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Home > Home Articles > Current Events > Thu 19 Oct - Raja Ram Mohan Roy - His Life and Legacy

Thu 19 Oct - Raja Ram Mohan Roy - His Life and LegacyRaja Rammohan Roy. (Photo Courtesy: commons.wikimedia)

When: Thursday 19th October 2017, Refreshments from 7.00 p.m. for 7.30 start
Where: The Unitarian Meeting House, Brunswick Square, BS2 8PE

Speaker - Carla Contractor

Ram Mohan Roy 1772 to 1833 has been described as the Father of modern India and was a great scholar, humanitarian and educationalist.  He founded the Brahmo Samaj, a reform movement within Hinduism, aimed at weakening the caste system and promoting worship of the one divine reality, Brahman.  In Bengal, Roy established schools and colleges, published the first Bengali dictionary and insisted on equal opportunities for all.  He argued for women's rights and condemned sati, the practice of widows being expected to immoliate themselves on the funeral pyres of their husbands.  As an exceptionally gifted scholar he used his knowledge of Sanskrit, Greek, Latin, Arabic and English to translate scriptures and thereby contribute to inter-faith understanding.

Roy came to England in 1830 and as he had been an associate of the Unitarian missionary, William Carey, in India it was natural that he was given hospitality by Unitarians in this country.  While staying in Frenchay he met and influenced Mary Carpenter but then he contracted meningitis and died.  He is buried in an elaborate tomb in Arnos Vale cemetery and commemorated by a portrait in the City Museum and Art Gallery, a bust in City Hall and a statue outside the Central Library.

Carla Contractor is the local expert on Ram Mohan Roy so this is an opportunity to learn more about this great reformer and his achievements and to consider the relevance of his values in today's world.