Continued from Raja Ram Mohun Roy-A Social Reformer nay Deformer? Part 1
c) Sanskrit:- The East India Company had a policy of encouraging both Sanskrit and Arabic by way of pleasing both Hindus and Muslims and, that was the beginning of bifurcation of learning, that came as a danger to the growth of the common intellectual culture. Lord Cornwallis established the Sanskrit College at Benaras in 1791 in response to the Calcutta Medrasah founded by Warren Hestings in 1781. The foundation stone of Sanskrit College, Calcutta was laid on 25th February 1824 on the grounds opposite to the Hindoo College (now Presidency University), bastion of European education that used English as its medium of instruction and where the maverick teacher Henry Derozio was
leading a band of young students, in thought and deed, towards radical thinking
which made their parents fear, not without good reason, that their wards would
eventually “reject the Hinduism of their forefathers convert to Christianity or join
the Brahmo Samaj” (Seely 2004).”Amongst his 300 students in the then Hindu College i.e. present Presidency college, 150 were converted to Christianity.
Raja Ram Mohun petitioned to Lord William Bentinck, not to open the Sanskrit college. But his appeal was rejected. What type of nationalist was Raja? Lechery, and love for Sanskrit hardly go together. Is not Sanskrit animus begotten of Sin? It is important
to remember that it was the British lover of Sanskrit Horace Hayman Wilson who
saved the college. He was a visitor of Sanskrit College until he left Calcutta for
England -when Macaulay proposed the abolition of Sanskrit College. Premchand
Tarkobagis wrote a letter to Wilson in Sanskrit in which he called the institution a
Kurengha Krishangu (a Sickly deer) to be speared by Macaulay Vyadharaj (Macaulay the king of huntsman). Wilson answered in Sanskrit saying Durva na mriyate (Grass does not perish). Prof. H.H. Wilson said “it is impossible to conceive a language so beautifully musical and magnificently grand. We can name only a few amongst the innumerable Sanskrit lovers of Western origin e.g. Schopenhauer, Frederick Schlegel, Sir William Jones, Prof. Max Muller, Prof. Lowes Dickinson, W.C. Taylor, Prof.Sir Monier Wiliams etc. Really, it is a sickening depravity to believe how Ram Mohan stood against Sanskrit study.
If Ram Mohun Roy was a linguist, why couldn’t he use his knowledge to bring about a
perfect synchrony of the eastern and western media of education rather than wanting to purge Sanskrit and other indic languages from the curriculum? What kind of linguist wants to import and impose a foreign language that would eventually erode the spiritual-cultural ethos of the country?
Ironically, Ram Mohun Roy was not even accepted fully by the European Christian
missionaries for which he strived so hard all his life. He was, on the contrary, called by
the same derogatory names that the Christian missionaries reserve for all Hindus. He was ‘rediscovered’ in the late 19th century by the pro-British Indian elite and Western leftliberals via the Hindu-hating Brahmo samajists in the late 19th to 20th century, and started projecting him as the “Father/Maker of Modern India”.
d) Industries :- Raja Ram Mohun boldly asserted, “I have’ found the cultivation of Indigo
and residence of Europeans have considerably benefited the country… There may be some partial injury done by the indigo planters, but on the whole they performed more good to the generality of the natives of this country than any other class of Europeans”. . (Review of Soumendra Nath Tagore’s book-”Bharatiya Shilpa biplab o Rammohun” by Hindustan Standard Dated 10th May, 1964 in the column “new Book”.He was an ardent admirer of Indigo industry of India and enthusiastically helped in founding it. But within two decades, the terrible Nil-Chaash Culture (Indigo Plantation), was converted into culture of torture, murder and rape by the brutish British beasts to introduce the far inferior Western Civilization. This is later on faintly recorded in print, in Nil Darpan as
the most acute and cruel tyranny which Bengal had to face and endure. India’s the
most lucrative trade of weaving which had earned international fame since centuries
was also destroyed by the atrociously greedy British causing ruination of thousands the weavers of Bengal. But in spite of such beastly horrors perpetrated by those biped beasts, to Rammohun, the king of perversion, those white Britishers were the very saviour of India and their rule most benevolent and benign. Is not this an instance of nationalism and patriotism par excellence?
e) Social reformer: A Society is formed consisting collection of families tied together and
for their overall welfare. Raja is claimed as a social reformer in his time, when his own family was in most miserable condition.
i) As everybody knows and understands, charity begins at home and, Social work should
not deny or deprive ones’ own family. At that point of time his father was rotting in the
jail due to debtor’s prison and his mother, at the fag end of her life spent begging in
front of Jagannath Temple of Puri. He had three wives the first one died prematurely
and the 3rd wife Smt. Uma Devi outlived him. The Raja had a son by a Muslim
concubine who was named RajaRam (vide Ramesh Chandra Majumdar, Calcutta Review
Jan- March, 1971). When he went to England, Seikh Bakshi the Muslim concubine’s son
(Rajaram) accompanied him. As a social reformer he started propaganda of English
Culture and English education alongside maligning Hindu philosophy, science and
tradition from the core of his heart. Even today in the 22nd century, the glorious remarks from foreign stalwarts regarding the stupendous sweep and unparalleled wisdom of ancient India, are countless. But in his purblind contempt and deep seated infatuation for Western culture, he failed to realize Truth and discriminate between what is good or evil for the Indian society.
ii) So, reform= monotheism?? “If not in practice, in theory the ‘Brahmo’ religion – that grew out of Roy’s monotheistic, Unitarian Church-inspired theology – has been as intolerant and as violent toward the idol-worshipping Hindu as any Christian or
Muslim zealot would be. One of the victims of this zealotry of the Brahmo-s was none
other than Swami Vivekananda, who was ridiculed, maligned, and obstructed in every
possible way during his mission to the USA in 1893, both in the USA and back at home.
Swami ji writes in one of his letters: “I could do much more work but for the Brahmos
and missionaries who have been opposing me unceasingly.” (Vivekananda, Volume 6,
Epistles – Second Series)”
iii) The iconoclasm that Ram Mohun Roy showed is not very different from the mentality of the Islamist or Church agents who devote their entire life to the ‘holy’ cause ‘cleanse’ the world of ‘heathenism’.
Also a fact which is not much spoken about is that, his disrespectful speech and actions
towards Hinduism that was so dear to his parents, finally broke their patience and he was driven out of his house in teens due to his relentless offensive attitude towards Hinduism.
Ram Mohun Roy started roaming around the country and even went to Tibet, and was
promptly shown the door after criticizing idol worship by the lamas! He could finally return to his native place only after the demise of his father. There is no doubt that the religious reform of the Hindus, which may be regarded as the chief mission of Rammohun, was an utter failure. His views did not touch even a fringe of Hindu
society, and even after two centuries, not even 0.00001 percent of the Hindus have given up idolatory. This is no mere accident. (Raja Rammohun Roy- a historical review by R.C.
iv) In 1830, Ram Mohun Roy travelled to the United Kingdom as an ambassador of the
Mughal Empire, to supposedly ensure that Lord William Bentinck’s Bengal Sati Regulation, 1829 banning the practice of Sati was not overturned. But his real motive was to successfully persuade the British government to increase the stipend of the Mughal Emperor by £30,000! Roy also petitioned the King to increase his allowance and perquisites! Also on the list was his lifelong passion, the campaign against Sanskrit education and for the English education.
(To be continued)