Raja Rammohan Roy

Posted: April 29, 2015 in Bengali films, Vasant Choudhury

Recently I was watching the film ‘Raja Rammohan’ directed by Bijoya Bose. Made in the sixties, the film had the actor Vasant Choudhury essaying the titular character with such elan. The supporting cast of Kamal Mitra and Chaya Devi as parents of the Raja does well too. While the life of the remarkable man who lived 150-175 years ago was unfolding on the screen, the man credited with bringing about the most significant reform in Hindu society and coinage of the term Hinduism, I felt that in these charged atmosphere of religious animosity, Raja Rammohan has greater relevance than any icon on both sides of the secular divide. And we have reduced him to just a footnote in the pages of our history books…surely History teaches us that we do not learn anything from History.

Some of the dialogues in the film were truly memorable. When his liberal views came to the fore through his writings many considered him anti-Hindu. A clergyman tried enticing him to convert to Christianity. The Raja replied “Amar barite agun legeche bole ami onner barite asroy nebo eta bhablen ki kore?” (What makes you think I will seek refuge in the house of a stranger just because my house is on fire?). Such profound words…

Rating: 3.8 out of 5

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