(Last Updated on : 06/01/2009)
Bengal was the heart of Renaissance uprising in India. A number of social movements were taking place in Bengal in the disturbed scenario of Bengal. But the renaissance period witnessed a magnificent outburst in Bengali Literature. Bankim Chandra extended the panorama of literature, pioneered by Raja Ram Mohan & Iswar chandra Vidyasagar.
In the sizzling writings of Bankimchandra, Bengali society & the impact of Renaissance are best exhibited. Kapalkundala & Mrinalini, the novels reveal the plight of the contemporary women, who were the victims of the distressed society. Bangodarshan, his literary magazine, an anthology of drama, novels, historical treatise, religious discourses mirrors the cross currents of the social arena. Vishabriksha & Chandrasekhar were another celebrated work. Anandamath was a notable political novel, depicting the British rule in Bengal. Devi Chaudhurani and Sitaram were equally acclaimed as the picture of the society.
The contribution of Rabindranath Tagore is no less important in Renaissance Bengal. His novels are the frank expression of nationalism & Swadeshi movement, which sweeps over Bengal due to the impact of Renaissance. Chaturanga, Sheser Kobita, Char Odhay, Noukadubi are the vigorous specimens of the vibrant society. Tagore's Ghare- Baire ( The Home & the World) delineates the conflicting tendencies of Moderate & Extremist ideals , terrorism & the religious zeal which were the features of the age. With Ghare- Baire a new trend of "self-identity" & personal freedom has come into existence. Bimala,the product of Renaissance was a faithful portraiture of the contemporary Bengali women . His lyrical novel, Shesher Kobita, deals with the problems of post modernism. The short stories of Tagore are the image of rural Bengal mainly, which were still unaware about the impact of Enlightenment.
Ram Mohan Roy was a true child of renaissance. Though his contribution in Bengali Literature was not so considerable, yet not too insignificant. He was primarily a religious reformer and an educationist. He patronized the need of English Language for the all round development. His Samvad Koumudi depicted the topics like freedom of press, initiation of the Indians into higher ranks of service and separation of executive from the judiciary. Iswar Chandra's Shishu Shiksha, Bodhodoy & Barnaparichay induce the educational development, which was the immediate need of the distressed society. Apart from these literary pillars, several journals were produced from the different organizations, which illustrates the contemporary social uprisings & the rapid changes of the society under the force of Renaissance.