“His life was a pilgrimage of extraordinary faith, which made him trust in the infinite mercy of God in the darkest hour of love, which bequeathed him charity and compassion, and purity, which kept the lustre of his private life, undimmed to the last”- Sunity Devi (Educationist and daughter of Keshab Chandra Sen)
One of the leading intellectuals of the nineteenth century Bengal, a period popularly referred to as the Bengal Renaissance, Keshab Chandra Sen was born on 19th of November, 1838 to Peary Mohan Sen and Saradasundari Devi.
Belonging to a Hindu family, Keshab Chandra Sen was educated in a humanist tradition. It is this education that saw him inculcating the Unitarian thought of Parker, Newman and Emerson. In 1857, he joined the newly established socio- religious movement, the BrahmoSamaj and soon became its intellectual voice. Working with the ideas of egalitarianism and rationalism, this movement drew on the basic ideas of Christianity, Islam and Hinduism to create a casteless, forward moving society that would be devoid of social evils. Despite their difference in ideas, Sri Ramkrishna and keshab Chandra Sen were friends and mutual admirers.
Keshab Chandra Sen provided an able leadership to this movement and worked not only in the field of religious reform but also in the areas of women’s education and widow remarriage. His oratory and missionary zeal earned him laurels. Debendranath Tagore referred to him as ‘Brahmananda’. In 1865, Keshab Chandra Sen broke away from the BrahmoSamaj establishing and creating a separate unit within the BrahmoSamaj, BharatbarshiyaBrahmoSamaj . In 1862, he helped found the Albert College and wrote articles for the Indian Mirror, a weekly journal of the Calcutta BrahmoSamaj in which he wrote profusely on religious, moral and social issues of the day. He worked at the act that legalized contract marriages in 1872. He later pioneered SulabhSamachar, Dharma Tattawa and Paricharika.In 1881 he officially instituted NabaBidhan (New Dispensation), based on syncretism, embracing all space and all time. Keshab Chandra Sen breathed his last on the 8th of January 1884.