sarf.120118

First publication page
Title Bamabodhini Patrika
Document Type Journal
Language Bengali

Documents available for this title

Volume VI

Volume XLI

Volume XLV

Suggested Keywords

Women, social, reform, society, history, education, ritual, Annie, Besant, Dayananda, Saraswati, Puranas, Calcutta, India

Commentary

Bamabodhini Patrika, first published in 1863, was a Bengali periodical of colonial Bengal with a strong emphasis on women’s issues. Every issue of the periodical began with the caption ‘nurture the girl and educate her with care’ in Bengali and Sanskrit. The available issues (Baishakh to Chaitra 1310 B.S. – 1903/04) point to the concern of the journal to adequately deal with women’s social uplift, with special reference to women’s education.

The various essays on women’s education interrogated the backwardness of women in educational and social matters and suggested remedies to bring about women’s progress in education. Some of these also underlined the responsibilities of educated women. A few essays also deal with the notion of the ideal woman in Bengali society. Other issues of significance to women included the definition and character of ‘new Bengali women’, the significance of women’s schools, the virtues and qualities of good motherhood, the institution of marriage, domestic work, ‘Bhai Phonta’ (a ritual whereby the sister recognizes her love and affection for her brothers on a particular day every year), the position of the widow in society and widow remarriage, and women’s role in family life.

Religious and philosophical essays published in the journal included commentaries on the Bhagavatgita, and on subjects such as spirituality, master–disciple relationships, devotion to the guru, immortality, pilgrimage, the notion of happiness, funeral systems and death. Articles on historical and contemporary themes were also published. These dealt with the Puranas, Swami Dayananda Saraswati, Tibet, the poet Hemachandra, Nanak, the pursuit of the Bengali language in Muslim society, Annie Besant’s lectures, the Russo-Japanese war, Korea’s relations with Japan and Russia, the tribals of Palamou and the pernicious effects of the railways on Indian society. Among the regular features of the journal, mention may be made of the ‘Notes on Contemporary Events’ section, book reviews, stories and poems

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