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There are three types of social movements:

  • Redemptive or Transformative: this Movement aims to change the personal consciousness of its members. An example of this would be alcoholic anonymous. It seeks to help an alcoholic overcome his addiction to drinking.

  • Reformist Movement: these types of movements strive to change the existing political and social arrangements gradually. Some examples of these types of Movement would be Arya Samaj and Brahmo Samaj.

  • Revolutionary Movement: These types of movements are radical. A revolutionary movement attempts to transform social relations by capturing state power radically. An example of this would be the Bolshevik Revolution of May 1920 that dethroned the Tsar to create a communist state. In India, the Naxalite Movement can be counted as a revolutionary movement.

Peasant Movements

1. Indigo Revolt (1859-60)

  • Indigo was recognized as a chief cash crop for the East India Company’s investments.

  • It is also known as ‘Nil Bidroho’

  • All categories of the rural population, missionaries, the Bengal intelligentsia and Muslims.

  • This indigo revolt gave birth to a political movement and stimulated national sentiment against the British rulers among Indian masses.

2. Rangpur Dhing (1783)

  • Rangpur uprising took place in Bengal

  • It is called the first tough peasant rebellion against the rule of the East India Company.

  • It evidently uncovered the evils like Ijaradari scheme related to the system of colonial exploitation.

  • It paved the way for formulating a land settlement that would be permanent in nature

  • The rebellion spread over a significant area, including Ranchi, Hazaribagh, Palamau and Manbhum.

  • After two years of strong confrontation, they lost to modern weapons of the British.

3. Kol Rebellion (1832)

  • The Kols and other tribes enjoyed independence underneath their chiefs but the British entry threatened their independence.

  • The handover of tribal lands and the encroachment of moneylenders, merchants and British laws generated a lot of pressure.

  • The Kol tribal planned an insurgency in 1831-32 which was engaged primarily against Government officers and private money-lenders.

4. Mappila Rebellion in Malabar (1841-1920)

  • Mappila uprising was sequences of rebellions by the Mappila Muslims of Malabar region of Kerala.

  • The main causes were, increase in land tax, the security of tenure and exploitation of the poor peasantry by the landlords.

  • The revolt goes fell into the trap of Hindu-Muslim riot.

  • During this period there was Khilafat movement was raised for the fulfilment of freedom for Muslims.

  • The 1921 uprising was a manifestation of long-lasting agrarian dissatisfaction, which was only strengthened by the religious and ethnic uniqueness and by their political alienation.

5. Santhal Rebellion (1855)

  • It was a native rebellion in present-day Jharkhand against both the British colonial authority and zamindari system by the Santhal people

  • It was planned by four Murmu brothers -Sidhu, Kahnu, Chand and Bhairav

  • The rebellion was suppressed thoroughly and largely shadowed by that of the other rebellions.

6. Deccan Uprising (1875)

  • Along with the Permanent Settlement, the British extended their presence beyond Bengal.

  • Ryotwari Settlement was the revenue system that was introduced in the Bombay Deccan region

  • The revolt started in Poona and henceforth it spread to Ahmednagar.

  • This uprising also involved a social boycott of the moneylender.

7. Munda Ulgulan (1899- 1900)

  • Birsa Munda-led this movement in the region south of Ranchi

  • The Mundas conventionally enjoyed a special rent rate as the original clearer (Khuntkatti) of the forest. But this was eroded by the jagirdars and thikadars arrived as traders and moneylenders.

  • As a result of this rebellion, the government enacted the Chotanagpur Tenancy Act 1908, recognized Khuntkatti rights, banned Beth Begari (forced labour)

8. Narkelberia Uprising (1782-1831)

  • Led by Titu Mir/ Mir Nithar Ali

  • In West Bengal

  • against landlords, mainly Hindu, who imposed a beard-tax on the Faraizis, and British indigo planters merged into the Wahabi movement

9. The Pagal Panthis

  • Led by Karam Shah

  • To fight the oppression of the zamindars.

10. Telangana Movement (1946-52)

  • The Telangana Movement (1946-52) of Andhra Pradesh was fought against the feudal oppression of the rulers and local landowners.

  • The agrarian social structure of Hyderabad emerged to be very oppressive in the 1920s and thereafter.

  • In rural Telangana’s political economy, the jagirdars and deshmukhs, locally known as dora, played a dominant role.


The impact of peasant movements in India are discussed briefly below:

  • Though these revolts were not aimed at uprooting the British rule from India, they created awareness among the Indians.

  • The peasants developed a strong awareness of their legal rights and asserted them in and outside the courts.

  • Peasants emerged as the main force in agrarian movements, fighting directly for their own demands.

  • Various Kisan Sabhas were formed to organize and agitate for peasant’s demands during Non-Cooperation Movement.

  • These movements eroded the power of the landed class, thus adding to the transformation of the agrarian structure.

  • Peasants felt a need to organize and fight against exploitation and oppression.

  • These rebellious movements prepared the ground for various other uprisings across the country.

Workers Movement

  • Rise of Working Class:

  1. The modern working class arose in India with the introduction of capitalism in the 19th century under colonial dispensation.

  2. It was a modern working class in the sense of relatively modern organization of labor and a relatively free market for labor.

  3. This development was due to the establishment of modern factories, railways, dockyards and construction activities relating to roads and buildings.

  4. Plantations and railways were the initial enterprises to herald the era of colonial capitalism in Indian subcontinent.

  • Industrialization in India:

  1. Port cities Bombay, Calcutta and Madras became the centers of the capitalist economy.

  2. Cotton mills in Bombay, jute mills in Calcutta, and several factories in Madras were set up in the late 19th century.

  3. Similar developments took place in the cities of Ahmedabad, Kanpur, Solapur and Nagpur.

  4. The first jute mill of India was set up in Calcutta in 1854 by a Scottish entrepreneur.

  5. The ownership of the cotton mills was with the Indian entrepreneurs, while that of jute was with the foreigners for a long time.

Workers’ Movement in Pre-Independence India

  • Initial Attempts to Improve Workers’ Conditions:

Attempts were made in 1870-1880 to better the working conditions of the workers by legislation.

  1. Till the Swadeshi surge of 1903-08, there was no concerted effort to better the working conditions of the labor.

  2. Again between 1915-1922, there was resurgence of workers’ movement along with the Home Rule Movement and the Non-Cooperation Movement.

  3. The earlier attempts to improve the economic conditions of the workers were in the nature of philanthropic efforts which were isolated, sporadic and aimed at specific local grievances.

  • Workers’ Movements before the Emergence of Trade Unions:

1. Plantation and Mine Workers

The plantation and mine workers were heavily exploited but their conditions did not attract much attention initially as they were away from the notice of early social reformers, journalists and public activists.

  • Despite this isolation, the plantation workers, on their own, registered their protests against the exploitation and oppression by the plantation owners and managers.

  • Industrial Workers: The cotton and jute industry workers were more in the public gaze.

  • The early social workers and philanthropists were also involved with them facilitating better organizational work as well as better reporting and public support.

2. Formation of Organizations:

  • In Bengal, Sasipada Banerjee founded the ‘Working Men’s Club’ in 1870 and started publishing a monthly journal in Bengali entitled ‘Bharat Shramjibi’ in 1874.

  • The Brahmo Samaj formed the ‘Working Men’s Mission’ in Bengal in 1878 to impart moral education among the workers.

  • It also established the ‘Working Men’s Institution’ in 1905.

  • In 1890 in Maharashtra, N.M. Lokhandey established the ‘Bombay Millhands’ Association’, and in 1898, he started publishing a journal entitled ‘Dinbandhu’ in Marathi.

  • The Bombay Millhands Defense Association formed by Bal Gangadhar Tilak in 1908.

  • However, these bodies were primarily interested in welfare activities and did not have much organizational base among the workers.

Emergence and Growth of Trade Unions:

  • Cause of Emergence:

The trade unions emerged in India after World War I. The main factors that led to the emergence of trade unions include:

  • Rising prices of essential commodities.

  • Decline in the real wages of workers.

  • Increase in the demand for the industrial products resulting in the expansion of Indian industries.

  • Gandhi's call for the Non-Cooperation Movement.

  • The Russian Revolution.

Formation of Trade Unions

  • The Madras Labor Union, formed in April 1918, is generally considered to be the first trade union in India.

  • B.P. Wadia, a nationalist leader and an associate of Annie Besant, was instrumental for its organization.

  • The Textile Labor Association, also known as Majur Mahajan Sangh, was established in Ahmedabad in 1920.

  • The union was formed following the agitation of mill workers of Ahmedabad demanding for a bonus to compensate for the rise in prices.

  • This union worked along Gandhian lines and became very strong over the years.

Workers’ Movement in Post-Independence India

  • Formation of New Unions: The post-independence period saw the formation of a number of trade unions such as Bhartiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS) and Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU )

  • CITU was formed by Communist Party of India (Marxist), splitting from AITUC.

  • Legislations Framed: The Industrial Dispute Act, 1947 and Labor Relations Bill and Trade Unions Bills, 1949 were introduced.

  • Decline in Strikes: Between 1947-1960, the condition of the working class improved and there was a decline in the number of strikes.

  • Economic Recession: The period of late 1960s saw decline in the wages of the working class; as a result, disputes in the industrial front increased.

  • New Economic Policy, 1991: It introduced LPG (Liberalization, Privatization and Globalization).

  • Liberalization deteriorated the bargaining position of the workers vis-à-vis capital.

  • The policy provided no statutory minimum wages for labor.

  • It gave the employers the complete right to hire and fire.

Tribal Movement

The following three phases are used to categories tribal movements:

  • The First Phase (1795-1860): It happened at the same time as the British Empire’s emergence, growth, and establishment. The top class of tribal society, led by the traditional group whose privileges had been curtailed by colonialism in India, produced the leadership. Major tribal uprisings in this phase were: the Kols Uprising, Santhal uprising, Khond uprising and Early Munda uprising.

  • The Second Phase (1860-1920): It includes the Koya Rebellion and the Birsamunda-led Munda Uprising.

  • The Third Phase (1920-1947): It comprises the Chenchu tribal movement, the Rampa rebellion, and the Tanabhagat/Oraon Movement.

1. Bhil Uprising (1818-1831)

  • Bhils belonged to the Khandesh region of Maharashtra.

  • In 1818, the British made their way into the area and began encroaching on the Bhil territories.

  • The native Bhil Tribe was in no way prepared to accept any British changes made on their land.

  • As a result they revolted against the foreigners on the land.

  • The reason for the uprising was the brutal treatment of the Bhils at the hands of the East India Company who denied them their traditional forest rights and exploited them.

  • The British responded by sending a force to suppress the rebellion.

  • But the revolt was not in vain, as the British gave concessions to various taxes and returned forest rights as part of the peace settlement.

2. Ramosi Uprising (1822- 1829)

  • Ramosis were hill tribes of the western ghats.

  • They resented the British policy of annexation and rose against the Britishers under the leadership of Chittur Singh.

  • The new British Administration system, which the tribal people thought to be extremely unfair to them and left them with no other option than to rise against the Britishers for, was the primary cause of this insurrection.

  • They plundered the regions around the Satara.

  • The revolt continued till 1829, after which the British restored order in the region.

  • Britishers followed a pacifist policy towards the Ramosis and some of them were recruited in the hill police.

3. Kol Rebellion (1832)

  • Kol uprising is one of the most well-known revolutions against the British government.

  • The Kols were one of the tribes inhabiting the Chhotanagpur area. They lived in complete autonomy under their traditional chiefs but this changed when the British came.

  • Along with the British came the outsiders. The colonial government also introduced the concept of non-tribal moneylenders, zamindars and traders.

  • The Kols then lost their lands to farmers from outside and also had to pay huge amounts of money in taxes. This led to many becoming bonded laborer's.

  • To this the British judicial policies also caused resentment among the Kols.

  • There was an insurrection in 1831-32 which saw the Kols organize themselves under Buddho Bhagat and revolt against the British and the moneylenders.

  • They killed many outsiders and burned houses. This armed resistance went on for two years after which it was brutally suppressed by the British with their superior weaponry.

  • The Kol Rebellion was so intense that troops had to be called in from Calcutta and Benares to crush it.

4. Santhal Uprising (1855- 1856)

  • The Khonds inhabited the mountainous regions that ran from Bengal to Tamil Nadu as well as the central provinces.

  • Due to the impassable hilly terrain, they were entirely independent before the British arrived.

  • Between 1837 to 1856, they rose against the British for their exploitation of forest practices, led by Chakra Bisoi, who adopted the name “Young Raja.”

  • Tribal people from the Ghumusar, Kalahandi, and Patna regions took part in the uprising.

  • The British attempt to outlaw the practice of “Mariah” (Sacrifice) and the subsequent introduction of new taxes, as well as the influx of Zamindars and Sahukars (Moneylenders), were the main causes of their uprising.

  • Using bow-and-arrows, swords, and axes, the Kols rose up in rebellion against the British-created “Maria Agency.

  • Additionally, some local militia clans led by Radha Krishna Dand Sena helped them. The insurrection finally came to an end in 1955 when Chakra Bisoi was taken, prisoner.

5. Munda Rebellion (1899- 1900)

  • One of the most well-known revolutions against the pervasive British Rule in the nation was the early Munda revolt. The Mundas inhabited the Chotanagpur area.

  • This uprising is also known as the Ulgulan revolt which means “great commotion”.

  • Between 1789 and 1832, the Mundas revolted around seven times against the oppression brought on by moneylenders and the British Government. The Khuntkatti system, which was a joint holding of land, prevailed among the Mundas. But the advent of the British and the outsider Zamindars replaced the Khunkatti with the Zamindari system. This caused indebtedness and forced labour among the tribals.

  • Its movement was known as Sardariladai, or “War of the Leaders,” and their main goal was the eviction of outsiders, or “dikus.”

  • Many Mundas joined the “Evangelical Lutheran Mission” after 1857 in the hopes of a brighter future.

  • However, as they realised that these missionaries couldn’t give them any long-term benefits, many apostates rebelled against this mission and became even more hostile.

  • They sought to establish the Munda traditional chiefs’ dominance over their domains. But, every time they were without a charismatic leader, their movement waned.

  • However, the Mundas were able to get an able and charismatic leader in Birsa Munda who proclaimed a rebellion in 1894.

  • He organised his people to revolt openly against the government. He urged people to stop paying debts and taxes.

  • He was arrested and spent 2 years in jail before being released in 1897.

  • In December 1899, he launched an armed struggle against the landlords and the government.

  • The Mundas torched police stations, houses of the landlords, churches and British property.

  • In 1900 Birsa Munda was caught. He died in jail due to cholera aged just 25.

6. Koya Uprising (1879- 1880)

  • Assisted by Khonda Sara commanders, the Koyas of the eastern Godavari track (now Andhra) revolted in 1803, 1840, 1845, 1858, 1861, and 1862.

  • They rose once again under Tomma Sora in 1879–1880.

  • They complained about being persecuted by the police and moneylenders, new limitations and the denial of their historical rights to forest areas.

  • Following the passing of Tomma Sora, Raja Anantayyar led a new uprising in 1886.

7. Khasi Uprising (1830)

  • The hilly areas between the Garo and Jaintia Hills were occupied by the British when the Burmese war was ended.

  • The colonial government planned to construct a road that would cross the entire country and connect the Brahmaputra valley with the Sylhet region, Khasi area.

  • The Khasis rebelled under the leadership of a Khasi chief named Tirut Singh as a result of the conscription of laborer's for road building. They were joined by the Garo.

  • The four-year-long, battle with the Khasis was eventually brutally put an end to in the early months of 1833.

Women Movements

  • The women’s movements in the colonial period are mainly of two different concerns:

    1. Social reform movements

    2. Nationalist movements

  • The colonial intervention in the 19th century intruded into the areas of our culture and society and this affected transformation in our social fabric.

  • This potential threat was sensed by the Indian intellectual reformers, exposed to western ideas and values.

  • At this juncture, the Indian intellectual reformer sensitive to the power of colonial domination and responding to Western ideas of rationalism and liberalism sought ways and means of resisting this colonial hegemony.


  • The brahmo samaj was founded in Calcutta in 1828. It is based on the belief in one omniscient god.

  • RAJA RAM MOHAN ROY was the founder of Brahmo samaj.

  • Brahmo samaj has contributed to India’s contemporary renaissance.

  • There were 3 distinct groups in Bengal in 1880s; radicals, reformers, and conservatives.

  • Raja Ram Mohan Roy saw

  1. the dreadful conditions of women

  2. unnecessary rituals like sati

  3. purdah system

  4. child marriage

  5. widow remarriage

  6. education for women

  7. fought against prevailing superstitions among Hindus

2. Widow Remarriage

  • Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagr worked towards propagating widow remarriage.

  • The child marriage evil resulted in large numbers of young girls ending up as widows whose lives were miserable due to the severe restrictions imposed on them.

  • He argued in favour of widow remarriage and published his work on “Widow Remarriage” in 1853.

  • The efforts of Vidya Sagar, Keshub Chandra Sen and D. K. Karve resulted in the enactment of widow remarriage act of 1856.

  • In the South Kandukuri Veeresalingam led the widow remarriage movement.

3. Saraswathi and Compulsory education for Girls

  • Arya Samaj was established by him in 1875.

  • He emphasised compulsory education of both boys and girls.

  • A series of schools for women- Arya Kanya Patasalas – were the first concerted effort of the Samaj to promote women’s education in a systematic way.

  • Both Brahmo Samaj and Prarthana Samaj made forceful efforts to prove that Hindu religious tradition were not the source of legitimacy for the sorrowful condition of women in society.

  • Under the influence of the liberal thought of the west the two Samajs strove to restore to women their dignified status.

4. Age of girls at marriage

  • In the 19th century the average age of marriage for girls was 8 or 9.

  • The extensive propaganda by Vidya Sagar and other reformers in this regard led the British government to legislate in order to improve the condition of minor girls and the age of consent bill was passed in 1860

  • Further social reformers like Mahadev Govind Ranade, Behramji Malabari and Tej Bahadur Sapru in their attempts to raise the age of marriage cited several cases of consummation at the age of 10 or 11 which led to serious physical and psychological disturbances.

  • Behramji, a Parsi journalist published his notes on infant marriage and enforced widowhood in 1884 suggesting certain reforms to be adopted in the educational institutions to discourage child marriage and also suggested some corrective measures to the Government.

  • At last due to the collective efforts of the reformers in 1891, the Bill known as the Age of Consent was passed, which rose the marriageable age for girls to 12 years.

5. Female Education

  • The social reformers felt that through female education the social evils that were linked to the issue of preserving and strengthening basic family structure could be eliminated and good wives and mothers could emerge from the same.

  • Between 1855 and 1858 while he was inspector of schools, Vidya Sagar established 48 girls’ schools.

  • M. G. Ranado along with his wife propagated female education and started a girls’ high school in 1884.

  • The limited enforcement and practicability of legislations like widow remarriage act of 1856 and others in a tradition bound society was recognised by D. K. Karve, who, therefore, concentrated his efforts on promoting education among widows.

  • In 1896 Karve along with 15 of his colleagues founded the Ananth Balikashram for the education of widows

  • He also started Mahila Vidyalaya in 1907 and S.N. D. T. Women’s University in 1916 a separate educational institution for women so as to lessen the resistance of orthodox section with regard to women’s education.

6. Property rights for Hindu women

  • The existing practice was particularly harsh on the Hindu widow who had no claim on her husband’s property except the right at maintenance

  • Raja Ram Mohan Roy suggested that the government should enact and enforce laws to remove these disabilities and bring economic freedom and self-reliance.

  • As a result of such efforts, special marriage act of 1872 with its provision for divorce and succession to property to women was passed.

As a result of the social reform movement of the 19th century, the social evils were eliminated and opportunities were provided to women for their education.

  • The expansion of women’s education and their admission to educational institutions had produced a sizable number of English educated middle class women by the late 19th century- and they made their presence felt in political activities

  • Till 1919, the national movement was limited to the urban upper class and it was later with Gandhi’s entrance into the national movement, participation of the masses began to take place.

  • In this phase, political developments and women’s participation in the National movement went hand in hand.

7. The partition of Bengal in 1905

  • This resulted in the launching of Swadeshi movement by the nationalists.

  • Though there was the absence of mass awakening amongst the women, but meetings were arranged and khadi spinnings were taken up by women.

  • Women contributed their bangles, nose rings and bracelets to the national fund.

  • In villages, women starte

  • The women workers of the Arya Samaj were also responsible for arousing national spirit among the people.

  • This Swadeshi period marked the formation of several women’s organisations.

  • Sarala Devi took steps to organize the women’s movement and its nucleus in the form of Bharat Stri Maha Mandal in Lahore in 1910.

  • Parvati Devi, the headmistress of a Hindu girls’ school at Kanchi a small town in the Madras presidency started Kanchi Mahila Parishad to equip women of Kanchi with knowledge to create public opinion over burning issues of the nation.

8. Setting up of Home Rule League

  • The period from 1911-18 is of great significance in the history of Indian national movement because for the first time a woman Annie Besant led the national movement as president of Indian National Congress. (Calcutta Session 1917)

  • It was due to women like Annie Besant that organized movement for the emancipation of women took place and the demand for political rights for women came to be firmly established on the political agenda.

9. Entry of Gandhiji

  • The entry of Mahatma Gandhi with his experience altered the national politics dramatically.

  • He realized the importance of mass base to Indian nationalism.

  • Gandhian style of mass mobilization had implications for the Indian women’s movement in as much as increasing number of women were sought to be mobilized for participation in the independent movement.

  • When Gandhi launched an all India Satyagraha in 1919 against the provocative enactment of the Rowlatt Act, Women took out processions, propagated the use of Khadi and even courted jail.

  • Further, the non-cooperation movement awakened the women of all sections and imparted first lessons in Satyagraha.

10. Struggle for Suffrage

  • From the beginning, the Indian women’s movement approached the suffrage campaign as a measure to achieve social reform.

  • The leaders believed that enfranchisement of women would mean additional support for reform legislation. After the struggle for franchise, for the first time, Indian women exercised their vote in the elections of 1926.

11. Dandi March 1930

  • A large number of women including Sarojini Naidu, actively took part in the Dandi March.

  • Women participated by breaking salt laws, forest laws taking out processions, picketing schools, colleges, legislative councils and clubs.

  • Further, In 1931 Sarojini Naidu attended the Second Round Table Conference as an official representative of the women of India.

12. Civil Disobedience Movement of 1930

  • During this phase, Kamala Devi Chattopadhyaya addressed meetings and picketed foreign cloth and liquor shops.

  • She was incharge of the women’s wing of the Hindustan Seva Dal.

13. Government of India Act 1935

  • The inauguration of provincial autonomy under the India Act of 1935 gave women an opportunity to be elected to the state legislatures and also become administrators.

14. Quit India Movement 1942

  • During this phase, Men leaders were arrested in the first round up and in their absence women carried on the movement and bore the burnt of the British wrath

  • The women not only led processions and held demonstrations, but also organized camps in which they were given training in civil duties and first aid and were educated on democracy.

  • Women organized political prisoners’ relief fund while some women went underground and directed the movement secretly.

15. Azad Hind Fauj

  • In the Indian National Army of Subhash Chandra Bose, Rani Jhansi Regiment was created for women.

  • Women were trained in nursing, social service and to use weapons.

Thus, it was primarily due to the efforts of women and their role in the freedom struggle that women got the right to vote and complete equality in the constitution of India. However a great gap arose between the theoretical status of women and their rights and what existed in reality.

Dalit Movements

  • The term Dalit was first used by Jyotirao Phule for the oppressed classes or untouchable castes of the Hindu.

  • The Dalit movement began as a protest movement, to bring socio-political transformation in the status of Dalits in India.

  • The Dalits were isolated, fragmented and oppressed by the hegemony of Upper Caste culture.

  • With Maturity of time, the new polity, the postmodern administrative framework, the rational judicial system, the current forms of land tenure and taxation, the new patterns of trade, the liberal education system, and the network of communications emphasized the spirit of liberty, equality and social justice for Dalits.

  • So, Dalit movement is basically a social revolution aimed for social change, replacing the age old hierarchical Indian society, and is based on the democratic ideals of liberty, equality and social justice.

Pre-Independence Movements

1. Bhakti Movement

  • This movement in 15th century was a popular movement which treated all sections of society equally and it developed two traditions of Saguna and Nirguna.

  • The Saguna tradition advocated equality among all the castes though it subscribed to the Varnashram dharma and the caste social order.

  • The followers of Nirguna believed in formless universal God. Ravidas and Kabir were the major figures of this tradition.

  • It became more popular among the dalits in urban area in the early 20th century as it provided the possibility of salvation for all.

  • It also promised social equality.

  • Hence, the teachings of Bhakti movement inspired and motivated scheduled castes for the beginning of dalit movement.

  • These provided the means to protest against orthodox Hinduism for future generations of Dalits.

2. Neo-Vedantik Movements

  • These movements were initiated by Hindu religious and social reformers.

  • These movements attempted to remove untouchability by taking the Dalits into the fold of the caste system.

  • According to the pioneers of these movements, untouchability was not an essential part of Hinduism and, for that matter, of the caste system.

  • Dayanand Saraswathi, the founder of the Arya Samaj, believed that the caste system was a political institution created by the rulers ‘for the common good of society, and not a natural or religious distinction’.

  • The neo-Vedantic movements and non-Brahmin movements played an important catalytic role in developing anti-caste or anti Hinduism Dalit movements in some parts of the country.

  • The Satyashodhak Samaj and the self-respect movements in Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu, the Adhi Dharma and Adi Andhra movement in Bengal and Adi-Hindu movement in Uttar Pradesh are important anti-untouchability movements which were launched in the last quarter of the 19th and the early part of 20th century

  • Consequently, the Dalits began to call themselves Adi-Andhra's in Andhra, Adi- Karnataka's in Karnataka, Adi-Dravidas in Tamil Nadu, Adi-Hindus in Uttar Pradesh and Adi-Dharmas in Punjab.

  • Further, Dalits also followed the route of conversion with a purpose of getting rid of untouchability and to develop their social and financial conditions.

  • Other prominent movements in this category include:

  1. Adi Dravidas movement in Tamil Nadu

  2. Shri Narayan Dharma Paripalan movement in Kerala

  3. Nair Movement in 1861

3. Sanskritization Movement

  • Sanskritization is a process by which “a low or middle Hindu caste, or tribal or other group, changes its customs, ritual ideology, and way of life in the direction of a high-born caste

  • In this perspective Dalit leaders followed the process of ’Sanskritization’ to elevate themselves to the higher position in caste hierarchy.

  • They adopted Upper Caste manners, including vegetarianism, putting sandalwood paste on forehead, wearing sacred thread, etc.

  • This process was evident in the following movements:

  1. Adi-Dharma movement in the Punjab (organized 1926);

  2. The movement under Ambedkar in Maharashtra, mainly based among Mahars which had its organizational beginnings in 1924;

  3. The Namashudra movement in Bengal;

  4. The Adi-Dravida movement in Tamil Nadu;

  5. The Adi-Karnataka movement;

  6. The Adi Hindu movement mainly centered around Kanpur in U.P; and

  7. The organizing of the Pulayas and Cherumans in Kerala.

4. Dalit Literary Movements

  • At a time, when there was no means of communication to support the Dalits, pen was the only solution.

  • Given the Upper Castes would never allow the Dalits voice to be expressed, as it would be a threat for their own survival, the Dalits began their own magazine and began to express their own experiences.

  • Dalit literature, the literature produced by the Dalit consciousness, emerged initially during the Mukti movement.

  • The Mukti movement was led by very poor Dalits who fought against the saint – poets of the time.

  • These literature argued that Dalit Movement fights not only against the Brahmins, but all those people whoever practices exploitation, and those can be the Brahmins or even the Dalits themselves.

  • New revolutionary songs, poems, stories, autobiographies were written by Dalit writers.

  • These were sung in every village, poem and other writings were read by the entire community.

  • Baburao Bagul (1930–2008) is considered as a pioneer of Marathi Dalit writings in Marathi.

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Nov 29, 2023
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

Superb notes , helpful a lot ❤️🥹

Keep it up!!


Bittu Mishra
Bittu Mishra
Nov 13, 2023
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

Perfect notes for this topic ✨

Krati Sahu
Krati Sahu
Nov 13, 2023
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Thank you 🙏

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