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Over the centuries, foreign traders and invaders have repeatedly tried to destroy the Indian culture and impose their customs and practices upon us. However, various revivalists’ movements have helped us to preserve and foster our culture. The 19th Century Indian Renaissance was born out of similar efforts:
a) DEGRADATION OF INDIAN CULTURE: Over the years, several social evils and undesirable customs, such as idol worship had crept into Indian society. These practices distanced many Hindus, who sought refuge in Islam and Christianity. Hindu reformers tried to bring the Hindus back to their customs and culture, by preaching the Vedas and speaking against evils like sati and dowry.
b) BRITISH RULE: English rule gave an opportunity to Indians to go to Europe and study Western Thought. People reacted sharply to the spread of Christian Missionaries, and felt obliged to reform their society, who had come along with the British
c) NATIONALIST MOVEMENT: The nationalist movement helped Indians voice their reluctance against the economic exploitation by the British.
d) PRINTING PRESS: With the introduction of printing press in India, newspapers, magazines and novels could be published to inform the people of the social evils in the society. It also helped to talk about the British exploitation and the nationalist movement.
e) WESTERN THOUGHT: There was a wave of independent thought which emerged in Europe and spread across the world, eventually reaching India. Consequently, several European thinkers like Maxmuller and William Jones started probing Indian literature and several Indian reformers like Raja Ram Mohan Roy got access to Western Thought.
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