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Raja Ram Mohan Roy: Father of Indian Renaissance

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Published on : 22 May 2019, 08:46 AM
Raja Ram Mohan Roy: Father of Indian Renaissance

He dreamed of a modern India. His motto was to bring his people from the medieval darkness and show them the light of a new era. Deep history consciousness, conviction, and faith in God have repeatedly manifested in his life struggle. Nevertheless, the Hindu scholars addressed him as `atheist`, `heretic`, `sly` for his work. Even, at one time, some fanatical and intolerant people of Hindu-Muslim communities tried to kill him. He had to go through a lot of embarrassment. Yet, his philanthropic mentality forced him to change the harmful aspects of the social system facing extreme adversity. He is Raja Ram Mohan Roy.

Ram Mohan was born in a turning point of an era. During his birth time, the termination of the medieval era of India`s history began, but at the same time, there were very few people who had the courage to accept the upcoming new era in all aspects of life. Ram Mohan became one of the artisans of the nineteenth century Bengali Renaissance through a tough life struggle. On 22 May 1772, he was born in Radhanagar, Hooghly District, Bengal Presidency. Nandakumar Vidyalankar or Hariharananda Tirthaswamy first fermented the spiritual thought on Ram Mohan.

Ram Mohan was the first Bengali intellectual who realized that the vast knowledge and various types of applied science behind the British rule could improve the economic and social conditions of this country. Although he never supported British oppression. Yet he believed that colonial British rule was beneficial for India for at least a few areas. Because in order to be accustomed to modern living, there was a special need for communication with the people of the Western world. And the country got the principle of modernism from Ram Mohan.

Ram Mohan was determined to abolish the practice of Sati and child marriage. Because of his initiative to stop this cursed practice, the then conservative Hindu society got increasingly united against him. It is said that the situation had become such grisly that Ram Mohan had to take shelter of security for protection.

Ram Mohan`s charismatic personality managed to attract the attention of many liberal-minded personalities. Atmiya Sabha was founded by that circle in 1815. A session had been organized every week in the house of different members. Personalities like Dwarkanath Tagore, Prasanna Kumar Tagore, Gopi Mohan Tagore, Kali Shankar Ghosal, Rajnarayan Sen, Krishna Mohan Majumdar, Baidyanath Mukhopadhyay, Nandkishor Basu used to be present there. Notably, David Hare proposed setting up Hindu College in a session of this Sabha in 1816. And the group that was formed circling Atmiya Sabha became more significant after the establishment of the Brahmo Samaj, a socio-religious reform movement in the Indian subcontinent in 1828.

In order to improve the press, Ram Mohan published three magazines.  He is called the father of Bangla prose. He is the author of about 30 Bengali books. His Gaudiya Vyakaran and Brahma Sangit are notable. He established Anglo-Hindu schools at his expense to expand education in English. In addition, the word Hinduism is his creation.

Raja Ram Mohan Roy died after suffering from fever on September 27, 1833, at the age of 62. However, the cause of his death is still not clear. Ten years after the death, Dwarkanath Tagore made a desirable memorial monument on his tomb.

Ram Mohan`s influence was apparent in the fields of politics, public administration, education and religion of the then India. According to many historians, he is the "Father of the Indian Renaissance. On his birth anniversary we remember this great reformist with reverence.

Bangla Insider/ SM