Raja Rammohan Roy
Raja Rammohan Roy was born of a distinguished Brahmin family in Bengal. After liberal education he entered the service of the East India Company and rose to high office. (Image courtesy of the Bristol Central Reference Library, Braikenridge Collection).Essentially a humanist and religious reformer, he left the Company to devote his time to the service of his people. Profoundly influenced by European liberalism, Rammohan came to the conclusion that radical reform was necessary in the religion of Hinduism and in the social practices of the Hindus. He founded the Brahmo Samaj at Calcutta in 1828, which was initially known as the "Brahmo Sabha."Ram Mohan's is remembered in Indian history is as the originator of all the more important secular movements in that country. His services to the cause of the abolition of suttee are well-known. He was the first feminist in India and his book, Brief remarks regarding modern encroachments on the ancient rights of females (1822), is a reasoned argument in favour of the equality of women.He argued for the reform of Hindu law, led the protest against restrictions on the press, mobilised the Government against the oppressive land laws, argued the case for the association of Indians in Government and argued in favour of an English system of education in India.Rammohan Roy arrived in England in 1831 as the ambassador of the Mughal Emperor Akbar Shah II. He came to stay at Beech House, Stapleton Grove, Bristol in 1833. However, ten days after arriving in Bristol he fell ill with meningitis, and died on 27 September 1833. He was initially buried in the grounds of Beech House, but ten years later his friend Dwarakanath Tagore had him reinterred at Arno's Vale. A chattri (funerary monument or mandir (shrine) was designed by William Prinsep and built with sponsorship from Dwarakanath Tagore. In 1997 a statue of Raja Rammohan Roy was placed on College Green.
The chattri has recently received a substantial amount of money for its renovation. You can read about this by following this link.