Discuss the measures taken reformers to eradicate discrimination under the caste system:
The caste system became the second most important issue of social reforms. In fact, the system of caste had become the bone of Indian society. The caste system was primarily based on the fourfold division of society viz. Brahmins, Kshatriya, Vaishyas and Shudras on account of their degradation in their social status, the Shudras were subjected to all kinds of social discrimination. In the beginning Of the 19th century the castes of India had been split into innumerable sub castes on the basis of birth. ’
In the meantime, a new social consciousness also dawned among the Indians. Abolition of untouchability became a major issue of the 19th century social and religious reform movements in the country. Mahatma Gandhi made the removal of uptouchability a part of his constructive programme. He brought out a paper. The Harijan, and also organized the Harijan Sevak Sangh.
Dr. Bhimarao Ambedkar dedicated his entire life for the welfare of the downtrodden. In Bombay, he formed a Bahiskrit Hitkarini Sabha in July 1924 for this purpose. Later, he also organized the Akhil BhatStiya Dalit Varg! Sabha to fight against caste oppression. Jydtirao Phulie in Western India and Shri Narayana- Guru- in Kerala respectively established the Satya Sadhak Samoj and the Shri Narayana Dharma Paripalana Yogam to include self-esteem among the downtrodden.
In the Madras presidency also the beginning of 20th century witnessed the rise of self-respect movement of Periyar E.V.R. In order to eradicate this evil practice many other individual and institutional efforts were also made. There movements were directed mainly in removing the debilities suffered by Harijans in regarded to drawing of water from public wells, getting entry into temples and admission into schools.