Great men come and go, but what remains behind are some unforgettable impressions and heroic deeds, which transform the society for good. India is a nation truly blessed and privileged to be the mother land of great many souls, who fought till death to bring about social justice in the country.
India has seen many social reformers fighting for the rights of humanity. They broke free from the traditional jinx of the much prevailing caste-system and fought for the right of girl child upliftment, education and also introduced system of widow re-marriage. They made extraordinary contributions, and their influential thoughts guide the nation even today.
Here’s listing 10 most influential social reformers that helped shape the Social Structure of India. Take a look!
10. Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar (1820-1891)
A renowned writer, philosopher, educator, translator, academic, philanthropist and so much more, Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar is remembered as one of the pillars of “Bengal Renaissance.” This Bengal polymath fought for the upliftment and betterment of the status of the Indian Woman. He also laid heavy weight on the concept of widow re-marriage and helped alleviate apathy of the Indian Widow.
9. Dr. B. R. Ambedkar (1891-1956)
Dr. B. R. Ambedkar was an Indian jurist, an eminent political leader, a Buddhist activist, anthropologist, orator, economist and scholar. He is regarded as one of the main pillars of Indian constitution. He spent his entire life fighting for reforms against social discrimination and Hindu caste system. Dr. B. R. Ambedkar has been honored with the highest Indian civilian award, the Bharat Ratna, for his outstanding contribution towards social reformations in India.
8. Jawaharlal Nehru (1889-1964)
The very first Prime Minister of India, Jawaharlal Nehru was one of the leading figures in the Indian Independence Movement. He also initialed the process of social reforms in India by taking major steps for the eradication of the evils of the much prevalent caste-system by changing the existing laws. He is also remembered as Pandit Nehru and his birthday is remembered as children’s day in India.
7. Mother Teresa (1910-1997)
A true devotee of humanity, Mother Teresa was the founder of the Missionaries of Charity. She devoted her life in serving the less privileged, abandoned and needy people. Though she started her mission in India, soon her endeavors spread to different communities all across the globe.
6.Baba Amte (1914-2008)
Born with a silver spoon, Baba Amte lived his entire life as an Indian social worker and social activist. Leaving behind the luxuries of life and his lucrative profession, he devoted his time in the service of the downtrodden masses of the society particularly the ones suffering from leprosy.
5. Annie Besant (1847-1933)
A much prominent theosophist, writer, women’s right activist and an orator, Annie Besant bravely fought for the many rights of the Indians. She was also elected as the first woman President of the Indian National Congress. She fought for the rights of Indian women.
4. Swami Dayanada Saraswati (1824-1883)
Swami Dayanada Saraswati is best remembered as the founder of the Arya Samaj and as one of the most prominent makers of Modern India. He emphasized on the liberation of Hindu society and asked people to turn back to the Vedas. He direly opposed ritualism, idol worship and the practice of animal sacrifice.
3. Swami Vivekananda (1863-1902)
Swami Vivekananda was another eminent social reformer who brought about spiritual awakening amongst Indian masses in the 19th century. He is fondly remembered as the Intellectual Monk of India. He had set up the ‘Ramakrishna Mission’ in 1987. Swami Vivekananda strongly believed that man himself is the creator of his own destiny.
2. Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi (1869-1948)
A pioneer of Satyagraha, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was a devotee of non-violence. He was also called as the Father of The Nation and was an eminent spiritual and political of India during the struggle of independence movement. Gandhi led various nationwide movements to eradicate poverty, expand women’s rights and also increase economic self-reliance and so much more.
1. Raja Ram Mohan Roy (1772-1833)
Father of Indian Renaissance, Raja Ram Mohan Roy is remembered for his remarkable reforms against child-marriage, polygamy and untouchability during the 18th century. He continuously endeavored to abolish the practice of sati-pratha. He founded the Atmiya Sabha and the Brahmo Samaj in 1828, to fight against the much orthodox Hindu society.