Raja Ram Mohan Roy (1772- 1833): Raja Ram Mohan Roy is considered to be the first Indian who tried to pull out the Indian society out of the medieval age. He is known as “Father of Modern India“; “Father of Indian Renaissance” and “bridge between past and future“. Raja Ram Mohan Roy was born in Radhanagar village in Hooghly district in Bengal on May 22, 1772 in an orthodox Brahmin family. His forefathers were in the services of Nawabs of Bengal. He got early education in Patna and Varanasi.

He became profound learner and scholar of Arabic, Persian, Sanskrit, English and Bengali; and foreign languages such as Greek, Latin and Hebrew.

Raja Ram Mohan Roy joined East India Company and worked as Munshi of Registrar of the Appellate Court at Murshidabad. He left the company later on some minor corruption charges which were never proved.

Key Events:

In 1815, he established the Atmiya Sabha, a precursor in the socio-religious reforms in Bengal.

In 1817, he founded Mahapathshala (Hindu College) at Kolkata along with Radhakanta Deb and others. It was renamed as Presidency College in 1855 and was upgraded as full university recently in 2010.

In 1821, He launched a Bengali weekly newspaper Sambad Kaumudi. Sambad Kaumudi was first Indian newspaper edited, published and managed by Indians. In this newspaper, he wrote on subjects such as freedom of press, induction of Indians into higher services and separation of judiciary with executive.

In 1822, he published a Persian newsmagazine titled Mirat-ul-Akbar.His other Persian works include Tuhfat-ul-Muwahhidin (Gift to Monotheists) and Manazarutul Adyan {a discussion in Persian on various religions}In 1828, he launched Brahmo Sabha with Devendranath Tagore.

By 1828, he had become a well known figure in India.

In 1830, he had gone to England as an envoy of the Mughal Emperor, Akbar Shah II, who invested him with the title of Raja to the court of King William IV. He was expected to represent to the British sovereign the inadequacy of the pension granted to the Mughal emperor.

He was well received in various circles in England, where he stayed for for three years and died of meningitis there on September 27, 1833.