Ishwar Chandra Gupta, a Bengali poet and writer brought modern era of poetry into Bengali poetry.
On his death anniversary on 23 January, let us know more about the Bengali poet.
Gupta was born in 6 March, 1812, Kalyani, Nadia, West Bengal. Ishwar Chandra Gupta was brought up in his uncle's house after the death of his mother. He spent most of his childhood in Kolkata.
In the early days he was a conservative, opposing the Young Bengal movement as well as frowning on widow remarriage. His views on widow remarriage put him at odds with Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar. He was one of the earliest advocates of a Hindu view of Indian society. Later in his life, his views began to change and he championed the cause of the remarriage of virgin widows and women's education.
Ishwar Chandra Gupta created a different style of poetry, at that time, poets were named Kobiwala and the kobiwalas were not so civilized in language, sexual words and clashes were common.
He started the newspaper Sambad Prabhakar with Jogendra Mohan Tagore on January 28, 1831, which finally became a daily on June 4, 1839. Many Bengali writers of the 19th century started their careers with that magazine.
He brought modern era of poetry in Bengali. He did not describe the life of Gods and Goddesses, but the daily life of human beings. He also wrote biographies of many Bengali poets and musicians.
Gupta's satires were always based on the so-called modern class who blindly followed the colonial British power.
He reintroduced the mediaeval style with double meaning into Bengali poetry. "Ke bole Ishwar Gupta, byapta charachar, Jahar prabhaye prabha paye Prabhakar," for example. In the above mentioned line, 'Ishwar' means God, 'Gupta' means hidden, and 'Prabhakar' is the sun. So a translation runs: Who says God is hidden?
His literary works were included in the curriculum of school level, secondary and higher secondary Bengali Literature in Bengali speaking states like West Bengal, Tripura etc. of India and country Bangladesh.
Ishwar Chandra died at the age of 48, in 23rd January 1859 in Kolkata.
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