Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar
Akshay Kumar Datta
|Headquarters||Kolkata, Bengal, British India|
Tattwabodhini Patrika (Bengali: তত্ত্ববোধিনী পত্রিকা) [Tattwabodhini ("truth-searching") Patrika ("newspaper")] was established by Maharshi Devendranath Tagore on 16 August 1843, as a journal of the Tattwabodhini Sabha, and continued publication until 1883. It was published from Kolkata, India.
It had a distinguished editorial board including Devendranath Tagore, Iswar Chandra Vidyasagar, Akshay Kumar Dutta, Rajnarayan Basu, and Rajendra Lal Mitra. The journal changed the tone of vernacular (Indian language) journalism. From its earliest days, it propagated the positive aspects of the religious scriptures but did not accept their infallibility. It strongly reacted against revelations and miracles.
The Patrika criticised Avatarism or messiah worship, and ran into long debates with both the Christian missionaries and orthodox sections of Hindu society. It placed before its contemporaries its considered opinion on the place of rituals in society, and focused on the spiritual and ethical aspects of human personality in an ideal scheme of education. Before the intelligentsia it placed the ideal of a dynamic religion progressing with the development of the human mind. It propagated the religion of harmony. In a series of articles, it sought to represent theism as inherent in Hinduism.
The newspaper took up social reform causes, opposing child marriages and polygamy. Iswar Chandra Vidyasagar published his famous article "Should widow marriage be introduced into society" in it in 1855. The debates that followed lead to a significant change from the sacramental to the contractual conception of marriage. It held progressive views about development of society and was alive to the economic situation in the country.
Even after the Tattwabodhini Sabha was amalgamated with the Brahmo Sabha, the Tattwabodhini Patrika was still published until 1883.
The principle objectives of this monthly magazine were to communicate Brahmo knowledge, to publish the works of Raja Rammohan Roy and such other matter which would enhance knowledge and health and purify character.
Tattwabodhini Patrika came out at the time when Christian Missionaries were trying to sow the seed of their belief in the minds of the people in Bengal. The patrika was brought out to rewind the Hindu society and religion and the spirit of young Bengal. Through this monthly magazine, Akshay Kumar Dutta first aroused the sense of patriotism in the minds of the people. He edited the paper from 1843 to 1855. He said "we are living under foreign domination, getting education in foreign language, tolerating foreign oppression". He further said, referring to the activities of the Christian Missionary, that "the foreign religion might one day become the religion of this country".
When the Missionary-Hindu controversy subsided, the Patrika began to take a greater interest on other issues. It began to show a deep concern for the miserable economic condition of the people of the province. Patrika pointed out that while an Indian employee was offered Rs. 100 to Rs. 150, a European in the same position got more than Rs. 1000. Thus, the patrika remarked "The Indians are selling their liberty at a low price".
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