Raja Ram Mohan Roy- Relevance for UPSC Exam
- GS Paper 1: Indian History- Modern Indian history from about the middle of the eighteenth century until the present- significant events, personalities, issues.
Raja Ram Mohan Roy
- Raja Ram Mohan Roy, a great scholar and an independent thinker, was a prominent Indian social reformer of 19th century modern India.
- Raja Ram Mohan Roy is also known as the ‘Father of Indian Renaissance’ for his contribution to socio-religious reforms of contemporary Indian society.
Raja Ram Mohan Roy- Key Points
- Birth: Raja Ram Mohan Roy was born in Radhanagar, Hooghly District of Bengal Presidency in May 1772.
- Raja Ram Mohan Roy was born into an orthodox Bengali Hindu family.
- Raja Ram Mohan Roy attained higher education in Patna, Bihar where he studied Persian and Arabic.
- Learning various Languages: Raja Ram Mohan Roy had learned Bangla, Persian, Arabic and Sanskrit along with Hindi and English.
- Learning about Religions: Raja Ram Mohan Roy moved to Varanasi and studied the Vedas, the Upanishads and Hindu philosophy deeply.
- Raja Ram Mohan Roy also acquired knowledge about Christianity and Islam as well.
- Association with British Government: Raja Ram Mohan Roy worked in the Revenue Department of the East India Company from 1809 to 1814.
- Raja Ram Mohan Roy also worked as a personal Diwan to Woodforde and Digby.
- Association with Educational Institutions: Raja Ram Mohan Roy helped in establishing many educational institutions to educate Indians in Western scientific education in English. For example-
- Hindu College, (1817): Raja Ram Mohan Roy helped David Hare’s efforts to establish the Hindu College in 1817.
- Raja Ram Mohan Roy’s English school taught mechanics and Voltaire’s philosophy. In 1822, Raja Ram Mohan Roy founded a school based on English education.
- Vedanta college (1825): Vedanta College established by Raja Ram Mohan Roy, offered courses in both Indian learning and Western social and physical sciences.
Raja Ram Mohan Roy- Literary Work
- Raja Ram Mohan Roy wrote a rational critique of Hindu idol worship at the age of sixteen.
- Raja Ram Mohan Roy translated the Vedas and five of the Upanishads into Bengali.
- Important writings: Raja Ram Mohan Roy wrote Tuhfat-ul-Muwahhiddin (a gift to deists) (1803), Gift to monotheists (1809), Kathopanishad (1816), Mundaka Upanishad (1917), Precepts of Jesus (1820), etc.
- Important Journals-
- Samvad Kaumudi (1821) in Bengali: It regularly denounced sati as a barbaric act and against the tenets of Hinduism.
- The Brahmanical Magazine (1821)
- Mirat-ul-Akhbar (a Persian language journal) 1822.
Raja Ram Mohan Roy- Formation of Socio-religious organizations
- Raja Ram Mohan Roy has been credited with the foundation of socio-religious organizations that worked played a key role in furthering socio-religious reforms of the contemporary Indian society of the time.
- Important organizations formed by Raja Ram Mohan Roy are- Atmiya Sabha (1814), Calcutta Unitarian Association (1821), Brahma Sabha (1828) (later in 1830, it became Brahma Samaj).
- Through these organizations, Raja Ram Mohan Roy ensured the support of like-minded and implemented his reform movement on the ground.
Raja Ram Mohan Roy- Interesting Facts
- Rabindra Nath Tagore referred to Ram Mohan as ‘a luminous star in the firmament of Indian history’.
- Raja Ram Mohan Roy was given the title ‘Raja’ by the Mughal Emperor, Akbar II whose grievances he presented before the British king.
- Raja Ram Mohan Roy visited England as an ambassador of the Mughal king Akbar Shah II where he died in September 1833 in Bristol, England.