Character of Socio-Religious Reforms in 19th Century: Contribution to the National Awakening in India? Essay

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Process of religious reform had started almost in all Indian religions in the 19th century. Various factors led to socio-religious reforms in Indian society. The contemporary Indian Social system was associated with religion. Naturally social reforms and religious reforms were complimentary to each other. A lot of socio-religious reform movements took place in the 19th century. Social evils like Purdah system, restrictions on widow remarriage, Sati system, Female Infanticide, Polygamy, Polytheism etc., were aimed to reforms. Supestition, dogmas, religious rigidities, idolatry, caste hierarchy, obscurantism were also reformed. Western influences and education played a important role in all these reforms. Modern science, rationality and the conclusion of humanism were the vital factors that influenced all the reformers. In 19th century these reforms came through various organizations and institutions, like in Hindu religion, the Brahma Samaj and Arya Samaj, in Muslim religion, Ahmadia and Aligarh movement, in Parasi, Rahnumai Majdayasan sabha and in Sikh religion, Akali movement came into existence.If we look upon the character of the socio-religious reforms, we see that movements like Aligarh movement, Wahabi movement and Deoband movement were concerned with Muslim socio-religious reforms, which sometimes became critical to national interest, same was the case with Hindu religious movements like Bharat Dharma Mahamandal, which preached Orthodoxy. Some movements aimed at religious upliftment and consciousness. Some movements like Arya Samaj by Dayanand Saraswati, were revivalist in nature which awakened past glory of India. It helped in reducing caste rigidities. They aimed at removing the superstition in religion. Some organization spread education among all sections of society. Social practices were aimed to be purge of ill-habits and effects.Socio-religious reforms

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