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Arya samaj

Arya Samaj was founded by Swami Dayananda Saraswathi(Mulashankar) in 1875 in Bombay.

He is called as Marti Luther of India. ----------------------------------------- ᾹRYA SAMᾹJ : Swāmi Dayānanda Saraswati (1824-1883) is an important figure in Indian socio-religious reform movement. He says, “The world is fettered by the chain forged by superstition and ignorance. I have come to snap asunder that chain and to set slaves at liberty”.17 He establishes the Ᾱrya Samāj in Mumbai on April 10, 1875.Later on several branches of this organisation has been formed in different parts of the country. The main aims of this organisation were--abolition of image worship and sub-castes, to provide social service through education and charitable enterprises. From the very beginning, it is anti-West in its tone. It has its foundation on the Vedas and through it Swāmi Dayānanda gives a call ‘Go back to the Vedas’. He pleads that the study of the Vedas be made open to all. He strongly criticises the hereditary basis of caste system and the belief in the superiority of Brāhmins over the other caste groups. The Ᾱrya Samāj for the first time focuses attention on the deplorable condition of the untouchables. It startes a crusade against untouchability and tries to ameliorate the social 57 status of untouchables. It pleads equal rights for both male and female. It severely criticises the practice of child-marriage and the minimum marriageable age for girls and boys being fixed respectively at 16 and 25. Ᾱrya Samāj opposes polygamy, purdah, practice of Sati etc. and encourages inter-caste marriage. But the most remarkable feature of Ᾱrya Samāj is the ‘Śuddhi Movement’. It is an effort to take back the converted Muslims and Christians into Hindu-fold after purifying them. Two distinctive features of Ᾱrya Samāj were social services like famine relief and spread of English education. Ᾱrya Samāj emphasises removal of illiteracy to dispel orthodoxy and darkness from the society. It establishes a large number of educational institutions in India for the education of both male and female. Gurukuls provide education mostly of Sanskrit, the Vedas, Ᾱyurvedas etc. Dayānanda Anglo Vedic (DAV) schools and colleges provide modern education in Humanities and Sciences. It also contributes towards arousing national consciousness. Many national leaders like B.G.Tilok, Lālā Lājpat Rai and G.K. Gokhale were deeply influenced by the philosophy and principles of the Ᾱrya Samāj. Ᾱrya Samāj is little more extreme and more conservative and angular in its outlook towards the Vedic scripture. Jawāharlāl Nehru remarked that Ᾱrya Samāj was a reforming movement from within as well as a defence organisation for protest against external attack.18

Medieval

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