RELIGIOUS REFORM AMONG THE PARSIS
Religious reform was begun among the Parsis in Bombay in the middle of the 19th century. In 1851, the Rehnumai Mazdayasan Sabha or Religious Reform Association was started by Naoroji Furdonji, Dada bhai Naoroji, S.S.Bengalee, and others. It campaigned against the entrenched orthodoxy in the religious field and initiated the modernization of Parsi social customs regarding the education of women, marriage and the social position of women in general. In course of time, the Parsis became socially the most westernized section of Indian society.
RELIGIOUS REFORM AMONG THE SIKHS
Pal. Viresalingam, Sri Narayn Guru. E.V. Ramaswami Naiker and B.R. Ambedkar, and many others - also played an important role. In the 20th century, and especially after 1919. the national movement became the main propagator of social reform. Increasingly, the reformers took recourse to propaganda in the Indian language to reach the masses. They also used novels, dramas, poetry, short stories, the Press and, in the thirties, the cinema to spread their views.
While social reform was linked with religious reform in some cases during the 19th century, in later years it was increasingly secular in approach. Moreover, many people who were orthodox in the irreligious approach participated in it. Similarly, in the beginning social reform had largely been the effort of newly educated Indians belonging to higher castes to adjust their social behaviour to the requirements of modem western culture and values. But gradually it penetrated down to the lower strata of society and began to revolutions strata of society and began to revolutionize and reconstruct the social sphere. In time the ideas and ideals of the reformers won almost universal acceptance and are today enshrined in the Indian Constitution.
The social reform movements tried in the main to achieve two objectives: (a) emancipation of women and extension of equal rights to them; and ( b) removal of caste rigidities and in particular the abolition of untouchability.
|1. What were the major religious and social reform movements in India after 1858?|
|2. How did the Brahmo Samaj contribute to religious reform in India?|
|3. What were the key principles of the Arya Samaj movement?|
|4. How did the Aligarh Movement contribute to educational reform in India?|
|5. What was the role of the Theosophical Society in promoting religious harmony in India?|