The Indian Renaissance is a remarkable feature of India in the 19th Century. By the beginning of the 19th Century, Indian culture stood completely demoralised against the western culture. The educated Indians lost confidence in their own culture and regard western culture as their ideals. They blindly initiated western race, manners, literature, thought and everything else which belonged to the West.
But at the same time, a new thought came to the mind of Indians. It inspired Indians in every work of their life, society, religion, literature, fine arts, politics,etc. The new thought wave the inspiration and emotions, which it created and it’s resultant effects have been called the Indian Renaissance. It affected every sphere of Indian life and brought forth significant changes, it gave new life and purposes of Indian culture. It inspired the Indians to remove the defeats of their culture. The Indian felt that the Indian culture is great and it can grow and can face the challenge of western culture. The Indian Renaissance affected various Indian life and brought significant change in every field of life.
RAJA RAMMOHAN ROY
The reformers of the period criticized caste inequalities. Raja Rammohan Roy realised that the reform of Indian society had to be preceded by a reform of Hinduism itself. He believed that Hinduism should be free from the control of Bhrahmanas, who opposed progress and were responsible for the oppression of the lower caste. He realised that to break free from the shackles of the caste system and the meaningless rituals of religion. People should be introduced to the original text of Hinduism. Thus, he took up the task of translating the Hindu script into Bengali.
BANNING OF SATI SYSTEM
All those social evils which have been desired by educated Indians and National leaders in modern times were first attacked by Raja Rammohan Roy.
He led a crusade against the practice of sati, polygamy, child marriage, marriage with minor girls, caste system, pardah system, untouchability and use of intoxicants.
The most vocal opponent of sati practice was Raja Rammohan Roy, he launched a campaign against it.
His persistent efforts yielded results and Sati was declared illegal in 1829.
Raja Rammohan Roy is known as the father of Indian Renaissance
In the nineteenth century, the conditions of widows was pitable. They were not allowed to remarry. Prior could they attend family and community functions because their presence at such happy occasions was considered inauspicious.
Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar launched a crusade for the betterment of the widows. He also wanted that widows should be allowed to remarry. If they so wished, his efforts led to passing of the Hindu Widows Remarriage Act in 1856, which permitted widow remarriage.
Pandit Ramabai Ranade was another social reformer. She dedicated her life to the cause of women’s rights. She set up a home for women in Poona. Women were given vocational training here.