Chapter 5

Class 10
4. Explain how print culture assisted the growth of nationalism in India.


Explain how print culture assisted the growth of nationalism in India.


  • Print introduced a new world of debate and discussion. These intense debates were on social, economic and religious issues. In the 19th century, different groups confronted the changes happening within colonial society in different ways, and offered a variety of new interpretations of the beliefs of different religions. Some criticized existing practices and campaigned for reform, while others countered the arguments of reformers. These debates were carried out in public and in print.
  • Printed tracts and newspapers not only spread the new ideas, but they shaped the nature of the debate. All this led to a wider participation of public in these public discussions, assisting the growth of nationalism in India.
  • Print did not only stimulate the publication of conflicting opinions amongst communities, but it also connected communities and people in various parts of India. Newspapers conveyed news from one place to another, creating pan-Indian identities.
  • Nationalist cartoons were published, criticizing imperial rule.
  • Libraries sponsored by social reformers were set up to bring literacy and propagate the message of nationalism.
  • Though the colonial government took various steps to control press freedom, nationalist newspapers grew in numbers in all parts of India, reporting on colonial misrule and encouraging nationalist activities.

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