Socio-religious reform movements arose in India during 19th century not only facilitated by but also as a reaction to colonial rule.
Young Bengal and Brahmo Samaj represent two important points of these reformist movements.
The rise and growth of socio-religious reform movements :
•People from elite class who were educated through modern English education were the backbone of religious reform movements. For example, Raja Ram Mohan Roy, the founder of Brahmo Samaj.
•Radical intellectual movement inspired by the French revolution emerged under Derozio as Young Bengal movement.
•It challenged orthodox restrictions on diet and social interactions and promoted free thinking, rationality, questioning the authority and ideals of liberty, equality and freedom.
•Hegemony of ideas like polytheism and cultural backwardness of Indian society paved way for new norms in public culture about rituals, conditions of women etc.
•Colonial support for individual reformists, common class-interests between the prospering Zamindars and the British,
•Creation of a public sphere of debate through influence of Derozio’s Young Bengal completed the rise of socio-religious reform movements of 19th century.
Socio-religious reforms were a reaction against colonial judgement and native backwardness. The movement arose and declined, but with lasting impact on society and the public sphere of ideas.