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Scholars remember relevance of Raja Ram Mohan Roy's reforms on women empowerment

Ananya Institute for Development Research and Social Action, Lucknow in collaboration with New Alipore College, Kolkata organized a Regional Workshop on ‘Women Empowerment and Transformation in India in Context of Raja Ram Mohan Roy’s Reforms from May 4 to 6, 2023 to commemorate the 250th birth anniversary of Raja Ram Mohan Roy (1772 to 1833), the Father of Indian Renaissance. The workshop has been sponsored by the Ministry of Culture, Government of India. Global Forum for Sustainable Rural Development (GFSRD) was the knowledge partner for the workshop.


In the inaugural session, Dr. Jaydeep Sarangi, Principal, New Alipore College welcomed the audience with his inspiring talk on the importance of Raja Ram Mohan Roy in contemporary India. Debasish Kumar, the MLA, inaugurated the workshop.


He talked about the significance of Raja Ram Mohan Roy in interpreting religion through scientific intervention for the first time in colonial India. Dr. A.K. Singh, Director, Ananya Institute for Development Research and Social Action, Lucknow talked about the importance of this workshop in present times. He talked about the role of Raja Ram Mohan Roy as the first feminist leader who could think about women’s rights and women empowerment in colonial India.


Prof. Ajay Pratap Singh, Director General, Raja Ram Mohan Roy Library Foundation delivered his thought-provoking talk on the role of Raja Ram Mohan Roy in Indian Renaissance. Dr. Purna Chandra Maity, president, All Bengal Principals’ Council, West Bengal  recognized Raja Ram Mohan Roy as the ‘Avatar of God’ and expressed his belief that the Indian Renaissance pioneered by Ram Mohan Roy will enlighten the future of India.


Kalyani Thakur Charal, social activist and noted writer talked about the condition of subaltern women in colonial India and explored Raja Ram Mohan Roy’s role in illuminating the Indian women through the motto, ‘agitate, educate and organize’ to secure emancipation and empowerment.


Prof. A.K. Panda, Vice Chancellor, Sadhu Ramchand University, Jhargram talked about the importance of Raja Ram Mohan Roy and social reform movements in the nineteenth-century India.


Prof. Sumita Chakraborti, Former Dean of Arts, Commerce and Management Faculties, University of Burdwan delivered her insightful talk on the role of Raja Ram Mohan Roy in the evolution Bengali language and literature in the early nineteenth century.


This was followed by a speech by Prof. A.P. Singh, Dept. of Social Work, Dr. Bhim Rao Ambedkar College, University of Delhi, who explained the relevance of Raja Ram Mohan Roy in woman empowerment and transformation in India.


In the technical session was held by Dr. Jayanta Choudhury, HOD, Department of Rural studies, Tripura University. Dr. Choudhury spoke on localizing SDG (Sustainable Development Goals) and gender equality in North East region of India. He gave a very clear distinction between what is gender equality and equity and how there must be some gender inequality to promote equity. His concluding statement was “what we are thinking today, Rammohan Roy thought many years ago.”


Dr. Samar Biswas from Department of Anthropology, University of Darjeeling referred to Roy as the first pioneer to eradicate the evil practices of the society.


Dr Mahua Mukherjee, Professor of Dance, Rabindra Bharati University. She spoke in detail on Raja ram Mohan Roy’s his early life, his fight against his own parents to remove the social evils, and one his various writings.


Prof. Jayita Dutta, convener of the workshop, Head, Assistant Professor of Philosophy, New Alipore College, Kolkata. She focused on the problems faced by women even today and examined various dimensions of women empowerment. After the felicitation of all the members present,


This was followed by paper presentations by different scholars, professors and students on various topics of the life and works of Raja Ram Mohan Roy. The papers gave a detailed view into the life of Roy and the struggle he faced to remodel India in his times.

The valedictory session was graced by the Chief guest Dr. Shiladitya Chatterjee, Former Principal Secretary, Government of Assam and India Representative Asian Development Bank while Jakson Dukpa, Head, GVC, Bhutan was Guest of Honour. The final vote of thanks was delivered by Dr. Aniruddha Kar, Assistant Professor of Sanskrit, New Alipore College, Kolkata

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