This GSEB Class 8 Social Science Notes Chapter 1 Socio-Religious Reforms covers all the important topics and concepts as mentioned in the chapter.
Socio-Religious Reforms Class 8 GSEB Notes
→ Before independence various evils like superstition, doubts, child marriage, denial of widow remarriage, the practice of ‘sati’, female infanticide as soon as she was born (by drowning her in milk – known as ‘dudhpiti’), polygamy, dowry system, selling of girls, etc. were prevalent in India.
→ ‘Renaissance’ (New Awakening) came with western education. Raja Ram Mohan Roy who was born in 1772 C.E. at Radhanagar village in Hooghly district of Bengal was the first social reformer of Indian society.
→ He protested strongly against the evil practices of ‘sati’, child marriage, caste system, the ritual of female infanticide (dudhpiti), etc. and made great efforts to abolish them from Indian society.
→ He started two newspapers viz. the ‘Samvad Kaumudi’ in Bengali and the ‘Mirat-ul-Akbar’ in Persian. He established the ‘Brahmo Samaj’ in 1828 C.E. He also established a Hindu college in Kolkata.
→ He recommended many changes to the British government like freedom of press, freedom of 11 speech, women’s rights, keeping the judiciary and the administration separate, etc.
→ Raja Ram Mohan Roy requested the British government to legally bam the ‘sati’ system. So, in 1829 C.E. British Governor, Lord William Bentinck framed a law banning the ‘sati’ system. Thus in the 19th century, Raja Ram Mohan Roy laid the foundation for a New Awakening with social, religious and political revolutions.
→ Raja Ram Mohan Roy passed away in 1833 C.E. at Bristol in England. He was the first social reformer of India.
→ Swami Dayanand Saraswati was born at Tankara village near Morbi in Saurashtra. He renounced his house and family at a tender age in order to search for enlightenment and truth. He travelled all over the country for 15 years. Thereafter he became an ascetic (sanyasi) and studied the Vedas and other Hindu literature with Swami Virajanand in Mathura. He encouraged the people to ‘Go back to the Vedas.’ He advocated monotheism i.e. he made people aware that ‘There is only one God.’. He advised the people to leave evil practices of idol worship, religious rituals, child marriage, ‘sati’ system, untouchability, etc. He wrote a book called ‘Satyarth Prakash.’
→ In 1875 C.E. Swami Dayanand Saraswati established the ‘Arya Samaj’ in Mumbai. The Arya Samaj started a ‘reconversion’ movement whereby Hindus who had changed their religion could be reinstated into their original religion.
→ After Swami Dayanand’s death leaders like Lala Hansraj, Pandit Gurudutt and Lala Lajpat Rai continued the activities of the Arya Samaj. In 1902 C.E. Swami Shraddhanand established the ‘Kangdi Gurukul’ near Haridwar.
→ The Arya Kanya School was started at Vadodara, Gujarat where girls were taught discipline, dignity of labour, tolerance, patience and moral values.
→ Swami Ram Krishna Paramhans was the torchbearer of Indian culture. He was a great saint who sought truth through all religions. He was born at Kamarpukur village of Hooghly district in Bengal.
→ He was a priest and a staunch devotee at the Kali Temple at Dakshineshwar near Kolkata.
→ Many social reformers like Keshavchandra Sen and Swami Dayanand Saraswati would come to him to discuss various aspects of religion as well as to seek his advice and guidance.
→ Those who had been influenced by western culture redeveloped their faith in Indian religion and culture because of the preaching of Ram Krishna Paramhans.
→ Swami Vivekanand’s original name was Narendranath. He came in contact with Ram Krishna Paramhans who reciprocated his quest for knowledge. So Narendra became a disciple of Ram Krishna Paramhans and then an ascetic acquiring the name of Swami Vivekanand. He studied Indian and Western philosophy extensively.
→ Swami Vivekanand advised people to ‘Serve the poor’ and seek God in needy people. He imbibed pride for our rich cultured heritage and faith in a bright future for Indian youngsters. He gave the slogan of ‘Arise, awake and stop not till the goal is achieved’ to the people of India.
→ He explained Indian culture and philosophy with his influential speech at the Parliament of Religions in Chicago, USA. He propagated Indian culture to countries like the US, Egypt, China, Japan, etc. by touring all over the world.
→ In 1897 C.E. Swami Vivekanand established the ‘Ram Krishna Mission’ at Kolkata in the name of his guru. The headquarters were at Bellur. The mission adopted Swami Vivekanands ideals as well as the slogan ‘Service to man is service to God.’ The mission opened schools to impart education.
→ Unfortunately, in 1902 C.E. this great man, Swami Vivekanand died at the young age of 40.
→ Reformation Movements in Muslim Community: Religious and social reforms were initiated in Muslim community under the leadership of people like Haji Shariatulla from Bengal and Saiyad Ahmed Khan from Rai Bareily in Uttar Pradesh who were motivated by the preaching of the religious leader Shah Walliallah of Delhi. They believed that the British had become powerful due to weak and corrupt Islamic religion. So, they started the ‘Wahabi Movement’ to strengthen Islamic religion and culture and also to make it purer.
→ Sir Saiyad Ahmed Khan was the first reformer of the Muslim society. He advocated the idea of English education as a means to reform the Muslim community of its orthodox attitude. He started a magazine named ‘Tahzib-ul-Akhlaq’ in 1870 C.E. and established Aligarh Muslim College in 1875 C.E. (Known as Aligarh Muslim University today). He opposed the veil system (burkha pratha), child marriages and supported widow remarriage. This college later became famous as the ‘Aligadh Muslim University.’
→ The ‘Shiromani Gurudwara Prabandhak Samiti’ was formed with an objective to reorganise religious practices and remove evil practices from Gurudwaras To impart religious and English education to Sikhs, ‘Khalsa College’ and schools were set up in Amritsar.
→ Parsi youths who had acquired English education established the ‘Rahnuma-e-Mazdayasne Sabha’ in 1851 C.E. Dadabhai Novroji was the leader of this sabha. The sabha started a perodical named ‘Rashta Goftar.’ Mr K. R. Cama and Mr Behramji Malbari also contributed to socio-religioous Parsi reforms. Both of them propagated education, opposed child marriage and encouraged widow remarriage. Due to Malbari’s efforts the British government passed a law fixing the minimum age for marriage in 1891 C.E.
→ Jyotiba Phule was the well-known social reformer of Maharashtra. In 1857 C.E. he started schools in Pune for girls. To inculcate confidence, courage and enthusiasm in people he established the ‘Satyashodhak Samaj’ in 1873 C.E.
→ Thakkar Bapa (Amrutlal Thakkar) was born in Bhavnagar in 1869. Being inspired by Gandhiji he left his lucrative engineering job to serve the downtrodden people of society throughout his life. To reform the live, of tribal people (Bhils) who inhabited the deep tores is and hilly areas of Panchmahal he establish d tn. ‘Panchmahal Bhil Sewa Mandat’.
→ Thakkar Bapa’s contribution as the head of ‘Akhil Hind Harijan Sangh’ established by Gandhiji was very valuable for the upliftment of untouchables (Harijar.s).