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Master Thesis

Hindu socio-religious organisations in Kenya: a case study of Arya Samaj, 1903-1978

Abstract : The Hindus in Kenya are viewed in several general ways, notwithstanding their long history in this country. Often they are identified as adherents of Hinduism, although the tremendous components that constitute Hindus are seldom understood. More often than not, the publicity given in the mass media particularly when the Hindu Council of Kenya (H.C.K) extends material or financial assistance to victims of calamities for philanthropic purposes, there emerges a faint recognition of Hindus as a separate group among Kenyans of Indian descent. As to the actual groups and sub-groups, religious and secular alike, that constitute the whole corpus that most people know as Hindus, scarcely any knowledge is to be found, save for a few books which either lump all Indians together or less meticulously mention some of the groups in question. This study is an attempt to isolate one of the many Hindu socio-religious groups in Kenya: the Arya Samaj and write its history.
As a Hindu revivalist movement, the Arya Samaj was founded in 1875 in Bombay by Swami Dayanand Saraswati, a Hindu monk. Born and bred in a wealthy and strong orthodox Hindu family, Dayanand grew to shake the very fabrics of the contemporary society and religion. As an itinerant teacher and preacher he condemned excessive Hindu ritualism, Brahmanical dominance, mistreatment of women and low caste people. His movement and socio-religious reform programme found a congenial home in Punjab northern India, perhaps on account of Punjab's historical propensity towards religious renaissance and Dayanand's physical prowess, vigour and virile character in which the martial Punjabis could find a model. After his sudden demise in 1883 Punjabis not only undertook to I spread his ideas in India but also outside.
Keywords : India Hindus
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Master Thesis
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Kenneth Samson Ombongi. Hindu socio-religious organisations in Kenya: a case study of Arya Samaj, 1903-1978. Religions. 1993. ⟨dumas-01262667⟩

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