Q. 2

The newspapers have a major role in unifying the people of a country. Evaluate the significance of this statement in the Indian context.

Answer :

The newspapers were first introduced in India during the times of British India Company. The Indian Press was a private enterprise during those times. In its initial time, the newspapers of the late 18th century were of interest to the British residents only. They reported news about the developments in England and the East India Company. But Raja Ram Mohan Roy i.e., the founder of modern India started some of the early Indian newspapers, which proved as a carrier of liberal and rational ideas. His newspaper managed to attack the social evils of Indian society and to bring all the Indian people at an equal level so the sense of nationalism could be awakened in them.

In the late 19th century the newspaper acted as a harbinger of modernity and unity. It contributed to the construction of national identity. Despite very low literacy and strict press laws introduced by successive British colonial administrations, the press played a key role in the nationalist movement. Post-1857 period witnessed more strict regulations despite this, during the last quarter of the 19th century came to be known as the nationalist press. Among the notable newspapers were Rast Goftar, edited by Dadabhai Naoroji. Various other nationalists started newspapers in their vernacular language. The main motive behind their publications was to unite the people with the use of print media. Bengal, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Punjab and United Province saw the emergence of regional languages. These newspapers were spreading the nationalist activities that as going all over the country and it increased the sense of unity among the people and united them on the basis of discontent they had against the British rule.


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