Raja Ram Mohan Roy was born in Radhanagar on 22 May 1772 in Bengal Presidency to a Brahmin family. He left home at an early age and shunned the prevalent practices of idol worship and several orthodox practices of the time. Roy left home and traveled through Himalayas and Tibet while learning Persian and Arabic along with Sanskrit. This influenced his thinking about one god, as he preached unity of God and made early translations of Vedic scriptures into English in the later parts of his life.
Post completion of his education Raja Ram Mohan Roy entered the services of the East India Company as a clerk. He worked in the collectorate of Rangpur, under Mr. John Digby. He was eventually promoted to be a Dewan, a post that referred to a native officer entrusted with the role of collecting revenues.
During the late 18th century or the Dark Age, the society in Bengal was burdened with a host of evil customs and regulations. Elaborate rituals and strict moral codes were enforced which were largely modified, and as mentioned above, he played a vital role in abolishing certain practices from the society as a part of his achievements in bringing about social reforms.
Raja Ram Mohan Roy realized that while traditional texts like Vedas, Upanishads and Quran provided him with much reverence for philosophy, his knowledge was lacking in scientific and rational education. He advocated the introduction of an English Education System in the country teaching scientific subjects like Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry and even Botany. He paved the way to revolutionizing education system in India by establishing Hindu College in 1817 along with David Hare which later went on to become one of the best educational institutions in the country producing some of the best minds in India. He later established the Anglo - Vedic School in 1822 followed by the Vedanta College in 1826.
Ram Mohan viewed education as a medium to implement social reforms. His religious and journalistic contributions to the society are remembered till date. He was a modern mind in a not so modern India and saw a brighter future for the country way before anyone else did.
Ram Mohan Roy formed the the Atmiya Sabha in 1815 and Brahmo Samaj in 1828, uniting the Bhramos in Calcutta, a group of people, who had no faith in idol - worship and were against the caste restrictions. He died of meningitis on 27th September 1833. Though his lives on and a lot of others like Rabindra Nath Tagore followed his footsteps during the struggle for freedom.
As written by Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose “He urged a return to the original principles of Vedantism and for a total rejection of all the religions and social impurities that had crept into Hinduism in later times. He also advocated an all - around regeneration of the social and national life and the acceptance of all that is useful and beneficial in the modern life of Europe. Raja Ram Mohan Roy, therefore, stands out against the dawn of the new awakening in India as the prophet of the new age. ”
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