Raja Ram Mohan Roy was the first social reformer of the Bengal renaissance in the early 19th century in India, and will never forget his unprecedented contribution to modern social reform.
At that time, India was troubled by various social evils such as culture, religious superstitions, educational inequality, caste system, sati pratha and many more.
In such a situation, he was at the forefront who identified human practices and beautified the mind to fight against social evils. He had an unprecedented idea to create a more vibrant society.
Thus we know him as “the father of modern India” and “architect of the Indian Renaissance”.
To know why he is called the father of modern India, please read his thoughts step by step below.
Early life and education of the first social reformer
Raja Ram Mohan Rai was born on 22 May 1772 in a prominent Brahmin family in Radhanagar village of Hooghly district in West Bengal.
Raja Ram Mohan Roy received his early education in the village itself, later studied in Persian from a cleric, and a few years later, his father sent him to Patna to study.
He studied in Sanskrit as well as Arabic Persian. At that time, he had a profound influence on the philosophy of Turkey and Sufis. After returning from Patna, Raja Ram Mohan Roy began writing a treatise on the evil of society, blind faith.
However, his orthodox father was thus not happy to write on the evil customs of the society. He had to leave home, travelled to the Himalayas and Tibet, later reached Varanasi. He did an in-depth study of Hindu philosophy.
He then moved from there to Murshidabad, where he wrote an essay in Persian titled ‘Taufat–ul–Muhavinidin‘, Monotheism, based on Monotheism.
A few years later, Raja Ram Mohan Roy joined the East India Company in 1803 in the Revenue Department. During this time, he studied all religious books critically.
At the same time, in 1815, he translated the ‘Bedant Sutra‘ into Bengali and English; sometime later, he also translated ‘Kathopanishad and Mandukya Upanishad‘ into the Bengali and English, and it was the first translation.
Raja Ram Mohan Roy founded the ‘Brahmo Samaj‘ in Indian society in 1828, in which he agitated against polygamy, child marriage and some lousy system. As a result, in 1829, William Bentick made this cruel practice unconstitutional.
Thoughts of the father of modern India
He had an in-depth knowledge of many languages. He believed that modern society could not progress without education and always emphasised higher education in society.
He advocated the freeing of primary education in the society, and with continuing education in Sanskrit school, the English education system would have to be adopted.
Raja Ram Mohan Roy had studied the texts of all religions deeply. Among them, four primary religious texts were intensely studied.
Furthermore, by understanding all these scriptures, he wanted to create an environment of universal public tolerance in society.
With his prudent and credible approach, Raja Ram Mohan Roy successfully brought together both Renaissance and Reformation in India.
Initially, Indian society has been a conservative society prone to many types of evil practices and superstitions.
Raja Ram Mohan Roy attempted to keep the woman free from orthodox society from such malpractices and superstitions.
Such as the ‘Sati Dah‘ system’, Child marriage, Illiteracy etc. Raja Ram Mohan Roy always considered ‘Sati Dah Pratha’ as inhuman.
Political views of the first social reformer
The public did not have much knowledge of their civil rights in those days. He was the first to give a message of political freedom to India and advocated the separation of governance and justice system.
He has conferred the title of king on behalf of the Mughal emperor. Raja Ram Mohan Roy went to England in 1831 for exceptional work from Delhi, supporting the Mughal emperor’s favour.
His purpose in going to England was to propose to the British government to abolish the ‘Sati Dah system‘.
He always advocated the equal rights of women in society, whether in education or equal rights over the property of husband or father.
Also, Raja Ram Mohan Roy was against Polygamy. He has advocated through the judicial process with the consent of all to marry the court to another.
Raja Ram Mohan Roy was firmly against the conservative society at that time. Such as the cursed ‘Sati Dah’ system, child marriage, polygamy etc.
His life at a glance
- Born on 22 May 1772 in Hooghly District, West Bengal.
- Job in the Revenue Department in Calcutta from the year 1803 to 1809.
- Job as a ‘Diwan’ in the East India Company from the year 1809 to 1814.
- The ‘Atmio Sabha’ was established in the year 1814 to 1815.
- Hindu College established in 1817.
- The publication of ‘Sambad Kaumudi’ in 1821.
- Establishment of ‘Brahma Samaj’ in 1828.
- Composition of Bhajan Sangraha in 1828.
- Petition against the ‘Sati Dah Pratha’ in 1829.
- Raja Ram Mohan Roy died of encephalitis on 27 September 1833.
SUMMARY: Raja Ram Mohan Roy was the creator of modern India against the orthodox society and, in 1829, filed a petition against the ‘Sati Dah system’.
He had recommended widow marriage in society; Child marriage was prevalent at that time.
He abolished child marriage from society by enacting strict laws with the help of the British government.
He had died suddenly of encephalitis on 27 September 1833 in Bristol, England, and there is also the tomb of King Ram Mohan Rai in Aaron Wells Cemetery.
A; Raja Ram Mohan Roy
A: Raja Ram Mohan Roy
A: Raja Ram Mohan Roy, (Petition against in 1829)
A: Bramha Samaj was established in 1828