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

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Print culture assisted the growth of nationalism in India by providing easy access to nationalist ideals and ideas of freedom and equality to the masses. Social reformers could now print their opinions in newspapers, which sparked off public debates. The power of reason made the common people question the authority of colonial power. Interestingly, when the British tried to censor and control print media, nationalist newspapers grew in number everywhere in the country. They reported on colonial misrule and encouraged people to participate in nationalist activities. Attempts to censor anti-colonial publications aroused militant protests as well.

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Assistance of print culture in the growth of nationalism in India:

(i) There were many who criticized the existing practices and campaigned for reforms, while others countered the arguments of the reformers. These debates were carried out openly in public and in print. Printed tracts and newspapers not only spread the new ideas, but they also shaped the nature of the debate. All this assisted the growth of nationalism.

(ii) In 1878, the Vernacular Press Act was passed, modelled on the Irish Press Laws. It provided the government with extensive rights to censor reports and editorials in the vernacular press. 
There were Indians, too, who began to publish Indian newspapers. The first to appear was the weekly Bengal Gazette, brought out by Gangadhar Bhattacharya, who was close to Rammohun Roy.

(iii) The misrule of government and its initiative on curbing the freedom of press spread the nationalist ideas that demanded freedom of press.

(iv) The people of different communities and places were thus connected by print media. Newspapers conveyed news from one place to another creating pan-Indian identities.

(v) When Punjab revolutionaries were deported in 1907, Balgangadhar Tilak wrote with great sympathy about them in his Kesari.

Thus, it is clear, print culture assisted the growth of nationalism in India.

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