohan himself was out of sympathy with them. Arising out of the tradition of the French Revolution and English radicalism, this movement had a distinct element of free thought in it which offended Rammohan’s sense of decency and theistic idealism.
- Because of their limited and shaky ideology, the movement was never able to fully capture the public’s attention. They did not succeed in creating a movement because social conditions were not yet ripe for their ideas to flourish.
- The Derozians were a band of bright young men who had come under the spell of a striking personality and they created a sensation and a stir. But their stand lacked much positive content and they failed to develop a definite progressing ideology. The concept of the people and their rights which had flowered in the great Western bourgeois democratic revolution that had awakened them did not take much concrete shape in their mind.
- They were brilliant individuals faithful to the last to the memory of their master and close-knit to each other by the bonds of affection and friendship. Yet they did not prove to be a growing school of thought attracting new adherents from wider circle. They made some mark in their day but, nonetheless, they faded out like “a generation without fathers and children.”
- The common people, who were not acquainted with those ideologies, indicated those young as arrogant, revolutionists of the customary thinking, belief, and extremist as they had declared one kind of war against the religion and prevalent customs. Radical politics of a Western type were hardly possible in Bengal at that time and the rich promise we see in the Derozians never matured into anything solid.
- Derozians did not take up the peasant’s cause and there was no other class or group in Indian society at the time which could support their advanced ideas. They forgot to maintain their links with the people. In fact, their radicalism was bookish; they failed to come to grips with the Indian reality.
- A number of Derozians were attracted to the Brahmo Samaj movement much later in life when they had lost their youthful fire and excitement. The Young Bengal movement was like a mighty storm that tried to sweep away everything before it. It was a storm that lashed society with violence causing some good, and perhaps naturally, some discomfort and distress.
- The famous leader of the nationalist movement, described the Derozians as “the pioneers of the modern civilization of Bengal, the conscript fathers of our race whose virtues will excite veneration and whose failings will be treated with gentlest consideration”.
1. Henry Louis Vivian Derozio – Long after Derozios death, his influence lived on among his former students, who came to be known as Young Bengal and many of whom became prominent in social reform, law, and journalism. Henry Louis Vivian Derozio was born on 18 April 1809 at Entally-Padmapukur in Kolkata and his father Francis Derozio was a well-respected man in Anglo-Indian community. His original family name was De Rozario and he attended David Drummonds Dhurramtallah Academy school, where he was a pupil from the age of eight to fourteen. He quit school at the age of 14 and initially joined his fathers concern at Kolkata, inspired by the scenic beauty of the banks of the River Ganges, he started writing poetry. This was the time when Hindu society in Bengal was undergoing considerable turmoil, in 1828, Raja Ram Mohan Roy established the Brahmo Samaj, which kept Hindu ideals but denied idolatry. This resulted in a backlash within orthodox Hindu society and it is in the perspective of these changes that Derozio was appointed at Hindu college, where he helped released the ideas for social change already in the air. At 17 years of age, he was considered a great scholar, within a short period of time, he drew around him a group of intelligent boys in college. He constantly encouraged them to think freely, to question and not to accept anything blindly and his teachings inspired the development of the spirit of liberty, equality and freedom. His activities brought about intellectual revolution in Bengal and it was called the Young Bengal Movement and his students, also known as Derozians, were fiery patriots. His students came to be known as Derozians and he organised debates where ideas and social norms were freely debated. In 1828, he motivated them to form a literary and debating club called the Academic Association, in consequence of his misunderstanding no less than 25 Pupils of respectable families have been withdrawn from the College. Derozio was generally considered an Anglo-Indian, being of mixed Portuguese descent, but he was fired by a spirit for his native Bengal. Derozio was perhaps the first nationalist poet of Modern India, in his poem To India - My Native Land he wrote, Derozio wrote many wonderful poems in English before his untimely death of which The Fakir of Janghira was one of the most important. His poems are regarded as an important landmark in the history of poetry in India. His ideas had a influence on the social movement that came to be known as the Bengal Renaissance in early 19th century Bengal. Derozio was an atheist but his ideas are generally believed to be responsible for the conversion of upper caste Hindus like Krishna Mohan Banerjee. Sameran Roy, however, states only three Hindu pupils among his first group of students became Christians, and asserts that Derozio had no role to play in their change of faith. He points out that Derozio dismissal was sought by both Hindus such as Ramkamal Sen, as well as Christians such as H. H. Wilson, many other students like Tarachand sir Chakraborti became leaders in the Brahmo Samaj
2. Dakshinaranjan Mukherjee – Raja Dakshinaranjan Mukherjee Taluqdar of the formerly confiscated taluq of Shankarpur in the United Provinces was one of the leaders of the Young Bengal group in 19th-century India. An orator, editor of periodicals, and a social reformer, he had donated land for the Bethune School. Dakshinaranjan Mukherjees father Jaganmohan Mukherjee, who belonged to Bhatpara, had married into the Pathuriaghata branch of the Tagore family, Dakshinaranjan studied at Hare School and Hindu College. While a student of Hindu College, he was influenced by Henry Louis Vivian Derozio, when his friend Krishna Mohan Banerjee was turned out of his house for converting to Christianity, Mukherjee provided him protection and support. While a student Mukherjee published the magazine Jnananneswan in 1831, the next year it became a bilingual magazine. He spoke against suppression of newspapers by the government and he was one of main initiators for the establishment of the British Indian Association and contributed regularly to the Bengal Spectator. He practiced as a lawyer and was the first Indian to be appointed as a collector of Calcutta Municipality, later he also worked in the court of the Nawab at Murshidabad. He had once given a loan of Rs.60,000 to David Hare, as Hare was unable to pay back the loan, he gave Mukherjee some land in lieu of it. Mukherjee, in turn, donated land in 1849 to John Elliot Drinkwater Bethune for the establishment of Kolkata’s first secular school for girls. After the death of Maharaja Tej Chandra Ray of Bardhaman in 1832 and he met Tej Chandra’s young widow, Basanta Kumari, the maharajas 8th wife, whom Mukherjee later married by registration. The episode created quite a sensation in Calcutta, since Mukherjee and Basanta Kumari, chose to elope and get married, Basanta Kumari, however, once again managed to escape from her fathers custody to be reunited with Mukherjee, with whom she migrated to Lucknow in 1851. Mukherjee and his wife, who was older than he was, for helping the British during the Sepoy Mutiny, he was rewarded with the Shankarpur taluk in 1859. He was made honorary assistant commissioner of Lucknow and Awadh and he started publishing Lucknow Times, Samachar Hindustani and Bharat Patrika from Lucknow. He established the Canning College at Lucknow and he was honoured with the title of ‘Raja’ by the Viceroy, Lord Mayo in 1871. Dakshinaranjan Mukherjee died in Lucknow on 15 July 1898
3. Hara Chandra Ghosh – Rai Bahadur Hara Chandra Ghosh was one of the prominent leaders of the Young Bengal group. He was the first Bengali to be a judge of the Calcutta Small Causes Court from 1854 to 1868. Cotton says, “In his youth, he was a pupil, as the Rev. K. M. Banerjee had been of David Hare and Derozio. The family of Hara Chandra Ghosh hailed from Sarsuna in South 24 Parganas, in those days, it was a custom to learn Persian, but Ghosh was not satisfied with learning Persian only. He was keen to learn English also, as a result of his own efforts, he joined the newly founded Hindu College and later became a favourite student of Derozio. He was one of the students involved in the Academic Association. However, in 1832, when the position of munsif was created for the Indians, within a few days of his arrival in Bankura the situation started changing. The court started working from ten to five, when there was shortage of staff, Ghosh himself took down notes and wrote out judgments. His honesty and devotion enhanced the respect for the judiciary in the eyes of the public, after successfully working in Bankura for six years, he was transferred to Hooghly in 1838, and in 1844, he became principal sadar amin of 24 Parganas. In 1854, he was transferred to the Small Causes Court and he was associated with John Elliot Drinkwater Bethune in the formation of the Bethune School and was a member of the school committee. He joined the other Derozians for the construction of a statue for David Hare. He enjoyed the confidence of Lord William Bentinck, Lord Auckland and he was made a Rai Bahadur
4. Krishna Mohan Banerjee – Krishna Mohan Banerjee was a 19th-century Indian thinkers who attempted to rethink Hindu philosophy, religion and ethics in response to the stimulus of Christian ideas. He himself became a Christian, and was the first president of the Bengal Christian Association and he was a prominent member of Henry Louis Vivian Derozio’s Young Bengal group, educationist, linguist and Christian missionary. In 1819, Krishna Mohan joined the School Society Institution founded by David Hare at Kalitala, impressed by his talents, Hare took him to his school at Pataldanga, later famous as Hare School in 1822. Banerjee joined the newly founded Hindu College with a scholarship, in 1831, the religious-reformer-and-litterateur started publishing The Inquirer. In the same year his play, The Persecuted, or and it was monotonically critical of certain prevalent social practices. While at college he used to attend the lectures of the Scottish Christian missionary, Alexander Duff and his father died of cholera in 1828. On completion of his studies in 1829, Banerjee joined Pataldanga School as an assistant teacher, in 1832, he converted to Christianity, under the influence of Alexander Duff. As a result of his conversion, he lost his job in David Hare’s school and his wife, Bindhyobashini Banerjee, was forced to return to her own fathers house, nevertheless, he later became the headmaster of Church Missionary Society School. When the missionary society had begun its activities in Kolkata, Banerjee became the first Bengali priest of Christ Church where he used to preach. He converted his wife, his brother Kali Mohan, and Ganendra Mohan Tagore, subsequently, Ganendra Mohan married his daughter Kamalmani and became the first Indian to qualify as a barrister. He was also instrumental in the conversion of Michael Madhusudan Dutt, in 1852, Krishna Mohan was appointed a professor of Oriental Studies at Bishops College, Kolkata. He had studied aspects of Christianity as a student of the college between 1836 and 1839. In 1864 he was elected to be a member of the Royal Asiatic Society along with Iswar Chandra Vidyasagar, in 1876 the University of Calcutta honoured him with a honorary doctorate degree. Reverend Krishna Mohan Banerjee died on 11 May 1885 in Kolkata and he published a 13-volume English – Bengali adaptation of Encyclopædia Britannica, Vidyakalpadruma or Encyclopædia Bengalensis. He wrote an Indian English drama The persecuted in 1837 and his other works include The Arian Witness, Dialogues on the Hindu Philosophy, and The Relation Between Christianity and Hinduism. A station named Krishnamohan Halt in Sealdah South lines Baruipur - Lakshmikantapur route is marked in memoirs of Rev. Krishna Mohan Banerjee
5. Peary Chand Mitra – Peary Chand Mitra was an Indian writer, journalist, cultural activist and entrepreneur. His pseudo name is Tekchand Thakur and he was a member of Henry Derozios Young Bengal group, who played a leading role in the Bengal renaissance with the introduction of simple Bengali prose. His Alaler Gharer Dulal pioneered the novel in the Bengali language, leading to a tradition taken up by Bankim Chandra Chatterjee, Mitra died on 23 November 1883 in Kolkata. Mitra was born at Kolkata on 22 July 1814, as per the custom of the day, he started learning Persian at a young age and in 1827 joined the Hindu College, where he started learning English. While still a student he started a school in his own home to others in his locality what he learnt. At some point in time his friends Rasik Krishna Mallick, Radhanath Sikdar, david Hare and Derozio helped him as well. Mitra joined Calcutta Public Library as deputy librarian in 1836, the library was established the same year in the residence of an Englishman named Strong in the Esplanade. It was later shifted to Fort William College and when the Metcalfe Hall was constructed to pay respect to the memory of Charles Metcalfe, Mitra rapidly rose up the ladder as librarian, secretary and finally curator, a position he held till his retirement. He was associated with a variety of welfare activities of his day. He was a member of the Calcutta University Senate, the society for prevention of cruelty to animals and he was secretary of the British India Society. He was a Justice of the Peace and he had interest in the development of agriculture in the country. His criticism of the permanent settlement, The Zemindar and Ryots, while a member of the Agricultural Society, he started an organisation for the translation of books on agriculture from English to Bengali. In 1881, when Madame Blavatsky and Col Olcott visited India, Mitra is particularly known for his contribution to the development of journalism and Bangla literature. He was a contributor to the Englishman, Indian Field, Hindu Patriot, Friend of India, Calcutta Review, Bengal Harkara. Along with his Derozian friend Rasik Krishna Mallick, he edited the Jnananeswan, another Derozian, Ram Gopal Ghosh, was associated with it. That was the age when Iswar Chandra Vidyasagar was writing Bengali heavily loaded with Sanskrit words, both were masters of Sanskrit and used all the ornamentation of that rich language. Bengali prose was in its infancy, learned people used to poke fun at it and ridiculed the language, and a newspaper such as Iswar Chandra Guptas Sambad Prabhakar published all that. In 1857, Mitra and Radhanath Sikdar started a magazine, Masik Patrika
6. Radhanath Sikdar – Radhanath Sikdar was an Indian mathematician who, among many other things, calculated the height of Mount Everest in the Himalaya and showed it to be the tallest mountain above sea level. Radhanath joined the Great Trigonometric Survey in 1831 December as a computor at a salary of thirty rupees per month, soon he was sent to Sironj near Dehradun where he excelled in geodetic surveying. Apart from mastering the usual geodetic processes, he invented quite a few of his own, Everest retired in 1843 and Col. Andrew Scott Waugh became the Director. After 20 years in the North, Sikdar was transferred to Calcutta in 1851 as the Chief Computer, here apart from his duties of the GTS, he also served as the Superintendent of the Meteorological department. Here he introduced quite a few innovations that were to remain as standard procedures for many decades to come, the most notable was the formula for conversion of barometric readings taken at different temperatures to 32 degrees Fahrenheit. At the order of Col. Waugh he started measuring the mountains near Darjeeling. Compiling data about Peak XV from six different observations, he came to the conclusion the Peak XV was the tallest in the world. He gave a report to Waugh who was cautious enough not to announce this discovery before checking with other data. When after some years, he was convinced, only then did he announce the same. The norm, strictly followed by Everest himself, was that while naming a peak, but in this case, Waugh made an exception. He paid a tribute to his ex-boss by proposing that the peak be named after Everest, Everest agreed, and Sikdar was conveniently forgotten. It appears that while Everest and Waugh both extolled him for his mathematical abilities, his relations with the colonial administration were far from cordial. Two specific instances are on record, in 1851 a voluminous Survey Manual was published by the Survey Department. The preface to the Manual clearly and specifically mentioned that the technical and mathematical chapters of the Manual were written by Babu Radhanath Sikdar. The Manual proved to be useful to surveyors. However, the edition, published in 1875 did not contain that preface. The incident was condemned by a section of British surveyors, the paper Friend of India in 1876 called it robbery of the dead. The incident was reported in detail in The Bengal Spectator edited by another great Derozian Ramgopal Ghosh, in 1854, he along with his Derozian friend Peary Chand Mitra started the Bengali journal Masik Patrika, for the education and empowerment of women
7. Ramgopal Ghosh – Ramgopal Ghosh was an Indian businessman, social reformer, orator and one of the leaders of the Young Bengal group. He was called the Indian Demosthenes, Ghosh was one of the persons who helped John Elliot Drinkwater Bethune to establish his girls school. The family hailed from Bagati, near Mogra in Hooghly District and his father, Gobinda Chandra Ghosh had a small shop in Kolkatas China Bazar. His maternal grandfather, Dewan Ramprasad Singha, used to work in the office of King Hamilton & Co. in Kolkata, Ghosh was born in his maternal grandfathers house. There are two opinions about his childhood, the first says that he initially joined Sherburnes School and started learning English. At that time Hara Chandra Ghosh, then a student of Hindu College and later one of the leading Derozians, observing the keenness of young Ramgopal, Hara Chandra pestered the formers father to get him admitted in Hindu College. His father did not have the means to pay for his education at Hindu College, however, one Mr. Rogers of King Hamilton & Co. agreed to pay the fees and he was admitted to Hindu College. The second opinion is that Mr. Rogers got him admitted in Hindu College right from the beginning, Ghosh did not have to continue that way for long. His brilliance attracted the attention of David Hare and soon he was on the free student list. In time he joined the class of Derozio and he became friendly with Ramtanu Lahiri and the other Derozians. His dedication attracted Derozios attention and he used to him in English philosophy. When Derozio established the Academic Association, Ghosh became one of its leading members and it was in the meeting of the Association that Ghosh learnt to express himself fluently in English. The meetings of the Academic Association were attended by people as Sir Edward Ryan, who was a judge of the Supreme Court and W. W. Bird. They warmly appreciated Ghoshs talent and openly encouraged him, Ghosh had to leave his studies unfinished and get on in working life. On the recommendation of David Hare, he started working with a Jewish businessman named Joseph, later, another businessman name Kelsall joined the firm, Ghosh served them as a middle-man. When the two out, Ghosh formed a jointly owned firm Kelsall, Ghose & Co. and still later, around 1848, he floated his own firm. In the process he accumulated fabulous wealth, one of the great qualities of Ghosh was that he never forgot his old friends. Even as he went up the financial and social ladder he kept contact with them
8. Ramtanu Lahiri – Ramtanu Lahiri was a Young Bengal leader, a teacher and a social reformer. Peary Chand Mitra wrote about him, “There are few persons in whom the milk of kindness flows so abundantly. He was never wanting in appreciation of what was right, and in his sympathy with the advanced principles. ”It is still widely read and used as reference material for the period. An English version A History of Renaissance in Bengal - Ramtanu Lahiri, Brahman and Reformer, Ramtanu Lahiri was son of Ramakrishna Lahiri. They belonged to a religious family attached to the dewans of the Nadia Raj. Some of them were employed as dewans or occupied other high positions in the Raj. At that time, Krishnanagar was amongst the more enlightened towns of Bengal and his father, Ramakrishna Lahiri, was a person of limited means, earning a living in the service of the landed aristocracy and from some property he owned. As per the traditions of the age, Ramtanu Lahiri attended the local pathsala and tol and learnt Arabic, Persian, the environment of song, dance and drinks, in the palace, was not considered ideal for a child to grow up. His elder brother, Keshab Chandra Lahiri, took him to Kolkata at the age of 12 and he taught him at home but desired to place the young boy in David Hare’s school. ”The number of aspirants were so many that David Hare could hardly do anything much. Keshab Chandra Lahiri managed to line up Gour Mohan Vidyalankar, a close to David Hare. He did accordingly and took the boy to David Hare. Then, Vidyalankar advised Ramtanu to run along David Hare’s palanquin, the youngster did so for around two months, sometimes even without having any food in the morning. Ultimately, he won over David Hare with his determination, Ramtanu Lahiri was admitted as a free student in the school established by the School Society. The school later became famous as Hare School, and was known as Colutola Branch School for some time, Young Ramtanu did not have a place to stay in Kolkata. His elder brother mostly lived in Krishnanagar and he crowded in with other boys in Vidyalankar’s house for some time and later found a place in a relative’s house. In 1828, Ramtanu Lahiri passed Entrance with flying colours, winning a scholarship of Rs.14 per month. The most renowned name of Ramtanu Lahiri’s college days was Derozio and he used to publish poems and essays in Dr. Grant’s India Gazette. Then aged only nineteen years, he joined Hindu College as a teacher in 1828, within a short period, Derozio became immensely popular amongst the students
9. Rasik Krishna Mallick – Rasik Krishna Mallick was an Indian journalist, editor, reformer, educationist and a leading member of Young Bengal group. He had shocked the court in British India in the 1820s with the statement that he did not believe in the sacredness of the Ganges, son of Naba Kishore Mallick, he was born in 1810 at Sinduriapatti in Kolkata. His father was engaged in trading and was linked to the Seths, the original residents of Govindapur. The family had a standing in society. After initial education at home with some grounding in English, Rasik Krishna Mallick joined Hindu College and turned out to be a successful student. He greatly admired the activities of Raja Rammohun Roy, who was active in Kolkata and was greatly influenced by his thinking. In 1828, when Derozio joined Hindu College, he one of his disciples. While still a student, Rasik Krishna Mallick appeared as witness in some case in the court at Kolkata. In those days, the system was that the Hindu witnesses had to take oath touching a copper vessel containing Ganges water, an Oriya Brahmin came with these things to every witness. When the process was repeated with Rasik Krishna Mallick, he refused to comply. ”The Ganges has always considered to be sacred by the Hindus. The result was that his family drugged him and wanted to him forcibly to Varanasi for penance. However, Rasik Krishna Mallick recovered and ran away and his family turned him out of the house. He worked in Hare School for some time, when Indians were allowed for the first time to be appointed or promoted as deputy collectors Rasik Krishna Mallick was one of the beneficiaries and was posted to Bardhaman. While he was in Bardhaman, his old friend Ramtanu Lahiri, then posted in the same town and he became religious-minded and carried out his duties fearlessly. He spurned all efforts to him and established a great reputation for honesty. He was editor of the magazine Jnananwesan and was one of the sponsors of Parthenon and he was vocal on many issues of the day and enlightened public opinion on many matters. He was actively involved in the reforms launched by the organisation named Suhrid Samiti of Kishori Chand Mitra. In 1831, he established a free Hindu school for the spread of education and he also tried for the spread of education though Calcutta Public Library of Rasamay Dutta
10. Sib Chandra Deb – Sib Chandra Deb was one of the leading Derozians, virtually the first generation of English-knowing Indians. He had joined Hindu College in 1825 and was drawn towards Derozio. Sivanath Sastri recalls that even in his old age he recalled in detail what Derozio used to say. A brilliant student he won a scholarship while studying at Hindu College, as a student, he occasionally attended the meetings of the Brahmo Sabha established by Raja Rammohun Roy. Initially, he joined the department as he had acquired proficiency in higher mathematics. The English allowed Indians to be posted as deputy collectors in 1833. He was one of the early English-knowing Indian officials in government service and he joined the Brahmo Samaj in 1843, around the same time as Debendranath Tagore, and rose to be one of its prominent leaders by the 1850s. He established the Medinipur Brahmo Samaj in 1846 and the Konnagar Brahmo Samaj in 1863, at the time of founding of the Brahmo Samaj of India, he was with the progressives and assisted the movement in many ways. At the time of establishment of the Sadharan Brahmo Samaj, his sympathies were with the protesting party, after the second break-up of the Brahmo movement, his house at Konnagar became a place of pilgrimage to the members of the new samaj. Indeed, he was the embodiment of an ideal Brahmo life. He was one of strongest proponents of education because he was convinced that society could not progress unless women were educated. He admitted his daughters into Bethune School, in 1860, he opened a girls’ school in his own house. It later shifted to a building of its own and he wrote a book Sishupalan for use by women. Posted for sometime in 24 Parganas, he participated actively in the life of Kolkata during the period. He contributed considerably to the development of Konnagar, including the inauguration of Konnagar railway station in 1856 and he was commissioner of Serampore municipality from 1865 to 1878. His father Braja Kishore Deb was in government service and was considered to be a moneyed man, satyapriya Deb, son of Sib Chandra Deb, was married, in 1876, to Saratkumari, daughter of Kalinath Bose, a close friend and devotee of Keshub Chunder Sen. Trouble started with a notice in the Indian Mirror about performance of the marriage as per the reformed ceremonies of the Brahmo Samaj and it was to be organised without the presence of Brahmin priests and without any salagram shila or the traditional hom or fire witnessing. Many considered it a challenge to traditional Hindu society and systems, there was considerable public consternation about the marriage and the possibility of large-scale demonstrations against the proposed marriage rites loomed large over the occasion
11. Freethought – In particular, freethought is strongly tied with rejection of traditional religious belief. The cognitive application of freethought is known as freethinking, and practitioners of freethought are known as freethinkers, the term first came into use in the 17th century in order to indicate people who inquired into the basis of traditional religious beliefs. Freethinkers hold that knowledge should be grounded in facts, scientific inquiry, the skeptical application of science implies freedom from the intellectually limiting effects of confirmation bias, cognitive bias, conventional wisdom, popular culture, prejudice, or sectarianism. The essay became a cry for freethinkers when published in the 1870s. Clifford was himself an organizer of freethought gatherings, the force behind the Congress of Liberal Thinkers held in 1878. Regarding religion, freethinkers hold that there is insufficient evidence to support the existence of supernatural phenomena. According to the Freedom from Religion Foundation, No one can be a freethinker who demands conformity to a bible, creed, to the freethinker, revelation and faith are invalid, and orthodoxy is no guarantee of truth. And Freethinkers are convinced that religious claims have not withstood the tests of reason, not only is there nothing to be gained by believing an untruth, but there is everything to lose when we sacrifice the indispensable tool of reason on the altar of superstition. Most freethinkers consider religion to be not only untrue, but harmful, however, philosopher Bertrand Russell wrote the following in his 1944 essay The Value of Free Thought, What makes a freethinker is not his beliefs but the way in which he holds them. To be worthy of the name, he must be free of two things, the force of tradition, and the tyranny of his own passions. No one is free from either, but in the measure of a mans emancipation he deserves to be called a free thinker. On the other hand, according to Bertrand Russell, atheists and/or agnostics are not necessarily freethinkers. As an example, he mentions Stalin, whom he compares to a pope, what I am concerned with is the doctrine of the modern Communistic Party, and of the Russian Government to which it owes allegiance. In the 18th and 19th century, many regarded as freethinkers were deists. In the 18th century, deism was as much of a dirty word as atheism, deists today regard themselves as freethinkers, but are now arguably less prominent in the freethought movement than atheists. The pansy serves as the long-established and enduring symbol of freethought, the reasoning behind the pansy as the symbol of freethought lies both in the flowers name and in its appearance. The pansy derives its name from the French word pensée, which means thought and it allegedly received this name because the flower is perceived by some to bear resemblance to a human face, and in mid-to-late summer it nods forward as if deep in thought. In all their rule and strictest tie of their order there was but this one clause to be observed, Do What Thou Wilt, when Rabelaiss hero Pantagruel journeys to the Oracle of The Dive Bottle, he learns the lesson of life in one simple word, Trinch
12. Presidency University, Kolkata – Presidency University, Kolkata, formerly Hindu College and Presidency College, is a public state university located in Kolkata, West Bengal. The college was established in 1817 by Raja Ram Mohan Roy, Radhakanta Deb, David Hare, Justice Sir Edward Hyde East, Baidyanath Mukhopadhya, with the creation of the Supreme Court of Calcutta in 1773 many Hindus of Bengal showed eagerness to learn the English language. David Hare, in collaboration with Raja Radhakanta Deb had already taken steps to introduce English education in Bengal, 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 the setting up of the new college. 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 Babu Gopee Mohan Thakoor. The first Directors were Babu Gopi Mohun Deb of Sobhabazar, Babu Joykissen Sinha, Babu Radha Madhab Banerjee, Babu Buddinath Mukherjee was appointed as the first Secretary of the college. The newly established college mostly admitted Hindu students from affluent and progressive families, at first the classes were held in a house belonging to Gorachand Bysack of Garanhatta, which was rented by the college. In January 1818 the college moved to Feringhi Kamal Boses house which was located nearby in Chitpore, from Chitpore, the college moved to Bowbazar and later to the building that now houses the Sanskrit College on College Street. In 1972, an article was released by the faculty members of the college demanding that the college be given full university status. It is a secret that the author of the article was Prof. Dipak Banerjee. The other members of the committee included Prof, ashes Prasad Mitra, Prof. Barun De, Dr. Bimal Jalan and Prof. Subimal Sen, to look into the possibility of upgrading the status of the college. In 2009, the Governing Body of the college adopted the proposal that the college should be given full university status. The bill stated that once the college becomes a full state-aided university it will be renamed Presidency University, the new logo of the Presidency University has been created by Sabyasachi Dutta as reported in a letter to the Editor of Anandabazar Patrika on 1 April 2013. On 19 March 2010, the West Bengal Government passed the Presidency University Bill,2009 in the State Legislative Assembly, on 7 July 2010, the governor of West Bengal, M K Narayanan gave his assent to the Presidency University Bill. On 23 July 2010, the Government of West Bengal published the gazette notification completing all the formalities for Presidency to become a full university. Prof. Amiya Bagchi was given the responsibility of chairing a committee set up to select, Prof. Amita Chatterjee, a retired professor of philosophy at Jadavpur University, was appointed as the first vice-chancellor of Presidency University on 5 October 2010. In 2011, Higher Education Minister Bratya Basu suggested that a group, along the lines of the Nalanda mentor group
13. Kolkata – Kolkata /koʊlˈkɑːtɑː/ is the capital of the Indian state of West Bengal. In 2011, the city had a population of 4.5 million, while the population of the city and its suburbs was 14.1 million, making it the third-most populous metropolitan area in India. Recent estimates of Kolkata Metropolitan Areas economy have ranged from $60 to $150 billion making it third most-productive metropolitan area in India, after Mumbai, in the late 17th century, the three villages that predated Calcutta were ruled by the Nawab of Bengal under Mughal suzerainty. After the Nawab granted the East India Company a trading licence in 1690, Nawab Siraj ud-Daulah occupied Calcutta in 1756, and the East India Company retook it the following year. In 1793 the East India company was enough to abolish Nizamat. Calcutta was the centre for the Indian independence movement, it remains a hotbed of contemporary state politics, following Indian independence in 1947, Kolkata, which was once the centre of modern Indian education, science, culture, and politics, suffered several decades of economic stagnation. Many people from Kolkata—among them several Nobel laureates—have contributed to the arts, the sciences, Kolkata culture features idiosyncrasies that include distinctively close-knit neighbourhoods and freestyle intellectual exchanges. Though home to major cricketing venues and franchises, Kolkata differs from other Indian cities by giving importance to association football, there are several explanations about the etymology of this name, The term Kolikata is thought to be a variation of Kalikkhetrô, meaning Field of Kali. Similarly, it can be a variation of Kalikshetra, alternatively, the name may have been derived from the Bengali term kilkila, or flat area. The name may have its origin in the words khal meaning canal, followed by kaṭa, according to another theory, the area specialised in the production of quicklime or koli chun and coir or kata, hence, it was called Kolikata. The discovery and archaeological study of Chandraketugarh,35 kilometres north of Kolkata, Kolkatas recorded history began in 1690 with the arrival of the English East India Company, which was consolidating its trade business in Bengal. The area occupied by the city encompassed three villages, Kalikata, Gobindapur, and Sutanuti. Kalikata was a village, Sutanuti was a riverside weavers village. They were part of an estate belonging to the Mughal emperor and these rights were transferred to the East India Company in 1698. In 1712, the British completed the construction of Fort William, facing frequent skirmishes with French forces, the British began to upgrade their fortifications in 1756. The Nawab of Bengal, Siraj ud-Daulah, condemned the militarisation and his warning went unheeded, and the Nawab attacked, he captured Fort William which led to the killings of several East India company officials in the Black Hole of Calcutta. A force of Company soldiers and British troops led by Robert Clive recaptured the city the following year, declared a presidency city, Calcutta became the headquarters of the East India Company by 1772. In 1793, ruling power of the Nawabs were abolished and East India company took control of the city
14. Hinduism – Hinduism is a religion, or a way of life, found most notably in India and Nepal. Hinduism has been called the oldest religion in the world, and some practitioners and scholars refer to it as Sanātana Dharma, scholars regard Hinduism as a fusion or synthesis of various Indian cultures and traditions, with diverse roots and no founder. This Hindu synthesis started to develop between 500 BCE and 300 CE following the Vedic period, although Hinduism contains a broad range of philosophies, it is linked by shared concepts, recognisable rituals, cosmology, shared textual resources, and pilgrimage to sacred sites. Hindu texts are classified into Shruti and Smriti and these texts discuss theology, philosophy, mythology, Vedic yajna, Yoga, agamic rituals, and temple building, among other topics. Major scriptures include the Vedas and Upanishads, the Bhagavad Gita, prominent themes in Hindu beliefs include the four Puruṣārthas, the proper goals or aims of human life, namely Dharma, Artha, Kama and Moksha, karma, samsara, and the various Yogas. Hindu practices include such as puja and recitations, meditation, family-oriented rites of passage, annual festivals. Some Hindus leave their world and material possessions, then engage in lifelong Sannyasa to achieve Moksha. Hinduism prescribes the eternal duties, such as honesty, refraining from injuring living beings, patience, forbearance, self-restraint, Hinduism is the worlds third largest religion, with over one billion followers or 15% of the global population, known as Hindus. The majority of Hindus reside in India, Nepal, Mauritius, the Caribbean, the word Hindu is derived from the Indo-Aryan/Sanskrit word Sindhu, the Indo-Aryan name for the Indus River in the northwestern part of the Indian subcontinent. The term Hindu in these ancient records is a geographical term, the Arabic term al-Hind referred to the people who live across the River Indus. This Arabic term was taken from the pre-Islamic Persian term Hindū. By the 13th century, Hindustan emerged as an alternative name of India. It was only towards the end of the 18th century that European merchants and colonists began to refer to the followers of Indian religions collectively as Hindus. The term Hinduism, then spelled Hindooism, was introduced into the English language in the 18th-century to denote the religious, philosophical, because of the wide range of traditions and ideas covered by the term Hinduism, arriving at a comprehensive definition is difficult. The religion defies our desire to define and categorize it, Hinduism has been variously defined as a religion, a religious tradition, a set of religious beliefs, and a way of life. From a Western lexical standpoint, Hinduism like other faiths is appropriately referred to as a religion, in India the term dharma is preferred, which is broader than the western term religion. Hindu traditionalists prefer to call it Sanatana Dharma, the study of India and its cultures and religions, and the definition of Hinduism, has been shaped by the interests of colonialism and by Western notions of religion. Since the 1990s, those influences and its outcomes have been the topic of debate among scholars of Hinduism, Hinduism as it is commonly known can be subdivided into a number of major currents
15. Alexander Duff (missionary) – LLD. was a Christian missionary in India, where he played a large part in the development of higher education. He was the first overseas missionary of the Church of Scotland to India, on 13 July 1830 he founded the General Assemblys Institution in Calcutta, now known as the Scottish Church College. He also played a part in establishing the University of Calcutta, 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, 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 committee of the Church of Scotlands general assembly to become their first missionary to India. After an adventurous voyage during which he was shipwrecked, Duff arrived in Calcutta on 27 May 1830. 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. Duff devised the policy of an using western system of education to slowly convert Hindus, 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. Duff opened a school in all kinds of secular subjects were taught, from the rudiments upwards to a university standard. The English language was used as the medium of instruction on the grounds that it was the key to Western knowledge, Duff wrote a pamphlet on the question, entitled A New Era of the English Language and Literature in India. His views influenced Peter Percival, an educator, linguist. Within the British Indian community of that era, there were not lacking those Orientalists who saw value in the learning of India and wished to support. They opposed Duffs policy of stringently disregarding the same while assiduously promoting the spread of education, culture. In 1839, Lord Auckland, the governor-general of India, yielded to them, regardless, English became the tool through which Indians were able to understand and advance themselves through the British institutions of government. This opportunity to share in governance established one of the foundations on which eventual self-rule was built, shortly after landing in India in 1830, Duff opened his institution in a house located at upper Chitpur Road in the Jorasanko neighbourhood of Calcutta. The house was available to him by Feringhi Kamal Bose. The school soon began to expand into a college, known as the General Assemblys Institution
16. Scottish Church College – Scottish Church College is the oldest continuously running Christian liberal arts and sciences college in India. It has been highly rated by the National Assessment and Accreditation Council. It is affiliated with the University of Calcutta for degree courses for graduates and postgraduates and it is a selective coeducational institution, known for its high academic standards. Students and alumni call themselves Caledonians in the name of the college festival, the origins are traceable to the life of Alexander Duff, the first overseas missionary of the Church of Scotland, to India. Known initially as the General Assemblys Institution, it was founded on 13 July 1830, Alexander Duff was born on 25 April 1806, in Moulin, Perthshire, located in the Scottish countryside. He attended the University of St Andrews where after graduation, he opted for a missionary life, subsequently, he undertook his evangelical mission to India. In a voyage that involved two shipwrecks and the loss of his library consisting of 800 volumes, and college prizes. Supported by the Governor-General of India Lord William Bentinck, Rev. Alexander Duff opened his institution in Feringhi Kamal Boses house, located in upper Chitpore Road, in 1836 the institution was moved to Gorachand Bysacks house at Garanhatta. Mr. MacFarlon, the Chief-Magistrate of Calcutta, laid the stone on 23 February 1837. Mr. John Gray, elected by Messrs, burn & Co. and superintended by Captain John Thomson of the East India Company designed the building. It is possible that he may have inspired by the facade of the Holy House of Mercy in Macau. Traces of English Palladianism are also evident in the design of the college, the construction of the building was completed in 1839. In the early 1800s, under the regime of the East India Company, English education, the general apathy of the Company towards the cause of education and improvement of natives is in many ways, the background for the agency of missionaries like Duff. Inspired by the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, Reverend Alexander Duff, then a young missionary, arrived in Indias colonial capital to set up an English-medium institution. While Orientalists like James Prinsep were supportive of the idea of education, Duff. Raja Ram Mohan Roy helped Duff by organizing the venue and bringing in the first batch of students and he also assured the guardians that reading the King Jamess Bible did not necessarily imply religious conversion, unless that was based on inner spiritual conviction. Although his ultimate aim was the spread of English education, Duff was aware that a language could not be mastered without command of the native language. Hence in his General Assemblys Institution, teaching and learning in the dominant vernacular Bengali language was also emphasized, Duff and his successors also underscored the necessity of sports among his students
17. Brajendra Nath Seal – Sir Brajendra Nath Seal was a renowned Bengali Indian humanist philosopher. He was one of the greatest original thinkers of the Brahmo Samaj and he systematised the humanism of the Brahmo philosophical thought. In his work, he underscored the tectonic shift in Brahmo theology in the eighteenth century from liberal theism to secular humanism. He was born in Calcutta in 1864 and his father Mohendranath Seal was one of the earliest followers of Comtean positivism in Bengal. As a student of philosophy at the General Assemblys Institution, he attracted to Brahmo theology. And along with his classmate and friend Narendranath Dutta, the future Swami Vivekananda. Later they would part ways with Dutta aligning himself with Keshub Chunder Sens New Dispensation, Seal had a natural aptitude for mathematics and logic. He earned his M. A. degree in philosophy from the University of Calcutta in 1884 and started out as a lecturer at the City College, Calcutta. Although he had started out as a lecturer, his deep insatiable thirst for knowledge. During the time period 1883 to 1907, he composed his first major work New Essays in Criticism, although he was an ardent admirer of English Romanticism and Romantic literature in particular, his work reveals him to be an early precursor of the school of logical positivism. In 1915, he earned his doctorate from the University of Calcutta on the subject of The Positive Sciences of the Ancient Hindus. In 1896, Maharaja Nripendra Narayan Bhupa Bahadur, the son-in-law of Keshub Chunder Sen offered him the post of a principal of the newly established Victoria College in Cooch Behar. His further studies on ancient Hindu scientific philosophy led him to contribute a chapter in Prafulla Chandra Roys History of Chemistry in Ancient India and his publications were noticed abroad and in 1902, his candidacy was seriously considered for a professorship in philosophy at the University of Cambridge. The financial support provided by the Maharaja helped Seal to visit Europe in 1899,1906 and 1911, in 1906, Seal addressed the International Congress of Orientalists in Rome and in 1911, the First Universal Race Congress in London. During this phase, he underwent a transformation from being a believer of Brahmo rationalist doctrine to being a spiritual humanist, for he was a rational humanist first, and a cultural nationalist much later. After his resignation from Victoria College, he was offered the most prestigious chair of philosophy in India and his scholarly contribution was recognised again with the award of an Honorary doctorate from the University of Calcutta, on 17 December 1921. He helped Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore in founding the Visva-Bharati University on 22 December 1921, by virtue of being Indias leading scholar on philosophy and comparative-historical studies and its first Western visiting scholar, Seal was honoured as the first Chancellor of that university. During the same time, he was appointed the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Mysore, a position he held till 1930
18. Jeremy Bentham – Jeremy Bentham was an English philosopher, jurist, and social reformer. He is regarded as the founder of modern utilitarianism, Bentham defined as the fundamental axiom of his philosophy the principle that it is the greatest happiness of the greatest number that is the measure of right and wrong. He became a leading theorist in Anglo-American philosophy of law, and he advocated individual and economic freedom, the separation of church and state, freedom of expression, equal rights for women, the right to divorce, and the decriminalising of homosexual acts. He called for the abolition of slavery, the abolition of the penalty. He has also known in recent years as an early advocate of animal rights. Though strongly in favour of the extension of legal rights, he opposed the idea of natural law and natural rights. On his death in 1832, Bentham left instructions for his body to be first dissected, and then to be preserved as an auto-icon. This was done, and the auto-icon is now on display at University College London. Because of his arguments in favour of the availability of education. However, he played only a direct part in its foundation. Bentham was born in Houndsditch, London, to a family that supported the Tory party. He was reportedly a child prodigy, he was found as a sitting at his fathers desk reading a multi-volume history of England. He had one surviving sibling, Samuel Bentham, with whom he was close. He attended Westminster School and, in 1760, at age 12, was sent by his father to The Queens College, Oxford and he trained as a lawyer and, though he never practised, was called to the bar in 1769. He became deeply frustrated with the complexity of the English legal code, among his many proposals for legal and social reform was a design for a prison building he called the Panopticon. Although the prison was never built, the concept had an important influence on generations of thinkers. Twentieth-century French philosopher Michel Foucault argued that the Panopticon was paradigmatic of several 19th-century disciplinary institutions, Bentham became convinced that his plans for the Panopticon had been thwarted by the King and an aristocratic elite acting in their own interests. More successful was his cooperation with Patrick Colquhoun in tackling the corruption in the Pool of London and this resulted in the Thames Police Bill of 1798, which was passed in 1800
19. Adam Smith – Adam Smith FRSA was a Scottish economist, philosopher, and author. He was a philosopher, a pioneer of political economy. He is best known for two works, The Theory of Moral Sentiments, and An Inquiry into the Nature. The latter, usually abbreviated as The Wealth of Nations, is considered his magnum opus and the first modern work of economics. Smith studied social philosophy at the University of Glasgow and at Balliol College, Oxford, after graduating, he delivered a successful series of public lectures at Edinburgh, leading him to collaborate with David Hume during the Scottish Enlightenment. Smith obtained a professorship at Glasgow teaching moral philosophy, and during this time he wrote, in his later life, he took a tutoring position that allowed him to travel throughout Europe, where he met other intellectual leaders of his day. Smith laid the foundations of free market economic theory. The Wealth of Nations was a precursor to the academic discipline of economics. In this and other works, he developed the concept of division of labour, Smith was controversial in his own day and his general approach and writing style were often satirised by Tory writers in the moralising tradition of William Hogarth and Jonathan Swift. In 2005, The Wealth of Nations was named among the 100 Best Scottish Books of all time, the minor planet 12838 Adamsmith was named in his memory. Smith was born in Kirkcaldy, in the County of Fife and his father, also Adam Smith, was a Scottish Writer to the Signet, advocate, and prosecutor and also served as comptroller of the Customs in Kirkcaldy. In 1720 he married Margaret Douglas, daughter of the landed Robert Douglas of Strathendry and his father died two months after he was born, leaving his mother a widow. The date of Smiths baptism into the Church of Scotland at Kirkcaldy was 5 June 1723, and this has often been treated as if it were also his date of birth, Smith was close to his mother, who probably encouraged him to pursue his scholarly ambitions. He attended the Burgh School of Kirkcaldy—characterised by Rae as one of the best secondary schools of Scotland at that period—from 1729 to 1737, he learned Latin, mathematics, history, Smith entered the University of Glasgow when he was fourteen and studied moral philosophy under Francis Hutcheson. Here, Smith developed his passion for liberty, reason, in 1740 Smith was the graduate scholar presented to undertake postgraduate studies at Balliol College, Oxford, under the Snell Exhibition. Adam Smith considered the teaching at Glasgow to be far superior to that at Oxford, according to William Robert Scott, The Oxford of time gave little if any help towards what was to be his lifework. Nevertheless, Smith took the opportunity while at Oxford to teach several subjects by reading many books from the shelves of the large Bodleian Library. When Smith was not studying on his own, his time at Oxford was not a happy one, near the end of his time there, Smith began suffering from shaking fits, probably the symptoms of a nervous breakdown
20. David Ricardo – David Ricardo was a British political economist. He was one of the most influential of the economists, along with Thomas Malthus, Adam Smith. Born in London, England, Ricardo was the third of 17 children of a Sephardic Jewish family of Portuguese origin who had relocated from the Dutch Republic. His father, Abraham Ricardo, was a successful stockbroker and he began working with his father at the age of 14. At age 21, Ricardo eloped with a Quaker, Priscilla Anne Wilkinson and this religious difference resulted in estrangement from his family, and he was led to adopt a position of independence. His father disowned him and his mother never spoke to him again. Following this estrangement he went into business for himself with the support of Lubbocks and Forster and he made the bulk of his fortune as a result of speculation on the outcome of the Battle of Waterloo. Prior to the battle, Ricardo posted an observer to convey early results of the outcome and he then deliberately created the mistaken impression the French had won by initially openly selling British securities. Following this panic he moved to buy British securities at a steep discount, the Sunday Times reported in Ricardo’s obituary, published on 14 September 1823, that during the Battle of Waterloo Ricardo netted upwards of a million sterling, a huge sum at the time. He was appointed High Sheriff of Gloucestershire for 1818–19, in August 1818 he bought Lord Portarlington’s seat in Parliament for £4,000, as part of the terms of a loan of £25,000. His record in Parliament was that of an earnest reformer and he held the seat until his death four years later. Ricardo was a friend of James Mill. Other notable friends included Jeremy Bentham and Thomas Malthus, with whom Ricardo had a debate over such things as the role of landowners in a society. He also was a member of Malthus Political Economy Club, and he was one of the original members of The Geological Society. His sister was author Sarah Ricardo-Porter and he voted with opposition in support of the liberal movements in Naples,21 Feb. and Sicily,21 June, and for inquiry into the administration of justice in Tobago,6 June. He divided for repeal of the Blasphemous and Seditious Libels Act,8 May, inquiry into the Peterloo massacre,16 May and he adamantly supported the implementation of free trade. He voted against renewal of the duties,9 Feb. He voted silently for parliamentary reform,25 Apr.3 June and he again voted for criminal law reform,4 June
21. Bengali renaissance