The Arya Samaj was founded by Swami Dayanand Saraswathi at Bombay in 1875. Born in Kathiawar in Gujarat, Swami Dayanand (1824-83) was a scholar, a patriot, a social reformer and a revivalist. He believed the Vedas were the source of true knowledge. His motto was 'Back to the Vedas'. He was against idol worship, child marriage and caste system based on birth. He encouraged inter-caste marriages and widow remarriage. He started the Suddhi movement to bring back those Hindus who had converted to other religions to its fold. He wrote the book Satyartha Prakash which contains his ideas.The Arya Samaj, though founded in Bombay, became very powerful in Punjab and spread its influence to other parts of India. It has contributed very much to the spread of education. The first Dayanand Anglo-Vedic (DAV) School was founded in 1886 at Lahore. Many more schools came up in other parts of India in later years. The Arya Samaj had also spread nationalism. Hundreds of AryaSamaj patriots, including Lala Lajpat Rai, took part in the Indian freedom struggle.
Henry Vivian Derozio was the founder of the Movement. He was born in Calcutta in 1809 and taught in the Hindu College, Calcutta. He died of cholera in 1833. His followers were known as the Derozians and their movement the Young Bengal Movement. They attacked old traditions and decadent customs. They also advocated women's rights and their education. They founded associations and organized debates against idol worship, casteism and superstitions.
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