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Hindu reformers and Indian nationalism


Arya Samaj was a Hindu nationalist religious organization. It was established by Dayanand Sarawati in Bombay in 1875. This organization saw in the holy books of Hinduism, the Vedas, infallible and as books that hold in it all the necessary knowledge the human race needs. In the Vedas one can find the past and the future, and, with the correct reading also sciences like engineering, chemistry, military science and other sciences (see Hinduism).

This organization believed that the Hindu/Indian society was different than it was suppose to be according to the Hindu holy books. They opposed idolatry and the monopoly Brahman priest had over Hinduism. They supported giving education to all including women and the untouchables. They even established schools all over India. They were for equal rights between men and women. This organization wanted to change the Indian society into a more open and equal society, but their slogan was not modernizing India or westernizing India instead it was 'back to the Vedas'.

This organization's aims were social and religious reforms in the Hindu society. This organization tried to establish Hindu pride among the Hindus. Because of its references to the Hindu religion this organization attracted only Hindus in India but it deterred Muslims and also secular Hindus. Later on in India's history the ideas expressed by this organization inspired many Indian nationalist leaders, who, for some period, were also the dominant leaders in the Indian National Congress (see Creating the Indian identity). It also inspired establishing Hindu nationalist parties outside the Indian National Congress.

Aharon Daniel


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