Raja Ram Mohan Roy was India’s most eminent and distinguished social reformer. Popularly known as the ‘Maker of Modern India’ and ‘Father of Indian Renaissance’, Raja Ram Mohan Roy dedicated his life fighting the evils of the society. He was a Non-Conformist to many traditions of Indian culture. On May 22, India celebrates the 246th birth anniversary of Raja Ram Mohan Roy.
Born in a Brahmin family on May 22, 1772, in Radhanagar village in Murshidabad district of West Bengal, Roy was against orthodox customs and idol worship from his early childhood days. He left home at a very young age due to extreme differences with his father on religion and faith and traveled extensively to Himalayas and Tibet.
Here are few things you need to know about the Maker of Modern India:
• He studied Persian and Arabic along with Sanskrit, which influenced his thinking about God. He read Upanishads, Vedas and the Quran and translated a lot of the scriptures into Bengali, Hindi, and English.
• Roy started the Braham Sabha in 1828 along with Dwarkanath Tagore, Rabindranath Tagore’s father, to fight against social evils which further gave birth to Brahmo Samaj, first Indian social-reform movement to expose the religious hypocrisies.
• In 1822, he founded a school based on English education. He had also studied Hindu philosophy in Varanasi.
• Roy dedicated his life for women’s rights. He has done a remarkable work to abolish Sati Pratha and child marriage.
• It was due to his endless efforts that Sati was declared illegal in 1829.
• Roy was a keen learner. At the age of 15, he was proficient in Bangla, Persian, Arabic, and Sanskrit.