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Kolkata, May 22, 2023:

As part of 2nd phase of "Azadl Ka Amrit Mahotsav", Eastern Railway celebrated birth anniversary of Raja Ram Mohan Roy o­n 22nd May,2023. Smt. Zarina Firdausi, Principal Chief Personnel Officer/Eastern Railway and other officers of Eastern Railway offered floral tribute to the portrait of Raja Rammohan Roy o­n this occasion.

Considered to be the Father of Indian Renaissance, Raja Ram Mohan Roy was a multifaceted social, religious and educational reformer. He is renowned for his pioneering role in opposing practices like Sati, child marriage and social divisions and for advocating education. 

Raja Ram Mohan Roy was born o­n May 22, 1772 in village Radhanagar in the District of Hooghly in the then Bengal Presidency to his father Sri Ramkanto Roy and his mother, Tarini Devi.

He advocated the introduction of an English Education System in the country teaching scientific subjects like Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry and even Botany. He paved the way to revolutionizing education system in India by establishing Hindu College in 1817 along with David Hare which later went o­n to become o­ne of the best educational institutions in the country. His efforts to combine true to the roots theological doctrines along with modern rational lessons saw him establish the Anglo-Vedic School in 1822 followed by the Vedanta College in 1826.

He founded the Atmiya Sabha in 1914 and in 1828, Raja Ram Mohan Roy along with Maharsi Devendranath Tagore founded the Brahma Samaj. The principal features of this new movement were monotheism, independence from the scriptures and renouncing the caste system. With time, the Brahma Samaj became a strong progressive force to drive social reforms in Bengal, especially women's education.

Ram Mohan Roy was a staunch supporter of free speech and expression. He fought for the rights of vernacular press. He also brought out a newspaper in Persian called 'Miratul- Akhbar' (the Mirror of News) and a Bengali weekly called 'Sambad Kaumudi' (the Moon of Intelligence).

The social reform for which Raja Ram Mohan Roy will forever be remembered is his role in abolition of Sati. During the late 18th century, the society in Bengal was burdened with a host of evil customs and regulations. The most brutal among these customs was the ‘Sati Pratha’. The custom involved self-immolation of widows at their husband's funeral pyre. Raja Ram Mohan Roy was abhorred by this cruel practice and he raised his voice against it. He spoke freely and took his views to the higher-ups in the East India Company. His passionate reasoning and calm perseverance filtered through the ranks and ultimately reached the Governor General Lord William Bentinck. Lord Bentinck sympathised with Roy's sentiments and intentions and amid much outcry from the orthodox religious community, the Bengal Sati Regulation or Regulation XVII, A. D. 1829 of the Bengal Code was passed. The act prohibited the practice of Sati Daha in Bengal Province and in India, and any individual caught practicing it would face prosecution.

During his visit to United Kingdom, Raja Ram Mohan Roy died of illness at Stapleton in Bristol o­n 27 September, 1833. He was buried at the Arnos Vale Cemetery in Bristol. Recently, the British government has named a street in Bristol as 'Raja Rammohan Way' in his memory. In 2004, Ram Mohan Roy was ranked number 10 in BBC's poll of the Greatest Bengali of All Time.

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