Raja Rammohun Roy (Photo Credits: Wikimedia Commons)
In India, Raja Rammohun Roy has been identified as the forerunner of the social, educational and religious reform movement. He raised the voice against Sati-Vivah and Child-Marriage system, and made agitations. Along with this, we have also been fighting for the rights of women and their education. For his selfless social contribution, the then Mughal emperor Akbar II of Delhi honored him with the title of ‘Raja’. Even today, he is called the ‘father of modern India’. The country is celebrating the 249th birth anniversary of this great Vibhuti today. Come, learn interesting aspects related to the life of Raja Rammohan Roy
People with acumen:
Raja Rammohan Roy was born on 22 May 1772 in Radha Nagar village of Hooghly district of Bengal into a Brahmin family. Father Ramakant Rai was Vaishnav and mother Tarini Devi. Rammohan Rai had his early education in the village, but seeing his sharp acumen, his father sent him to Patna for higher education. After this, he went to Benares (Varanasi) to study the Vedas and Upanishads. At the age of 15, Rammohan Roy, with a sharp intellect, had a good grasp on Sanskrit, Persian, Arabic, Latin and Greek besides Hindi, English.
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Never became father-son:
It is believed that the son receives the rites from parents and society. But Raja Rammohan Roy may be an exception here. His father Ramakant was a Vaishnava orthodox Hindu Brahmin. He preferred to follow a tradition and tradition that had been in place for years, while Raja Rammohun Roy was a staunch opponent of idolatry, orthodoxy, chastity and blind faith. Because of this, there used to be disputes between father and son on the day of arrival in the house. Finally one day Raja Rammohan Roy left the house. After the father’s death in 1803, he returned home, but his thoughts did not change. The people of the house got married thinking that they will change with time, but Rammohan Roy remained involved in social reform works throughout his life.
Support of western culture and education system!
After intensive study of Vedas, Upanishads and Hindu philosophy in Varanasi, he started working in the revenue department of East India Company. Here he had the opportunity to join as an assistant to John Digby. He was greatly influenced by the progressive and modern ideas of Western Europe. He believed that the English education system is much better than the current traditional education. He emphasized on studying science, western medicine and engineering with English. In the year 1822, he started a school based on English education.
Khilafat against social and religious evils:
King Rammohan Roy fully respected Hinduism, but openly opposed the religious and social evils prevailing in society. Seeing that there is no mention of sati-practice in the Vedas, he fought openly against sati-practice, child marriage. He made laws against the practice of Sati with the help of Governor General Lord William Bentick. After going among the people, calling it atrocious, he tried to change his thinking. He organized an Atmi Sabha in 1814 and tried to initiate social and religious reforms in the society. She campaigned for women’s rights including widow-marriage, property rights. He strongly opposed the practice of sati and polygamy.
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The effort of Raja Rammohan Roy, popular as the creator of modern India, not only brought an end to the practice of sati. He was on a tour of Britain in November 1830 in reference to his movements. But on 27 September 1833, he died near Bristol at the age of 61.