VI. Answer in detail
1. Discuss the circumstances that led to the Reform movements of 19th century.
• English education produced a hew English educated middle class. This class came under the influence of western ideas and thoughts.
• Christianity also had its effect on the newly emerging middle class.
• The educated middle class began to take a lead in political as well as in reform movements.
• Scholars and writers like Raja Rammohan Roy, Bankim Chandra Chatterji and K.C. Sen encouraged people towards reforms.
• Their ideas and actions helped to mitigate social evils such as Sati, Female infanticide and Child marriage and all kinds of superstitious religious beliefs.
• The Indians were inspired by the western ideas of reason, equality, liberty and humanity.
• They wanted to revive the past glory and started various social and religious reform movements and tried to remove social evils.
• Thus began the Reform movement in the 19th Century.
2. Evaluate the contributions of Ramakrishna Paramahamsa and Swami Vivekananda to regenerate Indian society.
Contribution of Ramakrishna Paramahamsa:-
• Ramakrisha Paramahamsa emphasised the spiritual union with God through ecstatic practices such as singing bhajans.
• An ardent worshipper of Goddess Kali, the sacred mother, he declared that the manifestations of the divine mother were infinite.
• In his view, all religions contain the universal elements which would lead to salvation.
• He said, "Jiva is Siva" (all living beings are God).
• According to him service to man is service to God.
Contributions of Swami Vivekananda:
• Swami Vivekananda was the prime follower of Ramakrishna Paramahamsa.
• Dissatisfied with conventional philosophical positions and practices, he advocated the practical Vedanta of service to humanity. He attacked the tendency to defend every institution simply because it was connected with religion.
• He made a call to Indian youth to regenerate Hindu society.
• His ideas bred a sense of self-confidence among Indians who felt inferior in relation to the materialist achievements of the West.
• Vivekananda's activist ideology rekindled the desire for political change among many western-educated young Bengalis.
• Vivekananda inspired many of the youths involved in the militant nationalist struggle.
• He founded Ramakrishna Mission.
• Apart from religious activities Ramakrishna Mission was actively involved in social causes such as education, health care and relief in times of calamities.
3. Write an essay on the role played by the 19th century reformers towards the cause of Women.
Raja Rammohan Roy:
• Raja Rammohan Ray advocated the rights of widows to remarry. He wanted polygamy to end.
• It was because of Raja Rammohan Roy's hard word, Lord William Bentinck passed Sati Abolition Act in 1829.
• Raja Rammohan Roy condemned the subjugation of women and opposed the prevailing ideas that women were inferior to men. He strongly advocated education for women.
Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar:
• Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar was against sati, polygamy and child marriage.
• He supported remarriage of widows.
• He played a leading role in promoting education of girls. He dedicated his whole life for the betterment of the child widows of the Hindu society. Because of his efforts the Widows' Remarriage Reform Act was passed in 1856.
• Justice M.G. Ranade. devoted himself to activities such as inter-caste marriage, widow remarriage and improvement of women and depressed.
• He was the founder of the Widow Marriage Association (1861)
• Phule opposed child marriage and supported widow remarriage.
• Joytiba and his wife devoted their lives for the uplift of the depressed classes and women. He opened orphanages and homes for widows.
Dayanand Saraswati: Dayanand Saraswati opposed child marriage and supported widows remarriage.
1. Role-play by students on Reformers and their Reforms of the 19th century India.
2. Debate Social evils of 19th century with those of present day.