July 10, 2009

Quiz on Social Reform Movements in India

1. Keshab Chandra Sen is one of the renowned leaders of this movement – it was born out of differences of opinion amongst members of another movement. This movement (or rather the organization) was first formed in 1866.
Answer: Brahmo Samaj of India
Brahmo Samaj of India was created by Mr. Sen because he felt the Brahmo Samaj didn’t address many an important issue. He held radical views that included inter-caste marriage, removal of purdah for women etc.

2. One of the most famous social reformers, he was born to an orthodox Bengali Brahmin family in 1774. His first article appeared when he was sixteen, in which he condemned idol worship by Hindus, as a result of which he was thrown out of his house! To purify Hinduism from various ‘evils’ that he believed had crept into it, he decided to form a new society called ‘Brahmo Samaj’. Who was he?
Answer: Raja Rammohun Roy
The Brahmo Samaj (One God society) worked towards removing idol worship, caste divisions etc. Roy was most instrumental in the abolition of Sati (or Satti or suttee). Satidaha was the practice of burning Hindu widows on the funeral pyre of their husbands.

3. This social reformist joined the Hindu College of Calcutta in 1826 (at the age of 17) as a teacher. He encouraged free thought and inquisitiveness of the part of his pupils. His students were collectively called ‘Young Bengal’ and they refused to accept various rites and rituals that were prevalent in India at that time. What is the name of the teacher?
Answer: Henry Louis Vivian Derozio
Derozio was dismissed from the college for his teachings. He died in 1831 at the age of 22. However his students ensured that the Young Bengal movement carried on in its mission.

4. A very famous Bengali, he was instrumental in the foundation of the Hindu Balika Vidyalaya at Calcutta. This was one of the earliest schools committed towards education of females. He also campaigned for reformation of the Hindu marriage system. It was through his efforts that the Widow Remarriage Act, 1856 was enacted by the Government. Who was this learned and revered person?
Answer: Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar
He was assisted by a British official called Drinkwater Bethune in his efforts to develop Female education in India.

5. This society was formed in 1864 by K. Sridharalu Naidu. This movement was inspired to fight the causes of Brahmo Samaj in South India. In 1871, the name of this society was changed to Brahmo Samaj of South India. What was this society known before that?
Answer: Veda Samaj
Naidu translated Brahmo Samaj literature into Telugu and Tamil and tried to carry out social reforms in South India; however his death in 1874 weakened this reform movement.

6. This movement was based and carried out reforms in Western India. Founded in 1866 by Mahadev Govind Ranade, this movement took inspiration from religious sermons by Tukaram and Jnaneswara. This society had distinguished scholars like Ramakrisha Bhandarkar in its ranks. What was the name of this society?
Answer: Prarthana Samaj
Ranade also emphasized the importance of collective action against social evils; to club various societies together, he formed the Indian National Social Conference in 1887.

7. This religious movement was started with an intention to teach people about Hinduism in its pure form. Dayanand Saraswati founded this movement in 1875. The members of this movement were guided by ten principles, one of which was studying of Vedas. The rest were on virtue, morality and humility. This movement sought to remove caste distinctions and social inequality (rampant at that time). What was the name of this religious movement?
Answer: Arya Samaj
Dayanand was born Mula Shankara in 1824 in a place called Kathiawad. He wrote a lot of books to spread his message, the most famous of them being ‘Satyarth Prakash’.

8. Swami Vivekanand participated in the Parliament of Religions, held in Chicago (U.S.A) in 1893.
Answer: true
He was a great success at this meeting and was able to impress one and all with his address on Hinduism. Vivekanand (1863 – 1902 ) was a student of Ramakrishna Paramahansa.

9. He was a priest at a temple at Dakshineswar (near Kolkatta). Social reformers like Dayanad Saraswati, Keshab Chandra Sen used to come to him for advice and religious discussions. After his death, one of his pupils Swami Vivekanand founded a mission named after him.
Answer: Ramakrishna Paramahansa
The Ramakrishna Mission was founded in 1897 and spread the teachings of Ramakrishna through out India; it also has many branches in foreign countries.

10. To improve the condition of the Moslems in India, this reformist founded many a movement. He was known for his efforts to improve Moslem-British relations. His greatest achievement was the founding of the Mohammedan Anglo-Oriental College at Aligarh in 1875.
Answer: Syed Ahmed Khan
He was strongly opposed to the Indian National Congress. The Mohammedan Anglo-Oriental College later became the Aligarh University.


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