India has produced numerous social reformers who have played a significant role in making India a more progressive and forward looking country. These social reformers have fought against several social evils such as Sati, widow remarriage, child marriage, casteism et al. Here is a brief profile of famous Indian social reformers.
His only motive in life lies in service of his fellow humans. His fight against corruption has been basically targeted at uplifting the poor and downtrodden conditions prevailing in rural India. His supporters call him "Second Gandhi". He is Anna Hazare, an ex-army man and a social activist, recognized and celebrated for his undying support for the citizens of India to serve them and fight for them against greed and corruption.
Dayanand Saraswati was one of the most radical socio-religious reformers in the history of India. Swami Dayanand Saraswati was the founder of Arya Samaj and propagated egalitarian approach of the Vedas at a time when widespread casteism was prevalent in the society.
Raja Ram Mohan Roy
Raja Ram Mohan Roy is known as the 'Maker of Modern India'. He was the
founder of the Brahmo Samaj, one of the first Indian socio-religious
reform movements. He played a major role in abolishing the role of Sati.
Raja Rammohan Roy was a great scholar and an independent thinker.
Ramakrishna Paramhansa was one of the foremost Hindu spiritual leaders of the country. His teachings are still deeply revered by the people. He also played a key role in the social reform movement in Bengal in 19th century.
Swami Vivekananda was one of the most influential spiritual leaders of Vedanta philosophy. He was the chief disciple of Ramakrishna Paramahansa and was the founder of Ramakrishna Math and Ramakrishna Mission. Swami Vivekananda was the living embodiment of sacrifice and dedicated his life to the country and yearned for the progress of the poor, the helpless and the downtrodden.
Vinobha Bhave's original name was Vinayak Narahari Bhave. He was born in a Brahmin family on September 11, 1895 at the village of Gagoda in Kolaba district of Maharashtra. He was greatly influenced by his mother Rukmini Devi. Vinoba Bhave was well-read in the writings of Maharashtra's saints and philosophers.
Kiran Bedi is truly an icon of heroism. She was the first Indian woman to join the Indian Police Services. She was born on June 9, 1949 at Amritsar in Punjab. She is one of the most renowned police officers, who have put in their whole hearted effort in serving the society.
Medha Patkar is a well known social activist of India. She was born on 1st December in the year 1954. Prior to becoming a social reformer, she completed her M.A. in Social Work from Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS).She left Ph. D. in the midst and got actively involved in the agitations conducted by tribals and peasants of Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat.
Shanta Sinha, the Ramon Magsaysay award winner, has recently been appointed for the post of chairperson of the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights. She is the founder secretary trustee of the Mamidipudi Venkatarangaiya (MV) Foundation, Secunderabad.
Baba Amte is one of the greatest social reformers India's ever had. He gave his lucrative career as barrister for social service. He was so great a person that he dedicated his entire life to the care and rehabilitation of leprosy patients.
Jyotirao Govindrao Phule, who was a prominent activist, thinker and social reformer from the Indian state of Maharashtra during the 19th century, was also famous by the name of Mahatma Jyotiba Phule. During his time, he tried bringing in positive renovations in the spheres of education, agriculture, caste system, social position of women et al.
Shahu Chhatrapati was the Maharaja or the king of the Indian princely state of Kolhapur. Also known by the name of Rajarshi Shahu, he was known to be a great social reformer of his time. Shahu Chhatrapati was born on 26 June in the year 1874 as Yeshwantrao Ghatge.
Best known as the "Father of Marathi Journalism", Balshastri Jambhekar is renowned for his contributions in the field of print media and social awareness. He was one of those social activists who made continuous effort in generating useful and healthy consciousness amongst the common masses and attempted to educate the uneducated.
Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar
Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar, the name that the world identifies with the rise of the state of Bengal in India, was, undoubtedly, one of the most learned men that the world has ever witnessed. It was with his vast store of knowledge that Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar brought about a revolution in Bengal at a time when the state was completely in a dilapidated condition.
Shriram Sharma Acharya
Globally acknowledged as a Brahmarshi, Pandit Shriram Sharma Acharya was an eminent seer, sage, and saint of imminent emergence of the golden era of peace, goodwill, harmony, and understanding amongst all humanity races. He was a celebrated figure known for transforming the significance of Gayatri Mahamantra
Sahajanand Saraswati was a freedom fighter who just also happened to be an ascetic interested in political, social and economic reforms. Swami Sahajanand's social and political activities began in the province of Bihar but spread far and wide to gain considerable momentum. He was an exceptional scholar in Sanskrit and Hindi and was also a social reformer.
Dhondo Keshav Karve
During the 19th and the early part of the 20th century, India was in the dark grip of casteism and ritualism. Naturally, those who were at the lower end of the social scale suffered the most and amongst them, women bore the brunt all the more, since they were not treated as equal as men.
Kandukuri Veeresalingam was renowned scholar and a versatile intellectual who stood strongly for several social causes, like widow remarriages and abolition of child marriages. With his rational and dynamic thinking and views, he battled vehemently for women's equal rights. Apart from being a social reformer, he was a leader of the general public and showed immense interest in writing,
Pandita Ramabai was born during those times when the women folks of India were considered a little more than slaves, to serve their husband and bear children. They were not allowed to study, or go out on their own and a majority of Hindu women were married off when they were children to men who were decades older.
Recognized as one of the principle and significant leaders of peasantry in Bihar, Swami Sahajanand Saraswati was a brilliant intellectual and a striking master of debate. Gifted with numerous qualities of mass leadership, Sahajanand grew as a social reformer and politician and won a circle of several admirers.
Vitthal Ramji Shinde
His greatness as a distinguished reformer is sufficient to recognize him as one of the most liberal thinkers India has ever given birth to. At a time when India was battling for independence from the British Raj, Shinde stepped forward towards bringing equality amongst the depressed