Raja Ram Mohan Roy – A Social reformer
Raja Ram Mohan Roy is a great historical figure who put laudable efforts to transform India and dared to defy the age old Hindu traditions. He undertook a lot of social reforms to change the society and worked to uplift the status of women in India. Roy fought against Sati system. He was also a great scholar who translated many books, religious and philosophical work and scriptures into Bengali and also translated Vedic scriptures into English.
Raja Ram Mohan Roy was an Indian socio-educational reformer who was also known as ‘Maker of Modern India’ and ‘Father of Modern India’ and ‘Father of the Bengal Renaissance.’ He was born on May 22, 1772 into a Bengali Hindu family.
He was the founder of the Brahmo Samaj at Kolkata in 1828. His efforts actually led to the resumption of the ethics principles of the Vedanta school of philosophy. He co-founded the Calcutta Unitarian Society.
He extensively studied Christianity and other religion. This made him realize that some Hindu traditions and superstitions were required to be reformed. He came to this conclusion while working for the East India Company. Apart from this he was born into a family with religious diversity which probably controlled his thinking. Roy was against idol worship and propagated the oneness of God through Brahmo Samaj..
The title ‘Raja’ was given to him by the Mughal Emperor. Raja Ram Mohan Roy was the first educated Indian to travel to England. He went to England as an ambassador of the Mughal emperor Akbar II.
He wanted to combine the righteousness of Western and Indian culture. He was against traditional Hindu practices and echoed his voice against Sati system, polygamy, caste rigidity and child marriage. He was greatly moved by his sister-in-laws death who became Sati.
He put remarkable efforts in the education system of India. To modernize the education system, Raja Ram Mohan Roy established many English schools. He set up the Hindu collage at Calcutta in 1822. He assisted Alexander Duff to establish the General Assembly’s Institution. Roy promoted and urged that science, technology, western medicine and English should be taught at Indian schools.
To politically educate people, Raja Ram Mohan Roy even published magazines in different languages including English, Hindi, Persian and Bengali. Noticeable magazines published by him were the Brahmonical Magazine, the Sambad KaumudiandMirat-ul-Akbar.
Raja Ram Mohan Roy died on 27 September 1833 in Bristol because of meningitis.
Though India has made a progress in some areas and left behind certain social evils but condition of women is still far behind what it should be. Reformists like Raja Ram Mohan Roy should be born again in India to remove all sorts of evils from the society.
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