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Mains Answer Writing

One of the key components of these exams is the written test, which consists of a number of essay and comprehension questions. Candidates are expected to write clear and well-structured answers that demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of the topics being tested.

9-September-2023

Q1) “Enumerate the ground behind the emergence of socio-cultural reform movements in British India. Also emphasize, how these movements were benefactor for independence?”

Answer:

  • Socio-cultural reform movements were social and intellectual movements that aimed to address and reform various aspects of Indian society, particularly in the 19th and early 20th centuries.
  • Ground behind the emergence of socio-cultural reform movements in British India
    • Western influence and education: Exposure to Western ideas through education and contact with British administrators sparked a desire for social change.
    • Impact of British rule: The scientific outlook of British rule presented a picture of stagnant civilization.
    • Religious and social practices: Criticism of oppressive religious and social practices, such as sati (widow burning) and child marriage, fueled the reform movements.
    • Caste system critique: Rigid caste system, untouchability and discrimination led to the emergence of prominent social reformers like Jyotirao Phule who founded the Satyashodhak Samaj.
    • Educated Indians: They were driven by the growing number of educated Indians who sought to challenge social and cultural practices they deemed regressive.
    • Opposition to Western Influence: These reform movements were also a response to the perceived negative impact of Western influence on Indian society.

Socio-cultural reform movements as benefactor for independence:

  • Social justice: Brahmo Samaj by Raja Ram Mohan Roy advocated for social reforms such as the abolition of sati (widow burning), child marriage, and caste discrimination.
  • Forging National Identity: They emphasised the rich cultural heritage of India, promoted national symbols and languages, and instilled a sense of pride in Indian traditions and values, fostering a collective identity.
  • Countering Official Taunts: This was achieved by challenging negative stereotypes and showcasing the intellectual, social, and cultural achievements of Indians.
  • Spread of education: Sir Syed Ahmed Khan established institutions like the Aligarh Muslim University, which played a crucial role in nurturing intellectual and nationalist sentiments.
  • Women’s Empowerment: Reformers like Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar and Pandita Ramabai contributed to the promotion of women’s education and the fight against societal restrictions.
  • Interfaith Dialogue: The Ramakrishna Mission, established by Swami Vivekananda, aimed to foster religious and social harmony among different communities in India.
  • Nationalistic aspirations: Many reformers aligned their efforts with the broader nationalist movement, seeking social change as part of the struggle for independence for example Indian Social Conference.

Conclusion

Overall, these movements played a crucial role in creating social awareness, advocating for equality, and contributing to the broader nationalist movement which laid the foundation for a more inclusive and independent India.

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