Essay on Raja Ram Mohan Roy: He was born into a Bengali Kayastha family in Radhanagar, Bengal Presidency, now Buniadpur, Bangladesh. He is considered the pioneer of the Brahmo Samaj and he helped to establish the Hindu reform movements of the nineteenth century.
He has been described as “not only the father of Indian nationalism but also one of the makers of modern India.” His influence was apparent during the Bengal renaissance when Bengal became the birthplace of modern Indian political consciousness in spite of being under British colonial rule.
Raja Ram Mohan Roy Essay
Raja Ram Mohan Roy was a child prodigy. He had mastered Persian, Arabic, and Urdu by the age of seven.
At twelve he wrote on comparative religion in Persian verse. Later on, Maharaja Krishnakumari of Cooch Behar called him to Cooch Behar to tutor his sons there, who all became attached to the teacher they came to call ‘Uncle’.
There he experimented with European thought, especially Unitarianism which favoured human reason over revelation as a source of religious truth.
He studied law at Fort William College in Calcutta, doing so by candlelight because of his poverty.
At college, he evinced no interest whatever in women or social life but spent the whole time reading his books, most of which he bought with the money from teaching. He practiced as a lawyer for some time but was not greatly attracted to law and gave it up for good after about two years so that he could concentrate more on religious matters.
In 1788 or thereabouts, he was initiated into Freemasonry by an English Anglican priest called Rev. Mr. Fryer who had been sent out from England in 1787 to take charge of a small church in Calcutta. This would have occurred only a few months before Roy’s departure for England. As a consequence of this initiation, he began to become interested in Christianity and began rethinking Christianity through the lens provided by Hinduism.
Between 1809-1815, he spent his time in England working at and developing the ideas and knowledge that he had first got a taste of back in Prayag. He also published journals on India, its past history and philosophy as well as various texts on Hinduism which were translated into Persian by Charles Wilkins. These included several liberal translations from Sanskrit.
Return to India
After returning to India for good, Ram Mohan Roy engaged himself further with the reforms of Hinduism among other things converting many Brahmins to his own Unitarian faith. He began translating Upanishads after their discovery by Colebrooke (1805). Ram Mohan’s religious work earned him enough money, and later on earned him recognition and throughout India. In 1828, Roy founded the famous Brahmo Samaj.
Raja Ram Mohan Roy’s religious and philosophical work is quite well-known but the political and social ramifications he had in India are seldom known outside of India.
Towards the end of his life, his writings and beliefs were largely responsible for fomenting a movement that led to a new era in Indian history: one where Indians began to think critically about how their country was governed and proceeded to question or protest against that government when they realized it was not serving their interests.
He was writing throughout this period (1788-1833)and saw many changes taking place in English politics during this time too, such as the Scottish Enlightenment and French revolution.
The effects of these ideas were also felt in Britain’s Indian colonies. They inspired an intellectual movement that began to question the status quo, expose its inequities, and demand reform.
Ram Mohan Roy was the first man in India to do this, but many others followed his example including Naoroji Furdonjee who took over the Brahmo Samaj after Ram Mohan’s death in 1833.
Naoroji went on to meet with Wilfred Scawen Blunt-a British politician critical of British imperialism-as well as other members of Parliament and informed them about conditions in India.
He published a collection of essays called ‘Poverty and unBritish Rule in India’ which had a profound impact upon opinion at Westminster.
Ram Mohan Roy’s political legacy is very important because it was the first notable attempt by Indians to seek their own liberation from imperialism. It inspired other movements such as Annie Besant’s Home Rule League (1915) that campaigned for Indian independence on the model of self-government then prevalent in the British dominions (Canada, Australia, New Zealand, etc).
Naoroji Furdonjee inspired Gandhi’s Non-Cooperation Movement (1920) and helped to form India’s first nationalist political party: The All India Congress Party (est. 1885).
As well as his direct influence upon politics, he also left a more subtle impact upon society; especially amongst Hindus who were, and still today, under the influence of Brahminical rituals: for example, animal sacrifice.
He challenged many unquestioned beliefs such as these and other practices that were harmful to society such as sati (widow burning), polygamy, and caste discrimination.
He was a great Hindu reformer in his day but has been described by some historians as an Islamic-Hindu syncretic philosopher which I think means he was perhaps more open to other religions than most Hindus of his time; especially Muslims.
He led a group of educated Indians who were trying to overcome their antagonism towards Muslims and one way they did this was by trying to understand what Islam stood for and make them realize it wasn’t quite like how they thought it was.
In fact, some of his writing was actually translated into Persian and Turkish for this very purpose. He had a lot of respect for the Quran and made sure to consult Islamic scholars before translating it.
I think Raja Ram Mohan Roy is a very interesting person today because there is not much written about him-especially in Western media-but plenty of people who could be inspired by his legacy if only they were to hear about him better.
In India, he has been honored on numerous stamps including one from 1962 which shows him sitting near a temple with the sun rising behind him: giving off light just like how he did when he campaigned against injustice in society.
Raja Ram Mohan Roy Essay is a great example of how one individual can make a difference. His legacy endures today and reminds us that we all have the power to try and change the condition in our societies for the better by creating awareness, organizing movements, and campaigning against injustice wherever it may be.
He’s also a good example of an intellectual who takes part in society-campaigning for social justice or whatever you want to call it-not just sitting at home writing about these issues. As Gandhi said: “A theory which does not lead to action is worthless”