Ramtanu Lahiri

Ramtanu Lahiri

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Ramtanu Lahiri

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Ramtanu Lahiri () (1813-1898) was a Young Bengal leader, a renowned teacher and a social reformer. Peary Chand Mitra wrote about him, “There are few persons in whom the milk of kindness flows so abundantly. He was never wanting in appreciation of what was right, and in his sympathy with the advanced principles.” Sivanath Sastri’s Ramtanu Lahiri O Tatkalin Bangasamaj, published in 1903, was not only his biography but also an overview of Bengali society of the era, “a remarkable social document on the period of the Bengal Renaissance.” It is still widely read and used as reference material for the period. An English version A History of Renaissance in Bengal - Ramtanu Lahiri: Brahman and Reformer, edited by Sir Roper Lethbridge, was published in London in 1907.

Early life

Ramtanu Lahiri was son of Ramakrishna Lahiri. They belonged to a deeply religious family attached to the dewans of the Nadia Raj. Some of them were also employed as dewans or occupied other high positions in the Raj. At that time, Krishnanagar was amongst the more enlightened towns of Bengal, and Kolkata had just started growing. His father, Ramakrishna Lahiri, was a person of limited means, earning a living in the service of the landed aristocracy and from some property he owned.

As per the traditions of the age, Ramtanu Lahiri attended the local pathsala and tol and learnt Arabic, Persian and some English. The environment of song, dance and...
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