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Current Affairs

Raja Ram Mohan Roy

Date: 24 May 2022 Tags: Historical Places

Issue

Social and religious reformer Raja Ram Mohan Roy was born on 22nd May 1772 in Bengal Presidency’s Radhanagar.

 

Background

Roy’s role in women’s emancipation, modernizing education and seeking changes to religious orthodoxy is unparalleled.

 

Details

  • Roy was born in an orthodox family, which practiced child-marriage, polygamy, dowry and Sati in the existing form.

  • Roy was a polyglot who spoke language such as Arabic, Sanskrit, English, Persian as well as Bengali.

  • The title of Raja was bestowed upon him by the Mughal emperor Akbar II.

 

Ideological inclinations

  • Roy had an appetite for philosophy and theology, and he spent considerable time studying the Vedas and the Upanishads.

  • He also extensively studied religious texts of Islam and Christianity. He was particularly attracted by the Unitarian faction of Christianity and was drawn by the precepts of monotheism.

 

Contributions

  • He worked in the field of religion, politics, law and jurisprudence, commerce and agrarian enterprise, Constitutions and civic rights.

  • He was one of India’s earliest liberals, who opposed the conservative approach of the majority group.

  • He started the Atmiya Sabha (Society of Friends) in 1814, to nurture philosophical discussions on the idea of monotheism. The Atmiya Sabha transformed into Brahmo Sabha in 1828.

 

Social reforms

  • Roy launched a campaign against idolatry, casteism, child marriage and other social ills. He campaigned for the modernisation of education, especially western education.

  • His efforts led to abolition of Sati under the governor generalship of William Bentinck in 1829. He also argued for property rights for women.

 

Education sector

He set up Hindu College in 1817 along with Scottish philanthropist David Hare. He also founded the Anglo-Hindu School in 1822.

 

Opposition

Roy was attacked by groups and individuals who felt threatened by his reformist agenda. British reformers and functionaries criticized him for his differential views on Christianity.