Totally agree. The Bengal of 18th and 19th century was horrible for women. There was Sati and even worse there was disgusting practices of child marriage and polygamy - primarily in so called Kulina Brahmins. Sona Gachhi was no accident.
Reformers like Ram Mohun and Ishwar Chandra made wonderful contributions that cannot be denied even if we disagree with them in bits and pieces. As for Ram Mohun Roy's praise for British, that was a norm till almost 1930s. Why isolate Ram Mohun Roy alone?
The social reform was impossible without British support and hence most intellectuals of 19th and early 20th century have praised British, refused to rebel against British rule and at most demand only Home Rule. Be it Vivekanand, Tilak, Lala Lajpat Rai. Do we call all stooges?
Many in RW selectively pick bits & pieces from history without continuity & context. We delude that we were perfect & whole world conspired against us. Just like Islamists of today. Reality was that by 19th CE, we made mockery of real Hinduism and hence got thrashed by everyone.
I must make this statement that a 19th CE fake casteist Hinduism that denies Janeu to Dalits, endorses marriage of girls in bulk under 11y, prohibits widow marriage and hence nurtures Sona Gachhi is no better than predator faith of Britain. I would hate such fake Hinduism more.
The reformers of 19th century were forced to take British support to realign Hinduism with its original Vedic principles. Everyone from Bankim to Tilak to 'Tagore' to 'you name it' praised British. Why target Ram Mohun. Announce all were British stooge.
Lets apply same stds in 2019. Our top leaders defend Gandhi and praise Islam as religion of Peace. This is when all content on these are in public domain. If Ram Mohun was British stooge for praising British who overthrew Nawab then announce current leadership is Islamist stooge.
An accusation on Ram Mohun Roy is that he converted. There is no confirmatory proof except some anecdotal evidences that he tried to mix Bible wisdom with Upanishadic wisdom. I disagree with this. Because I dont need English inspiration when I have my Vedas. But ....
..but that was a trait demonstrated by just every other intellectual barring Swami Dayanand and his followers. Read Tilak who refuses to question the Sahebs. Or there were casteists as per whom gender/caste gives them sp divine powers except beating invaders. Lets condemn all.
Well, that is why I admire Swami Dayanand Sarawasti the most. He is my role model for being unapologetic. For rest, instead of selectively accusing them as stooge etc, I value their contributions even if I disagree with them on many things, and work on taking narrative ahead.
I may not agree with someone. I have disagreements with Ram Mohun Roy. But I will still not call him stooge. In same way as I totally reject Tilak's west-inspired Aryan Orion Theory and timelines that did nurture Aryan Invasion Theory. But I wont call him British agent for this.
Further, one must study Bengal society of 18th 19th century in detail to know social context than pass judgments based on our predispositions of today. If I had not studied Vedas myself, I would have also rejected a casteist polygamy child marriage inflicted Hindu society then
Here is what Swami Vivekanand says on Sati in USA. Does it make him British stooge? Refer Complete Works of Vivekananda Vol 2.
Here Swami Vivekanand praises overall positive traits of British empire and welcomes British rule as rule of Vaishyas.
From Complete Works Volume 4. Going further, he defends British rule in India so far they retain the positive characters that made them rulers in first place.
Swami Vivekananda praises the way British conquered India. From Volume 4 of his Complete Works. Was he also a British stooge? Why our PM calls him our greatest role model then?
Swami Vivekanand is a hero for us because what he said was relevant in context. Plus we look at overall theme of his life and acknowledge even his Complete Works may have errors. That is way of Data Scientist. Instead selective picking out of context may model just noise.
Swami Vivekanand has praised Raja Ram Mohan Roy in most liberal terms. This is despite Swami Vivekanand having studied Ram Mohan in utmost detail, as well as Upanishads, Vedanta, Bible, Hinduism.
One more example of Swami Vivekanand praising Raja Ram Mohan Roy, comparing him and Vidyasagar with his own guru Ramkrishna Paramhansa
Swami Vivekanand liberally praises Raja Ram Mohan Roy as well as admits Sati was a nuisance. This is coming from a man of that era who is considered among wisest Hindu figures of modern times.
I agree with Swami Vivekanand on Raja Ram Mohan Roy. He was in his journey of self discovery in era where google and copy paste was not there, incumbent Hinduism was mockery of Vedic roots and there was utter confusion. We may not agree with Newton today, but cant call him fake.
Here Swami Vivekanand condemns the practice of forced Sati and mocks restriction on widow remarriage and practice of child marriage. Yes, the 19th century Bengal (in fact most of India) was a joke of real Hinduism. That explains our miseries.
Our study of history, to be unbiased, must be thorough & not just selective tweet reads. Same with study of Dharma. Outsourced model where we create fake narratives to counter some other fake narratives based on selective pick and choose may act as sedative but will not help us.
The genuine model is that of Gita - where we are our own enemy and friend. As a Data Scientist, my views will be based always on bigger picture, more data points, and not modeling of select noise data, with ownership of what I say and what I intend to do boldly.
To me Raja Ram Mohan Roy was a well intended person. Perhaps like @GautamGambhir or @hansrajhansHRH who are patriots and eulogize Sufis, still Hindus campaigy for them and never question the leader who gave them ticket. Journey to truth was tougher for Ram Mohan then.
Like Swami Dayanand, I criticize Brahmo Samaj for their western inspirations and inferiority complex. I also criticize casteist, anti woman fake Hinduism that thrives even today. Imagine it's influence then that would drive Raja Rammohuns for this. But can't disrespect his intent
We must admit everything else is a symptom. Real problem is that fake Hinduism that still has Shankaracharyas who believe in casteism and have regressive views on women. If they are so brazen today, no wonder things were horrible 200 y ago. Real historians would condemn that.
I dissociate from way Ram Mohan Roy has been misrepresented by both LW and RW. As someone who brings thousands to path of Hinduism, I find current attacks on him utterly naive. They say in theory there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice there is.
I wish RW could show courage to actually call out and expose those stooges who endorse casteism, treat women inferior, all in name of Sanatan Dharma Parampara and actually work on ground to counter conversion. Instead I find shoddy theories of whole world conspiring against them.
Now some new accusations came that Ram Mohan Roy sidelined Sanskrit and promoted English. This is frivolous. Before Sanskrit was simplified by likes of Swami Dayanand, the Kaumudi approach to Sanskrit was very complex. Not mainstream.
Bengali was still formative language.
English was way to open minds of people to world. Even today even children of RW study ABC but hardly know Ka Kha Ga. Are they all British stooge? Even PM calls himself fakir and not sanyasi. Is he Arabian stooge. This conspiracy ridicule approach devoid of self criticism is bane
If a person leaves a fake Hinduism where 40 year old marry to one Kulina Bengali and all become widows after his death, I have no reason to hate some because he became Christian. Because both have nothing to do with Hinduism. That was state of so called Hinduism in Bengal then.
Why would Sati be such rare exception if child marriage, polygamy, prostitution of widows, trading of girls was common with stamp of religion in 19th century? And if it was rare, why raise ruckus that someone banned it. Instead be proud that Hinduism has process of social reform.
Read Bahubibah by Ishwarchandra Vidyasagar where he details about marriage customs among many Bengalis. No wonder, Sona Gachhi became biggest red light area of world. Disowning women was a social practice in Bengal. We should be proud of reformers who fought against it than abuse
Sati may have been rare. Obviously it cannot be rampant like Eid Halal. But you don't read much from so called Hindu champs of that era except few reformers condemning or denying it. And read credible sources like Vivekanand who praise Ram Mohan Roy. Hence respect, don't ridicule
I hate this hypocrisy. No conspiracy theorist works on ground to counter conversions. Don't counter modern icons who saw same love for Islam and Christianity. Wud say they do for political compulsions. But would call stooge a Raja Ram Mohan from era they don't even know about.
And what are statistics. How many became Christians after Ram Mohan Roy's Brahmo Samaj in Bengal? Why instead we see least conversions in Bengal despite being hub of British activities? How is that Bengal was least affected by so called Missionary conversions?
In fact what happened was that Brahmo Samaj et al played a subtle game to channelise British resources in reviving and reforming Hinduism. Used British machinery to promote Sanskrit, publish Hindu books, and strengthen Hindus against Islamists. Data speaks for itself.
One may differ with their approach. But this is fact that despite being center or British rule, oldest churches etc, even till date Bengal has hardly few lakh Christians. Brahmo Samaj did bring a questioning attitude where Christianity never stood a chance.
The Brahmo Samaj attitude of inferiority complex for Swadeshi did two things. One, the movement itself died. Two, it planted seeds that later communism harvested with its rebel image. That did harm. But Christianity, despite state powers and support, never could dominate.
This thread will continue. I have clear views, based on research, and forms core of why I do what I do including saving girls, fighting Jihadists, Ghar Wapsi. I must speak out.
Visit Varanasi, visit Nadia, visit many temple center of India. You still find disowned widows begging who have sons with posh lives. Imagine situation 200 y ago.
Let me draw a picture of Bengal in 1800. There was zero access to any Hindu literature. All knew Vedas are source but no one could read it. Spurious manuscripts were available and voice of casteist agents of Hinduism was what Dharma became.
Study of Sanskrit was super-difficult thanks to a super-complex Kaumudi approach. Only respite for Dharma was Bhakti Marga - who would focus on emotional intelligence. But what was there for a rational? Who wants to know how world works, what science is?
In abject poverty of Bengal, the problem of Hindus was rule of Nawabs. And those posh Hindus who chose to be servants of Nawab. British fight with Nawab was a blessing that liberated Hindus from sharia rule of rape, murder, loot.
Whole world was being transformed by science and technology. How do Hindus get freedom from Arabic Persian and open to world? So called Sanskrit agents were then propagating a fake Hinduism of casteism, superstitions, gender discrimination. Bhakti was respite. But what about Gyan
It is easy to accuse a Ram Mohan today because u can search anything on google. But what was option for you if you were in place of Ram Mohan then and happened to have sharp intellect. Sanskrit itself was made inapproachable and so were Hindu scriptures.
Ram Mohan (and many reformers) used British as a tool to transform India. They encouraged English knowledge so that Hindus can have access to global wisdom. And results are obvious from number of Hindus who could show their talents globally. Heard of CV Raman and Ramanjunam?
For a scientific mind, English was only option then (even today sadly). And working with British to spread English helped India's resurgence. These reformers also pushed British to open Sanskrit schools and document Hindu scriptures.
Of course British had their agenda. But even a Modi awards Padma Vibhushan to Sharad Pawar and many who are criticizing Ram Mohan now say - He is doing best. He is best option. He is patriot. Why accuse Ram Mohan then?
Ram Mohan infact played a smart game. He used British funds to get Hindu roots strengthened, pushed British to stop malpractices that defame Hinduism, and also questioned roots of Christianity in smart way.
Even today the PM of India does not say Bible and Quran are unscientific. Ram Mohan could not condemn Bible. But he did create confusion on Trinity vs Monotheism in Bible. British itself had business interest and did not allow missionaries to do much beyond limits.
WIthin next 40 50 years, British were running Sanskrit colleges, Hindu scriptures were documented and for first time in centuries was common man able to have Vedas - the source for himself. Ram Mohan paved way for future reforms and protection of Hinduism.
He may have not played strictly to our rulebook because he had his own journey of self discovery. One may question him for that. But neither his intent was wrong, nor he made any grave sin to be called British stooge. Thanks to his initiative, women condition improved.
Ishwarchandra Vidyasagar writes tough Bengali by today's standards but everyone must read to get glimpse of Bengal then. He writes with facts and statistics. And even in his times situations were horrifying.
Kulina Brahmins would sale purchase daughters. There were people with even 40 wives. All would become widow when he dies. Remarriage is not possible. Expenses to be borne by Mamabari. Eventually getting disowned. Marriage happens by age of 11. And many defending all as religion!
You wont find a single literature of any thekedar of Dharma then who called it all trash. That was the work reformers did, and they had to take British support. Else only Sona Ganchhis were being created and Islamists were having laugh.
Taking support of British meant very clearly that one would make sure they dont consider you hostile. That is why from Ram Mohan to Bankim to Tagore to Tilak to every single reformer - religious, social, political - praised British. This was true till almost 1930s
Agenda of reformers was clear - to strengthen Hindu society socially so that we are able to revive our Samrajya. Read Anand Math, read Vivekanand, read Tilak. And yes, Ram Mohan gets credit to start it all in era of utter darkness.
Some say he became Christian. May be. But why don't they say that Hinduism of that era was fake Hinduism? Plus even access to scriptures was denied. How is it different from being Muslim who must remain faithful without thinking?
Hinduism then was no different from blind faith of Islam minus brutality plus Bhakti. Bible was easily available and associated with winners and not losers. Yes, I agree, I would still have defined my own Hinduism. He probably carved Brahmo Samaj. I may differ, but not accuse.
Some say British exaggerated Sati data. Yes they would have. Why not, they were here for business, not sewa. But why we should accept even one blame of women atrocity on Hinduism? Rather than accuse British, why not shame those who justify gender discrimination in name of Sanatan
I would have taken RW apologetics seriously if they would have also announced that anyone in past or present who says women cant recite Vedas or Shudras are by birth and cannot have Janeu, and child marriage is fine must be disowned. On contrary. they fall on feet of casteists.
And why selective targeting. Am man of science. Announce a rule that anyone who praised Christians or converted or supported a convert must be disowned. And then list out all names. Why arithmetic? Why not Algebra?
Because then it will be politically inconvenient today.
My gripe with leftist historians is that they pick and choose and dont see bigger picture to suit their own narrative. That also applies to those theoreticians of RW who also pick and choose to accuse all who don't fit their notion of Sanatan Dharma.
I am a realist. I work with my face and do Ghar Wapsi on ground. Probably rescued more daughters, cows and brought back more to Vedas than most today. My Dharma is inspired by reformers from Ram Mohan to Vidyasagar to Dayanand to Vivekanand...to Ambedkar and Savarkar.
It were these heroes that made Hinduism appealing today, and saved us in most critical times. I may differ with them because I am scientist and not blind follower. But still, in lines with Vedas, I cannot lessen my gratitude for whatever they did in darkest era. Wud defend them.
Yes 19th century mainstream Hinduism was fake but salvaged by reformers. Even today, the Hinduism that believes in birth-based caste, gender diff on Vedas, preaches miracle without reason & evidence is fake Hinduism. May be correct in bits but misdirected. I am different.
In my Hinduism, caste is social issue not religious. Hence religious discrimination on caste is crime. Women have same rights on Janeu/Vedas as men. Polygamy, child marriage is anti Vedic. Widow remarriage is Dharma. And working on ground is best way to master Dharma.
Every reformer guided by these broad principles, even if they do not agree with me on everything, is my Pitara. A Deva for me. And I will defend them because that is what Vedas order me.
YaamMedhaam Devaganaah PitarahChaUpaasate
Tayaa MaamAdya MedhayaAgne Medhavinam Kuru Swaha.
Let me be clear. I am NOT referring to Aadi Shankaracharya. He was a genius who gave concept of Oneness. I specifically refer to modern ones who endorse casteism. One is even close to Congress party.
BTW, They say Raja Ram Mohan Roy's own sister in law died as Sati. When Ranjit Singh died, several of his wives committed Sati. Why we need numbers. Few cases close to heart suffice to trigger a person to fight against it? How many cases it took even PM to say Gaurakshak = Gunda?
You say I respectfully differ with Raja Ram Mohan Roy, I am fine. Even I differ. You say British exaggerated Sati figures. Even I agree. But you call Ram Mohan stooge, I disagree. You don't call anyone else who praised British/ Islam/ Christianity, I disagree further.
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