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Lathiyal of Birshingha who protected Vidyasagar from Brahmin goons

26 September, 2019 22:36:09
Lathiyal of Birshingha who protected Vidyasagar from Brahmin goons

Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar was a brave man, not just in his ideologies, but even in implementing those and persuading the British to formulate laws in favour of the women of India. He had repeatedly protested atrocities against child widows and tried stopping child marriages. However, his work brought in ire from different sections of the orthodox Hindu society. At times it went to such a level that he received death threats and even goons were sent to kill him.

But Vidyasagar did not care. He was hell bent to implement laws and liberate the women in a patriarchal society. Because of the death threats, Vidyasagar's father Thakurdas Bandopadhyay sent his trusted Lathiyal Srimanta from Birshingha village. Srimanta who was lovingly called Chhiri by Vidyasagar was the sardar of the fishermen community in his native village. A towering man, he was ready to give up his life to protect this great man. And he did so on several occasions warding off a number of deadly attacks on Vidyasagar.

A large sectiom of the Hindu society including rich zamindars and businessmen employed from time to time goons to kill Vidyasagar. Even they mocked him through publicity of poems against him. Even those like Dasrathi Roy and even Ishwar Gupta wrote mocking poems and drew them on saris that were worn by women. Yet, Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar did not bow down. He made it a point to implement laws bringing on widow remarriage and stopping child marriage. 

Unfortunately what Srimanta Lathiyal could do centuries ago by saving Vidyasagar's life, we could not do today by protecting his respect.

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