Socio Religious Reform Movements in India

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Socio Religious Reform Movements

Young Bengal Movement

Founder – Henry Louis Vivian Derozio

Year – Late 1820’s

Place – Calcutta

  • Young Bengal Movement was started by Sir Henry Louis Vivian Derozio, teacher of Hindu College.
  • The supporters of Young Bengal Movement were influenced by the ideals of the French Revolution.
  • They preached the ideals of liberty, equity and fraternity.
  • Derozio’s teachings questioned the existing superstitions and age-old beliefs.
  • He taught his followers to live and die for truth.
  • They emphasized on female education and rights of woman.
  • They supported the freedom of press and favoured better treatment of Indian labour abroad.

Brahmo Samaj

Founder – Raja Ram Mohan Roy

Year – 1828

Place – Calcutta

  • Brahmo Samaj is a religious movement founded by Raja Ram Mohan Roy in 1828.
  • The Brahmo Samaj believed in the existence of one God, who is Omni-present and omniscient.
  • It condemned some of the evil practices of Hinduism like caste system, Sati, Child Marriages etc.
  • Brahmo Samaj evoked issues that were common to people all around the Indian sub-continent.
  • The Brahmo Samaj has played a significant role in the renaissance of India.
  • the roots of much of the modern thinking in India can be traced back to Brahmo Samaj.

Aligarh Movement

Founder – Syed Ahmad Khan

Year – 1857

Place – Aligarh (Uttar Pradesh)

  • Aligarh Movement was started by Sir Syed Ahmad Khan to educate the Muslims of the Indian subcontinent after the defeat of the rebels in Indian rebellion of 1857.
  • It had enormous success and had a profound impact on the future of the subcontinent. In 1875, Syed Ahmad Khan founded the Mohammedan Anglo – Oriental College at Aligarh as a centre for spreading western sciences and culture.
  • Later this College grew into the Aligarh Muslim University.

Radha Soami Movement

Founder – Shiv Dayal Singh

Year – 1861

Place – Agra

  • Radha Soami Movement was founded in 1861 by Shiv Dayal Singh, of Agra, a banker by profession.
  • Shiv Dayal Saheb was also popularly known as Tulsi Ram or Swamiji Maharaj.
  • The Radha soamis believe in one Supreme Being, the supremacy of the Guru, a “company of the pious people” (Satsang), and simple social life.
  • They believe that there is no need to renounce the worldly life for spiritual attainments.
  • They further hold that all religions are true. The sect recognises no temples, shrines or sacred places.
  • Works of faith and charity, the spirit of service and prayer are laid down as necessary duties.

Prarthana Samaj

Founder – Dr.  Atmaram Pandurang

Year – 1867

Place – Bombay

  • Prarthana Samaj was founded in 1867 in Mumbai by Dr. Atmaram Pandurang as an off shoot of the Brahma Samaj.
  • It was later joined by M.G. Ranade and R.G. Bhandarkar. It aimed at removing the evil social customs.
  • It preached the worship of one God and tried to free religion of caste system and priest domination.

Arya Samaj

Founder – Swami Dayanand Saraswati

Year – 1875

Place – Bombay

  • Arya Samaj is a Hindu reform movement in India that was founded by Swami Dayananda in 1875.
  • Swami Dayanand Saraswati rejected all non-Vedic beliefs.
  • Arya Samaj condemned idolatry, animal sacrifices, and ancestor worship, and pilgrimages, offerings made in temples, the caste system, untouchability and child marriage.
  • The primary aim of the Arya Samaj is to do good for all, that is promote physical, spiritual and social wellbeing.
  • Now Arya Samaj had set up schools and missionary organizations and extended its activities outside India.

Ramakrishna Mission

Founder – Swami Vivekananda

Year – 1897

Place – West Bengal

  • Ramakrishna Mission is a humanitarian organisation founded by Sri Rama Krishnan Parama hamsa’s Chief disciple Swami Vivekananda in 1897.
  • The aims and ideals of the mission are purely spiritual and humanitarian and has no relation with politics.
  • The principles of Karma Yoga in Bhagavad Gita are one of the main source of inspiration for the Ramakrishna Mission.
  • The Mission conducts extensive work in healthcare, disaster relief, rural management, tribal welfare, elementary and higher education and culture.
  • The headquarters of the Ramakrishna Mission is at Belur Math near Kolkata.

Servants of India Society

Founder – Gopal Krishna Gokhale

Year – 1905

Place – Maharashtra

  • The Servants of India Society was formed in Pune, Maharashtra, on June 12, 1905 by Gopal Krishna Gokhale, who left the Deccan Education Society to form this association.
  • Along with him were a small group of educated Indians, as Natesh Appaji Dravid, Gopal Krishna Deodhar and Anant Patwardhan who wanted to promote social and human development and overthrow the British rule in India.
  • The Society organized many campaigns to promote education, sanitation, health care and fight the social evils of untouchability and discrimination, alcoholism, poverty, oppression of women and domestic abuse.
  • The publication of The Hitavada, the organ of the Society in English from Nagpur commenced in 1911

Social Service League

Founder – Narayan Malhar Joshi

Year – 1911

Place – Bombay

  • Narayan Malhar Joshi, a leading member of the Servants of India Society, founded the Social Service League in 1911.
  • The objective of the movement was “to collect and study social facts and discuss social problems with a view to forming public opinion on questions of social service” and to secure for the masses a better quality of life and work.
  • The League opened a number of day and night schools, libraries, dispensaries and started boys’ clubs and scouts corps.

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