Mains Daily Question
Feb. 24, 2022

Distinguish between revivalist and reformist movements in the context of 18th century reform movements in colonial India.

Model Answer

18th century reform movements aimed at all round regeneration of society on the basis of modern ideas like humanism, rationalism etc.

Revivalist reform movements-

  • These movements relied to a greater degree on the lost purity of religion they sought to reform.

  • Revivalist movements appealed more to tradition than reason and conscience.

  • These movements aimed to demonstrate that ancient Indian socio-cultural ideas were progressive and rationalist.

  • Examples- Arya Samaj movement, Deoband movement, Wahabi Movement etc.

Reformist movements-

  • These movements relied more on reason and rationalism in accepting or rejecting a social custom or religious tradition.

  • Reformist movements were influenced by the modern Western ideas in the socio-cultural sphere like equality among genders, freedom of choosing life partner etc.

  • Leaders of these movements, though accepting modern western ideas, refused to model the society blindly on western lines. They aimed at modernization not westernization.

  • Example- Brahmo Samaj, Aligarh movement etc.

Both revivalist and reformist movements helped in furthering socio-religious reforms in the society, which ultimately led to the rise of a modern and progressive society.

Subjects : Modern History
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