Raja Ram Mohan Roy was born in a famous family of Bengal in 1772 A.D. He was a great scholar of Sanskrit, Persian, and English and knew Arabic, Latin and Greek. He studied Hindu scriptures like the Vedas, the Upanishadas etc. and books of other religions. He joined the service of the East India Company in 1805 and gradually rose to high offices. He died in England in 1833 while he was pleading the case of pension for the Mughal emperor Akbar-II.
Raja Ram Mohan Roy was the first social reformer of Modern India and he is rightly called the ‘Father of Modern India’. He had a rational and scientific approach and believed in the principle of human dignity and social equality. He was a perfect combination of the East and the West.
He was deeply devoted to the work of religious and social reform, so he founded the ‘Brahmo Samaj* in 1825. He condemned polytheism and idol worship and propagated the concept of one God. His religious ideas had assimilated elements of Islam, Christianity, Hinduism and modern European liberal philosophy. He translated ancient Indian works on religion and philosophy into Bengali.
He attacked the caste system and campaigned to persuade the Government to abolish ‘Sati’ system and child marriage. He advocated equal rights for women, right of widows to remarry and right of women to property.
He stood for modern education, introduction of English education for the propagation of science in India and modernization of Indian society.
He was internationalist and supported the cause of freedom everywhere. He celebrated the success of the 1830 Revolution in France and condemned the Britishers who were inflicting miseries on Ireland.