Founded in       : 1887 A.D.

Founder               : Shiv Narain Agnihotri


The Deva Samaj Movement was founded in 1887 A.D. in Lahore (now in Pakistan) by Shiv Narain Agni­hotri. Shiv Narain was also influenced bv* the teachings of the Brahmo Samaj. Deva Shastra is the book of teachings of the Deva Samaj. Like other socio-religious reform movements the Deva Samaj also worked to eradicate many evils prevalent in that time society like gambling, intoxications, violence etc.

Principles and Objectives

Major teachings and objectives of the Deva Samaj are as follows:

  • Deva Samaj believes in eternity of soul.

9 It believes in the existence of a ‘Supreme Power’.

  • It also recognizes the supremacy of the Guru.
  • It emphasizes a human life based on good deeds and principles.
  • The Deva Samaj prescribed ideal social conduct and moral ethics, such as not accepting bribe, abstaining from gambling, intoxications, violence etc.




E.V. Ramaswamy Naicker, popularly known as Periyar launched the self respect movement in 1925 aimed at awakening the non-Brahmins. The movements orga­nised (i) Wedding without involvement of Brahmin Priests, (ii) The burning of Manusmriti and (iii) Forcible temple entry. He published a Journal ‘Kudi Arasu’ which reflected his ideology. He popularised the theory of Aryan invasion on Dravid land. He renamed the Justice

Major Movements of Depressed Class
in Modern India

  • Aravipuram Movement: Sri Narayan Guru
  • Nair Service Society : Ramakrishna Pillai and Mannath Padmanabha Pillai
  • Bahujan Samaj Movement: Bhaskar Rao Jadhav
  • Praja Mitra Mandali: R. Reddy
  • Depressed Classes Movement: R. Ambedkar
  • Scheduled Caste Federation: R. Ambedkar
  • Satya Shodhak Samaj: Jyotiba Phule
  • SNDPY : Shri Narayan Guru
  • Harijan Sevak Sangh: Mahatma Gandhi
  • Justice Party Movement: T. M. Nair, Chettiar

Self Respect Movement: Periyar ________

Party as Dravida Kazhagam. Many leaders led by C.N. Annadurai formed a separate party in 1949 which came to be known as Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (D.M.K.).



Founded in          : 1861 A.D.

Founder               : Tulsi Ram


The Radhaswami Movement was founded in 1861 in Agra by Tulsi Ram, popularly known as Shiv Dayal Saheb or Swamiji Maharaj. The Radhaswamis believe in one Supreme Power, the supremacy of Guru and a company of the pious people i.e., Satsang. It laid emphasis on simple social life. The Radhaswamis also believed in the balance of worldly life and spiritualism. It opposed any spiritual attainment at the cost of normal worldly life.

Beliefs and Principles

Major beliefs and principles of the Radhaswamis are as follow:

  • All religions are true.
  • There is one supreme being and a Guru.
  • There should be a simple social life of everyone.
  • There is no need to renounce the worldly life for spiritual attainments.
  • It believes that God is omnipresent so it recognises no temples, shrines or sacred places.
  • It believes charity, the spirit of service etc. as the soul of religion.



Dr. T. M. Nair, the Raja of Panagal and Sri Pitti Theagaraja Chettiar organised the first Non-Brahminical organisation called South Indian Federation, which later came to be commonly known as the Justice Party in November 1916. The demand for reservation was raised for the first time in India when the Party demanded the representation of non-Brahmins in government jobs. The Justice Party propagated its views and ideology through its newspaper named Justice. The Justice Party was con­sidered to be an organised reaction against Brahminical domination over the Hindu Society. The chief aim of the party was to fight against the evils of untouchability and deprivation of some sections of the society from their common human rights. The Party basically focussed on the social equality to all and opposed any discrimination against the weaker sections especially caste-based of the Hindu society.


Election of Ramaswamy Naicker as the President of the Justice Party in 1937 A.D. gave a new zeal and vigour to the organisation. It became more reactionary in its tone and style of working. Naicker denounced Hinduism as an instrument of Brahminical control, the laws of Manu as inhuman and the Puranas as fairy tales. He also opposed imposition of Hindi on South India. During his period the Justice Party launched severe ideological onslaughts against Brahminical dominance.

The main contribution of Justice Party was the passing of a government order in 1930 which provided reservations for various groups including non-Brahmins. In 1944, the Justice Party became Dravida Kazhagam. Ramaswamy Naicker’s followers called him a Thanthai (father) and Periyar (Great soul).