Keshub Chunder Sen(1838-1884), Religious reformer
Sitter in 4 portraits
Born in Calcutta into a prominent financier family, Sen's father died when the boy was ten years old. He continued to be raised in the luxuries he was already accustomed to. Educated at the Hindoo College (later renamed Hindu School and Presidency College), he attended the Presidency College until 1858 where he was the chief organiser of the British India Society. It was in this role that he developed his public speaking abilities. His philanthropic family set up Colootola Branch School, a free school for underprivileged children, in 1856. In this same year he married the nine year old daughter of Chandranath Majumdar, Jaganmohini. Sen founded the Goodwill Fraternity, a club for friends to discuss spiritual matters. His own spiritual journey was leading him to question his ancestral Hindu faith and it's idolatrous practices. He took guidance from the Brahmo Samaj, a theistic group led by Debendranath Tagore. To explore spiritual pathways, he left his ancestral home with his wife to live with the Tagores in 1859. By 1861 he had quit his job at the Bank of Bengal to pour himself into the work of the Samaj. He concentrated on relief, health and welfare initiatives for the poor. In 1870 he travelled to England where he was received by Queen Victoria and made contacts with other influential people. His trip warmed him to the idea of British rule in India.