Continuing along city tradition, the Lord Mayor of Bristol on Sunday led the annual service at the sylvan Arnos Vale Cemetery to pay tributes to Indian social reformer Rammohan Roy, who died here on 27 September 1833 of meningitis.
The service at the tomb built to an Indian temple style, was attended by many people from across Britain, including representatives of the Indian high commission, Brahmo Samaj and the Unitarian church.
Lord mayor Alastair Watson recalled Roy’s many contributions, and said Bristol would always remember and cherish his memory. The annual service at Roy’s tomb has been held for nearly a century.
A new documentary, titled ‘Relics of the Raja’ by academic Suman Ghosh, was shown at the event, which included new research on Roy’s contribution to the anti-slavery movement in early nineteenth century.
It also showed the newly-discovered replica in back of Roy’s original death mask.
Carla Contractor, local historian, who has led several initiatives to preserve, cherish and celebrate Roy’s life and work, recalled his accomplishments. Her latest research is focussed on Roy’s last days in England.
“The Raja was a remarkable man in his day.
He fought for women’s rights and for the reform of legal and fiscal services in India. All Indians can take pride in what the city of Bristol has done in memory of the Raja and be proud too of their own roots in the Indian subcontinent,” Contractor said.