Raja Ram Mohan Roy – Greatest social reformer in the history of India

The Maker of modern India, the founder of the greatest socio- religious reform movements, Brahmo Samaj, Raja Ram Mohan Roy has played a crucial role in the abolition of social evils like the Sati system. He also advocated various changes in the Indian society by popularizing the study of English, modern medicine, technology and science. This is the reason why he was referred as “Raja’ by the Mughal emperor.

Raja Ram Mohan Roy was born in Radhanagar of Hiigly district in Bengal on 22nd May 1772 to Ramakanto Roy who was a viashnavite and Tarini who belonged to the Shakta community.Raja Ram Mohan Roy pursued hi higher studies at Patna and was proficient in speaking Bangla, Arabic, Persian and Sanskrit by the age of fifteen. He never followed the concept of idol worship and the conservative rituals of the Hindus. He was an independent thinker who never believed in the superstitions and social bigotry. His father being an orthodox Hindu Brahmin often criticized this thought process of his son and this resulted in differences between the two. Raja Ram Mohan Roy could not bear these differences and then left home and travelled across Himalayas, Tibet and then returned home after a pretty long duration.

He was compelled to marry by his family with a hope that he would change. But everything was in vain. Raja Ram Mohan Roy then went to Varanasi and studied all the Vedas, Upanishads and the Hindu Philosophy in detail. The death of his father in 1803 compelled him to return back to Murshiabad . He then decided to take up a business of moneylending in Calcutta followed by a job in the Revenue Department of the East India Company during 1809-1814.

He founded the Atmiya Samaj in the year 1814 to instill various social and religious reforms in the society. He strived hard for the abolition of the Sati system followed by rendering women with the rights to remarry and hold property in the ancestral properties. He even suppressed the system of polygamy to some extent.

He propagated the need of educating the women and the learning of the English language. He also founded a school in the year 1822 that emphasized on teaching English and also opposed the funding provided by the government to teach Sanskrit in schools.

Brahmo Samaj was founded by him in 1828 to check the hypocrisies of people done under the veil of religion. Finally sati system was abolished in the year 1829. The Mughal emperor appointer him as an ambassador to the United Kingdom pleading his (emperor’s) pensions and allowances that he was entitled to receive and he travelled to UK in the year 1830. In the year 1833 Raja Ram Mohan Roy succumbed to Meningitis on September 27th at Stapleton near Bristol.

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