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Before “A Christian” indulged in a tirade about persons being “degraded by Asiatic effeminacy,” he should have recollected that almost all the ancient prophets and patriarchs venerated by Christians, nay even Jesus Christ himself, a Divine Incarnation and the founder of the Christian Faith, were Asiatics. So that if a Christian thinks it degrading to be born or to reside in Asia he directly reflects upon them.… It is unjust in the Christian to quarrel with Hindoos because (he says) they cannot comprehend the sublime mystery of his religion; since he is equally unable to comprehend the sublime mysteries of ours, and since both these mysteries equally transcend the human understanding, one cannot be preferred to the other.

— from The English Works of Raja Rammohun Roy

Rammohun Roy (1772–1833) was an Indian educator and reformer who sought to modernize Hinduism by challenging some of its starker and austere practices, such as “Sati” killing of a man’s widow, and mapped out a course of progress for India under British rule. Considered the father of modern India, Roy worked with other prominent Bengalis to engender social and political reforms that even today benefit India.

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