Raja Ram Mohan Roy was born on 22nd May 1772 in Radhanagar in Bengal. From his very childhood he was keenly interested in studies. He was also highly interested in learning of languages, and, as he grew, he became a master of language.
He knew Sanskrit, Persian, Arabic, English, Greek and Latin, all classic languages. He did not only have a simple working knowledge of these languages but, he also went much deeper into the essences of all these languages and studied the Literature of each of these classical languages. He was also an expert on Hindu philosophy and had read the Vedas and the Upanishads.
After acquiring so much of knowledge he rose to be a social reformer, seeing some of the social injustices among the Hindus of those times. He was the first one to raise his head against the barbaric practice of ‘Sati’. This ‘Sati’ was a practice in which, according to tradition, the wife was to be put with her dead husband on the burning pyre, and the corpse of the husband would burn with the wife alive put with him.
He mobilised a strong revolt against this process, and finally did succeed to a great extent in getting the systems of ‘Sati’ abolished. He saw to it that the British Government passed a law against the system of ‘Sati’.
In the matter of religion, Raja Ram Mohan Roy believed that, there was only one God. He was the founder of the institution of the Brahma Samaj. The followers of this samaj worshipped the God Brahma the god of creation. He did not have any faith or belief in the several Gods and Goddesses of the Indian pantheon.
Raja Ram Mohan Roy was a man who was also politically motivated many a time he complained to the King of England regarding the injustices being meted out to Indians by the British here. When he saw that all his complaints to the British Crown were falling on deaf ears, he went personally to meet the King. He sought a personal meeting with the King of England through some of his friends there in England.
As for his views on education, Raja Ram Mohan Roy was unique in as much as in those days, he was the one who was interested in the study of the English language.
This was because he knew that the Indians studying in English would be the only ones who would be able to acquire the full knowledge of Science and Technology, as, all books of these advanced studies were in this language. If we could encourage the study of English, he thought that the Indian children could also be able to study till the same level as any of the other children of the world.
This he thought, would in turn, lead to a rise in the standards of technical knowledge of Indians, and they would be able to compete with any others in the world. In order to achieve his objective of educating Indian children in the English language, Raja Ram Mohan Roy even established a few English medium schools in India.
With this multifaceted character of Raja Ram Mohan Roy we can assess his personality, capabilities and achievements in variety of fields. He was a linguist, a social worker, a patriot, an educationist and, above all, a visionary, who could see the future to come.