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History — Chapter 10

Socio-Religious Reforms

Class 8 - Effective History & Civics Solutions


Name the following

Question 1

Two organisations formed by Raja Rammohan Roy.

Answer

(a) Atmiya Sabha (b) Brahmo Samaj

Question 2

Two men who carried on the work done by Swami Dayanand Saraswati.

Answer

(a) Mahatma Hans Raj (b) Swami Shradhanand

Question 3

Two slogans given by Swami Dayanand Saraswati.

Answer

(a) Go Back to the Vedas (b) India for Indians

Question 4

Two books written by Jyotiba Phule.

Answer

(a) Sarvajanik Satyadharma Pustak (b) Ghulamgiri

Question 5

Two countries outside India where the Ramakrishna Mission established its branches.

Answer

(a) Sri Lanka (b) Myanmar

Match the following

Question 1

Sl.No.Column AColumn B
1.Gift of MonotheistsAnnie Besant
2.Hindu Widows' Remarriage ActSwami Dayanand Saraswati
3.Satyarth PrakashSwami Vivekananda
4.Parliament of World ReligionsRaja Rammohan Roy
5.Theosophical SocietyIshwar Chandra Vidyasagar

Answer

Sl.No.Column AColumn B
1.Gift of MonotheistsRaja Rammohan Roy
2.Hindu Widows' Remarriage ActIshwar Chandra Vidyasagar
3.Satyarth PrakashSwami Dayanand Saraswati
4.Parliament of World ReligionsSwami Vivekananda
5.Theosophical SocietyAnnie Besant

Fill in the blanks

Question 1

Lord William Bentinck passed a law abolishing the practice of sati.

Question 2

According to Swami Dayanand Saraswati, the destiny of India lay in the revival of the Vedic religion.

Question 3

Narendra Nath, a disciple of Ramakrishna Paramahansa, was popularly known as Swami Vivekananda.

Question 4

Annie Beasant started the Central Hindu School in Benares.

Question 5

The Akali Movement aimed at liberating the gurudwaras from the control of Corrupt Mahant.

Answer the following questions

Question 1

Explain the factors that led to the birth of socio-religious reform movements in India.

Answer

The factors that led to the birth of socio-religious reform movements in India were:

  1. Educated Indians began to look for the defects in their society and for ways and means of removing them. While a large number of Indians believed in traditional ideas and institutions, others gradually came to hold the view that modern western thought provided the key to regeneration of their society.
  2. They were particularly impressed by modern science and the doctrines of reason and humanism.
  3. Indian scholars discovered that many beliefs and practices were no longer of any use and needed to be discarded. They also found that some aspects of the cultural heritage were of intrinsic value and needed to be revived.

Question 2

Why did religious and social reform movements go hand in hand?

Answer

Religious and social reform movements go hand in hand because every social custom in India had its roots in religious injunctions and sanctions.

Question 3

With regard to Brahmo Samaj, answer the following questions.

(a) Who founded the Brahmo Samaj? Why?

(b) What were the ideals of Brahmo Samaj?

Answer

(a) The Brahmo Samaj was established in 1828 by Raja Rammohan Roy with the object of saving Hinduism from the evils of caste system and superstition.

(b) Following were the ideals of Brahmo Samaj:

  1. Monotheism or worship of one God — He wrote Gift to Monotheists in 1809 in Persian in which he put forward arguments for the worship of a single God.
  2. Emphasis on human dignity — The Brahmo Samaj preached equality and brotherhood of mankind. It criticised social evils such as the practice of sati.
  3. Opposition to meaningless rituals — Rammohan Roy condemned the priestly class for encouraging practices such as the worship of idols and the rigidity of caste as well as the prevalence of meaningless religious rituals.
  4. Equality of women — He strived for upliftment of women by advocating proper education for them and by giving them a better social status. He was against Sati Pratha.
  5. Philosophy of Vedanta — The Brahmo Samaj was based on the philosophy of Vedanta which is supported by — the Vedas and the Upanishads.
  6. Education — Raja Rammohan Roy was a pioneer of Western education in India. He helped in laying the foundation of many educational institutions such as the Hindu College, the English School and Vedanta College in Calcutta.

Question 4

Explain the work done by the following with regard to socio-religious reforms:

(a) The Arya Samaj

(b) The Theosophical Society

Answer

(a) The Arya Samaj — The Arya Samaj was founded by Swami Dayanand Saraswati. Arya Samaj spread rapidly especially in Uttar Pradesh and Punjab. It was based on following Ideals:

  1. Supremacy of Vedas — It regarded the Vedas as divine revelation to mankind.
  2. Monotheism — It preached against idol-worship and taught people to have faith in one God.
  3. Opposition to Social Evils — It disregarded the caste system, opened its membership to lower castes and other depressed classes. It condemned child marriage and other maladies prevalent in India.
  4. Shudhi Movement — It was started to bring back the hindu converts.
  5. Equality of Women — It encouraged female education, widow remarriage and discouraged child marriage and purdah system.
  6. Satyarth Prakash — It is a book written by Swami Dayanand which contains the philosophy, religious and social teachings of the Arya Samaj.

The Arya Samaj opened many schools and colleges. They are called the Dayanand Anglo-Vedic (D.A.V.) schools and colleges.

(b) The Theosophical Society — Theosophical Society was headquartered in Adyar, Madras and was popularised in India by Mrs. Annie Besant. The society advocated the revival of the ancient religions of Hinduism, Buddhism and Zoroastrianism. They preached the universal brotherhood of man. The society opened schools for boys, for women, for the depressed classes and encouraged participation in the Boy Scout movement. The society started the Central Hindu School in Benares. The society opposed child marriage and advocated abolition of caste, the uplift of outcaste and improving the condition of widows. It played a significant role in arousing self-confidence and nationalism among the Indians.

Question 5

The most important reformer among the Muslims in the 19th century was Sir Syed Ahmad Khan. In this context, state briefly:

(a) His views on religion

(b) His contribution to modern education

Answer

(a) Views of Sir Syed Ahmad Khan on religion — He declared that the Quran alone was the authoritative work of Islam and all other Islamic writings were secondary. All his life he struggled against blind obedience to tradition, dependence on customs, ignorance and irrationalism. He was against fanaticism and narrow-mindedness, and encouraged tolerance and broad-mindedness.

(b) Contribution of Sir Syed Ahmad Khan to modern education — He was impressed by modern scientific thought. He believed that the religious and social life of the Muslims could be improved only by imbibing modern western scientific knowledge and culture. He founded schools in many towns and had many western books translated into Urdu. He founded at Aligarh, the Muhammedan Anglo-Oriental (M.A.O.) College as a centre for spreading western sciences and culture. Later, the College grew into the Aligarh Muslim University.

Question 6

Write short notes on the contribution made by the following to the socio-religious reforms:

(a) Jyotiba Phule

(b) Shree Narayana Guru

(c) Veeresalingam Kandukuri.

Answer

(a) Jyotiba Phule — He was a prominent social reformer and thinker of 19th century. He led the movement against the prevailing Caste restrictions in India. He revolted against the domination of the Brahmins and struggled for the rights of peasants and other low-caste people. He devoted his life for the liberation of untouchables from all types of exploitation. He was also a pioneer for women education in India and fought for education of girls throughout his life. He was a believer in gender equality and exemplified it by involving his wife Savitribai Phule in all his social reform activities. Jyotiba Phule established many schools for girls and an indigenous school for the lower castes. Jyotiba Phule established an ashram for young widows. He formed the Satya Shodhak Samaj and wrote two books — Sarvajanik Satyadharma Pusthak and Ghulamgiri. He was honoured with the title of Mahatma for all his contributions for the upliftment of the society.

(b) Shree Narayana Guru — Shree Narayana Guru of Kerala has brought in social transformation through education and spirituality. He established SNDP (Shree Narayana Dharma Paripalana Yogam) in 1903 which worked for total literacy. To oppose caste discrimination, Guru consecrated a number of temples which were open to all castes. He trained the lower caste men in rituals of worship to officiate as priests in these temples. His Philosophy of "One caste, one religion and one God for man" has brought in inter-caste and inter-religious harmony.

(c) Veeresalingam Kandukuri — Veeresalingam Kandukuri stood strongly for social causes, like widow remarriage and abolition of child marriage. He strongly opposed the existence of caste system in the society, criticised misconceptions, condemned religious misbelieves and opposed bribery amongst Government employees. He established a girls' school in Dhavaleswaram in 1874. He started a Telugu journal and began writing for women. He also started a Remarriage Association and a widow home. The British Government, in appreciation of his work, conferred on him the title of Rao Bhadur in 1893.

Picture Study

Question 1

Study the picture and answer the following questions:

Study the picture and answer the questions. Identify the person in the picture. Name the organisation established by him? What were the aims of the organisation formed by him? State any three ideals of the person in the picture. How did he spread his mission abroad? Socio-Religious Reforms, Effective History and Civics Solutions ICSE Class 8.

(a) Identify the person in the picture. Name the organisation established by him?

(b) What were the aims of the organisation formed by him?

(c) State any three ideals of the person in the picture. How did he spread his mission abroad?

Answer

(a) The person in the given picture is Swami Vivekananda. He established the Ramakrishna Mission.

(b) The aims of the Ramakrishna Mission were:

  1. To manifest divinity inherent in man.
  2. To strive for a synthesis and harmony among various faiths and cults.
  3. To take up the service of mankind.

(c) Following were the three ideals of Swami Vivekananda:

  1. He proclaimed the essential oneness of all religions and condemned narrowness in religious matters.
  2. He condemned the caste system and the emphasis on rituals and superstitions, and urged the people to imbibe the spirit of liberty, equality and free thinking.
  3. He was a great humanist who believed that service to mankind was service to God.

The Ramakrishna Mission opened its branches in Sri Lanka and Myanmar. Swami Vivekananda himself established many branches of the Mission in USA. Later on this network spread to other western countries and thousands of Americans and Europeans accepted the spiritual superiority of Indian culture and civilisation.

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