COLONIALISMS EFFECT ON CULTURE AND SOCIAL REFORMS
The effect of colonialism brought the Indians towards modern lines of western thought. 3These reforms were had largely been the effort of newly educated higher castes of Indian society. In the time Ideas and ideals of the reformers won almost universal acceptance and now they are enshrined in the Indian Constitution. The social reform tried in the main to achieve two objectives; Emancipation of women and extension of equal rights to them and the removal of caste rigidities and abolition of untouchablity.
EMANCIPATION OF WOMEN
For many centuries a women was always considered as sub-ordinate to men. The various religious practice consigned women to a inferior status than men. The condition of upper caste women was in this respect worse than the peasant women. Since, the latter had the freedom of movement and better status in family in comparison to the upper caste women. There were many unjust religious customs carried by the women. For example a woman did not have the right to remarry after his husband dies, while a man could marry more than once. Women were nothing but considered as a piece of property to men. They were not allowed to have any social life, to follow their passion but a mere adjunct to men. In many parts of the country there were horrifying custom of sati and self-immolation. Widows had to live a ascetic and restricted life. The Muslim and Hindu women were economically and socially dependent on men. Many individual reformist societies tried to bring justice to the women in india. They encouraged the spread of education among women, prevented child-marrriage, stopped polygamy, enabled women to take up professions or public employment, bring out the women from purdah. The rise of militant national movement gave a stimulus to the emancipation of women. Women played an active part in non-cooperation movement, faced lathis, tear gas and participated in the revolutionary terrorist movements. When the trade union and kissan movement arose women were always found at the forefront. Upto the 1920s enlightened men have worked for the for the uplift of women, now aware and self-confident women took the job of educating other women and bringing justice to them. A organization in the name of All India Women’s Conference was founded in 1927. Women’s struggle to equality took a big step when articles 14 and 15 were introduced, which guaranteed the complete equality of men and women. The Hindu Succession act of 1956 made a daughter and equal heir as the son. The Hindu Marriage act of 1955 permitted the dissolution of marriage on specific grounds. The evil customs of dowry still continues in India, a proper social climate has still to be created.
STRUGGLE AGAINST CASTE
The Hindus were divided in numerous castes, the caste of a person said a large number of his life. It determined whom he would marry, profession. The lower castes or scheduled castes were about 20% of Hindu population, they were called untouchables, shudra. Mostly Shudras were only allowed to work as artisans and were denied of education. They were restricted to bore water from tanks and wells, thus a Shudra had to drink water from tanks and irrigation canals. In some parts of the country particularly in south even the shadow of a Shudra was avoided by the Brahmins. Caste system was not only humiliating and inhuman, but also it was the cause social disintegration. Caste system became a major obstacle to unite the Indian People for a national movement. British rule gradually undermined the caste system.
Many reformists groups like Bramho samaj, Prarthna Samaj, Arya Samaj, The Ramkrishna Mission and several others of the 19th century attacked it. The growth of National Movement played a significant role in weakening of Caste system. Gandhiji all his life fought against the caste system and abolition of the customs, caste system had. In 1932 he found All India Harijan Sangh. However the problem with the social uplift was related to the problems of political and economical uplift, which could be possible with the spread of education and political rights. This was fully recognized by Dr. B.R Ambedkar. The constitution provided the legal framework for the abolition of utouchablility. The struggle against the caste systems still remains an urgent task before the Indian people especially in rural areas.
I have always been against Glorifying Over Work and therefore, in the year 2021, I have decided to launch this campaign “Balancing Life”and talk about this wrong practice, that we have been following since last few years. I will be talking to and interviewing around 1 lakh people in the coming 2021 and publish their interview regarding their opinion on glamourising Over Work.
If you are interested in participating in the same, do let me know.
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We are also running a series Inspirational Women from January 2021 to March 31,2021, featuring around 1000 stories about Indian Women, who changed the world. #choosetochallenge