Sunday, October 17

Raja Ram Mohan Roy: An Indian Reformer

It is about the year 1774. At that time, Burdwan was a district of Bengal. Radhanagar was a town in that district. Seeing the trading area, the East India Company had established a Kothi here as well. A famous Brahmin family lived in Radhanagar town. The head of this family was a man of staunch religious inclination. Such a soul was born in that person who shown as the glory of new India. The name of that person was Raja Ram Mohan Roy.

Raja Ram Mohan Roy
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A fierce storm of chaos covered the whole country at this time. The Mughal ruler ruled the country, yet the British roots were getting fixed here. There was conflict everywhere.
On the one hand, the native King Nawab was sitting ready to swallow each other, and on the other hand, the Portuguese, Dutch, French and British were busy in their turmoil. India alone was the pawn of all this. At that time, Arabic Persian was dominant in the country. Therefore Ram Mohan Roy was also sent to Patna to study.

There he read the Qur’an Sharif and principles of Islam, in addition to books written by Aristotle and Uclades, which time had been translated into Arabic. In the meantime, he also studied the diwan of Persian Sufi poets. He was influenced by Vedanta Philosophy. At the age of sixteen, Ram Mohan Roy wrote a Persian book called Tohfatul Mowhidin. He wrote its role in the Arabic language. In this, he also denied idol worship.

Study Of Raja Ram Mohan Roy

One day Ram Mohan Roy’s father caught sight of that book. Reading it hurt his heart. He got very angry at Ram Mohan Roy. He asked Ram Mohan to destroy that book, but he did not agree to it. Because of his principles, he left his father’s house. Raja Ram Mohan Roy roamed around and reached Tibet after leaving his father’s house. He stayed in Tibet for four years, and there he studied Buddhist texts deeply. After coming from there, Ram Mohan went to Banaras. During his ten years in Banaras, he studied Sanskrit and Hindu religious texts with great depth.

After studying in this way, Ram Mohan came back to Kolkata. By then, he had also got knowledge of the English language. On 7 March 1803, Raja Ram Mohan Roy was made the Diwan of the Collector of Dhaka Jalalpur on the East India Company. In 1814, Ram Mohan Roy got settled in Kolkata with a pension. His attention turned towards social and religious reforms. For this, he formed an “Atmiya Sabha“. The topic in this meeting was social discussion.

In 1819 there was a procession of Atmiya Sabha. It was attended by the famous Pandit Subrahmanya Shastri of Madras. He had a dispute with Raja Ram Mohan Roy over idol worship. In this, Ram Mohan Roy had cleverly put his point. The movement against the Sati Pratha of Ram Mohan Roy shook the people of the society. There was an uproar in the Hindu society of Bengal. In 1811, when Ram Mohan Roy’s elder brother Jag Mohan Roy died, his sister-in-law had to commit Sati. Since then, he has taken the initiative to end this evil practice.

Raja Ram Mohan Roy
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Sati Pratha Law Act

For this, he had to struggle with the fanatical thinking of religion for fifteen years. After that, with the help of Lord William Bentinck, it was successful in stopping the practice of Sati by law. The fanatics of the religion did not sit still due to the passing of the Sati Pratha. He appealed against it to England. At the same time, Akbar Shah II, the father of the last Mughal emperor, Bahadur Shah Zafar, sent Ram Mohan Roy as his lawyer to England to increase his pension and to present other complaints. Before going there, the Emperor decorated him with the rank of “Raja” and gave him the post of ambassador. After this, Ram Mohan Roy came to be known as Raja Ram Mohan Roy.

The East India Company did not agree with the opinion of the Emperor, so he refused to accept both the posts of Ram Mohan Roy. Despite this, he went to England with seventy thousand rupees from the royal treasury as travel expenses.

Raja Ram Mohan Roy reached England and advocated for Akbar Shah. Along with this, he presented a memorandum prepared in support of Lord William Bentinck against the appeal of the Hindus of Bengal. He also testified before a Parliament committee on the way of revenue from India. After that, he left for France from there. It was the last visit of Raja Ram Mohan Roy. On 27 September 1833, he went to heaven in the famous city of Bristol in England. That is where his tomb remains.

Establishment of Brahmo Samaj

Raja Ram Mohan Roy converted the Atmiya Sabha into “Brahmo Samaj” on 29 August 1828. It was a successful attempt to reform Hindu society. He knew that unless the roots of evils are uprooted and thrown out of the society, its political progress is not possible. Raja Ram Mohan Roy’s Brahmo Samaj was a platform on which all the people who believed in one God could gather at one place without any discrimination.

Raja Ram Mohan Roy was a social reformer, thinker, and theologian and was also a good politician. He was the first Indian who understood the importance of newspapers from a political point of view and tried to take advantage of them. So he brought out newspapers in Bangla and Persian. His Persian language newspaper also went to Iran and the countries of Central Asia. He was the first Indian who understood the American freedom struggle and the French Revolution in the true sense. A Patriot And Social Reformer like him with great understanding, pure heart, and mind will hardly be found by us even in centuries.

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