Bengal Spectator

Bengal Spectator a monthly journal, set up by Ram Gopal Ghosh and initially edited by him jointly with peary chand mitra, was first published in April 1842. Dakshina Ranjan Mukherjee was later on associated for sometime with its editorial management. Its principal aims and objectives were advancement of knowledge and 'to lay before the Government the wants and grievances of the native community, and pray for those advantages to which they may be deemed entitled'.

Widows' remarriage was one of the chief items advocated by the Bengal Spectator. It opined that women were at liberty to marry again if their husbands were not heard of or if they were dead, proved to be eunuchs or became veritable outcastes. The paper advocated the change of dietary habits of the Bengalis from pure vegetarianism to the consumption of fish and meat in order to increase their strength and vitality.

Among other demands highlighted by the paper was the admission of natives in the higher strata of the administrative hierarchy, together with the introduction of land reform laws. It practically played the role of a mouthpiece of the bengal british indian society, which was agitating for the same reforms.

The Spectator pinpointed the administrative monopoly enjoyed by friends and relatives of British administrators through the evil system of patronage. It was thought to be one of the causes of growing impoverishment of the country and urged the court of directors to thoroughly revamp this system.

The Bengal Spectator criticised the existing land laws of Bengal that spelled eternal antagonism between the tenure holders and raiyats, which imperiled agricultural prosperity.

The educated and enlightened youths of Bengal, on whom Bengal Spectator had earlier pinned all hopes for support and success, did not contribute financially and editorially towards the regular upkeep of the journal and the publication of the journal stopped by 20 November, 1843. [Abhijit Dutta]