DMPQ: Evaluate the role of Dayanand Saraswati in the social reform movement of the 19th century.

Dayanad Saraswati’s was one of the pioneer figure during the course of socio religious movement. His ideology stirred a new debate within the reformist movement in India. It made the masses culturally conscious.

 

He founded Aryan samaj in Bombay in 1875 and invoked the authority of vedas as the most authentic Indian religious reforms and sought to purge Hinduism of all its post vedic accretions. Using the  authority of Vedas, he attacked idolatry, polytheism and ritualistic religions. His aim was to free Hinduism from the clutches of the Priest and Put an end to irrational and costly rituals.

 

He also denounced untouchability and rejected caste system. In temples , he started performing marriages, mostly inter caste, based on vedic traditions. He also focused on the issue of women, condemned the practice of sati and sought respectable position for women.

 

Dayanand Sarawswati tried to project Hinduism as a ‘religion of book’ and prepare the grounds for reconversion of those lost to these Proselytizing religions. The cow protection movement in 1890s changed the nature of movement from reformist to revivalist . Though he condemned the caste system, he upheld the four fold varna system.

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