Raja Ram Mohan Roy and the Brahmo Samaj

Raja Ram Mohan Roy was the pioneer of 19th century renaissance in India. He was the founder of Brahmo Samaj in 1823 which was named as Brahmo Samaj in 1830.

The Brahmo Samaj believed in the fatherhood of god and brotherhood of mankind. It preached to love human beings and to stop idol worship, animal sacrifice, offerings and other rituals. It came forward for the promotion of charity, morality, piety, benevolence, virtue and the strengthening of the bonds of union between men of all religions and creeds.

Ram Mohan, through the Brahmo Samaj, came forward to deal with the social evils. He raised voice against the Sati system. Being supported by Raja Ram Mohan Roy, Lord William Bentinck abolished the Sati system by passing an Act in 1833.

Through the Brahmo Samaj, Ram Mohan raised voice against caste system, polygamy, child marriage, infanticide, untouchability, seclusion of women, Purdah system etc. To him the caste system and untouchability were undemocratic, inhuman and unethical. He advocated equal right of man and woman. In the social front, the Brahmo Samaj attacked the age old social taboos and tried to make Indian society more secular than before. ,

The religious reforms of Raja Ram Mohan Roy were equally commendable. He strictly prohibited idol worship and laid stress on oneness of god. The religion of Ram Mohan did not reflect the principle of any particular religion; rather it combined the ideas reflected in the Vedanta, Koran, Bible and other religious scriptures. He rejected the orthodox outlook of the Indians towards religion and gave it an intellectual tinge.

In the political front, Ram Mohan carried on his reforms. He advocated freedom of thought. He compelled the British authority to appoint the qualified educated Indians in the administrative service. He put emphasis on the fact that Paris should be abolished as the language of the courts and English should be introduced in its place for smoothly conducting the proceedings of the courts.

Raja Ram Mohan Roy brought reforms in the field of education. To modernize India, he established The Hindu College, the City College, Vedanta College, and English Schools were established in Calcutta through his efforts. He contributed a lot for the development of Bengali, Sanskrit, Arabic, Persian, Urdu and English language and wrote books in these languages. This opened new horizon in the field of education in India.

Ram Mohan was the pioneer of Indian journalism. Through his efforts, Charles Metcalfe removed all the restrictions imposed on Press in 1835 and gave freedom and autonomy to the newspapers in publication and management. Ram Mohan himself edited the Sambaed Kumauni and MiratuI Akbar, this made Indian people conscious of their freedom.

The Brahmo Samaj of Raja Ram Mohan Roy became more popular due to the efforts of Kasha Chandra Sen. He even went ahead in discouraging the use of sacred thread and Sanskrit texts. His radical activities led Devendranath Tagore to dismiss him from the Brahmo Samaj, Thus, Raja Rammohan inaugurated a new epoch through the Brahmo Samaj. For the first time, it advocated the principles of individual freedom, emancipation of women, freedom of press, individual rights etc. which were distinct milestones in the awakening of Indian mass.