Hindu Reform Movements

Hindu Reform Movements

Introduction
 
Active Hindu communities are to be found in all parts of the world.
 
There are groups in India that are actively engaged in getting women and those from socially disadvantaged jātis to become priests of Vedic ritual.
 
One of the foremost movements in breaking the caste system and educating the downtrodden was the Lingayat movement spearheaded by Basavanna in the 12th century in Anubhava Mantapa in Kalyani of Karnataka. The less accessible Vedas were rejected and parallel Vachanas were compiled.
 
The new movements look up to Swami Vivekananda; Rabindranath Tagore; Ramana Maharshi; Shri Aurobindo (for his Integral Yoga); Maharishi Dayananda Saraswati, A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (founder of the modern Hare Krishna movement); Swami Sivananda, Swami Rama Tirtha; Narayana Guru,Jagadguru Swami Sathyananda Saraswathi, Paramhansa Yogananda; Shrii Shrii Anandamurti. More recently, the work of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, Shirdi Sai Baba, Sathya Sai Baba, Swami Muktananda, Swami Chinmayananda Saraswati, Swami Dayananda Saraswati, Shriram Sharma Acharya, Pramukh Swami Maharaj, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, and Mata Amritanandamayi has inspired millions to create new centers of spiritual development. In the intellectual field, the writings of Ananda Coomaraswamy, Ram Swarup, Sita Ram Goel, Subhash Kak, Frank Morales and David Frawley have been influential.
 
In social work, Mahatma Gandhi, Vinoba Bhave, Baba Amte and Shrii Shrii Anandamurti have been most important. Sunderlal Bahuguna created the chipko movement for the preservation of forestlands according to the Hindu ecological ideas.
 
The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh or RSS was founded by Keshav Baliram Hegdewar in 1925. The goal was to unite Hindus, make them rise over their caste differences and work to achieve a Hindu Rashtra; the ideology of the Sangh, closely associated with political Hinduism, came to be known as Hindutva.
 
In Indonesia several movements favour a return to Hinduism in Java, Sumatra, Kalimantan, and Sulawesi. Balinese Hinduism, known as Agama Hindu Dharma, has witnessed great resurgence in recent years. Shrii Prabhat Rainjan Sarkar (founder of Ananda Marga) initiated a new renaissance in the Indian world of samgeet.
 
Tamilnadu Untouchability eradication forum (TNUEF) 
 
For the past ten years, the CPI (M) and other mass organisations in Tamilnadu have been concentrating on movements against caste oppression and for eradication of untouchability. Efforts towards eradication of untouchability have intensified after the formation of the Tamilnadu Untouchability Eradication Front (TNUEF) in May 2007. District units of the TNUEF are present and active in all the 32 districts of Tamilnadu today.
 
Many class and mass organisations like CITU, AIKS, AIAWU, DYFI, AIDWA, SFI and the Tamilnadu Progressive Writers and Artists Association have been associated with the TNUEF. Industry wise trade unions and employees’ federations functioning in sectors like banking, insurance, telecom, education, railways, power, transport, construction, tailoring and pharmaceuticals have also been associated with the Front. Similarly, 18 Dalit Organisations functioning at the state level and 45 dalit organisations functioning at the district level are active participants in the activities of the TNUEF. As a whole, the TNUEF is functioning as a wide and broad platform for the struggle against the caste oppression and for eradication of untouchability.
 
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