Major Social Reformers

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1. Raja Rammohan Roy:

Raja Rammohan Roy is called the ‘forerunner’ of the Indian Renaissance and the father of modern India.  In fact, a new era in Indian history was started with his emergence.  He has a special place in the field of Indian social and religious renaissance.  Raja Rammohun Roy was born in 1774 AD in an aristocratic Brahmin family of Bengal.  He wrote a small booklet at the age of fifteen, in which he severely criticized Mrutipooja.  That is why his family members expelled him from the house.  So they had to wander around.  But during this period, he studied many texts and became very knowledgeable in Arabic, Persian and Sanskrit languages.  He also learned many European languages.

Raja Rammohan Roy, after taking leave of East India Company’s job from 1805 to 1814, stayed in Calcutta and engaged in public service.  He first established the ‘Atmiya Sabha’ in 1814 and later went on to do ‘Brahmasamaj’ in 1828 AD.  In 1831, he went to England to support the favor of the Mughal Emperor of Delhi and he died there on 27 September 1833.  He was conferred with the title of king by the Mughal emperor.  Social reformer: Rammohan Roy was a social reformer.  At that time, various kinds of evils had entered Indian society.  King Rammohan Roy decided to drive them away.  He paid maximum attention to the biggest evil of the society, Satipratha and continuously agitated against it.  Due to his efforts, in 1829, Lord Bantick made this practice illegal by enacting a law.  Apart from this, Rammohan Roy strongly attacked caste discrimination, class discrimination etc. and supported women’s education, widow-marriage etc.  He was an advocate of equal rights of women and their property rights.  Religion Reformers: Raja Rammohan Roy was a social reformer as well as a reformer.  In the field of religion, he opposed polytheism and idolatry and propagated the doctrine of one God for all religions and humanity.  They believed in the fundamental equality and unity of all religions.  His religious views included ideas drawn from Islam, Christianity, the Upanishads and the liberal philosophies of modern Europe.  He said that we should embrace the essence of all religions and discard what is artificial and hypocritical.  He insisted on adopting an intelligent practical approach towards religion.  He advised people not to depend on Brahmins as middlemen and to study the scriptures themselves.  People translated ancient Indian texts related to religion and philosophy into Bangla for them to study the scriptures themselves.  Being fully devoted to the reform of religion and social reform, in 1828, he laid the foundation of an organization in the form of Brahmasamaj which later proved to be very influential.  Educator and supporter of freedom of newspapers: Rammohan Roy’s ideas in education were very revolutionary.  He was in favor of modern education.  He supported the teaching of English for the promotion of science in India.  Rammohan Roy gave his full support to those who wanted to run the English language in India.  He established a Hindu college in Calcutta, the most modern institution of those days.  Raja Rammohan Roy was also an advocate of the independence of newspapers.  Patriot and non-nationalist: in Raja Rammohan Roy, the feeling of patriotism was bitter.  He tried to create political awakening among his countrymen.  He was also an internationalist.  He was a supporter of the independence of every nation.  In 1821, when the movement for the unification of Italy failed, he was very sad.  They stopped their social activities.  He was very happy and celebrated with the success of the French Revolution in 1830.  The condition of the people of Ireland under British rule was lamentable.  Rammohan Roy strongly condemned it.

Supporters of modernization of Indian society: Rammohan Roy’s aim was to spread modern knowledge in India and modernize Indian society.  He tried everything possible for this.  He did not support his ideas with the help of ancient texts.  For this, he used intelligent, rational and humanistic theory.  He had no hesitation in breaking ties with the ancient tradition to support his ideas.  He fully embraced the humanist ideals of the ‘era of intellectualism’.  His statement in support of his principles and ideas is very important: “If humanity has come into existence and nature has made it such that it can use the pleasures of society and the enjoyment of a cultured mind, then any of its  It is appropriate to oppose religious, domestic or political practice, which is against the prevalence of society or whose purpose is to corrupt human intelligence.  Works of Brahmasamaj: The works started by Raja Rammohan Roy continued by the organization Brahmasamaj founded by him.  The first attempt by Indians to improve Hindu society in the 19th century was the result of the establishment of the Brahmas Samaj.  It did commendable work to end caste discrimination, apartheid etc. and improve the condition of widows.  It played an important role in improving the social life of Bengal.  The Brahmas Samaj was promoted all over India under the leadership of Keshav Chandra Sen and  institutions were established in different parts of the country.

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Brahmasamaj had the following principles.

i.God is one, He is omnipotent, immortal, Ajar and immortal.  (ii) There is no discrimination of race, varna or caste in the eyes of God.  Therefore, everyone should worship God.  (iii) Karma is predominant.  According to karma, man gets fruit.  (iv) Child marriage, polygamy etc. is unfair and widowhood is justified.  Father of modern India: Rammohan Roy was the first person who took the initiative towards social reform by adopting the rational and scientific outlook and the principles of dignity and social equality of man.

Indian society will always be indebted to him for the work he has done for social reform and modernization of Indian society.  Therefore, he is called the ‘father of modern India’.


  1. Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar: Another great social reformer took place in Bengal: Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar.  Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar was born in a place called Karmatand in Bihar.  He had studied Sanskrit deeply.  He was a great scholar.  It was because of his scholarship that he was given the title of Vidyasagar.  He devoted his life to improving the condition of women.  At the same time, his contribution in the field of education was also important.  He made the following improvements 1.  Did the work.  (i) Improving the condition of women: Ishwarchandra Vidyasagar played a leadership role in the spread of girls’ education.  He was a supporter of women’s education.  Due to his efforts, many girls’ schools were established in Calcutta and elsewhere.

At that time, the condition of widows in Hindu society was very disconcerting.  He prepared a Lokmat for widow remarriage.  With his efforts, the widow remarriage law was passed in 1856 AD.  He married his only son to a widow.  He also opposed child marriage.  (ii) Improvement in the field of education: Ishvachandra Vidyasagar prepared primer books for the advancement of Bangla language and its education.  He built a bungalow square which is still used today.  To teach the bungalow, he established hundreds of schools and also arranged night schools.  He tried to promote Sanskrit language.  He also started studying Western thinking in Sanskrit College.

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  1. Swami Dayanand Saraswati: Swami Dayanand Saraswati (1824-1883) is the founder of Arya Samaj and the great leader of the Indian social-reform movement.  At the age of 24, he retired and after that he roamed various cities of the country and benefited the public from his teachings.  From 1871 to 1873, you continued to manage the schools, walking along the banks of the Ganges and preaching religion.  In 1874, in Mathura and Vrindavan, idolatry was denied in harsh terms. Finally in 1875, the Arya Samaj was established in Bombay.  Swamiji raised his voice in protest against the topics like caste, caste, child marriage, prohibition of remarriage of religious practices, prohibition of home entry policy for the converted people.  A program of national education was also made.  He propagated the basic principles and ideals of Arya Samaj through educational institutions.  In order to make moral and moral progress in these educational institutions, special teachings were arranged for the devils.


  1. Maharishi Devendranath Thakur: After Raja Rammohan Roy, Shri Devendranath Thakur (1817-1905) took over the charge of running the Brahmo Samaj in 1845 and gave a new inspiration and perseverance to this society.  When Shri Devendranath became the director of Brahmo Samaj, he openly preached Vedas and Vedanta.  In 1847, Mr. Devendranath himself went to Benaras with four Brahmin students and got full information in there and got a book called ‘Brahma Dharma’, after which he tried to improve the Hindu society by promoting the fundamental misconceptions and superstitions of the people.  Attracted attention You opposed polygamy – marriage and supported and promoted widow – marriage and women education.


  1. Shri Keshav Chandra Sen: Shri Keshav Chandra Sen (1838-1888) took a very active part in the work of the Brahmo Samaj and established a ‘Sangat Sabha’ in association with his young men.  He sent an appeal to the English government to promote general education in India.  In 1861 he published a magazine called Indian Mirror.  Through this magazine, you have taken forward the political and social reformer movement.  From 1863, he published a magazine called ‘Vamabodhini’ to improve the conditions of women, by which the message of false caste differences was conveyed to the villages of Bengal.  In January 1868, Mr. Sen founded the Brahmasamaj, the Bharatvarsha.

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  1. Swami Vivekananda: Another great leader of the Indian social reforms movement was Swami Vivekanandaji (1863–1902), a worthy disciple of Swami Ramakrishna.  Your wish in 1861

The social movement grew immensely especially after the religious meeting held in Chicago in 1893.  The people of America became convinced that Swami Vivekanandaji was the best person in the world religious gathering after listening to the teachings of his Vedas there.  When a man overcomes his senses, then he becomes complete and attains God.  Swami Vivekananda put the ideal of one world religion in front of the people of India and the world and emphasized that the entire narrowness of religion should alienate itself as quickly as possible.  Among the foreign disciples, Swami considered caste discrimination and untouchability to be very bad and wanted unity and friendship to be established in different religions and castes.  In 1897, Swami established the Ramakrishna Mission.  Through this mission, he removed religion parochialism, assisted the flood victims, spread education, established hospitals, animal husbandry houses, orphanages, industrial schools, general schools and colleges, etc. and revived the service sentiment among the countrymen and caste  Attempted to eradicate the discrimination of.


  1. Mahatma Gandhi: Mahatma Gandhi has a very important place in the history of modern India.  He contributed the most to make India independent.  He was a political, organizer and reformer.  He was an idealist politician.  He fought the powerful English empire by non-violence and satyagraha and forced the British to leave India.
  2. Birth and education: The name of Mahatma Gandhi’s childhood was Mohandas.  He was born on 2 October 1869 at a place called Porbandar in Kathiawar.  His father’s name was Karam Chandra Gandhi.  After taking education in India, he was sent to England to study law, from there he returned to India as a barrister.  9. Political life: Gandhi’s political life began in South Africa, where he went as a lawyer.  The condition of Indians in South Africa was very poor.  The Gaur government there used to treat Indians badly.  He launched the Satyagraha movement against the government there and got the Indians their rights.  Gandhiji’s Cooperation / Contribution to the National Movement: Mahatma Gandhi was the helm of India’s freedom movement.  He led many movements for the independence of India and made the freedom movement a mass movement.  India became independent through his untiring efforts.  Mahatma Gandhi’s contribution to the national movement can be explained as follows:


. Movement in Champaran, Kheda and Ahmedabad: In Champaran (Bihar), the British tortured the peasants a lot.  When Gandhiji came to know, he went to Champaran.  The commissioner there asked Gandhiji to leave Champaran but Gandhiji paid no attention to it.  In the end the commissioner there had to bow down.  Gandhi’s reputation rose throughout the country.  In Kheda Gandhiji started a ‘do not do’ movement, because the crops of farmers there were destroyed due to no rain.  Later the farmers got success.  Asked the mill owners of Ahmedabad to increase the wages of the laborers but the mill owners did not pay any attention to it.  Gandhiji started a fast unto death there.  Later the mill owners had to increase their salaries.


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  1. Awakening in public: Mahatma Gandhi’s personality was very attractive and influential.  He made India awakened among the uneducated, dormant and poor people.  The measures he adopted became very popular leaders through those measures.


  1. Jyotirao Govindrao Phule: Jyotirao Govindrao Phule is the most important place among those who worked for the awakening of oppressed castes in Maharashtra.  People call him Mahatma Jyotiba Phule.  Jyotiba spent her entire life in the service of Dalits.  He challenged the authenticity of the scriptures.  Jyotiba Phule founded the ‘Satyashodhak Samaj’ in 1873 AD.  The aim of this society was to get equal rights for the lower castes and other oppressed classes.  He opposed the superiority of Brahmins and carried out the practice of conducting marriage ceremonies without Brahmin priests.  Jyotib Phule worked tirelessly to spread education among the girls, especially among the oppressed.  He did a school for girls in 1854.  It was the first girls’ school in India.  He established the Gyan Mandir for the education of Dalits.  He also tried to improve the condition of widows.


  1. Kandukuri Veeresalingam: Kandukuri Veeresalingam was one of the social reformers of South India.  He was born in Andhra Pradesh.  Keshav Chandra Sen’s ideas had a profound influence on him.  He was distressed by the status of women in Hindu society.  She started a movement for women’s education and widow remarriage in Andhra.  He also brought out a magazine for the purpose of social reform in 1876 AD.


  1. Srinarayan Guru: In the nineteenth century, the problem of caste discrimination and untouchability was the most complex in Kerala.  Untouchables could not visit the temple.  He was forbidden to study in schools higher than his own.  Shrinarayan Guru launched a movement against this caste oppression in Kerala.  In 1903, he founded Srinarayan Dharma Paripalana Yogam.  The objectives of this institution were to carry forward the social reform work, awakening the oppressed castes, cultivating a sense of brotherhood among people without distinction of caste and religion.

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