The first generation of intellectuals and reform, particularly the father of the Indian reform movement Raja Rammohun Roy (1772- 1833), realised their unusual predicament very early in their careers. While they had to defend the societies, religions and traditions of India against the evangelical and utilitarian attacks, they also had to eradicate the evil and inhuman practices that prevailed in the society. The evangelists had been criticising Hindu and Muslims practices and institutions as inhuman, and had presented Christianity as the means of deliverance. The educated class was the first to face this onslaught on their religion and society. A large section of the educated was converted to Christianity. Those like Raja Rammohun Roy who did not think conversation was the answer, worked towards reforming their own society. Their vision of a new society was informed by the ideas of freedom, equality and fraternity; and a religious universalism, which advocated a common core among the world's religions.