The Publishers and Booksellers Guild in Kolkata commemorated the bicentenary of Iswarchandra Vidyasagar with a calendar that showcases some rare pictures and portraits of Vidyasagar.
The calendar, unveiled on the eve of the 44th International Kolkata Book Fair, has its cover ornamented with quotes by Mahatma Gandhi and Rabindranath Tagore on Vidyasagar along with a portrait of the reformer by B Hudson.
“Iswarchandra was not an ocean of learning only; he was an ocean of compassion, of generosity, as well as of many other virtues. He was a Hindu, and a Brahman too. But to him, Brahman and Sudra, Hindu and Muslim, were all alike. He felt grief at other people’s sorrows and joy at their joys. Himself he led a very simple life. It behoves us all to reflect on his life. He produced very powerful books, and it is mainly due to Vidyasagar that the Bengali language is at present in full bloom and has spread throughout India,” reads the quote by Mahatma Gandhi.
Tagore’s Bengali quote from ‘Vidyasagar Charit’ adorns the cover of the calendar. Michael Madhusudan Dutta’s poem in remembrance of Vidyasagar “Vidyar Sagar tumi bikkhyato Bharat-e” (Vidyasagar you are famous in India) has been also included in the calendar.
Portraits of Iswarchandra by the iconic artists of Bengal, Ram Kinkar Baij, Subrata Gangopadhyay, Atul Bose, B Hudson and Prakash Das, and a lithograph by Annada Prasad Bagchi can be also seen. Apart from Michael Madhusudan Dutta, the calendar includes poems by Rabindranath Tagore and Satyendranath Dutta remembering Vidyasagar.
The calendar traces Vidyasagar’s life’s journey in a chronological order. The calendar curates the photocopy of the petition made by Vidyasagar for the remarriage of Hindu widows.
The copy of rarest bus tickets issued by CSTC and postage stamp by Post and Telegraph Department, Government of India can be also seen in the calendar.