Man lives in the society. Man learns speech, manners and philosophy in his society. He works and moves in the society. He earns his livelihood in the society. Society gives protection to his life and property. But sometimes vices creep. into the society. An the society is guided by blind faiths and superstitions in this case, society does immense harm to its members. To make the society free of evils and vices, social reform is required.
Society gets vicious:
Sometimes society becomes full of evils and vices. It is guided by blind faith and superstition. People do not try to know the relation between cause and effect. They believe in imaginary ghosts and spirits as the prime-mover of all social actions. They believe in animal sacrifice to please the deities. They also once believed in the human sacrifice. The social vices like childwives were in existence. The widows were not allowed to marry again. The wives were compelled to be burnt with their dead husbands and so on. untouchability disabled a big section of people. In order to eradicate all these things social reforms were necessary. Social reforms are necessary at all times in order to get the society purged off any vice that creeps into it.
Great reforms are born to reform the society and to reform the religion. Because many times religion is the basis of the social behavior. Martin Luther in Germany and John Wicliff in Great Britain were the great reformers in 18th century. In India we got Raja Ram Mohan Ray, Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar, Swami Dayananda Saraswati, Ramakrisna, Paramhansa, Swami Viveknanda, Mahatma Gandhi as the great reformers. In ancient times we had Gautama Buddha and Mahavir as the great religious and social reformers. In Orissa Mr. Madhusudan Das, Pandit Nilakantha Das and Acharya Harihar Das made attempt to reforms the society.
Social reform is necessary, time and often. So we must reform our society whenever it is necessary. Social reform should base on science and morality. Social reform cannot be made by legislation, force or imposition. It can be made only by effective public education, though the necessity of legislation cannot be altogether ruled out.