Socio Religious Reform Movements In India

Scholarship Examination in India

Socio Religious Reform Movements In India has made gradual changes in various aspects of society. Many social reformers such as Swami Vivekananda, Swami Dayanand Saraswati and more have greatly contributed in bringing changes to the society. 


Here we have listed some of the major Socio Religious Reform Movements In India which are regularly been asked in SSC CHSL, SSC CGL, SSC MTS, IBPS PO, IBPS Clerk, LIC AAO, and other exams.






Allahabad Seva Samiti


N. Kunzru



Arya Samaj

Swami Dayanand Saraswati



Atmiya Sabha

Rammohan Roy



Bombay Indian National Conference

M.G. Ranade



Brahmo Samaj

Rammohan Roy



Brahmo Samaj of India

Keshab Chandra Sen




Maulana Hussain Ahmed



Deccan Education Society

G.G. Agarkar



Dharma Sabha

Radhakant Dev



Lahore Deva Samaj

Shivnarayan Agnihotri



Lucknow Nadwah-ul-Ulama

Maulana Shibli Numani



Manav Dharma Sabha

Durgaram Mancharam



Muhammadan Educational Conference

Syed Ahmad Khan




Ram Singh




Dayal Das, Darbara Singh, Rattan Chand etc.



Paramhansa Mandli

Dadoba Pandurang



Poona Seva Sadan

Mrs Ramabai Ranade and G.K.



Prarthna Samaj

Atmaram Pandurang



Radha Swami Satsang

Tulsi Ram



Ramkrishna Mission

Swami Vivekananda



Sadharan Brahmo Samaj

Anand Mohan Bose



Servent Of India Society

Gopal Krishna Gokhale



Social Service League

N.M. Joshi



Tattvabodhini Sabha

Debendranath Tagore



Theosophical Society

Madam H.P. Blavatsky and Col H.S. Olcott

New York (Usa)




Allahabad Seva Samiti:

Seva Samiti was another organization founded by another prominent member of the Servants of India Society, Hridayanath Kunzru. Founded in 1914 at Allahabad, the Seva Samiti had as its objective to organize social service during natural disasters like floods and epidemics, to promote the spread of education, cooperation, sanitation, to uplift depressed classes, reform criminals and rescue the fallen.


Arya Samaj:

Swami Dayananda Saraswati, the founder of the Arya Samaj, was one of the makers of modern India. With an indigenous orientation, he wanted to bring a new social, religious, economic and political order in India.

Taking inspiration from Veda, he criticized evil practices like idolatry, caste system, untouchability etc. as prevailed in the then Indian society.


Atmiya Sabha:

Atmiya Sabha was a philosophical discussion circle in India. The association was started by Ram Mohan Roy in 1815 in Kolkata (then Calcutta). They used to conduct debate and discussion sessions on philosophical topics and also used to promote free and collective thinking and social reform. The foundation of Atmiya Sabha in 1815 is considered as the beginning of the modern age in Kolkata. In 1823, the association became defunct. 


Bombay Indian National Conference:

Indian National Congress (INC), a voice of Indian opinion to the British government held its first session on 28th December 1885. Founded upon the authority of British civil servant Allan Octavian Hume, the Congress was created to form a platform for civic and political dialogue of educated Indians with the British Raj and met each December. The first meeting was scheduled to be held in Poona, but due to a cholera outbreak, it was shifted to Bombay. 


Brahmo Samaj:

Brahmo Samaj is a Hindu reform movement. It is the social component of Brahmoism, a monotheistic reformist movement of Hindu religion that appeared during the Bengal Renaissance. It is practiced today mainly as the Adi Dharm after its eclipse in Bengal consequent to the exit of the Tattwabodini Sabha from its ranks in 1839. After the publication of Hemendranath Tagore’s Brahmo Anusthan (code of practice) in 1860 which formally divorced Brahmoism from Hinduism, the first Brahmo Samaj was founded in 1861 at Lahore by Pandit Nobin Chandra Roy.



The Darul Uloom Deoband is the Darul Uloom Islamic school in India where the Deobandi Islamic movement began. It is located at Deoband, a town in Saharanpur district, Uttar Pradesh. The school was founded in 1866 by the ulema (Islamic scholars) Muhammad Qasim Nanotvi, Rasheed Ahmed Gangohi, and ‘Abid Hussain.


Deccan Education Society:

In 1880 Vishnushastri Chiplunkar and Bal Gangadhar Tilak established the New English School, one of the first native-run schools offering Western education in Pune. In 1884 they created the Deccan Education Society with Gopal Ganesh Agarkar, Mahadev Ballal Namjoshi, V. S. Apte, V. B. Kelkar, M. S. Gole and N. K. Dharap. Soon afterward, they established Fergusson College with Tilak and Agharkar as early lecturers.


Dharma Sabha:

Dharma Sabha was formed in 1830 in Calcutta by Raja Radhakant Deb. The organization was established mainly to counter the ongoing social reform movements led by protagonists such as Raja Ram Mohun Roy and Henry Derozio. More specifically, the impetus of forming the organization came from a new law enacted by the colonial Government which banned the practice of sati in the country; the focus of the new association was to repel the law which was seen as an intrusion by the Government into the religious affairs of the indigenous people by some sections of the Hindu community.


Lahore Deva Samaj:

Sh. Shiv Narayan Agnihotri was born at Sri Akbarpur U.P. on 20 December 1850 to Sh. Rameshwar Agnihotri and Smt. Mohan Kunwar. He had his basic education at Sri Akbarpur and for further education enrolled in the Thompson Engineering College at Roorkee (Now IITRoorkee) in 1866. On 9 July 1871, he accepted Pandit Shiv Dayal singh as his personal guru. After completing his education he took up various jobs. In 1873 he moved to Lahore. He became an active member of Brahmo Samaj in 1875 and worked tirelessly for various reformist movements started by it. On 20 December 1882, he left his job and took Jeevan Vrat जीवन व्रत (life Vow).


Darul Uloom Nadwatul Ulama:

Darul Uloom Nadwatul Ulama is an Islamic institution at Lucknow, India, which draws large number of Muslim students from all over the world. Nadwatul Ulama fosters a diverse range of both scholars and students including Hanafis (the predominant group), Shafi’isand Ahl al-Hadith. Additionally, it is one of the very few institutes in the region to teach the Islamic Sciences completely in Arabic. Nadwa’s objective was reaching a middle path between classical Islam and modernity. It was founded at Kanpur in 1894 in the first annual convention of Nadwatul Ulema (“Organisation of Scholars”) by Muhammad Ali Mungeri, Ashraf Ali Thanwi, Mahmud-ul-Hasan with an idea to counter the challenge of western education. 


Manav Dharma Sabha:

Manav Dharma Sabha was one of the earliest socio-religious reform movements in Gujarat and British India. It was founded on 22 June 1844 in Surat by Mehtaji Durgaram Manchharam, Dadoba Pandurang Tarkhadkar, and a few others. The goals of the Sabha were to expose the hypocritical arts present in Christian, Muslim and Hindu religions. It had a very short life span and ceased to exist as Dadoba left for Bombay in 1846 and Durgaram left for Rajkot in 1852. It acted as a secret society and is believed that the revelation of its existence hastened its demise.


Muhammadan Educational Conference:

The All India Muhammadan Educational Conference was an organization promoting modern, liberal education for the Muslim community in India. It was founded by Syed Ahmed Khan, also the founder of the Aligarh Muslim University. All India Muhammadan Educational Conference was the origin of the All-India Muslim League. The Muslim League was born in the 20th session of All India Muhammadan Educational Conference, which was established by Syed Ahmed Khan in Aligarh in 1886. Muhammadan Educational Conference used to hold its annual meetings in various cities where, by the co-operation of local Muslims, steps were taken for the progress of education.


Paramahansa Mandali:

Paramahansa Mandali was a secret socio-religious group in Bombay and is closely related to Manav Dharma Sabha which was found in 1844 in Surat. It was started by Mehtaji Durgaram, Dadoba Pandurang and a group of his friends. Dadoba Pandurang assumed leadership of this organization after he left Manav Dharma Sabha. He outlined his principles in Dharma Vivechan in 1848 for Manav Dharma Sabha and “Paramhansik Bramhyadharma” for Paramahansa Mandali. It was the first socio-religious organization of Maharashtra. Founded in 1849 Maharashtra, the founders of this mandli believed in one god. They were primarily interested in breaking caste rules. At their meetings, food cooked by lower caste people was taken by the members. This mandali also advocated women’s education and widow remarriage.


Poona Seva Sadan:

Ramabai Ranade (25 January 1863 – 1924) was an Indian social worker and one of the first women’s rights activists in the 19th century. She was born in Kurlekar family in 1863 . At the age of 11, she was married to Justice Mahadev Govind Ranade, who was a distinguished Indian scholar and social reformer. In that era of social inequality, women were not allowed to go to school and become literate, Ramabai, soon after her marriage, started to learn reading and writing with strong support and encouragement from Mahadev Govind Ranade. Starting with her native language Marathi, Ramabai strove hard to master English and Bengali.

Inspired by her husband, Ramabai started ‘Hindu Ladies Social Club’ in Mumbai to develop public speaking among women. Ramabai was also a founder and President of ‘Seva Sadan Society’ in Pune. Ramabai devoted her life to the improvement of women’s lives. Ramabai Ranade with her husband and other colleagues established in 1886 the first girls’ high school in Pune.


Prarthana Samaj:

Prarthana Samaj, or “Prayer Society” in Sanskrit, was a movement for religious and social reform in Bombay based on earlier reform movements. Prarthana Samaj was founded by Atmaram Pandurang with the help of Keshav Chandra Sen in 1867, with an aim to make people believe in one God and worship only one God. It became popular after Mahadev Govind Ranade joined. The main reformers were the intellectuals who advocated reforms of the social system of the Hindus.


Radha Swami Satsang:

Radha Soami Satsang Beas (RSSB) is a philosophical organization based on the spiritual teachings of all religions, dedicated to a process of inner development under the guidance of a spiritual teacher.

Radha Soami is a Hindi expression meaning ‘Lord of the Soul’ in English. Satsang means ‘association with Truth’ and describes a group that seeks the truth. The main centre of RSSB is at Dera Baba Jaimal Singh, located on the banks of the Beas River, in the northern India state of Punjab.

RSSB was founded in India in 1891 and steadily began spreading to other countries. Today, RSSB holds meetings in more than 90 countries worldwide. It is a non-profit organization with no affiliation to any political or commercial organizations.


Ramakrishna Mission:

Ramakrishna Mission is an Indian socio-religious reform movement which forms the core of a worldwide spiritual movement known as the Ramakrishna Movement or the Vedanta Movement. The mission is named after and inspired by the Indian saint Ramakrishna Paramahamsa and founded by Ramakrishna’s chief disciple Swami Vivekananda on 1 May 1897. The mission, which is headquartered near Kolkata at Belur Math in Howrah, West Bengal, subscribes to the ancient Hindu philosophy of Vedanta.


Sadharan Brahmo Samaj:

The Sadharan Brahmo Samaj was formed in a public meeting of Brahmos held in the Town Hall of Calcutta on 15 May 1878 (2nd Jaishta 1284 of the Bengali calendar). A letter from Maharshi Devendranath Tagore communicating his blessings and prayer for the success of the new Samaj was read in the meeting. At the time of its foundation, the Sadharan Brahmo Samaj was headed by three men universally esteemed in Brahmo society for their high moral character. They were Ananda Mohan Bose, Sib Chandra Deb, and Umesh Chandra Dutta. Of those three Ananda Mohan Bose was the youngest, scarcely more than 31 years at the time, yet he was placed at the head of affairs.


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