History of movemnets -7

Under the head of Temperance, a monthly journal called “Madh na Garah,” (i. e. Wine or Poison?), was published and was maintained for some time. Under the head of Charity, doctors and medicinewere provided for some malaria-stricken districts. This part of the good work also mine soon to an end. Under the head of Cheap Literature the first pice paper called “Sulabh Samachar” or Cheap News was started and maintained for some years. Under the last head, Night Schools for the Industrial Edu­cation of the labouring classes were opened and maintained for a short time.

Unfortunately the work of the Indian Reform Association, which was mainly carried on by Mr. Sen’s missionaries did not show signs of steady progress, and had to be given up within a few years. The second thing that engaged Mr. Sen’s attention after his return from England was the passing of the Act III of 1872. The necessity of a new law for the protection of the reformed marriages was begining to be felt from the year 1867 so to say. Since the foundation of the Brahma Samaj of India, the number of reformed marriages began to multiply, and the attention of the leaders was drawn to the questionable validity of these marriages and steps were early taken in 1868 to appoint a committee to consult legal opinion on the subject. The question was again taken up after Mr. Sen’s return. Both medical and legal opinions were secured. A petition was sent up to Government, which led to the framing of a bill, which after a prolonged controversy was passed in March 1872 as the Act III of that year.

Besides the work mentioned under the Indian Re­form Association, the Sangat Sabha and the old Brahma School were also revived, and a Brahma Students’ boarding house, called the Brahma Niketan, was founded and kept up for some years.In the year 1872, a novel institution called the Bharat Ashram, which formed in fact a family board­ing-house, was started, where Mr. Sen, his mission­aries, and a number of leading Brahmas resided with their families for the purpose of combined spiritual exercises and the development of such virtues as method, order and domestic economy. This Ashram also in the course of a few years came to an end.

From the year 1876, Mr. Sen began to manifest peculiar devotional and ascetic tendencies. He purchased a garden within a few miles of Calcutta and named it Sadhan Kanan or the Garden of Devotional Exercise, retired there with a number of his friends, began to cook his own food, wear a mendicant’s dress and in other ways practised great austerities. This occasioned some dissension amongst his followers, and alienated some of his old friends. Whilst these ascetic practices were going on, the church was internally tom into two rival factions, one consisting of Mr. Sen and his imme­diate followers, and the other consisting of a number of younger men, who wanted to introduce constitutional modes of Church Government. They secretly disliked Mr. Sen’s ascetic practices, agitated for placing the Brahma Mandir in the hands of trustees, and tried to organise a Pratinidhi Sabha or Representative Assembly to take care of the external affairs of the Church. They started a monthly journal called Sama-Darshi or the Liberal for discussion of the above ques­tions. Their party was known as the Sama- Darshi Party at the time. This journal freely ventilated all points of theological difference with Mr. Sen and his friends. Adverse criticisms were passed on the Sama-Darshi Party in the pages of the Sunday Mirror, Mr. Sen’s Organ, thereby clearly indicating the angle of divergence that had arisen in the Church.