Lack of education affect the people in the country
• In India, education was limited to very few
• Sanskrit was the main language and only few
people could read it.
• All the Vedas were written in this language,
which was known only to the Brahmins.
• So the people had to follow the teachings of
The position of women during the 19th C
• Life was very hard for women during the 19th C
period in India.
• Certain social practices like
– female infanticide,
– child marriage,
– sati and
– polygamy were practiced.
Women had no right to property.
They had no access to education.
Reforms were needed to bring a change in the social and
religious lives of the people.
Few reformers in India who led the awakening of the
• Raja Ram Mohan Roy,
• Swami Dayanand Saraswati,
• Ishwarchandra Vidyasagar,
• Jyotiba Phule,
• Sir Sayed Ahmed Khan and
• Pandita Ramabhai.
• According to them the society should be based
on concepts of Liberty and Equality.
• They studied the religious texts and started the
socio and religious movements in India.
1. Raja Ram Mohan Roy 3. Swami Dayanand Saraswati2. Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar 4. Ramakrishna Paramhansa
and Swami Vivekananda
5. Sir Syed Ahmed Khan 6. Jyotirao Govindrao Phule.
wife Savitribai Phule
7. Justice Mahadev
8. Pandita Ramabhai 9. Annie Beasant
Mohammed IqbalMirza Ghulam
The social practices in India during the 19th c
During the 19th C there were many social practices in India which
prevented the Indian society from progressing.
A. The Caste System:
India had a caste system which was originally based on
Later the upper class became powerful and exploited the
This created inequality in the society. Caste system became
a major problem in the development of a healthy society.
Religious practices during the 19th C in India
B. Religion played a big role in the Indian society. The religious
teachings were in Sanskrit,
the lower class did not have access to the scriptures this led to many
superstitions and wrong practices in the name of religion.
caste system etc. were practiced in the society.
Reforms were needed to bring a change in the social and religious lives
of the people.
the social practices in India during the 19th c
c. The Education system:
Education was given in traditional Paatshalaas, Madrassas, Mosques and
Gurukuls. The subjects taught were Sanskrit, Grammar, Arithematics,
religion and philosophy.
Women were not allowed to go to school.
Lack of proper education was the main cause for social and religious
problems in India.
Education were available only to the upper class.
d. The position of women:
Life was very hard for women during the 19th C period in India.
Certain social practices like female infanticide, child marriage, sati and
polygamy were practiced.
Women had no right to property.
They had no access to education.
Reforms were needed to bring a change in the social and religious lives of
Status of education in India in the 19th C
• In the 19th C Education was given in Paatshalas,
Madrasas, Mosques and Gurukuls.
• Religious teachings along with subjects like Sanskrit,
Grammar, Arithmetic’s and philosophy was taught.
• Girls were not sent to school.
• Lack of proper education was the main cause for social
and religious problems in India.
• Education were available only to the upper class.
• All socio-religious reformers aimed at the spread of
• This was the most effective tool to awaken and
modernize our society.
1. Raja Ram Mohan Roy
Raja Ram Mohan Roy was born in a
He knew many languages and had
read Quran, Bible and the Hindu holy
He founded the Brahmo Samaj in
He was deeply affected when his brother’s
wife was forced to commit Sati.
He wanted to remove this social practice.
He was the first to challenge this practice.
He was supported by the Viceroy of India Lord
and a law was passed in 1829 which made Sati
illegal and punishable.
He taught the importance of Vedas in
reforming religion and society.
He said that the ancient texts of Hindus
(worship of one God) and opposed Polythesis
(belief in more than one God).
He was also against idol worship and rituals.
Raja Ram Mohan Roy helped open the Hindu
college in Calcutta.
2. Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar
He was a great scholar and reformer. He
dedicated his life to the cause of social
The first Widow remarriage Act was introduced
in 1856 because of his efforts
He also protested against child marriage and
polygamy. His main contribution was in the
field of education.
He believed that the conditions of women can
improve only if they were educated. He helped
in opening 35 schools for girls in Bengal. He
was a champion of women’s education.
3. Swami Dayanand Saraswati
He took the task of reforming Hindu
religion in North India. He founded the
Arya Samaj in 1875.
He believed that the Vedas was the
foundation of all knowledge.
His most important book was ‘Satyarth
The Arya Samj worked to improve conditions
It fought against untouchability.
It fought against the hereditary caste system.
The Arya Samaj had a major role in the
It made people build a spirit of self-respect
Some of the followers of Swami
Dayanand Saraswati started a network
of schools and colleges called D.A.V
(Dayanand – Anglo- Vedic) to impart
education combining Western and
4. Ramakrishna Paramhansa and Swami Vivekananda
Ramakrishna believed in the unity of religions.
He believed that different religions were
different ways to reach the same God. Swami
Vivekanand was his disciple.
Swami Vivekanand was the first religious
leader who felt that the Indian people needed
secular as well as spiritual knowledge. He
established the Ramakrishna mission.
He believed in the unity of all religions. He laid
stress on the removal of religious superstitions
and old customs.
He taught the people to respect women and
worked for the upliftment and education of
5. Sir Syed Ahmed Khan
Sir Syed Ahmed Khan believed that the
religious and social life of Muslims can be
improved by introducing them to modern
western scientific thinking. He wanted to remove the social and
educational backwardness of Muslims.
He worked hard to raise the status of the
He was against the purdah system, polygamy,
easy divorce and lack of education among girls.
He also brought social reforms for the
upliftment of Muslim society.
He established an English school in Ghazipur
(Uttar Pradesh) in 1864. He started the
Mohammadan Anglo-Oriental College at
Aligarh in 1875 which later became the Aligarh
The movement for reforms started by him was
called the Aligarh Movement which took an
important step towards social and political
awakening among the Muslims.
6. Jyotirao Govindrao Phule.
Jyotibha Govindrao Phule was from
Maharashtra and he worked to get equal rights
for peasants and the lower caste.
He and his wife Savitribai Phule worked to
educate women and the lower classes. They
opened a school for girls in Poona in 1848.
He made efforts to promoting widow
In 1873 they formed the Satya Shodak Samaj
with the main aim to liberate and protect the
He was popularly called Jyotiba.
7. Justice Mahadev Govind Ranande
• Justice Mahadev Ranade established the Poona
Sarvajanik Sabha and the Prarthana Samaj in 1867 in
Bombay to bring about religious reforms to remove
caste restrictions abolish child marriage, save widows
from shaving their head, stop heavy costs of marriages,
encourage education of women and promote widow
• He believed in worshipping one God. He introduced
vernacular languages in the university. He was also a
founding member of the Indian National Congress.
8. Pandita Ramabhai
In Maharashtra, Pandita Ramabai was known
for social reform and fighting for the rights of
She started the Arya Mahila Samaj in 1881
In 1890, she established the Mukti Mission in
Poona, a refuge for young widows who had
been abused and removed by their families.
She started the Sharda Sadan which provided
housing, education, training and medical
services to widows, orphans and visually
The Pandita Mukti Mission is still active today.
9. Annie Beasant
Annie Beasant was a member of the
Theosophical Society and came to India in
This movement was led by westerners who
helped Indians recover their self-respect and
self-confidence and have a sense of pride in
their culture and heritage.
Annie Beasant became the president of the
theosophical society in 1907.
She opened a school for boys, the Central
Hindu College at Banaras based on
The college became a part of the new
university, the Banaras University from 1917.
10. Muslim Reform Movement
Few movements were launched which aimed
to spread modern education and removing
social practices among the Muslims.
The Mohammedan Literacy Society of Calcutta
was founded by Abdul Latif in 1863. It was one
of the earliest organisations that promoted
education among the upper and middle class
It played an important role in Hindu-Muslim
Shariatullah of Bengal, leader of the Faraizi
movement in Bengal, took the cause of the
peasants. Mirza Ghulam Ahmed founded the
Ahmediya Movement in 1899. This movement helped open many schools and
colleges in the country. It talked about
universal and humanitarian character of Islam.
They encouraged Hindu-Muslim unity.
Mohammed Iqbal was one of the great poets
of India. He wrote the song “Saare Jahaan se
Achcha Hindustan hamaraa…”.
12. The Akali Reform Movement
The formation of the two Singh Sabhas at
Amritsar and Lahore in the 1870’s was the
beginning of religious reforms movement
among the Sikhs.
The Khalsa College in Amritsar in 1892 helped
promote Gurumukhi, Sikh learning and Punjab
In 1820 the Akali movement was started in
Punjab, and started the cleansing of the
management of the Gurudwars.
The Government passed the new Gurudwara
Act in 1925 because of a powerful satyagarh
against the mahants
13. Reform Movement among the Parsis
Narouji Furdonji, Dadbhai Naoroji, S.S
Bengalee and others began the religious
reforms among the Parsis in Mumbai in the
middle of the 19th C.
In 1851 they founded the Rahnumai
Mazdaqyasan Sabha or Religious Reform
They played an important role in the spread of
education especially among the girls.
Parsis became one of the most progressive
sections of Indian society.
14. The impact of the reform
movements on Indian society.
• Impact on education:
– The introduction of modern education guided the
Indians towards a scientific and rational road.
• Impact on women:
• Women’s status in society improved. Importance was
given to women’s education. Practices like Sati,
infanticide were declared illegal. Widow remarriage was
allowed due to a law passed in 1856. Child marriage was
banned. Due to these reforms many women joined the
• Impact on society:
– The Indian society also underwent many changes.
The Caste system and practices like untouchability
was criticized. These movements looked for society
unity and worked towards liberty, equality and
– The religious reform movements made the Indians
have self-respect, self-confidence and pride in their
country. This was responsible for the united
struggle for freedom against the British.
• Impact during National Movement:
– In the 20th C the Indian National Movement
continued the reform movements in India. Novels,
dramas, short stories, poems, the press, cinema
were used to spread the views of national
freedom and unity.
• Limitations of the reform movement:
• It affected a very small percentage of people, mostly the
educated class. It could not reach the masses – the
peasants and the urban poor continues to live in the
• List two social practices against which the reform movements began.
• Sati, Caste system, Child Marriage, Widow remarriage, untoucability,
• Name two practices which are still prevalent/existing in our society.
• Superstitions, dowry, illiteracy, child marriage, female infanticide.
• a. He ______________________ did not represent the synthesis of the
thought of East and West.
• b. He did not emphasis the infallibility (meanings related to knowing truth
with certainty.) of the vedas.________________.
• c. The Movement started to free the sacred places from the control and
domination of corrupt Mahants. _________________.
• Who wrote the song “Saare Jahaan se Achcha Hindustan hamaraa…”.
Name Society/Institution Year
Raja Ram Mohan Roy The Brahmo Samaj 1828
2.Swami Dayanand Saraswati Arya Samj 1875
3.Swami Vivekananda Ramakrishna mission
4.Jyotirao Govindrao Phule. Satya Shodak Samaj 1873
5.Justice Mahadev Govind Ranande Sarvajanik Sabha 1867
Prarthana Samaj 1867
6.Pandita Ramabai Arya Mahila Samaj 1881
Pandita Mukti Mission
7. Sir Syed Ahmned Khan Mohammadan Anglo-Oriental 1875
College at Aligarh
8.Followers of Swami Dayanand D.A.V Schools
9.Annie Beasant the Central Hindu College 1907
10. Abdul Latif The Mohammedan Literacy 1863
Society of Calcutta
11.Mirza Ghulam Ahmed The Ahmediya Movement 1899.
Name Society/Institution Year
• 1. Raja Ram Mohan Roy The Brahmo Samaj 1828
• 2. Swami Dayanand Saraswati Arya Samj 1875
• 3. Swami Vivekananda Ramakrishna mission
• 4. Jyotirao Govindrao Phule. Satya Shodak Samaj 1873
• 5. Justice Mahadev Govind Ranande Sarvajanik Sabha 1867
• Prarthana Samaj 1867
• Pandita Ramabai Arya Mahila Samaj 1881
• Pandita Mukti Mission
• Sharda Sadan
• 7. Sir Syed Ahmned Khan Mohammadan Anglo-Oriental College at Aligarh 1875
• 8. Followers of Swami Dayanand D.A.V Schools
• 9. Annie Beasant the Central Hindu College at Banaras 1907
• 10. Abdul Latif The Mohammedan Literacy Society of Calcutta 1863
• 11. Mirza Ghulam Ahmed The Ahmediya Movement 1899
• Name Act Year
• Raja Ram Mohan Roy Sati illegal 1829
• Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar First Widow remarriage Act 1856
• Author Book
• Swami Dayanand Saraswati ‘Satyarth Prakash”.