|Henry Louis Vivian Derozio
1809 - 1831
Derozio was the second child of Fransis De Rosario and Sophia and was born at 155, Lower Circular Road,
now A J C Bose Road in Calcutta, now Kolkata. They were originally of Portuguese origin but belonged to the
Anglo Indian community of Calcutta.
After finishing schooling at Drummond's Academy at Calcutta he joined Ms James Scot & Co for a brief period
and went on to work in Bhagalpur, in Bihar with Tarapore Indigo Concern. The Natural beauty around him
encouraged Derozio to write poetry. He wrote under pseudonyms like Juvenis, Henry, East Indian and his poems
were published in Indian Gazette in Calcutta.
Mr John Grant, the editor of Indian Gazette, was impressed by Derozio's writings and gave him the job of
sub-editor in his paper in Calcutta.
In 1926, at the age of only 17 years, he was given the job of a lecturer in Hindu College, Now Presidency College,
Kolkata. He taught Literature, History and Philosophy. Soon he impressed and to some extent charmed his
students by his behaviour, friendliness and dynamism. Gradually his influence helped his pupils to question the
strange and illogical social norms. His following grew and became known as 'Young Bengal'. Over enthusiasm of
his followers to break away from the rigid predominantly Hindu culture of that time, led them to take to drinking
and eating beef, which earned them a lot of criticism. Derozio was held responsible for spoiling the youth and this
led to his removal from his job at the Hindu College.
This led many of his followers to become more reasonable and many of them went on to become famous names
in the history of Bengal Renaissance.
Derozio Died at the age of 23 years of Cholera. He is revered as an educationist and a social reformer.
'Poems', 'The Fakeer of Jungheera',' A Metrical Tale and Other Poems' are among his renowned works.
<< Portrait of Derozio at Presidency College Kolkata. Sculptor Surajit Das