Arya Samaj of Dayananda Saraswati which had a wide following in northern and western India looked for the revival of pristine Hinduism.
In order to achieve that objective they were keen to get rid of superstitious practices. Dayananda believed in monotheism and criticized idolatry, as much as he was opposed to untouchability, child marriage and priest craft. He was also in favour of widow remarriage.
Yet in course of time the Arya Samaj became divided. One group upheld the cause of reform, while another merged into Hindu militant movement of the late nineteenth century.
Dayananda’s work Satyarth Prakash also put emphasis on cow protection and reconversion of those who had been converted from Hinduism to other religions. These ideas became subsequently the basis of militant Hindu movement and inspired communal politics.