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  • 200 years ago the lives of women were totally different from what it is toda.

  • People were also divided along caste lines.

  • The attitude towards women and social customs started changing from the early nineteenth century.

  • Awareness was created among women as people started reading more.

  • Rammohun Roy strongly felt that unjust practices against women had to end.

  • A Law was passed banning ‘sati’ in the year 1829.

  • Ishwarchandra Vidyasagar and Veerasalingam Pantulu suggested that widows could remarry.

  • Swami Dayanand Saraswati, who founded the Arya Samaj, supported widow remarriage.

  • All Reformers felt that it was necessary to educate women.

  • Many women wrote about the place of women in society.

  • Tarabai Shinde and Pandita Ramabai criticised the social differences between men and women.

  • Women became actively involved in reforms and started schools and training centres for women.

  • Jawaharlal Nehru and Subhas Chandra Bose supported the demands of women for greater equality and freedom.

  • Social reformers also fought against the caste system.

  • People from within the "lower" castes began organising movements against caste discrimination, and demanded social equality and justice.

  • Ghasidas, Haridas Thakur and Shri Narayana Guru were leaders who came from "low" castes and worked amongst them for social justice.

  • Jyotirao Phule founded the Satyashodhak Samaj, to spread caste equality and wrote a book named Gulamgiri, meaning slavery.

  • This movement for caste reform was continued in the twentieth century by other great dalit leaders like Dr B.R. Ambedkar in western India and E.V. Ramaswamy Naicker in the south.

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