SOCIAL REFORMERS AND SOCIO-RELIGIOUS REFORM MOVEMENTS
- The Muslim reform movements started a little later because they had avoided western education in the beginning.
- The first effort was in 1863 when the Muhammad Literary Society was set up in Calcutta. Its aim was to popularise the study of English and western sciences.
- The Aligarh Movement was started by Sir Syed Ahmad Khan (1817-98) for the social and educational advancement of the Muslims in India.
- In 1866, he started the Mohammadan Educational Conference as a general forum for spreading liberal ideas among the Muslims.
- In 1875, he founded a modern school at Aligarh to promote English education among the Muslims, later grown into the Mohammadan Anglo Oriental College and then into the Aligarh Muslim University.
- The Ahmadiya movement was launched by Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadiyan (1839-1908) in 1889.
- Objective of this movement is to spread western education among Indian Muslims.
- The Ahmadiya movement based itself, like the Brahmo Samaj, on the principles of a universal religion of all humanity.
- The orthodox section among the Muslim ulema organised the Deoband Moovement.
- It’s objectives were:
- (i) to propagate among the Muslims the pure teachings of the Koran and the Hadis and
- (ii) to keep alive the spirit of jihad aganist the foreign rulers.
- The new Deoband leader Mahmud-ul-Hasan (1851-1920) sought to impart a political and intellectual content to the religious ideas of the school.
Self-Respect Movement and Periyar E.V.R.:
- Erode Venkatappa Ramasamy commonly known as Periyar, also referred to as Thanthai Periyar, was an Indian social activist, and politician who started the Self-Respect Movement and Dravidar Kazhagam.
- E.V.R. opposed the Varnashrama policy followed in the V.V.S. Iyer’s Seranmadevi Gurugulam.
- During 1920-1925 being in the Congrees Party he stressed that Congress should accept communal representation.
- In 1925, he started the “Self-Respect Movement”.
- The aims of the ‘Self -Respect Movement’ were to uplift the Dravidians and to expose the Brahmanical tyranny and deceptive methods by which they controlled all spheres of Hindu life.
Sikh Reform Movement:
- Baba Dayal Das founded the Nirankari Movement. He insisted the worship of God as nirankar (formless).
- The Namdhari Movement was founded by Baba Ram Singh. His followers wore white clothes and gave up meat eating.
- They helped to set up the Khalsa College at Amritsar in 1892.They also encouraged Gurmukhi and Punjabi literature.
- In 1920, the Akalis started a movement to remove the corrupt Mahants (priests) from the Sikh gurudwaras.Later, the Akalis organised themselves into a political party.
Parsi Reform Movement:
- The Parsi Religious Reform Association was founded at Bombay by Furdunji Naoroji and S.S. Bengalee in 1851.
- They advocated the spread of women’s education.
- Naoroji published a monthly journal ‘Jagat Mithra’.
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