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UPSC Mains 2021

Trace the rise and growth of socio-religious reform movements with special reference to Young Bengal and Brahmo Samaj.

General Studies Paper - 1, Topic - Modern Indian History

Jan 08, 2023

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The rise of socio-religious reform movements in India can be traced back to the 19th century, when the country was under British colonial rule. One of the earliest and most influential of these movements was the Young Bengal movement, which was started by a group of intellectuals and reformers in Calcutta in the 1830s.


The Young Bengal movement was inspired by the Western Enlightenment and sought to modernize and reform Indian society. Its members were critical of traditional Hinduism and believed that the country's social and economic problems could only be solved through the adoption of Western values and practices. The movement had a strong emphasis on education and sought to promote rational thinking and scientific reasoning.


Another important socio-religious reform movement in India was the Brahmo Samaj, which was founded by Raja Ram Mohan Roy in 1828. The Brahmo Samaj was a theistic movement that sought to reform Hinduism and promote monotheism. It rejected the caste system and advocated for the rights of women and lower castes. The Brahmo Samaj also had a strong emphasis on education and sought to promote rational thought and scientific reasoning.


Both the Young Bengal movement and the Brahmo Samaj played a significant role in the development of socio-religious reform movements in India and helped to promote the idea of social and religious progress. These movements paved the way for later reform movements and contributed to the modernization of Indian society.

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