Raja Ram Mohan Roy (22 May 1772 – 27 September 1833) was an Indian reformer who was one of the founders of the Brahmo Sabha, Raja Ram Mohan Roy is considered the “Father of the Indian Renaissance”.
Contribution of Raja Ram Mohan Roy
- His influence was apparent in the fields of politics, public administration, education, and religion like Sati and child marriage.
- In 1815, he started the Atmiya Sabha, a philosophical discussion circle in Kolkata, which was later reorganized into the Brahmo Samaj.
- The Brahmo Samaj was a reformist movement of Bengali Brahmins to fight against social evils. It believed in the existence of One Supreme God-Monotheism.
Newspapers and Journal
- He started publishing newspapers and magazines for which he was called the “Father of Indian Journalism.”
- He wrote Tuhfat-ul-Muwahhidin (A Gift to Monotheists) in Persian with an introduction in Arabic.
- He edited a new Bengali newspaper called Samvad Kaumudi (the Moon of Intelligence) and a Persian paper called Mirat-ul-Akbar.
- He wrote The Precepts of Jesus – Guide to Peace and Happiness (1820): In this book, he criticized the ritualism of Christianity and refused to accept Christ as the incarnation of God.
Social Contribution of Raja Ram Mohan Roy
He battled for the liberation of poor tenants exploited by Zamindars in Bengal by opposing fixed revenue for cultivators and excessive export duties imposed on Indian commodities.
He began his campaign against Sati (widows’ cocremation), polygamy, child marriage, and dowry. He also requested that women have the right to inherit property.
He fought for the English language and the western educational system, and he backed Lord Macaulay’s initiative.
In Calcutta, he founded the English school, the Hindu College, and the Vedanta College.
Brahmo Sabha, which was later renamed Brahmo Samaj, was founded in 1828 by Raja Ram Mohan Roy.
Its primary goal was to worship the eternal God. Priesthood, ceremonies, and sacrifices were all condemned. It centred on prayers, meditation, and scripture reading. It thought that all religions should be together. It was modern India’s first intellectual reform movement. It resulted in the growth of rationalism and enlightenment in India, which aided the nationalist cause indirectly.
It was the progenitor of all modern India’s social, religious, and political movements. In 1866, the Brahmo Samaj of India, led by Keshub Chandra Sen, and the Adi Brahmo Samaj, led by Debendranath Tagore, divided.
Prominent Leaders of Brahmo Samaj: Debendranath Tagore, Keshub Chandra Sen, Pt. Sivnath Shastri, and Rabindranath Tagore.
Educational reforms of Raja Ram Mohan Roy
Roy did a lot to spread the word about the advantages of contemporary education to his fellow people. While Roy’s English school taught mechanics and Voltaire’s philosophy, he supported David Hare’s efforts to create the Hindu College in 1817.
In 1825, he founded Vedanta College, which provided education in both Indian and Western social and physical sciences.
As a pioneer of modern education, Raja Rammohan Roy has consistently utilised the terms scientific temper, application of reason, and freedom of thought. This mindset is still very relevant now, as it is in our daily lives; science and technology are progressing at a breakneck speed. Raja Ram Mohan Roy campaigned for women’s economic independence in order to lift them out of poverty, and he argued that they should be granted property rights. With the passage of time, this issue has resurfaced as a pressing concern.