Changing Set of Minds

The history of Bengal deserves several chapters to cover all the happenings. It has been ruled by Mughals as well as British. Bandel, Chinsurah, Hooghly, and Serampore are places that have been under the French and Danish rule. The region Serampore gained industrialization during the Danish rule. In the late eighteenth-century, William Carey arrived here as the representative of the Baptist Missionary Society of England and established the Serampore Mission Press in 1800. The main objective behind the printing press was to preach Christianity among the locals. The first Bengali printed in Bengali type was published by the Serampore Mission Press and it was ‘Mangal Samachar’. But it was the Bengali translation of ‘Mathew’ from the New Testament. Not only the Press also published the first Bengali newspaper, ‘Samachar Darpan’. Carey and his associates translated the Bible in 50 languages. It also published a newspaper which is still running; ‘Statesman and Friend of India’. After merging with Robert Knights ‘The Englishman’, the Statesman and Friend of India adopted the name ‘The Statesman’. The Statesman is still a popular newspaper of West Bengal but after the alliance, it started publishing from Kolkata’s Statesman House.

Carey came to India with the sole purpose to spread Christianity among the Indians. But during his stay here he changed, Carey along with Joshua Marshman and William Ward dedicated their life for the welfare of the people living in and around Serampore. They started spreading education, social reconstruction and social reforms in the region.

William Carey along with Joshua Marshman and William Ward was known as the Serampore Trio. The Trio even founded the Serampore College in 1818. Serampore College is said to be one of the oldest colleges in the country and it is over two-hundred years old. The Press fell apart because of inner conflict and it separated from Baptist Mission. After some time the press went bankrupt and was finally closed around 1830. The press was in its full glory between 1800 and 1830 and published thousands of books in 45 languages. Though the press stopped functioning its contributions have been engraved in the pages of history.  

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