Social and Religious Reform Movements in India

The social and religious reformation was an essential condition for the all-round development of the country on modern lines and for the growth of national unity and solidarity.

In 1835, Lord Macaulay successfully westernised education in India; English was made the official language for the government and courts, and was adopted as the official medium of instruction.

The downward filtration theory means that the education was provided to a small portion of the people, and through them, education was conveyed to the masses - it was promoted by Lord Macaulay.

Macaulay came to India in 1834, and served on the Supreme Council of India between 1834 and 1838.

In India Lord Macaulay is fully credited with the official introduction of English education, though the necessary order on the subject was issued by Bentinck, the Governor-General of India, on 7 March 1835.

Movements Founded In Founded By Details
Madrasah 'Aliaya' 1780 Warren Hastings First madarsa setup by British in India
Asiatic Society 1784 Sir William Jones
Sanskrit College Varanasi 1791 Jonathan Duncan First Sanskrit Mahavidyalaya in Varanasi
Atmiya Sabha 1815 (Kolkata) Ram Mohan Roy first by "Ram Mohan Roy"
Young Bengal Movement 1826 (Kolkata) Henry Vivian Derozio Derozio was an Anglo-Indian college teacher in Calcutta.
Brahmo Samaj (Monotheism) 1828 (Kolkata) Raja Ram Mohan Roy (1772-1833) Father of India Renaissance Movement, got title of "Raja" from "Akbar-II". His samadhi is present in Bristol, England.
Brahmo Samaj of India 1866 Keshab Chunder Sen -
Dharma Sabha 1829 (Kolkata) Radhakant Dev to counter the ongoing social reform movements
Independent Labour Party 1836 B. R. Ambedkar -
Tattwabodhini Sabha 1839 Debendranath Tagore -
Paramahansa Mandali 1849 (Bombay) Dadoba Panderung (1842-82) and
Bal Shastri Jambhekar
Denied polytheism of popular Hinduism, the caste system and the Brahmanical monopoly of knowledge.
Rahanumai Mazdayasanan Sabha 1851 Dadabhai Naoroji,
J.B. Wacha,
S.S. Bangali
Naoroji Furdonji
The regeneration of the social condition of the Parsis and the restoration of the Zoroastrian religion to its pristine purity.
Rast Goftar (Voice of Truth) was its weekly organ.
Spread of Western education among the Parsis, including girls.
Nirankari Movement 1851 Baba Dyal Das -
Namdharis 1857 Ram Singh -
Aligarh Movement 1860s (Aligarh) Sayyid Ahmed Khan It focused on spreading western scientific education among the Muslim masses in India.
Scientific Society 1864 (Aligarh) Syed Ahmad Khan -
Muhammadan Anglo-Oriental College 1875 Syed Ahmad Khan Its given Urdu name was Madrasatul Uloom Musalmanan-e-Hind.
It started operations on Queen Victoria's 56th birthday, 24 May 1875.
Widow Remarriage Association 1861 Vishnu Shastri Pandit and
Mahadev Govind Ranade
It promoted widow remarriage and campaigned against child marriages, the heavy cost of marriages and customs-like the shaving of widow's head, etc.
Radha Swami Satsang 1861 (Agra) Tulsiram Swami Shraddhananda
Deobandi Movement 1866 (Deoband) Mohammad Qasim Nanotavi and Rashid Ahmed Gangohi uplifting the Muslims through educational efforts.
Darul Uloom 1866 (Deoband) Muhammad Qasim Nanautavi, Sayyid Muhammad Abid -
Prarthana Samaj 1867 (Bombay) Atmaram Pandurang It became popular after Mahadev Govind Ranade joined.
East India Association 1869 (London) Dadabhai Naoroji -
Poona Sarvajanik Sabha 1870 Mahadev Govind Ranade,
Ganesh Vasudeo Joshi,
S. H. Chiplunkar
Working as a mediating body between the government and people of India and to popularise the peasants' legal rights.
Sanatan Dharma Rakshini Sabha 1873 - in "Calcutta"
Arya Samaj 1875 (Bombay) Dayananda Saraswati (1824-1883) revival of vedas (let's go back to vedas), known as "Martin Luther of India", written "Satyarth Prakash", "suddhi momemnt"
Theosophical Society 17 November, 1875 (New York) Madame Blavatsky and Colonel Olcott study of ancient Hindu, Buddhist and Zoroastrian philosophies
India League 1875 Sisir Kumar Ghosh Stimulating the sense of nationalism amongst the people.
Indian National Association 1876 Surendranath Banerjee and
Ananda Mohan Bose
Promoting by every legitimate means the political, intellectual and material advancement of the people
Satyashodhak Samaj 1873 (Pune) Jyotiba Phule against idolatry and the caste system, wrote "Gulamgiri", used the term "Dalit" for the oppressed castes.
Deccan Education Society 1880 Bal Gangadhar Tilak -
Bombay Presidency Association 1885 Phirozshah Mehta,
K.T Telang and
Badruddin Tyabji
Dev Samaj 1887 (Lahore) Shiv Narayan Agnihotri broke from Brahmoism to form his own religious group
Bharat Dharma Mahamandala 1887 (Hardwar) Pandit Din Dayalu Sharma -
Ramakrishna Mission 1897 (Belur near Calcutta) Swami Vivekananda Representative of "Neo" Hindustan, wrote - "Raja Yoga, Karma Yoga, Bhakti Yoga"
Radhaswami Satsang 1891 (Beas River in Punjab) Jaimal Singh -
Abhinav Bharat Society (Young India Society) 1904 Vinayak Damodar Savarkar,
Ganesh Damodar Savarkar
Servants of India Society 1905 (Bombay) Gopal Krishna Gokhale Promote education, sanitation, health care, and fight the social evils of untouchability and discrimination, alcoholism, poverty, oppression of woman.
India House (Indian Home Rule Society) 1905 (London) Shyamji Krishna Varma,
S. R. Rana
To promote the cause of self-rule in British India.
Social Service League 1911 (Bombay) Narayan Malhar Joshi The League opened a number of day and night schools, libraries, dispensaries and started boys’ clubs and scouts corps.
Visva Bharati 1912 Ravindra Nath Thakur
Gadar Party 1913 Lala Hardayal -
Hindu Mahasabha 1915 Madan Mohan Malviya To protect the rights of the Hindu community, after the formation of the All India Muslim League in 1906.
All India Trade Union 1920 N. M. Joshi -
Swaraj Party 1 January 1923 Motilal Nehru
Chitranjan Das
Bahishkrit Hitakarini Sabha 1924 B.R. Ambedkar For removing difficulties of the untouchables and placing their grievances before government.
Tarkeshwar Movement 1924 (Calcutta) - against corrupt priests
Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) 1925 (Nagpur) Dr. Keshav Baliram Hedgewar The RSS is the progenitor and leader of a large body of organisations called the Sangh Parivar which have presence in all facets of the Indian society.
Naujawan Bharat Sabha 1926 Bhagat Singh A left-wing Indian association that sought to foment revolution against the British Raj by gathering together worker and peasant youths by disseminating Marxist idea.
The organization merged with All India Youth Federation (AIYF).
Harijan Sevak Sangh 1932 Mahatma Gandhi To eradicate untouchability in India, working for Harijan or Dalit.
Sharada Sadan 1889 Ramabai -
Manav Dharma Sabha 1844 (Surat) Durgaram Manchharam Mehta,
Dadoba Pandurang Tarkhadkar
Mohammedan Literary Society 1863 (Kolkata) Abdul Latif Education of Muslim youth in English medium schools that would allow them to compete with their English and Hindu peers.
United Indian Committee 1883 Womesh Chunder Bonnerjee -
Indian (National) Social Conference 1887 M.G. Ranade and Raghunath Rao The Conference met annually as a subsidiary convention of the Indian National Congress, at the same venue,
and focused attention on social reform.
Women's Indian Association 1917 (Madras) Annie Besant, Margaret Cousins,
Jeena Raja Dasa

Charles Wilkins, the first translator of the Bhagavad Gita into English opened up Indian culture to the western world.

In the year 1789, Sir William Jones translated Kalidasa's Shakuntala.

Wood's Despatch was introduced in 1854 to spread education in British India. It is called Magna-Carta of English Education in India.

In 1857 Calcutta, Bombay and Madras Universities were set up following Wood's Despatch.

In Hunter Commission (1882) report special emphasis was laid on the development of "Primary Education".

The National Council of Education - Bengal (NCE) was an organisation founded by Satish Chandra Mukherjee and other Indian nationalists in Bengal in 1906 to promote science and technology as part of a swadeshi industrialisation movement.

Sadler Commission (The Calcutta University Commission)of 1917 was set up to study and report the problems of university education.

Women's University, Mumbai is the first Women's university in India as well as in South-East Asia. The University was founded by DK Karve in 1916 for a noble cause of Women's Education.

Ram Mohun Roy, founded the Hindu College in Calcutta, the alumni of which established a large number of English schools all over Bengal.

The Banaras Hindu University was jointly established by Madan Mohan Malaviya, Annie Besant, Maharaja Rameshwar Singh of Darbhanga Raj and Prabhu Narayan Singh of Narayan dynasty, while the university is the brainchild of Malviya.

Swami Vivekananda represented India and Hinduism at the Parliament of the World's Religions, Chicago in 1893.

The Age of Consent Act, 1891, also known as Act X of 1891, was a legislation enacted in British India on 19 March 1891 which raised the age of consent for sexual intercourse for all girls, married or unmarried, from ten to twelve years in all jurisdictions, its violation subject to criminal prosecution as rape.

Tilak said that "if God were to tolerate Untouchability, he would not recognise Him as God at all."

Hali system was related to the bonded labour system. A Haliya is an agricultural bonded laborer who works on another person's land.

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