RAJA RAM MOHAN ROY :
Ram Mohan Roy was one of the great social reformers of 19th century. He was born in 1774 A.D. in a Brahmin family of Bengal. He was a learned man. He was a great scholar or Sanskrit, Hindi, Persian, Arabic, English and French. He did not believe many of the orthodox customs of Hindu religion. He criticized idol-worship. His father did not like this. Therefore, Ram Mohan Roy had to leave home. He travelled a lot and studied much.
Raja Ram Mohan Roy was against the evil customs in the Hindu society. One of these bad customs was Soft. This was a very cruel custom. A widow was forced to sit on the pyre of her husband and perform Sati by burning herself alive. This was the most inhuman custom. Ram Mohan Roy got this custom abolished. Sati was made a crime. He tried to improve the condition of widows. He pleaded widow remarriage. He set up a social organization in Calcutta in 1828. This organization was called Brahmo Samaj. Brahrmo Samaj believed in the oneness of God. It opposed idol-worship and casteism. It believed in the uplift of women.
Raja Ram Mohan Roy believed that only the spread of education could help in removing social evils. He believed that English education was necessary for the uplift of the Indians. He set up the Hindu College at Calcutta. It is now known as the Presidency College. Raja Ram Mohan Roy was conferred the title of Raja by the Mughal Emperor of Delhi. It is why he is known as Raja Ram Mohan Roy. He died in 1833.
ISHWAR CHANDRA VIDYASAGAR :
Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar was a great scholar and reformer of modern India.. He was born in a very poor family of Bengal in 1820 A.D. He struggled very hard to get education. By dint of hard work he rose to the position of the Principal of the Sanskrit College, Calcutta.
Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar was a very kind-hearted man. He was a man of high character. He seldom had a warm coat. He gave away his coat and other clothes to the beggars and other poor people whom he saw naked. He was in favor of a blend of Indian and Western culture.
He is famous for his work for the uplift of women. He carried further the work started by Raja Ram Mohan Roy. He was in favour of widow remarriage. In 1855 he got a law passed and the Hindu women were allowed to remarry. Many orthodox people became his enemies but he did not care. He helped in the education of the women. He did much to discourage child marriage and polygamy. He was one of the great makers of modern India.
GURU NANAK DEV Jl :
Guru Nanak Dev Ji was born in 1469 at village Talwandi, now called Nankana Sahib which is in Pakistan. He was against false religious beliefs. He believed in the oneness of God. He was against idol-worship and casteism. He believed in the equality of mankind. He treated the Hindus and the Muslims alike. He travelled far and wide and preached his message to all. He was the founder of the Sikh religion and was a great reformer.
SWAMI VIVEKANANDA :
Swami Vivekananda was a great reformer of modern India. He was a disciple of Ramakrishna Paramhans. He was born in 1863. His real name was Narendranath Dutta. He worked against un-touchability. He went to America to attend the World Religious Conference in Chicago. He was the only person to represent India in that Conference. He was a great exponent of Hindu religion and India’s culture. People were greatly impressed by his personality and thoughts. Some Americans became his followers.
Swami Dayananda was a great reformer of Indian Society. He was born in Gujarat. His parents were idol-worshippers. Some events in his life changed his belief. He disliked idol worship and regarded Vedas as divine and supreme. He was deadly against untouchability and casteism. He believed in the equality of all people. He believed in the uplift and social justice to women. He was in favor of widow remarriage. He was the founder of Arya Samaj.
Arya Samaj was a great movement which brought about a great social and religious awakening in India. It believed that illiteracy and ignorance were the roof cause of backwardness of our people. It opened many schools and colleges in all parts of the country for the spread of education.