This study explores the decisive and distinctive contribution of Swami Dayanand Saraswati and the Arya Samaj social reform movement, particularly the comprehensive, structured, and multi-layered program that was initiated for women's liberation in India. The Arya Samaj movement was able to accord critical importance to women's issues, which no earlier nor contemporary movement had accomplished. The indisputable contribution towards the betterment of women's status in the early decades of the 20th century needs to be understood, as the main focus during these years had shifted to India's agitation against the British, leading to the hegemony of India's nationalist struggle. The book shows how this vibrant movement combated superstition, challenged the caste system, championed the cause of women's education, fought for the betterment in widows' conditions, and argued for liberalization of marriage. Despite the fact that the movement derived inspiration from ancient tradition, their perspective and efforts with regard to women's issues were clearly a sincere struggle for gender equality and social resurgence.
Publication Date: 12/31/2010