New Delhi: Today is the 249th birth anniversary of Raja Ram Mohan Roy. The highly respected man is best known for his social reforms. Incidentally, he is called ‘Father of Modern India’ and ‘Father of Indian Rennaissance’. He is also called ‘Father of Bengal Rennaisance’. Roy was born in a prosperous family in West Bengal’s Radhanagar village. He went on to became a great scholar after growing up. Since very beginning, Roy was against orthodox religous practices. He was against idol worship, superstitions, blind faith and black magic. Further, he was able to bring change and was instrumental in abolition of Sati and child marriage in India. Mughal emperor Akbar II had bestowed title of ‘Raja’ to Ram Mohan Roy.
Here are some facts about the great scholar from India:
- Roy was a polygot who was proficient in many languages such as Sanskrit, Persian, Arabic, English, Bengali and Hindi.
- Roy was against idol worship and orthodox rituals of Hinduism. He had faced backlash for championing scientific temper.
- He got formal education in his village and then studied Persian and Arabic at a madrasa in Patna. Further, he went to Benaras to learn Sanskrit and Hindu scripture such as Vedas and Upanishads. He translated the Vedas and Upanishads into Bengali, Hindi and English.
- Roy was the first man who started an English medium school in India. He started a school in Kolkata in 1816. Later, it became Anglo-Hindu school.
- In 1822, Roy published a journal in Persian. It was called Mirat-ul-Akbar. In the same year, he had founded the newspaper ‘Sambad Koumudi’.
- With an aim to reforming and modernising the Indian society, Roy founded the Brahmo Samaj in 1828.
- After death of his sister-in-law by jumping into the funeral pyre of his brother, Roy got determined to oppose the Sati practice in India. He led the protests against the Sati practice. Roy also wrote many petitions to the British for abolition of Sati practice. Finally, the Sati practice was banned by British in 1829.
- Roy also protested against child marriage, the purdah system, dowry and polygamy.
- Roy was given the title of ‘Raja’ by Akbar II who had sent him to England to represent him.
- Roy died in Bristol, England due to Meningitis in 1833. He was buried at Arnos Vale Cemetery where a mausoleum stands even today. Recently, the British government named a street as ‘Raja Rammohan Way’ in Bristol.