By Sarathi Guha(03 Apr 2008)
It is the late part of eighteenth century: Ram Mohan Roy, the second son of Ram Kanta Roy & Tarini Devi, is a pioneer of modern Indian society. Ram Kanta, a rich business man & also a religious Baishnab person, does not like to hear anything aginst Hindu religion. Ram Mohan on the contrary, is a thinker from his childhood. He sees the customs & rituals of religion & many question arise in his mind. He asks his teacher Hara Harananda Tirthashastri about the cruelity of society, which comes out of religion. ' Satidaha Pratha ' - a custom where living women are burnt with their husbands makes a great impact in his mind. He does not get any answer: his attitude makes his father angry & he leaves his home. He travels a lot. He comes to Benaras & studies Sanskrit under his old teacher. He promises to learn about all religions, so studies Veda, Koran, & Bible. he returns home but does not compromise with his family's conservative outlook, so leaves home again. His father dies, his mother doesn't give him the permission to do the last ritual, but again, he does not compromise with his own idealism. He starts his own business, writes the explanation of Veda & becomes the first man of the Bengali prose. Sets up a modern school where English language becomes an essential part of syllabus, because he knows, English will be the most connective language of future world. His wife, Uma, reminds him about the Satidaha Pratha, he starts his battle against this custom. All his activites create a storm in conservative Hindu society & large part of the society became his enemy. His lonely battle ends when the ' Sati ' bill passed & the government stops the custom by law. Badshah of Delhi give him the title ' Raja ' & sends him to England as ambassador of Delhi. Huge workload makes him tired & sick. He comes to Bristol where he spends his last days.