Demand for press freedom

In 1823 Rammohan demanded freedom of press from the High Court. These days, only the responsible people of the British rule had the freedom of press. Rammohan had the desire of strengthening the constitutional government by fulfilling this demand.
His main aim was to get the newspapers delivered to the hands of the backward classes, so that they would get the fullest knowledge about the world. Religious preachers and conventional people were again the mindset of Rammohan. Pundits every now and then attacked Rammohan, but every time he escaped from their attacks. They always invented various tactics to suppress his strong voice.
When he was left alone
All the Hindu sections of the society opposed the social reform movements of Rammohan. At this time, nobody supported him. He was left all alone. Very few true friends of his and members of the sabha were in his support. For the people who left him, Rammohan said—
‘‘I am very much sad over the reaction of my beloveds leaving me all alone only because of the criticism of very few people. Today, the number of people who want to hide the truths of life is much more. Only few people today have the courage to enlighten the truths of life. I can’t understand why the people of the society want to live the darker side of life? I don’t have any answer to this. There are also those who want to enlighten themselves as well as others with the light of knowledge but they are unable to do so due to the criticism of others. The ones who want to rule freely, can’t do so because of the criticism of the people. They are superstitious people. The want to spread darkness all around the society, because they want to benefit for themselves in the name of religion. They are not willing to get the society enlightened, otherwise the true picture of them would come in front of the society.’’
‘‘If somebody wants to change himself, then the superstitious people feel jealous against him. They only think that he is going to do something wrong. By seeing the abilities of the knowledgeable person they consider it as a threat for themselves. If someone tries to conceal his weaknesses they name it as connected to religion. But, if that person desires, he may bring the truth before the world. For this he must have keen desire and inner strength.’’

Rammohan believed that the one who has an earnest desire to work for the welfare of the people, nobody can stop him from doing so. He was unmoved by any kind of criticisms. What he decided was decided finally. Nobody could change his decision. His every effort was for the welfare of the people. He worked for social welfare by considering the development of the country.
He said—‘‘Good crops are needed for happy living. For goods crops, good area is required, good irrigation facilities are required. Every citizen of the society should leave the feelings of superstition. He can come hand in hand with me and work for the social welfare. We have lost much time by living the darker side of life. Today, everyone wants to fulfil his desires. For this, he needs to be literate first. Without education, he would not be able to distinguish between the good and the bad.
If someone works with the knowledge of good and bad then he would be certainly successful in his mission. Something done in the name of customs and rituals is always harmful. I want those people to beware who blindly follow the old customs and rituals even today. They should leave this way otherwise this would make their life dark. They should identify themselves, their likes and dislikes. Today no nation would develop by following the old rituals and customs.’’
The social customs which Rammohan criticised, were proving beneficial in one way or the other to the staunch believers of religion. His opponents were increasing in such numbers that he felt lonely in the society. The developed western countries accepted his views very easily but the Indian Hindu society was not ready to accept his views at any cost.

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