List of religious and social reforms during British India

Nineteenth century witnessed a List of religious and social reforms during British India in consonance with ongoing spate of national movements.

Here are some movements among different religions-

Muslims movements

    • Wahabi/Walliullah movement (1702- 1762)- Revivalist movement in Islam which tried to purify it from all the un-Islamic practices which had taken place in the Muslims society through ages.
    • Ahmadiya movement – Founded by Mirza Ghulam Ahmed in 1889. His movement is based on religion liberation and social reform and Islam is the final religion for humanity and to spread Islam through out the world by peaceful means and also to revive the Islamic values.
    • Syed Ahmed Khan and Aligarh movement – This movement is aimed at spreading the process of growth among Indian Muslims through better education and employment opportunities and women’s education ,polygamy ,widow remarriage , purdah and divorce.
  • Deoband movement-In 1866 by Mohammad Qasim Nanotavi (1832-80) and Rashid Ahmed, to propagate the pure teachings of Quran and Hadis.

Parsi movement

  • Rahnumai Mazdayasnan Sabha – This is the religious reform association in 1851 founded by a group of English educated Parsis. The aim behind this movement was to “regeneration of the social conditions of the Parsis and the restoration of the Zoroastrian religion to its pristine purity”.

Sikh movement

    • Singh Sabha Movement –( Amritsar in 1873) to make easy access of education among Sikhs community and to stop the conversion of Sikhs into Christianity.
  • Akali Movement- It basically aimed to free the Gurudwaras from the control of corrupt Udasi Mahants.

Positive effects of various reform movements undertaken by various sects

    • Evolution to being better : Tried to free the religion from evil practices.
    • Individual freedom : Religion became their personal domain.
    • Empowerment of women : Women were made aware of their rights and came out of their household life and contributed to the society.
  • Nationalist feeling : Awakening of nationalist feeling among people.

Negative effects of various reform movements undertaken by various sects

    • Basic tenets of unity given a miss: Secular and solidarity aspects were ignored while overemphasizing on the religious aspects of Indian culture.
  • Communal conscious: Emphasis of ancient as Hindu period and medieval as Muslim period,gave form to different entities,resulting in communal consciousness.

Hence,the overall effect refuted the growth of composite culture in Indian society depicted by Revolt of 1857,which went on to hamper the cumulative growth of the society.

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