Revision Notes: Caste, Peasant and Trade Union Movements Notes | Study History for UPSC CSE - UPSC

UPSC: Revision Notes: Caste, Peasant and Trade Union Movements Notes | Study History for UPSC CSE - UPSC

The document Revision Notes: Caste, Peasant and Trade Union Movements Notes | Study History for UPSC CSE - UPSC is a part of the UPSC Course History for UPSC CSE.
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Southern India 

1. Justice Movement

  • It was an intermediate caste movement launched in Madras around 1915-16 by C.M Mudaliar, T.M. Nair and P. Tyagaraja Chetti on behalf of intermediate castes‘ (like Tamil Vellalas, Mudaliars, and Chettiars; Telugu Reddis, Kammas and Baliza Naidus; and Malayali Nairs) and against Brahmin predominance in education, government service and politics.
  • They founded a new political party, known as the “Justice Party” which exhibited its loyalty to the British government in the hope of getting more government jobs and representation in the new legislatures.

2. SeIf Respect Movement

  • It was a populist and radical movement founded in 1925 in Tamilnadu by E. V. Ramaswami Naicker popularly known as “Periyar”, against the Brahmin dominations.
    E.V. Ramaswami Naicker
    E.V. Ramaswami Naicker

Revision Notes: Caste, Peasant and Trade Union Movements Notes | Study History for UPSC CSE - UPSC

  • It advocated weddings without Brahmin priests, forcible temple entry, burning of the Manusmriti and outright atheism at times.
  • Periyar founded a Tamil Jouzrnal, “Kudi Arasu”, in 1924 in order to propagate his ideas.
  • Nadar Movement
  • In the Remmad district of South Tamilnadu, an untouchable caste of toddy tappers, and agricultural labourers, originally called “Shanans”, emerged as a prosperous mercantile class by the end of the 19th century, and began to call themselves by the prestigious title of “Nadars” and to claim Kshatriya status.
  • They organised a “Nadar Mahajan Sangam” in 1910, imitated upper caste customs and manners (Sanskritization) and raised funds for educational and social welfare activities.

3. Movement of The Pallis

  • In northern Tamilnadu, the Pallis, a lower caste people, began to claim Kshatriya status from 1871.
  • They called themselves “Vanniya Kula Kshatirya” and imitated upper caste customs like the taboo on widow remarriage.

4. Ezhava Movement

  • The untouchable Ezahavas to Kerala, under the leadership of Nanu Asan (also known as “Narayan Guru”), began in the early 20th century and also imitate some of the customs of the higher castes.Nanu AsanNanu Asan
  • In the later period they became the firmest supporters of the communists in Kerala.

5. Nair Movement

  • In the state of Travancore the intermediate caste of Nairs (numerically the dominant caste) started in the late 19th century a strong movement against the social and political domination of the Nambudri Brahmins and the non-alayali Brahmins (Tamil and Maratha).
  • C.V. Raman Pillai organised the Malayali Memorial (1891) which attacked Brahmin predominance in government jobs, and his historical novel “Martanda Varma” (1891) attempted an evocation of the lost Nair military glory, but his group was easily accomodated within the official elite by the late 1890’sC.V. Raman Pillai C.V. Raman Pillai 
  • After 1900, however, a more energetic Nair leadership emerged under K. Rama Krishna Pillai and M. Padmanabha Pillai. The former edited the “Swadeshabhimani” from 1906 till 1910 when its attacks on the court and demands for political rights led to his expulsion from Travancore.
  • Padmanabha Pillai founded the Nair Service Society (1914) which worked for the social and political advancement of the Nairs.

Western India

1. Satyashodak Movement

  • It was a movement started by Jyotiba Phule in Maharashtra.Jyotiba PhuleJyotiba Phule
  • Phule, through his book “Ghulamgiri” (1872), and his organisation “Satyashodak Samaj” (1873), proclaimed the need to save the lower castes from the hypocritical Brahmins and their opportunic scriptures.
  • This movement was dual in character. That is, it has an urban elite-based conservatism (the trend representing the desire of the urban-educated members of the intermediate and lower castes to move upwards in the social ladder by sanskritization) as well a more genuine rural mass-based radicalism (the trend representing the desire of the rural Maratha peasants to do away with the evils of the caste system itself).

Revision Notes: Caste, Peasant and Trade Union Movements Notes | Study History for UPSC CSE - UPSC

Try yourself:_________ was against ban on use of forest for grazing and timber. 
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 2. Mahar Movement

  • It was the movement of the untouchable Mahars of Maharashtra under the leadership of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar (their first graduate) from 1920’s. Their demands included the right to use tanks and enter temples, abolition of the ‘Mahar watan’ (traditional services to village chiefs), and separate representation in the legislative councils. From 1927, some of them even started burning of the Manusmriti as a symbol of a sharper break with Hinduism.
  • In the late 19th century also the Mahars organised themselves under Gopal Baba Walangkar, an ex-serviceman and demanded more jobs in the army and other government services.

Northern and Eastern India

  • Kaivartas of Midnapur in Bengal, belonging to a lower caste but economically being well-off, began calling themselves “Mahishyas”, and started a “Jati Nirdharani Sabha” (1897) and a “Mahishya Samithi (1901), which later played a prominent role in the nationalist movement.
  • Namasudras of Faridpur in Bengal, an untouchable caste of poor peasants, started developing associations after 1901 at the initiative of a tiny elite of educated men and some missionary encouragement.Namasurdras in BengalNamasurdras in Bengal
  • Kayasthas of Northern and Eastern India, having interprovincial professional connections, started an All-lndia Kayastha Association and a newspaper, the Allahabad-based “Kayastha Samachar” by 1910.
  • But on the whole, in northern and eastern India, Brahmin domination was less clear-cut, with other high-caste groups (like Rajputs and Kayasthas in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, and Vaidyas and Kayasthas in Bengal) serving as buffers. Hence, mobilisation along caste lines came much later in these regions than in western and southern India. Further, movements of the lower and intermediate castes in these regions were not as prominent and powerful as those in Western and Southern India.

Try yourself:It was the movement of the untouchable under the leadership of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar. Nme the movement.
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The document Revision Notes: Caste, Peasant and Trade Union Movements Notes | Study History for UPSC CSE - UPSC is a part of the UPSC Course History for UPSC CSE.
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