He was a Brahman from Gujarat who became the major spokesman for the 19th-century Hindu revival that placed exclusive authority in the Vedas. He condemned idol worship, untouchability, child marriage, and the low station of women, which he said were not sanctioned by the Vedas. In he founded the Arya Samaj [society of nobles] in Bombay to spread the doctrines of the newly reinterpreted Vedas. Although he was little concerned with politics, his message reawakened the Hindu traditionalists and reinforced the division between Muslim and Hindu in India.

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On 7 April ,Bombay Arya Samaj was established. Dayanand himself enrolled as a member rather than the leader of the Bombay group. The Samaj began to grow. The Arya Samaj continued to grow, especially in Punjab.

Some authors claim that the activities of the Samaj led to increased antagonism between Muslims and Hindus. The group that refrained from eating meat were called the "Mahatma" group and the other group, the "Cultured Party".

Some Samajis in government service were dismissed for belonging to the Samaj [19] In the s, when the Hindu Nationalist group, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh grew in prominence in Northern India, they found support from the Arya Samaj of Punjab. The activities of the samaj in the region included using shuddhi in integrating half-Muslim or low-caste communities into the organization.

Narayan Dev, a samaj member active in making many conversions is extolled as a Sindhi martyr. Dev was killed in a street fight in The Gujarat Samaj opened orphanages. In , the samaj lost its following to Mahatma Gandhi. The Arya Samaj extended its efforts to the region to reconvert these people back to Hinduism through Shuddhi ceremonies. He also criticized the samaj efforts at converting Christians and Muslims. Keshav Rao Koratkar was the president of the organization until During his tenure, the Samaj, established schools and libraries throughout the state.

Although a social and religious organization, the Samaj activities assumed a great political role in resisting the government of the Nizam during s. The Nizam government responded by raiding and desecrating Arya samaj mandirs. The Samaj, in turn, criticized Islam and the Islamic rulers of the state.

This widely increased the gulf between the Hindu and Muslim population of the state. This was a serious point of difference between the Sikhs, represented by the Shiromani Akali Dal group and the Arya Samaj. The difference was marked during the period immediately following the independence of India and the time of the Punjabi Suba movement demand for a Punjabi speaking state.

For example, donations were made to victims of the Kangra earthquake. Some are authorised to conduct weddings. A branch of Arya Samaj was established in in Angul district in the state of Odisha [37] Arya Samaj around the world[ edit ] Arya Samaj is active in countries including Guyana , Suriname , Trinidad and Tobago , Fiji , Australia , [38] South Africa , [39] Kenya , [40] Mauritius [41] and other countries where a significant Hindu diaspora is present.

The Arya samaj in Kenya runs a number of schools in nairobi and other cities of the country.


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