Kolkata, May 22 (PTI) Describing Raja Rammohan Roy as a great social reformer and visionary, Union Minister for Culture G Kishan Reddy Sunday virtually unveiled a statue of the `Father of Bengal’s Renaissance’ at Salt Lake on the occasion of his 250th Birth Anniversary.
Reddy who also spoke virtually at a function at Science City to mark the anniversary described the man best known for his fight to abolish the inhuman practise of Sati or immolation of widows, as a “a thinker, an educator, a journalist, a visionary.” “Rammohan Roy was a great social reformer, a thinker, an educator, a journalist, a visionary. He is not only the pride of Bengal but the country. Installing his statue will inspire the present generation of youths,” he said. Both the functions organised by central government bodies were marked by a lack of representation from the state government.
The day was also observed by the state government at with floral tributes were paid before his statue at his former residence now converted into Kolkata Police Museum, which primarily showcases arms and ammunition used by Indian freedom fighters.
A drama `Bharatpathik Rammohan’ (India’s Visionary: Rammohan) was staged at Madhusudan Mancha to mark the occasion.
The day was also observed at the polymath’s ancestral house of Radhanagar, Hooghly district as well as at Rammohan Library on Sukia Street where various student bodies paid tribute to him and the relevance of his vision in present day India.
Singing by Brahmo Music Choir, quiz competitions, lectures by eminent dignitaries and a multimedia presentation based on different aspects of the social reforms advocated by Raja Rammohun Roy were held during the day at various locations.
Raja Ram Mohan Roy, often called ‘Father of Modern India’ as well as `Father of Bengal’s Renaissance’, was one of India’s foremost social and religious reformers who fought against the practise of Sati, child marriage and polygamy. He also founded the Brahmo Samaj, a movement to reform Hindu religion.
A polygot, who knew Bengali, Sanskrit, Persian, Arabic and English, he was conferred the title `Raja’ (Prince) by Mughal Emperor Akbar II. He collaborated with Scottish philanthropist David Hare to set up the Hindu College (now Presidency University), and extensively argued for property rights for women and freedom of the press. He also founded a newspaper `Mirat-ul-Akhbar’.
West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar, who was present at the function in Science City, said Rammohan Roy had founded Atmiya Sabha which had made possible translation of Upanishads into English, Hindi and Bengali.
“Translations of Upanishads in English, Hindi and Bengali by Atmiya Sabha formed #RajaRamMohanRoy speaks volumes of his visionary approach,” he tweeted. PTI SUS JRC JRC
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