Vidyasagar and the Indian Renaissance – a lesson from history
A talk and discussion led by East London Humanist member Amal Chaudhuri.
Ishwar Vidyasagar (1820 -1891) was an enlightened philosopher, educator, writer and reformer of immense importance and a pioneer of the so-called ‘Indian Renaissance.’ He fought against the religious orthodoxy of his time for female education and against the horrific practice of forced widow remarriage. He opened many schools for girls and demanded a high quality education for all regardless of caste. He pleaded for a curriculum based on science, mathematics and materialist philosophy.
His battles can be seen as part of an ongoing struggle. For example, only recently school girl Malala Yousafzai was shot in the head in Pakistan because of her support for female education. And in this country Humanists campaign against the new state-funded schools which teach anti-science and creationism.