Roy, Rām Mohan

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Roy, Rām Mohan (1772–1833). Hindu apologist and reformer. He was widely read in both religious and political philosophy, and from his knowledge of Muslim, Hindu, and Christian religious writings he developed into one of the foremost reformist intellectuals of early 19th-cent. India. In 1828 he founded the Brāhmo Sabha, a monotheistic form of Hinduism with no images, which stressed the One True Formless God who alone was worthy of worship. It led to the forming of the Brahmo Samāj. Rām Mohan Roy denied the role of prophets and the exclusivist concept of Son of God, and so drew upon himself attacks not only from traditionalist Hindus but Muslims and Christians as well. He was opposed to caste, polygamy, suttee (see SATĪ), the prohibition of widow remarriage, the lack of education for ordinary people, and the seclusion of and institutionalized discrimination against women. He was one of the first to sow the seeds that flowered in the Indian National Congress.

Rām Mohan Roy, invested with the title of Rāja by the titular Moghul emperor Akbar II, visited Britain in 1830 to present the emperor's grievances to the British king and parliament. He died at Bristol on 27 Sept. 1833, but his influence lived on in the many subsequent Hindu progressive movements.

Rām Mohan Roy

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Rām Mohan Roy (Hindu apologist and reformer): see ROY, RĀM MOHAN.