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Keshab Chandra Sen Biography

Keshab Chandra Sen was a renowned scholar, a social and religious reformer and an ardent nationalist of India. He was born on 19th November 1838 in Kolkata. He was a descendant of the medieval Sena kings of West Bengal. He received his education from Hindu College.
He was a scholar who studied Philosophy, History, Sanskrit literature, Gita and the Vedas very deeply. During his college days, he read the tract on ‘Brahmoism’ written by an activist of the Brahmo Samaj, Rajnarayana Basu. He was so influenced by his ideas of Brahmo Samaj that he joined the Calcutta Brahmo Samaj in 1857.

At the age of 19, Keshab Chandra Sen started social work by establishing an evening school for adults. He was a writer and journalist, who wrote immensely. He used the medium of Press to spread social consciousness and development. In 1861, he started a fortnightly journal ‘Indian Mirror’ and later in 1871 converted it into a daily. He contributed to the society by establishing many educational, social and spiritual institutions.

Keshab Chandra Sen was associated with many revolutionary programs of social reform like liberation of women from the social bindings, education of women and the poor workers, eradication of social evils like untouchability and casteism, spread of vernacular and various charitable works for the oppressed people. He took the initiative to introduce legislation to curb polygamy and child marriage and promoted inter-caste marriage.

In 1862, he was given the title of ‘Acharya’ of the ‘Brahmo Samaj’ by Devendranath Tagore. But due to the differences in the beliefs and philosophies of Devendranath Tagore and Keshab Chandra Sen, Brahmo Samaj split into two. In 1880, he propagated the Navavidhan, the New Dispensation or the Religion of Harmony. He preached bhakti, which was inspired from both Chaitanya and Christ. Brahmo Samaj, under the leadership of great reformers like Raja Ram Mohan Roy and Keshab Chandra Sen heralded the Renaissance in Bengal and propagated it to the other parts of the India.