Rammohun Roy

Rammohun Roy

 

(Rammohan Roy). Born May 22, 1772 or 1774, in Radhanagar, Bengal; died Sep. 27, 1883, in Bristol, England. Indian (Bengali) educator, philosopher, religious reformer, public and literary figure, and precursor of Indian bourgeois nationalism. Wrote in Bengali, English, and Persian.

Rammohun Roy, the son of a prominent Brahman, graduated from the Muslim college in Patna. He regarded the struggle to overcome the backwardness of his native land as his main task. He therefore developed a universal religiophilosophic system with a rationalistic foundation that asserted human equality before god and rejected certain tenets of orthodox Hinduism, such as caste divisions, self-immolation of widows, and child marriages. He considered education to be the basic means of progress. On his initiative, Hindu College, the first secular school in India, was opened in Calcutta in 1817.

In 1821 and 1822, Rammohum Roy began publishing the newspapers Sambad Kaumudi (Moon of Intelligence) in Bengali and Mirat-ul-Akhbar (Mirror of News) in Persian. He publicly defended freedom of speech and freedom of the press and likewise advocated equality of the Indians and the British before the law. In economics, he urged study of the British experience in trade and industry and called for establishment of a fixed land tax in all the provinces of India. By 1815 he had formed the Atmija Sabha, or Association of Friends, a circle made up of those who shared his beliefs. The members of the group formed the core of the Brahmo Samaj, which Rammohun Roy founded in Calcutta in 1828.

Rammohun Roy played a prominent role in the formation of a new Bengali literature. His rich literary legacy includes Bengali translations of philosophic works of ancient India (the Upanishads), legal studies, sharply polemical and satirical tracts on religious and social themes, and textbooks.

Rammohun Roy did not link the creation of a genuinely enlightened India to the struggle for national independence. Objectively, however, his activity was directed both against feudalism and colonial oppression.

WORKS

The English Works of Raja Rammohun Roy. Allahabad, 1906.

REFERENCES

Komarov, E. N. “Ram Mokhan Rai—prosvetitel’ i provozvestnik national’nogo dvizheniia v Indii.” In Obshchestvenno-politicheskaia i filosofskaia mysl’ Indii. Moscow, 1962.
Paevskaia, E. V. “Ram Mokhan Roi—predshestvennik burzhuaznogo natsional’nogo dvizheniia v Bengalii.” Uch. zap. Tikhookeanskogo in-ta, vol. 2. Moscow-Leningrad, 1949.
Paevskaia, E. V. “Ideia ravenstva ot bkhaktov (XV-XV1 vv.) do Rammokhan Raia (pervaia tret’ XIX v.).” In Trudy mezhvuzovskoi nauchnoi konferentsii po istorii literatur zarubezhnogo Vostoka. Moscow, 1970.
Raja Rammohun Roy and Progressive Movements in India. Calcutta, 1941.
The Father of Modern India: Commemoration Volume of Rammohun Roy. Calcutta, 1935.

E. V. PAEVSKAIA

References in periodicals archive ?
IFLIBNET conducted 10 training programmes and Raja Rammohun Roy Library Foundation (RRRLF) has conducted 8 training programmes so far.
See Raja Rammohun Roy, The English Works of Raja Rammohun Roy with an English Translation of'Tuhfatul Muwahhiddin" (Allahabad: The Panini Office, 1906), 365-372.
Chapter 9, "Rammohun Roy's Idea of 'Public Good' in the Early Days of Journalism Ethics in India," provides a detailed look into the evolution of journalism in India over the previous two centuries.
Take the case of Raja Rammohun Roy. Many people do not know that he was influenced considerably by the Baptist missionary William Carey, who did wonders in this country.
He then focuses on the influential Indian/English prodigy Henry Derozio, teacher, journalist, activist, philosopher, and poet (1809-31), followed by Hindu reformer and journalist Rammohun Roy (1772-1833).
Kolkata-based Raja Rammohun Roy Library Foundation (RRRLF) is the nodal agency for the implementation of NML, a 10-member body headed by Prof.
The Centre has deputed Director of Raja Rammohun Roy Library Foundation, Kolkata, KK Banerjee in February last year to prepare a report for renovating historic sites associated with Tagore including the Brookside Bungalow, Tagore Art Library and Tagore Cultural Centre.
Because of David Hare's interests and friendships in Calcutta, John and Joseph Hare helped to host a visit to England by a prominent Hindu figure, Rajah Rammohun Roy, a scholar and Ambassador of the Mughal Emperor, who arrived in April 1831 with a party that included his foster son, Rajaram Roy.
Rammohun Roy and the Making of Victorian Britain, by Lynn Zastoupil.
Reformers in 19th-century Bengal were greatly concerned with upper- and middle-class women's situation--what we now refer to as the "status of women": Rammohun Roy's stand on sati, debates on the age of consent, Iswarchandra Vidyasagar's campaign for widow remarriage, acrimonious discussions around upper-caste kulin polygamy, and, more positively, the need to educate girls and indeed women, occupied the bhadralok, the gentry of a rapidly urbanizing Bengal.
Hindu Iconoclasts: Rammohun Roy, Dayananda Saravati, And Nineteenth-Century Polemics Against Idolatry by Noel Salmond (Assistant Professor of Humanities and Religion, Carleton University, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada) is a serious, scholarly study that asks why would nineteenth-century Hindus, who come from an iconic religious tradition, give voice to the types of declarations and invectives one might more readily attribute to Hebrew prophets or Calvinists?
She touches briefly upon the first missionaries, upon Rammohun Roy's contact with the Unitarians, and upon the Transcendentalists, but these sections are all too brief.