Many Indians realized that the reform of social institutions and religious
outlook of people was a necessary pre-condition for the growth of national
unity. Through successive movements they carried forward the pioneering work
started by few enlightened Indians. This was a difficult task as orthodox
elements formed large and strong groups in the country. During the second half
of 19th century only two important laws were passed by the British government.
One of these passed in 1872 sanctioned inter-caste and inter-communal marriages.
The other passed in 1891 aimed to discourage child marriage.
Social reform movements arose among all communities of the Indian people. In social life they aimed at the abolition of castes, child marriage and other legal and social inequalities.