|Raja Rammohan Roy|
Raja Ram Mohan Roy (1772-1833) is called the ‘Maker of Modern India’. He was a social reformer as well as the one who put foundations of the modern education.
He was intelligent and good at studies. He learnt Sankskrit and Bengali in his village, Radhanagar in Bengal, where he was born on 22nd May 1772. When Ram Mohan was 9 years old, his father sent him to patna and he learnt Urdu, Persian and Arabic.
Ram Mohan was very much interested in the religions. So he studied Koran and then he learnt Upanishads at Benaras. He did not believe in idol worship and thus had difference of opinion with his orthodox father. He left his parent’s home and wandered in Himalayas, where he studied Buddhism.
In 1809 Ram Mohan began working in the Revenue department of the East India Company. His officer helped him learn English. By reading the English newspapers and other literature, he came to know about the fast progressing Western World.
Ram Mohan left his job in 1814 and began working for the social causes. He invited scholars of all the realized that ignorance, blind faith and superstitions were the root causes of our country’s backward condition. So in 1816 he started an English college with his own money, to teach subjects like Mathematics, English and Science.
Ram Mohan realized that the old Hindu custom of ‘sati’, where the wife was tied to the dead body of the husband and was burnt alive, was an evil custom. He searched the Holy Scriptures and proved that it wasn’t written anywhere that the wife should perform sati. He stood up against the entire society. There were even plans to murder him, but he took a bold stand and finally in 1829, the government declared that sati was a crime. He also tried to achieve rights of equality and education for the women.
At that time there were no newspapers in any Indian language. He started weeklies to spread awareness of education and reforms. Ram Mohan founded Brahmo Samaj which did not believe in any cast or religion differences. He took only the good teachings from the Hindus religion, discarding the rituals and blind faiths.
Later, Ram Mohan went to England to represent the case of Mughal Emperor Akbar the second, before the British rulers. But there he had to suffer financial difficulties and loss. His health was affected and Raja Ram Mohan Roy died in England on 27th September 1833.
|Raja Rammohan Roy's Residence, seen in the background, is in ruins|