India is celebrating the 250th birth anniversary of the great social reformer Raja Ram Mohan Roy this year. It is a time when we should look back and see how Raja Rammohun Roy laid the foundation of modern India and how his dream has come true.
Every nation has a consciousness which sometimes goes into a dormant state and sometimes it comes alive and India is such a nation, where many great men have been born as per the need, who opposed the evils prevailing in the society and showed new direction to the country and society. Huh . From Buddha to Nanak, Kabir etc. is an example of that and Raja Rammohun Roy is a symbol of the same tradition which showed a new direction to modern India.
Raja Ram Mohan Roy, the father of modern India, was born on May 22, 1772 in Radhanagar village of Hooghly district of West Bengal. His father Ramkanta Rai was a Vaishnavite. Received him from Patna for higher education. He was a knower of many languages, he knew Sanskrit, Parsi, Arabic and English Latin along with Bengali. He studied the Vedas, Upanishads and Hindu philosophy in Varanasi.
Further Raja Ram Mohan started a job in the Revenue Department of the East India Company. He worked as an assistant to John Digby and gradually came into contact with Western culture and literature. He studied Jainism from Jain scholars and took Sufism lessons with the help of Muslim scholars.
Many evils prevailing in the then society had weakened the Indian society and nation. Due to caste system, untouchability, child marriage, Sati system etc. Hinduism and Indian society had become conservative, self-confident and weak.
Raja Ram Mohan Roy was understanding that unless India adopts modern values by abandoning the evils, it can never be free from slavery. Therefore, it was necessary for India to adopt western knowledge and values and oppose the evils prevalent in its society. That is why he was against all kinds of social bigotry and superstition.
Raja Ram Mohan Roy strongly supported education, especially women’s education. He laid emphasis on the study of English, science, western medicine and technology. They believed that English education was better than the traditional education system. In 1817, he founded the ‘Hindu College’ together with David Haier, which later became known as ‘Presidency College’. He founded the ‘Anglo Hindu College School’ based on English education in 1822.
When the British government talked about giving modern education to Indians in Sanskrit and indigenous languages, Raja Ram Mohan Roy protested it by writing a letter to the British Crown in 1923 that “India’s languages and Sanskrit are not worthy of modern education, so Indians should be taught in English. Be educated.
Although Raja Ram Mohan Roy is the pioneer of modern India, but here he was mistaken. Because if modern education was given in Indian languages, it would have spread more rapidly, division in the society could have been avoided and the people of India would also have a connection with their culture. As seen in the later period.
Raja Ram Mohan Roy fought openly against the evils of the society like Sati system, child marriage. He launched a massive campaign against the practice of Sati, for this he had to face widespread opposition from the society and the family. Raised awareness against him. Due to his efforts, the British Government and Governor General Lord William Bentinck made a law in 1829 and banned the practice of Sati.
He opposed idol worship, rituals and talked about the worship of the formless God. At the same time, he also said that ‘there is only one element at the root of all religions, he worked tirelessly to bring a change in the thinking of the people.’ He tried to start social and religious reforms in the society by forming the Atmiya Sabha in 1814.
Raja Ram Mohan Roy wanted to save Hinduism from the attacks of Christianity, so he searched for such elements in Hinduism so that he could respond to the attacks of Christianity and he found this answer in Vedanta, which he explained rationally in the context of Christianity and Islam And sidelined idol worship, rituals, pilgrimage and other Sanatan culture.
For this purpose, he wrote the book “A Gift to the Monotheist”, translated the Upanishads and founded the Brahmo Samaj in 1829, Raja Ram Mohan Roy played an important role in the modern interpretation of Hinduism. Raja Ram Mohan Roy was rationalist and visionary. He separated the moral teaching of Christianity from its miraculous elements by writing “The precept of Jesus”. Due to this some of his Christian friends were also angry with him.
Raja Ram Mohan Roy visited Britain in November 1830. He died on 27 September 1833 at Stapleton, near Bristol. But his efforts laid the foundation for the creation of modern India. Because of his tireless efforts, Rabindranath Tagore called him the “builder of modern India”.
Although the social reforms laid by Raja Ram Mohan Roy have been guiding the freedom struggle and independent India continuously. Equal rights were provided to women by the makers of our constitution, child marriage was banned, special provisions were made for the weaker sections of the society, untouchability, religious discrimination were abolished. Many efforts are being made by the government like ‘Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao’, National Nutrition Mission, etc. The aim of which is to empower women and bring them into the mainstream.
Today, the way the daughters of our country are raising the flags of success in the Olympics to space and competitive examinations, it shows that the dreams of the great social reformer Raja Ram Mohan Roy are being fulfilled in today’s India.
Despite this, the position of women in our society was still weak. According to the fifth report of the National Family Survey, the problem of child marriage remains even today, even today the sex ratio remains against women. Even today caste and communal discrimination is prevalent. Therefore, we have to travel a lot to fulfill the modern India that Raja Rammohun Roy had dreamed of.