Indian thinkers: Kautilya and Raja Ram Mohan Roy


Role of the state as per him:

  • Protection
  • Maintaining the Law
  • Preserving Social Order
  • Promoting the welfare of people
Ground of comparisonKautilyaPlato
Social orderFavoured caste systemFavoured slavery
StateWelfare states and monarchies believed that democracy would result in anarchy.Welfare states and monarchies believed that democracy would result in anarchy
King should beVirtuousVirtuous
He favouredBrahminsAristocrats
He wasMore politics fewer wars philosopherPure philosopher
Core to state isMilitaryCommon good
Basis of thoughtsMyths and beliefsEmpiricism
Flexibility and treachery in warSupporterSupporter
ApproachUtilitarian, RealistUtilitarian, Realist
Differentiate morality of individual and stateyesyes
Social orderCaste-basedClass based

Raja Ram Mohan Roy

Raja Ram Mohan Roy is known as the “Maker of Modern India”, social and educational reformer Raja Ram Mohan Roy was a visionary who lived during one of India’s darkest social phases but strived his best to make his motherland a better place for the future generations to come. Born into a Bengali family in British India, he joined hands with other prominent Bengalis like Dwarkanath Tagore to form the socio-religious organization Brahmo Samaj, the renaissance movement of the Hindu religion which set the pace for Bengali enlightenment.


  1. Social reforms
    • During the late 18th century, the society in Bengal was burdened with a host of evil customs and regulations. Practices like child marriage, polygamy and Sati were prevalent that affected women in the society. The most brutal among these customs was the Sati Pratha.
    • Raja Ram Mohan Roy abhorred this cruel practice, and he raised his voice against it. Lord Bentinck sympathised with Roy’s sentiments and intentions and amid much outcry from the orthodox religious community, the Bengal Sati Regulation or Regulation XVII, A. D. 1829 of the Bengal Code was passed. The act prohibited the practice of Sati in Bengal Province, and any individual caught practising it would face prosecution. 
  2. Educational Reforms
    • He advocated the introduction of a Modern Education System in the country teaching scientific subjects like Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry and even Botany.
    • He paved the way to revolutionizing the education system in India by establishing Hindu College in 1817 along with David Hare which later went on to become one of the best educational institutions in the country producing some of the best minds in India.
    • His efforts to combine true to the roots theological doctrines along with modern rational lessons saw him establish the Anglo-Vedic School in 1822 followed by the Vedanta College in 1826.
  3. Religious contributions
    • Ram Mohan Roy vehemently opposed the unnecessary ceremonialism and idolatry advocated by priests. He had studied religious scriptures of different religions and advocated the fact that Hindu Scriptures like the Upanishads upheld the concept of monotheism. 
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