A prominent Anglo-Indian, Derozio played a major role in introducing western attitudes into Indian intellectual life. He taught literature and history at Hindu College, Calcutta and was perhaps the first nationalist poet of modern India. Drawing inspiration from French Revolution, he inspired his pupils to think freely and rationally, question all authority, oppose meaningless customs and traditions. He started a discussion group—the Academic Association—to enable interaction amongst students.
He also edited the papers, the Hesperus and The Calcutta Library Gazette and was connected with the India Gazette. He also supported women's rights and education. His followers known as Derozians launched the 'Young Bengal Movement' and demanded several rights for Indians from the British and also attacked the vices of society. The movement included Rasikkrishna Mullick, Tarachand Chuckervati and Krishnamohan Bannerji. Derozio was removed from Hindu College in 1831 because of his radicalism. Although the Young Bengal Movement failed to become popular, it did initiate a kind of renaissance in Bengal in the late 1920s, the credit for which goes to Derozio.