Calcutta Vernacular Literature Society, Calcutta, 1851

SchoolCalcutta011
বঙ্গভাষাপ্রকাশিকা সভা, কলকাতা, ১৮৫১

Modernization of Indian literature … gained space where the English education was spread along with vernacular education, and where the English educated class took interest in the mother-tongue See Sisir Das
Along with the English-vernacular schools, there had been many dedicated societies in Bengal and other provinces for the promotion of literature in mother-tongues. Bangabhasa Prakashika Sabha in Calcutta was the pioneer among those, launched in 1836 under the leadership of Gourishankar Tarkabagish. later in 1853, Bidyotsahini Sabha was set up by Kaliprasanna Singha. The main objectives of these institutions were to promote Bengali education by means of polemics and build up public opinion. There were also many institutions of a different kind, established in response to the demand of the English-vernacular schools for language study books.
In Bengal, a Committee was formed in 1851 to initiate establishment of Banga Bhashanubad Sabha for the purpose of enriching the Bengali language by translating English works in Bengali. It was largely an initiative of Jaya Krishna Mukhopadhyay of Uttarpara. The Sabha was later became well known as the Vernacular Literature Society, which produced magazines and translations in Indian vernacular languages of well-known juvenile books such as Robinson Crusoe. The Society continued to function for little over a decade under the guidance of important personalities like J.R. Colvin, M. Wylie, W. Seton-Karr, J. Long, R.B. Chapman, W. Kay and H. Woodrow. In March 1862, following a proposal of its Secretary, the Vernacular Literature Society was amalgamated with the School Book Society. It was expected that, by the union of the two Societies, the objects of each would be better carried out. In accordance with the proposal, a conference of the two Societies was held on the 22nd April 1862, and eventually the two were united. Stock of books of the Vernacular Literary Society was taken over by the School Book Society in next October.
The Above featured painting of a Calcutta vernacular school belongs to the album entitled ‘A collection of Two Hundred and Fifty Coloured Etchings’ of Franz Balzac Solvyns, published in 1799

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