Q. 15.0( 2 Votes )

Collect additional information about the work done by Rajarshi Shahu Maharaj and Maharshi Vitthal Ramji Shinde in the field of social reform.

Answer :

Rajarshi Shahu Maharaj

He was the Shahu of Kolhapur for 28yrs, during which he initiated a host of social reforms and his reign is credited with furthering the lot of the lower castes. Some of his notable contributions are:

1. Ensuring suitable employment for lower caste students, thus there by affirming the first conceptualization of the policy of reservation.

2. Establishment of weaving and spinning mill in 1906 to provide employment opportunities.

3. Establishment of Rajaram college, which was later renamed in his honour.

4. He emphasized that education being availed to masses and introduced a number of educational programs.

5. He started various scholarships for the students of depressed classes.

Maharshi Vitthal Ramji Shinde

He was a prominent liberal thinker and social reformist who dedicated his life to remove untouchability. He established the Depressed Class Mission in 1906 in Mumbai. He was highly influenced with the ideas of Mahatama Gandhi and his volume of written communication with him is noteworthy. Shinde was disappointed with the separatist attitude of the leaders of the untouchables, especially Babasahib Ambedkar.

His book Bhartiya Asprushyatecha Prashna ( "India’s untouchability question" ) was published in 1933 and was an examination of Hindu religion and social culture on the matter or purity and untouchability. He opposed caste system, idol worship, meaningless rituals and injustice against women and depressed classes.

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