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Young Bengal Movement

History And Background

The Young Bengal movement was formed by a group of radical Bengali free thinkers at Calcutta's Hindu College. The movement was created by Henry Vivian Derozio


  • They aimed to spread radical ideas through classroom instruction and the organisation of debates and discussions on literature, history, philosophy, and science.

  • Derozio's principal mission was to instil intellectual revolution in young students. He was a stalwart defender of liberal thought.

  • Combating social ills such as child marriage, child labour, and sati Women's education promotion.

  • Disseminating French Revolutionary ideas such as liberty, fraternity, and equality. They desired to foster value-based and rational thinking rather than rote memorization.

Who was Henry Derozio?

Henry Vivian Derozio, a rationalist and free thinker. Derozio was born on April 18th, 1809 and died on December 26th, 1831. During his brief existence, Derozio produced several notable works of poetry and was well on his way to becoming a legendary figure.

Derozio was often considered an Anglo-Indian, as he was of mixed Portuguese and Italian ancestry, but he identified as Indian because of his patriotic passion for his native Bengal.

Derozio's greatest works were composed during a period of major worldwide change, which was represented in his writings as well. As a lecturer at Calcutta's Hindu College, he influenced a huge number of students to think freely; this group, dubbed "Young Bengal," was instrumental in Bengal's rebirth.

Movement's Reforms

Derozio's natural passion for teaching and his interactions with students generated excitement at Hindu College.

  • His disciples were dubbed the Derozians. He organised seminars to facilitate the free flow of ideas and social rules.

  • He prompted them to create the Academic Association, a literary and debating society, in 1828. In 1830, this organisation produced a periodical named "Temple."

  • Apart from deconstructing Hindu rites, the students debated women's emancipation and opposed other elements of British authority.

  • Additionally, he encouraged them to build a career in the media in order to spread these values throughout a nation in urgent need of reform. He assisted Krishna Mohan Banerjee in founding

The Observer, an English weekly, in 1831, and Dakshinaranjan Mukherjee and Rasik Krishna Mallick in founding The Jnananvesan, a Bengali daily, in 1832.

The Revolt

Numerous members of his inner circle eventually revolted against Hinduism and created the Brahmo Samaj, while others, such as Krishna Mohan Banerjee, converted to Christianity, and others, such as Ramtanu Lahiri, left their sacred line. Others, like Peary Chand Mitra, the author of Bengali's first novel, followed suit.

However, the harshness of his lectures and student organisation created a backlash against him.

Due to his crazy ideas on society, culture, and religion, the college's management committee dismissed him as a faculty member for "materially damaging students' morals and establishing some strange system capable of destroying their moral character and societal peace."


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