Arya Samaj missionary Swami Shraddhanand was assassinated by a man called Abdul Rashid on December 23, 1926.
About Swami Shraddhanand Ji
- Birth: February 22, 1856 at Talwan village in Jalandhar district of the Punjab province
- Mission: Propagation of the Vedic Dharm.
- Swami Shraddhanand came into contact with Swami Dayanand, the founder of the Arya Samaj during early 1880s.
- Nehru, in his autobiography has written about Shraddhanand’s assassination “a great tragedy, which sent a thrill of horror all over India”.
Contribution of Swami Shraddhanand Ji
- On Hindu Culture: He wrote a book called “Hindu Sangathan”. In this book, he describes the history of the Hindu decline and to trace the causes which led to its present deplorable downfall. He further mentions the way to the nation’s emancipation.
- On the abolition of Untouchability: He called untouchability a “curse” and a “blot” on the reputations of the Hindus.
- He established a Gurukul (A residential school system prevalent in ancient Bharat, where teaching on all areas of life, including spiritual practice was done by Gurus or Sages) at Kangari region near Haridwar in 1902.
- Participation in Freedom Struggle: He led the agitation in Delhi against the oppressive ‘Rowlatt Act’.
- He has the honour of giving a speech reciting Ved Mantras at Delhi’s Jama Masjid in the year 1922. The speech was related to the National solidarity and vedic dharma.
- He established ‘Hindu Mahasabha’ with the help of Madanmohan Malaviya
- On re-conversion of converted Hindus (Shuddhi Movement): He started a Holy campaign of purifying the converted Hindus.
- The word “Shudhi” means cleansing, purifying and freedom from defilement and purification.
- Shuddhi Movement was started by Arya Samaj in earlier part of 20th century to bring back the people who transformed their religion to Islam and Christianity from Hinduism.
- This process of reconverting Hindus from Islam and Christianity was accompanied by a Sanghathan movement.
- The first recorded shuddhi of a born Muslim was reported in 1877, when Dayanand Saraswati performed the shuddhi of a Muslim man from Dehra Dun
About Arya Samaj:
- Arya Samaj is a Hindu reform movement that was founded by Dayanand Saraswati in 1875 in Bombay.
- The movement believes in the infallible authority of the Vedas.
- The Motto "Krinvanto Vishwam Aryam" which means "To Make the World Noble".
- The central objectives of Arya Samaj:
- Ideals of Arya Samaj
- Vedas are the revealed wisdom and they are the only source of religious knowledge.
- There is only one God who is omnipresent and all powerful.
- The Arya Samaj condemns superstitions, idol worship and the caste system.
- The Hindu Religion, based on the Vedas, is superior to all other religions. Thus the Arya Samaj prevented conversion of Hindus to other religions.
- Started a counter movement called Shuddhi to bring the Hindu converts back to Hinduism.
- To raise the standard of Women, it opposed child marriage and the purdah system. It advocated widow remarriage and opened orphanages. Special schools and colleges were also opened for girls.
- The Arya Samaj helped to establish Dayanand Anglo-Vedic (D.A.V.) schools & colleges in North India to impart education in western sciences and Sanskrit. In 1886, the first D.A.V. college was established in Lahore. The educational institutions established by the Arya Samaj blended the scientific approach of the west and the spiritual philosophy of the East.