Dalit reformer Swami Dayanand

Swami Dayanand was first revolutionary figure to start the crusade against birth based caste system. He declared that a Brahmin is a learned person. Any person becomes Brahmin only after completing his education. Any person is not considered as Brahmin merely by taking birth to a Brahmin father. Any person born to a Shudra father by gaining the knowledge of scriptures can become a Brahmin. Any person born to a Brahmin father devoid of qualities and education will be considered as Shudra.

2. Swami Dayanand was first to declare compulsory education for every member of the society. He advocated that that son of a King as well as son of a poor Shudra all must be provided with the compulsory education in Gurukula. He also demanded that its the state duty to provide free education. He also advised King to enact a compulsory education law. Under this law those parents who refrains from sending their kids to Gurukula for education must be punished by the state. In Gurukula the free education was to be imparted by the qualified teachers without any discrimination in food, clothing and other facilities.

3. Swami Dayanand was first to quote Vedas supporting that the God’s knowledge is not the monopoly of birth based Brahmans. Vedas are for all including shudras. He rejected the claims that Vedas are forbidden for Shudras.

4. Swami Dayanand was first to declare that the basis of marriage must by education, qualities and actions of both partners rather than the caste. Aryasamaj promoted inter caste marriages. This was a great social service in terms of eradication of untouchability.

5. Swami Dayanand was first to promote inter-dinning between different caste to eradicate untouchability. Aryasamaj use to organize inter-community mass feasts. Dalits who were considered as untouchables used to serve food to upper castes and upper caste representatives used to serve dalits. This exercise helped in eradication of untouchability.

6. Swami Dayanand was first to grant equal religious rights to the Shudras. He advocated right to wear Yagyopavita, right to perform Yajna, right to read Vedas, right to worship God for everyone irrespective of caste, creed and Religion. He said that God do not discriminates between Humans.

7. Swami Dayanand biggest contribution in religious perspective was refining of Scriptures. He was first to reject different verses in Manu Smriti, Ramayana, Mahabharata, Puranas etc which supported Caste system. These verses are often responsible for creating differences on the name of Caste system. Swami Dayanand propagated the true meaning of Purusha Sukta and suggested that Purusha Sukta no where supports caste system.

8. Swami Dayanand was first to create awareness in the Hindu society to open orphanages and widow homes, to provide relief work during the natural calamities to help the needy especially the dalit class in grief. He even opposed the harvesting of poor souls in poverty by hook or crook by missionaries.

9. Swami Dayanand was first to openly declare that all are sons and daughters of almighty God and its utter foolishness to declare one as superior and other as inferior on the basis of birth.

10. Swami Dayanand was first to declare that Humans must behave like true son of God by acting as Human.

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