What social ideas did the following people support?

(i) Raja Ram Mohan Roy

(ii) Dayanand Saraswati

(iii) Veerasalingam Pantulu

(iv) Jyotirao Phule

(v) Pandita Ramabai

(vi) Periyar

(vii) Mumtaz Ali

(viii) Ishwarchandra Vidyasagar

(i) Raja Ram Mohan Roy: Ban on Sati

(a) Abolition of Sati system: He focused his attention towards removing the evil practice of Sati.

(b) Idolatry: He criticized idol worship by the Hindus.

(c) Women Liberty: He worked to secure a place of honor for women in the Hindu society. He demanded for them the right of inheritance to property. To ensure a place of respect for women, he condemned the practice of polygamy.

(d) Advocate of Western Education: He supported the study of English literature. He was a great scholar having sharp intellect in the Vedas, Upnishads, Quran, Bible and several other holy scriptures. He very well realized the importance of English language.

(ii) Dayanand Saraswati: Widow remarriage

(a) Widow Remarriage: Dayanand supported widow remarriage.

(b) Educational Reforms: He supported the education of masses by setting up Gurukuls and Vedic schools.

(c) Child marriage: He opposed the practice of child marriage.

(d) Education of girls: He supported education of girls. He suggested for an educated man needs an educated woman.

(e) Arya Samaj: He founded Arya Samaj which worked for the uplift and emancipation of women.

(f) Shuddhi: Reconversion to Hinduism. This unique ritual was performed on those Hindus who were converted to other religion against their will.

(iii) Veerasalingam Pantulu: Widow remarriage

(a) Widow Remarriage: He supported widow remarriage and formed an association in the Telugu speaking areas of the Madras Presidency.

(b) Literary Activities: He was the father of renaissance movement in Andhra. He wrote the first novel in Telugu Rajasekhara Charitra. He was the first to render drama in Telugu.

(c) Women Education: He established schools for girls. He was the first to write in prose for women.

(iv) Jyoti Rao Phule: Caste Inequality

(a) Untouchability: He was against the caste inequality which gives superior status to Brahmans.

(b) Education of girls: Jyoti Rao Phule supported education for girls. He and his wife opened five schools for girls in and around Puna in 1848.

(c) Slavery: Low caste people were supposed to be served higher caste people. He argued that Brahmans were not superior, just because they were Aryans. He supported the idea that land belonged to indigenous people, the so called low castes.

(v) Pandita Ramabai: iii treatment of widows

(a) Women Education: She founded Arya Mahila Samaj to promote the cause of women’s education. Pandita Ramabai worked for the upliftment of women’s status in society.

(b) She wrote a book about the miserable lives of upper-caste Hindu women.

(c) Sharada Sadan: She founded a widow’s home at Puna to provide shelter to widows who had been treated badly by their husband’s relatives. Here, women were trained so that they could support themselves economically.

(vi) Periyar: caste inequality/untouchability

(a) One of the major areas of his focuses on up-gradation and upliftment of rural population.

(b) Periyar supported the idea that untouchables were the true upholders of an original Tamil and Dravidian culture which had been subjugated by Brahmans.

(c) He supported the idea that untouchable had to free themselves from all religions in order to achieve social inequality.

(d) He founded the self-respect movement.

(e) He did not support the authority of Brahmans over lower castes and the domination of men over women. Hence he was a critic of Hindi scriptures which supported these ideas.
(vii) Mumtaz Ali: Women’s education

(a) Mumtaz Ali supported women’s education.

(b) She, along with other reformers reinterpreted verses from Koran to support for women’s education.

(c) Women were encouraged to read about religion and domestic management in language they could understand.

(viii) Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar: Widow remarriage

(a) Widow Remarriage and women upliftment: He carried a crusade for widow’s remarriage. He also tried to legalize widow’s remarriage. His suggestion was adopted by British officials and a law was passed permitting widow remarriage in 1856. He also opposed polygamy.

(b) Child Marriage: He raised his voice again child marriage.

(c) Girls Education: He opened girl’s school which he ran at his own expense. Orthodox families criticized saying that after receiving western education, girls would not be able to perform their duties as mother and wives.