India is known as the land of patriots, great leaders, visionaries and social reformers. The dawn of Independence arrived after several struggles and sacrifices inked with imprints of patriotic blood and love for the country. One such name that comes to my mind is of Raja Ram Mohan Roy. He can truly be referred as the Father of Modern India. His ideals, visions and patriotism changed the social scenario and condemned several social evil practices in the country and brought about a social change.
Raja Ram Mohan Roy was born in a Bengali Brahmin family to Ramakanto Roy and Tarinidevi on 22 May 1772. He was born in Radhanagar village of Hooghly district in Bengal. His father was a Vaishnavite while his mother was a Shaivite; thus displaying the existence of religious diversity in his family that was uncommon during those days. He did his elementary schooling in a simple school in his village. Therafter, he went to Patna for pursuing higher studies. He was fluent in Bengali, Sanskrit, Persian and Arabic languages. When he was 22 he learnt English and took up a job in the East India Company in the Revenue department.
He was extremely disturbed by the evil practices and voiced his dissent strongly against them. A tragic incident in his family pitted him against the evil practice of Sati. Sati practice compelled a widow to burn herself in her husband’s pyre. He believed in the freedom of speech and expression; thereby in the press too. He knew that the press was one of the vital platforms for condemning social evils and creating awareness about them. He then formed Atmiya Sabha to instill religious reforms in the society. He propagated the idea of widow remarriage, women’s education and the woman’s right in the property. He strongly expressed his dislike towards polygamy too. He learnt that the English education system was extremely good and therefore opened an Anglo- Hindu school in the year 1822 in Calcutta (now Kolkata) followed by opening a college named Vedanta in 1826. He then founded the Brahmo Samaj that advocates religious harmony and peace in 1828. His constant efforts compelled Lord William Bentinck to abolish Sati in 1829.The Moghuls has bestowed him with the title “Raja” in 1831.SAri,,
The institution of Brahmo Samaj fought against dowry, gender bias, ill-treatment towards women and caste system. He was also against idol worship. He also covered social topics through his writings in his journal ‘Sambad Kaumudi’. He died on 27th September 1833 in Bristol, England due to Meningitis.
All of us enjoy this freedom today due to the efforts of our great leaders. So respect them.