Social Reforms, India

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The reform activities united people and the attack on institutions like caste which hampered social unity created a sense of oneness in the people. But most of these reform movements had certain limitations. The questions to which they gave primacy concerned only small sections of Indian society. Some of them failed to emphasize or even recognize that colonial rule was inimical to the interests of the Indian people. Most of them worked within the framework of their respective communities in a way tended to promote identities based on religion or caste. Many of these limitations were sought to be overcome during the course of the national movement with which many social and religious reformers were closely associated. Indian nationalism aimed at the regeneration of the entire Indian society irrespective of caste and community. It was no longer necessary to confine the movement of social reform to one’s own community. http://www.historytuition.com/indian_society_in_colonial_period/social_reforms/impact_of_the_reform_movements http://www.indianetzone.com/22/indian_socio-religious_reform_movements_19th_century.htm A reform movement is a kind of social movement that aims to make gradual change, or change in certain aspects of society rather than rapid or fundamental changes. A reform movement is distinguished from more radical social movements such as revolutionary movements.

Reformists' ideas are often grounded in liberalism, although they may be rooted in utopian, socialist or religious concepts. Some rely on personal transformation; others rely on small collectives, such as Mahatma Gandhi's spinning wheel and the self sustaining village economy, as a mode of social change.

1. Raja Ram Mohan Roy
Raja Ram Mohan Roy was popularly known as the 'Father of Indian Renaissance ' was born on 22nd May 1772 in a Brahmin family in Bengal.He founded the Atmiya Sabha in 1815 and the Brahmo Samaj on 20th August 1828. Through these Institutions he fought against Orthodox Hindus and the fanatic Christian Missionaries.

He was against of Sati system, Polygamy, Child marriage, Caste system and Untouchability. He was the great supporter of Inter-caste marriage, women education, Widow remarriages etc. Ram Mohan started publishing Newspapers and Magazines for which he was called the 'Father of Indian Journalism'.

2. Mahatma Gandhi
According to Gandhi " I would make the spinning-wheel, the foundation on which build a sound village life". Gandhian way of education put emphasis on the development of body, mind, heart & soul. His scheme of education he called “Nai Talim” a beautiful blend of craft, art, health & education in one & covers the whole education of the individual till death.

His education is more for girls than the boys. Gandhi ji was the first who Break the bridge between touchable & untouchable. He was the devotee of non-violence.

3. Gopabandhu Dash
Gopabandhu Dash (1877–1928) known as Utkal Mani(Gems of Odisha) was a defining social worker who excelled in the field of politics as well as literature. Gopabandhu was a legend in the Indian culture. He served his people even at the cost of his family.

During his study period, he started Kartavya Bodhini Samiti (Duty Awakening Society) to encourage his friends to do their duty as citizens and take on social, economic and political problems. He was leading a team to aid flood victims, when he heard of his son's serious illness but remained to serve the locals rather than return home to his son. he became the founder president of Congress in Odisha.

4. Swami Vivekananda 
Swami Vivekananda was another important Social Reformer who brought spiritual reawakening among the Indians in the 19th Century, popularly known as the ‘Intellectual Monk of India’ He was born in Calcutta on 12th, January, 1863. He began his life of wondering all over the country with his message of ‘Awakened India’ or ‘Prabhuda Bharat’.

He set-up ‘Ramakrishna Mission’ on 1st May, 1897. According...
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