Decades come and go but what remain are the impression and great acts of the social reformers. India is privileged to have number of great souls like Dayanand Saraswati and Raja Ram Mohan Roy. They managed to bring revolutions by making radical changes in the society. Some of the reformers took up the challenges of breaking the jinx of prevailing caste-system while some fought for the introduction of girls'-education and widow remarriage. The contributions, made by these, simple yet eminent souls towards humanity are really extraordinary. Their activities and thoughts guided the nation to a new beginning.
Acharya Vinoba Bhave was a freedom fighter and a spiritual teacher. He is best known as the founder of the 'Bhoodan Movement' (Gift of the Land). The reformer had an intense concern for the deprived masses. Vinoba Bhave had once said, "All revolutions are spiritual at the source.
From a child born with a silver spoon in his mouth, Baba Amte later transformed his life into a social activist. He devoted his entire life to serve the downtrodden people of the society. He left his lucrative profession to join India's struggle for independence.
Dr B R Ambedkar, popularly known as Babasaheb Ambedkar, was one of the architects of the Indian Constitution. He was a well-known politician and an eminent jurist. Ambedkar's efforts to eradicate the social evils like untouchablity and caste restrictions were remarkable.
Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar is considered as one of the pillars of Bengal renaissance. In other words, he managed to continue the reforms movement that was started by Raja Rammohan Roy. Vidyasagar was a well-known writer, intellectual and above all a staunch follower of humanity. He brought a revolution in the education system of Bengal.
Jyotiba Phule was one of the prominent social reformers of the nineteenth century India. He led the movement against the prevailing caste-restrictions in India. He revolted against the domination of the Brahmins and for the rights of peasants and other low-caste fellow.
Mother TeresaMother Teresa was a true follower of humanity. Many people considered Mother as the "reincarnated form of Lord Jesus". Mother Teresa devoted her entire life in serving the needy and abandoned people of the society. Although her mission started in India, she succeeded in bringing the people of all societies under one roof, i.e. humanity.
Raja Ram Mohan Roy is considered as the pioneer of modern Indian Renaissance for the remarkable reforms he brought in the 18th century India. Among his efforts, the abolition of the sati-pratha-a practice in which the widow was compelled to sacrifice herself on the funeral pyre of her husband-was the prominent.
Sri Ramakrishna Paramhansa was a popular saint of India. He had a strong faith in the existence of god. He regarded every woman of the society, including his wife, Sarada, as holy mother. Swami Vivekananda was one of the prominent disciples of Ramakrishna, who later formed the Ramakrishna Mission.
King Shahu Chhatrapati was considered as a true democrat and social reformer. He was an invaluable gem in the history of Kolhapur. Shahu was associated with many progressive activities in the society including education for women. He was greatly influenced by the contributions of social reformer Jyotiba Phule.
Dayanand Saraswati was a reformer and believed in pragmatism. He preached against many rituals of the Hindu religion such as idol-worship, caste by birth, animal sacrifices and restrictions of women from reading Vedas. He was not only a great scholar and philosopher but also a social reformer and a political thinker.
Swami Vivekananda is known for his inspiring speech at the Parliament of the World's Religions at Chicago on 11 September, 1893, where he introduced Hindu philosophy to the west. But this was not the only contribution of the saint. He revealed the true foundations of India's unity as a nation. He taught how a nation with such a vast diversity can be bound together by a feeling of humanity and brother-hood.