NIOS Class 10 Social Studies Chapter 6 Religious and Social Awakening in Colonial India (For CBSE, ICSE, IAS, NET, NRA 2022)

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Title: Religious and Social Awakening in Colonial India

Society in the Early 19th Century

  • Limitation of Education towards men belonging to upper caste only.
  • Expensive rituals, sacrifices and practices after birth profited Brahmins only.
  • Social practices like female infanticide, child marriage, sati and polygamy were rampant
  • Sati was practiced; Women had no right to property, no access to education.

Socio-Religious Awakening

  • British Christian missionaries criticized many of our social and religious practices.
  • Reformers like Raja Rammohan Roy, Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar, Swami Dayanand Saraswati, Jyotiba Phule, Sir Syed Ahmed Khan and Pandita Ramabai were responsible for the upliftment of social backwardness.
  • They considered the caste system as irrational and unscientific and a major hindrance in the development of a healthy, democratic and progressive society
  • They started introducing the concepts of liberty and equality both for men and women.

Prominent Socio Religious Reformers of the 19th Century

  • Raja Ram Mohan Roy was a liberal and he founded Brahmo Samaj in 1828. He took initiative against sati practice. His thought was supported by the govt. and in 1829 making Sati illegal and punishable. He was against the idol worship and following meaningless rituals.
  • Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar was a social reformer. He helped in the safe passage of the Hindu Widow Remarriage Act in 1856. He was against child-marriage and campaigned against polygamy. He promoted Sanskrit and Bengali literature helped to modernize the age-old ideas.
  • Swami Dayanand Saraswati founded Arya Samaj in 1875. He also started the Shuddhi movement. Satyarth Prakash was one of his major contributions. He rejected all thoughts which were in conflict with the Vedas.
  • Swami Vivekananda established the Ramakrishna Mission in the name of his teacher Ramakrishna Paramhansa. He supported the spirit of Vedanta and equality of all religions. He worked in the removal of religious superstitions, obscurantism, and outdated social customs. He tried to remove caste rigidities and untouchability.
  • Sir Syed Ahmed Khan worked hard to raise the status of Muslim society. He was against the purdah system, polygamy, easy divorce and lack of education among Muslim. He started the Mohammadan Anglo-Oriental College at Aligarh in 1875 which now developed into the Aligarh Muslim University.
  • Jyoti Rao Govind Rao Phule along with his wife Savitribai Phule are from Maharashtra and worked to attain equal rights for peasants and the lower caste. Jyoti Rao formed the Satya Shodhak Samaj (Society of Seekers of Truth) in September 1873.
  • Justice Mahadev Govind Ranade who was the founding member of Indian national congress established the Poona Sarvajanik Sabha and the Prarthana Samaj in 1867.
  • Pandita Ramabai fought for the rights of women and spoke against the practice of child marriage. She started Arya Mahila Samaj in 1881. In 1889, she started the Mukti Mission, in Pune to provide a refuge for young widows. She also started Sharda Sadan which give housing facility to women.
  • Annie Besant encouraged vernacular languages and literary works. She opened the Hindu college in Banaras. She became the President of the Theosophical Society in 1907.

Various Reform Movements

Muslim Reform Movement

  • Mohammedan Literacy Society of Calcutta was founded in 1863 to promoted modern education among the upper and middle-class Muslims.
  • Mirza Ghulam Ahmed founded the Ahmadiyya Movement in 1899 promoted the universal and humanitarian character of Islam. And unity among Hindus and Muslims.

The Akali Reform Movement

  • Khalsa College in Amritsar in 1892 helped promote Gurmukhi and Punjabi literature.
  • In 1920 Akali movement initiated the management of the Gurudwaras.
  • The government passed a new Gurdwara Act in 1925

Reform Movement Among the Parsis

  • Narouji Furdonji, Dadabhai Naoroji, S. S. Bengalee were the pioneer of Parsi reform
  • In 1851 the Rahnumai Mazdayasnan Sabha or Religious Reform Association was founded by them.
  • Parsis became one of the most progressive sections of Indian society till then.

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