Fondly called the “Maker of Modern India”, social and educational reformer Raja Ram Mohan Roy was a visionary who lived during one of India’s darkest social phases but strived his best to make his motherland a better place for the future generations to come. Born into a Bengali family in British India, he joined hands with other prominent Bengalis like Dwarkanath Tagore to form the socio-religious organization Brahmo Samaj, the renaissance movement of the Hindu religion which set the pace for Bengali enlightenment.
Given the fact that Ram Mohan Roy was born into a family which displayed religious diversity which was unusual in Bengal at the time, it comes as no surprise that the young Ram Mohan Roy was disturbed by the problems stemming in the society due to religious and social malpractices. He was especially concerned about the practice of “sati” which required a widow to immolate herself at the pyre of her husband. Along with other reformers and visionaries he fought against the evil practices prevalent in the Indian society at that time and helped to eradicate several of them. He also left a deep impact in the fields of politics and education.
Life Facts About Raja Ram Mohan Roy
- Ram Mohan Roy was born into a high-ranking Brahmin family in West Bengal. His family had been serving the imperial Mughals for three generations.
- He was born in an era which marked the darkest period in the history of India. The country was plagued by numerous socio-economic and political problems, the chaos created in the name of religions was aplenty.
In 1812, his brother died and his widow was forced to burn herself too at his lit pyre. Young Ram Mohan tried his best to stop the evil from occurring but failed miserably. This incident left a deep impact on his mind.
- He personally used to visit crematoriums to keep an eye on the people who forced the womenfolk to commit sati at their husbands’ pyre. He struggled a lot to make people realize that not only was sati a meaningless ritual, it was also very cruel and evil.
- During his time the government used to open only Sanskrit schools. He wanted to change this practice as he felt that education in other subjects like Mathematics, Geography and Latin was also necessary to make Indians keep pace with the rest of the world.
- In 1828, he founded one of the most significant socio-religious institutions of modern day India—the Brahmo Samaj. It was a very influential movement that did not discriminate between people belonging to different religions, castes or communities.
- He was also a journalist who published journals in different languages like English, Hindi, Persian and Bengali. ‘Sambad Kaumudi’, his most popular journal covered socio-political topics of interest to the Indians which helped them rise above their current state.
- The Mughal Emperor Akbar II conferred the title “Raja” to him in 1831 when the reformer went to England as an ambassador of the Mughal Emperor to submit a representation to the King of England to increase the allowances granted by the British to the Mughal Emperor.
Quotes By Raja Ram Mohan Roy
- Just consider how terrible the day of your death will be Others will go on speaking and you will not be able to argue back.
- The greater our intercourse with European gentlemen, the greater will be our improvement in literary, social, and political affairs.
- The superstitious practices which deform the Hindu religion have nothing to do with the pure spirit of its dictates.
- There is only one God. He has no end. He is present in all living beings.