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List of Caste or Dalit Movement in India before independence

Feb 5, 2018 19:08 IST
    List of Caste or Dalit Movement in India before independence

    The term Dalit was firstly used by Jyotirao Phule for the oppressed classes or untouchable castes of the Hindu. Mahatma Gandhi used Harijan for the oppressed or depressed or Dalit classes which means 'Children of God'.

    List of Caste Movement in India before independence



    Causes and Consequences

    Nair Movement

    Started under the leadership of CV Raman Pillai, K Rama Krishna Pillai and M. Padmanabha Pillai in 1861.

    1. Against Brahminic dominion

    2. The Malayali Memorial was formed by Raman Pillai in 1891 and Nair Service Society was set up by Padmanabha Pillai in 1914.

    Satyashodhak Movement

    Jyotirao Phule founded in 1873 (Maharashtra).

    1. For emancipation of low castes, untouchables and widows.

    2. Against Brahminic dominion

    Justice Party Movement

    Started under the leadership of Dr. T.M Nair, P. Tyagaraja Chetti and C.N Mudalair in 1916.

    1. Against Brahminic dominion in government services, education and politics.

    2. The South Indian Liberation Federation (SILF) was formed in 1916.

    3. The efforts yielded in the passing of 1930 Government Order providing reservations to groups.


    Self-Respect Movement

    Started under the leadership of EV Ramaswami Naicker or Periyar in 1925.

    1. Against caste system and biased approach of Brahmins.

    2. Kudi Arasu journal was started by Periyar in 1910.

    Depressed Classes Movement (Mahar Movement)

    Started under the leadership of BR Ambedkar in 1924.

    1. For the upliftment of depressed classes.

    2. Against untouchability

    3. Depressed Classes Institution was founded in 1924.

    4. Marathi fortnightly Bahiskrit Bharat was started in 1927.

    5. Establishment of Samaj Samta Sangh in 1927.

    6. Establishment of Scheduled Caste Federation in 1942 that propagated their views on depressed classes.

    Congress Harijan Movement


    1. For elevating the social status of the lower and backward classes.

    2. Establishment of All-India Anti-Untouchability League in 1932.

    3. Weekly Harijan wa founded by Gandhi in 1933.

    Kaivartas Movement

    Started by Kaivartas

    1. Laid the foundation of the Jati Nirdharani Sabha in 1897.

    2. Laid the foundation of Mahishya Samiti in 1901.


    Hence, we can say, the Caste or Dalit Movement in India before independence was the resultant of hatred being generated by the Brahmanism. According to Brahmanism, Dalit or lower caste is assigned to serve the three varna which means Brahmin, Kshatriye and Vaishyas. They don't have right to take higher education and were denied social-economic and political status.

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