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Raja

Ram Mohan Roy Biography


The social reformer who helped abolish the practice of sati in
India, Raja Ram Mohan Roy was the pioneer of modern Indian
Renaissance. This biography of Raja Ram Mohan Roy provides
detailed information about his childhood, life, achievements &
works.
Quick Facts
Nationality

Indian

Born on

22 May 1772 AD

Zodiac Sign

Gemini

Born in

Radhanagore, Bengal, British India

Died on

27 September 1833 AD

Place of death

Bristol, England

Father

Ramkanto Roy

Mother

Tarinidevi

Spouse:

Uma Devi

Founder/Co-Founder

Brahmo Samaj

Fondly called the Maker of Modern India, social and


educational reformer Raja Ram Mohan Roy was a visionary who
lived during one of Indias darkest social phases but strived his
best to make his motherland a better place for the future
generations to come. Born into a Bengali family in British India,
he joined hands with other prominent Bengalis like Dwarkanath
Tagore to form the socio-religious organization Brahmo Samaj,
the renaissance movement of the Hindu religion which set the
pace for Bengali enlightenment. Given the fact that Ram Mohan
Roy was born into a family which displayed religious diversity
which was unusual in Bengal at the time, it comes as no
surprise that the young Ram Mohan Roy was disturbed by the
problems stemming in the society due to religious and social
malpractices. He was especially concerned about the practice of
sati which required a widow to immolate herself at the pyre of
her husband. Along with other reformers and visionaries he
fought against the evil practices prevalent in the Indian society
at that time and helped to eradicate several of them. He also
left a deep impact in the fields of politics and education.
Childhood & Early Life
Ram Mohan Roy was born into a high-ranking Brahmin
family in West Bengal. His father Ramkanto Roy was a
Vaishnavite, while his mother Tarinidevi was a Shaivite
this was very unusual during those times where marriages
between different religious sub sects were uncommon. His
family had been serving the imperial Mughals for three
generations.

He was born in an era which marked the darkest period in


the history of India. T he country was plagued by
numerous socio-economic and political problems, the
chaos created in the name of religions was aplenty.
He received his basic education in Sanskrit and Bengali in
the village school after which he was sent to Patna to
study in a Madrasa where he learnt Persian and Arabic.
Furthering his education, he moved to Kashi to learn the
intricacies of Sanskrit and Hindu scriptures like the Vedas
and Upanishads. He learnt the English language only
when he was 22 years old.
Late r Life
After completing his education he found a job in the East
India Company where he served for several years and
became a revenue officer in 1809.
He was a socially responsible citizen and was troubled by
the increasing number of malpractices practiced by the
common man in the society. He also voiced his dissent
against the unjust actions of the British in India.
Ram Mohan had a strong belief in Lord Vishnu and in fact
he is credited with coining the term Hinduism . However,
he was dead against the malpractices forced upon the
masses in the name of religion.
In 1812, his brother died and his widow was forced to burn
herself too at his lit pyre. Young Ram Mohan tried his best
to stop the evil from occurring but failed miserably. T his
incident left a deep impact on his mind.
He personally used to visit crematoriums to keep an eye
on the people who forced the womenfolk to commit sati at
their husbands pyre. He struggled a lot to make people
realize that not only was sati a meaningless ritual, it was
also very cruel and evil.
He supported the freedom of press as he believed that
only a press that operated without any outer pressures
could fulfill its duties in disseminating important

information among the masses.


He believed that education played a vital role in the
enlightenment of the common man and set up an English
school in Calcutta in 1816 using his own funds. Such was
his dedication towards upliftment of mankind.
During his time the government used to open only Sanskrit
schools. He wanted to change this practice as he felt that
education in other subjects like Mathematics, Geography
and Latin was also necessary to make Indians keep pace
with the rest of the world.
In 1828, he founded one of the most significant socioreligious institutions of modern day Indiathe Brahmo
Samaj. It was a very influential movement that did not
discriminate between people belonging to different
religions, castes or communities.
Following years of his hard work in fighting against sati,
the governor of the Bengal Presidency lands, Lord William
Bentinck formally banned the practice on 4 December
1829.
He was also a journalist who published journals in
different languages like English, Hindi, Persian and
Bengali. Sambad Kaumudi, his most popular journal
covered socio-political topics of interest to the Indians
which helped them rise above their current state.
Major Works
His biggest achievement was the abolishment of sati
pratha , a practice in the India of his times, where a widow
was made to immolate herself at the funeral pyre of her
deceased husband. He struggled for years to get this evil
legally eradicated.
He founded the Brahmo Samaj along with other
enlightened Bengalis. T he samaj was a highly influential
socio-religious reform movement which fought against
evils like caste system, dowry, ill treatment of women, etc.
Aw ards & Achie v e m e nts

T he Mughal Emperor Akbar II conferred the title Raja to


him in 1831 when the reformer went to England as an
ambassador of the Mughal Emperor to submit a
representation to the King of England to increase the
allowances granted by the British to the Mughal Emperor.
Pe rsonal Life & Le gacy
As was the custom during those days he was first married
as a child. When his child-bride died, he was married
again. His second wife too predeceased him. His third
marriage was to Uma Devi who outlived him. He had two
sons.
He contracted meningitis while on a trip to England and
died on 27 September 1833. He was buried in Bristol.