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With reference to the book "Desher Katha" written by Sakharam Ganesh Deuskar during the freedom struggle, consider the following statements:

1. It warned against the Colonial State's hypnotic conquest of the mind.

2. It inspired the performance of swadeshi street plays and folk songs.

3. The use of 'desh' by Deuskar was in the specific context of the region of Bengal.

Which of the statements given above are correct?

1. 1 and 2 only
2. 2 and 3 only
3. 1 and 3 only
4. 1, 2 and 3

1 Answer

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Best answer
Correct Answer - Option 1 : 1 and 2 only

The correct answer is 1 and 2 only

  • Sakharam Ganesh Deuskar (1869-1912)-
    • He was a close associate of Sri Aurobindo. 
    • He studied in the Deoghar School and later became a teacher there.
    • He published a book named 'Desher Katha' and described the British commercial and industrial exploitation of India in exhaustive detail.
  • Desher Katha Book-
    • This book was first published in June 1904 and ten thousand copies were wold in just four editions within the year.
    • It had an immense effect on young minds during the Swadeshi Movement. 
    • It also informed people about swadeshi street plays and folk songs and had assumed the status of mandatory reading for an entire generation of swadeshi activists. Hence statement 2 is correct.
    • The fifth edition came out in 1905. However, the government of Bengal banned the book in 1910 and confiscated all the copies.
  • The book included how the British ruthlessly exploited India, commercially and industrially, in the course of their rule. 
  • It also summarized the work of M. G. Ranade and D. Naoroji in a popular idiom and warned in its concluding chapter against the colonial state’s “hypnotic conquest of the mind.” Hence statement 1 is correct.
  • Sakharam Deuskar was the first person to bring the name of Swaraj, and Sri Aurobindo was the first to relate it with its English equivalent, 'Independence.' Hence statement 3 is not correct.
    • Deuskar used desh to mean nation. The overlap of the place of origin and nation, as well as jati (literally birth, family, or caste) and nationality, inflected understandings of the nation/country in distinct ways.
    • Moreover, the constant overlap and conflation of Bengal and India, and Bengalis and Indians in the use of desh and jati, added further twists to notions of nationalism.

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