Father of Indian Renaissance

Who is the father of Indian Renaissance?

Who is considered the maker of modern India?

It is Raja Ram Mohan Roy

The founder of Bhramo samaj and the person behind the abolition if Sati Pratha

Raja Ram Mohan Roy was born on May 22, 1772, in Bengal. Raja Ram Mohan Roy influenced fields of politics, education, religion and public administration. Raja Ram Mohan Roy was also ranked number 10 in BBC’s poll of greatest Bengali of all time in 2004. He had learnt as many as ten languages – Persian, Arabic, Sanskrit, English, Urdu, Hindi, Hebrew, Greek, Latin and French.

A cosmopolitan thinker as well as a nationalist reformer who believed in rationalist thinking. Through his memoranda, books, public activities for religious, social, educational, economic and political reforms he inaugurated liberal reformist modernisation in India.

His Social Reforms

  • Raja Ram Mohan Roy conceived reformist religious associations as instruments of social and political transformation.
  • He founded the Atmiya Sabha in 1815, the Calcutta Unitarian Association in 1821, and the Brahmo Sabha in 1828 which later became the Brahmo Samaj.
  • He was well known for his pioneering thought and action on the emancipation of women and especially on the abolition of sati and widow remarriage.
  • He attacked child marriage, illiteracy of women and the degraded state of widows and demanded the right of inheritance and property for women.
  • He campaigned against the caste system, untouchability, superstitions and use of intoxicants.

His Educational Reforms

  • Raja Ram Mohan Roy did much to disseminate the benefits of modern education to his countrymen. He supported David Hare’s efforts to find the Hindu College in 1817, while Roy’s English school taught mechanics and Voltaire’s philosophy.
  • In 1825, he established Vedanta college where courses in both Indian learning and Western social and physical sciences were offered.
  • He advocated the study of English, Science, Western Medicine and Technology.
  • He established a number of schools to popularise a modern education system in India
  • He was instrumental in setting up several institutions including the Hindu College in Calcutta in 1817, in collaboration with David Hare; the Anglo-Hindu School in 1822; and the Vedanta College to spread his teachings of Hindu monotheism. 
  • He also helped establish the Scottish Church College in 1830.

His Political Reforms

  • Civil liberties: Roy was impressed and admired the British system of constitutional government for the civil liberties it gave to the people. He wanted to extend the benefits of that system of government to Indian people.
  • Press freedom: Through his writings and activities, he supported the movement for free press in India. When press censorship was relaxed by Lord Hastings in 1819, Ram Mohan found three journals- The Brahmanical Magazine (1821); The Bengali weekly, Samvad Kaumudi (1821); and the Persian weekly, Mirat-ul-Akbar.
  • Administrative reforms: He demanded the Indianisation of superior services and separation of the executive from judiciary. He demanded equality between Indians and Europeans.

His Economic Reforms

  • Taxation reforms: Roy condemned oppressive practices of Bengali zamindars and demanded fixation of minimum rents. He also demanded the abolition of taxes on tax-free lands.
  • He called for a reduction of export duties on Indian goods abroad and the abolition of the East India Company’s trading rights.


Raja Ram Mohan Roy was one of the few people in his time to realise completely the significance of modern age. He knew that the ideal of human civilisation does not lie in isolation of independence, but in the brotherhood of inter-dependence of individuals as well as nations. His attempt was to establish Indian people in the full consciousness of their own cultural personality, to make them comprehend the reality that was unique in their civilisations in the spirit of sympathetic cooperation.

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