Pandit Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar
He contributed to the uplift of Indian women by struggling in favour of
widow remarriage (his efforts bore fruit in 1856 when the British passed the
Hindu Widow’s Remarriage Act), by opposing child marriage and polygamy,
and by campaigning in favour of education of women.
    He evolved a new technique of teaching Sanskrit and a modem prose
style in Bengali. He also admitted non-Brahmin students into Sanskrit
College at Calcutta (of which he became the principal in 1851) and
introduced the study of Western thought in it.
Gopal Hari Deshmukh
A champion of new learning and social reform in Maharashtra, he was
popularly known as Lokahitawadi. He made powerful rationalist attacks on
Hindu orthodoxy, and preached religious and social equality.
M.G. Ranade
This famous socio-religious reformer of Maharashtra was one of the
prominent members of the Prarthana Samaj as well as the source of
inspiration for the foundation of the Deccan Education Society (1884) by
Agarkar. He inaugurated the Indian National Social Conference in 1887.
G.K. Gokhale acknowledged him as his guru.
Gopal Ganesh Agarkar
One of the greatest rationaiist thinkers from Maharashtra, he advocated the
power of human reason. He was totally opposed to any blind dependence on
tradition or false glorification of India’s past. He founded the Deccan
Education Society at Poona in 1884 in association with B.G. Tilak, V.K.
Chiplunkar and Madhavrao Namjoshi.
Jyotiba Phule
Belonging to a low caste from Maharashtra and being aware of the degraded
position of the untouchables and non-Brahmins, he waged a life-long struggle
against upper caste domination and Brahmanical supremacy through his
Satyashodak Samaj (1873). He pioneered the widow remarriage movement in
Maharashtra and worked for the education of women.
Tulsi Ram