Ramkamal Sen

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Ramkamal Sen
Born 15 March 1783
Gariffa
Died 2 August 1844
Kolkata
Ethnicity Bengali Hindu

Ramkamal Sen (Bengali: রামকমল েসন) (1783–1844) was the Diwan of the Treasury, Treasurer of the Bank of Bengal and Secretary of the Asiatic Society, Calcutta.

Childhood[edit]

Born at Gariffa village on the banks of the Hooghly River, he proceeded to Kolkata in 1791 for his education [1]

His grandson was the pre-eminent social reformer and founder of the Nababidhan Brahmo Samaj, Keshub Chunder Sen"[1]

Career[edit]

A self-made man, starting as a petty compositor earning eight rupees a month,[2] "He worked for several years in a Hindustani press after which he was appointed as a clerk in the Asiatic Society".[1] Shibnath Shastri writes, "by dint of his capabilities, hard work and diligence, he rose to be its indigenous secretary. He was subsequently nominated a member of its committee."[3]

In 1812, he secured a job in Fort William College.[3] Finally, he rose to be a Dewani of the Treasury, and treasurer of the Bengal Bank.[1]

Social Work[edit]

He was connected with many of the social activities of his time. When Hindu College was established in 1817, he was a member of its committee. After a failed first attempt to remove Derozio from the school for preaching Christianity, he also became principal of the newly established Sanskrit College for sometime.

Sastri wrote: "Babu Ramkamal Sen acting as their mouthpeice, ... called a Committee meeting, and moved that Mr Derozios's manners and conduct was such as to injure the morals of the boys in touch with him and he should be removed from the staff of masters."[1]

He was a member of the Medical Commission set up by Lord William Bentinck.[3]

Ramkamal Sen was well known as being a staunch pro-sati activist and lifelong opponent of Ram Mohan Roy. He publicly opposed (with Radhakanta Deb) Roy's agitation against sati (the practice of forcing Hindu widows to be burnt on their husbands funeral pyre).[4] He was also President of the Gaudiya Sabha, (a prominent association of Bengali Hindu ultra-conservatives).

Along with Radhakanta Deb, he was appointed as an Indian member of the "Tea Committee" in 1834.[5] In the same year he published an English-Bengalee dictionary in 2 volumes with 58,000 words which was commissioned by the Serampore Baptist Mission (1817–1834). Another famous book that he co-authored was Hitopadesha in 1820, a collection of fables modelled on Aesop's.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e Sastri, Sivanath (1907). Ramtanu Lahiri: Brahman and Reformer. translated by Sharat Kumar Lahiri. pp. 180–. 
  2. ^ Mitra, Peary Chand (1880). Life of Dewan Ramkamal Sen. 
  3. ^ a b c Sastri, S. (1903). Ramtanu Lahiri O Tatkalin Bangasamaj. pp. 48–.  (Bengali)
  4. ^ Sharma, Hari Dev (2002). Raja Rammohun Roy: The Renaissance Man. pp. 26–. 
  5. ^ Mukherjee, S. (1976). "Emergence of Bengalee entrepreneurship in tea plantation in a Bengal district, 1879–1933". Indian Economic & Social History Review 13 (4): 487–505. doi:10.1177/001946467601300403.