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
• 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.
• 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.
• Swami Vivekananda was the prime follower of Ramakrishna
• 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
• 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 was against sati, polygamy and child
• 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
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.