Q.Though 19th century India saw number of social reform movements but the impact was certainly restricted. Discuss the reasons behind such restrictions.(10 marks, 150 words, GS-1, Modern History)
The 19th century India saw a series of movements and acts to reform the society and modernize it with the help of British. Formation of Arya Samaj and Brahma Samaj were for the upliftment of downtrodden and for equality of women in Hindu religion while Aligarh movement was guided to reform Muslim section.
Even with clear intentions and methods, these reforms faced certain restrictions and limitations to be implemented and realized in true sense.
Various factors included-
- Coverage or extent–
- It was mainly an urban phenomenon. It lacked rural coverage except Arya Samaj which had broader concept.
- Reform movements were mainly limited to upper castes and classes.
- Like Brahmo Samaj was concerned with only the problem of bhadralok.
- Aligarh movement was associated with the Muslim upper class.
- British rule–
- The British tried to modernize the Indian society on British line but failed to understand the basic nature of the then Indian society.
- But the society was of the view that the reforms must come from within and not through an alien rule.
- Orthodox section–
- Whenever there emerged a demand for removing any social evil or practice, the orthodoxy stood to obstruct to change any status quo.
- They opposed Brahmo Samaj, Aligarh Movement, widow remarriage, etc.
- Though these reforms were basically to uplift the lower strata and castes, their participation was minimum.
- This hampered the realized outcomes of the movements and reforms.