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Print Culture And The Modern World: 10 SST

Question: What did the spread of print culture in the 19th century Europe mean to:
(1) Children  (2) Workers.
Or
Explain, how had the print culture changed the way of life of women in late nineteenth century in India.

Answer:

  1. Children:
    (i) As primary education became compulsory from the late nineteenth century, children became an important category of readers.
    (ii) Production of school textbooks became critical for the publishing industry.
    (iii) A children’s press, devoted to literature for children alone, was set up in France in 1857. This press published new works as well as old fairy tales, and folk tales.
    (iv) The Grimm Brothers in Germany spent years compiling traditional folk tales gathered from peasants.
    (v) Anything that was considered unsuitable for children or would appear vulgar to the elites, was not included in the published version. Rural folk tales thus acquired a new form. In this way, print recorded old tales, but also changed them.
  2. Workers:
    (i) Lending Libraries: Lending libraries had been in existence from the seventeenth century onwards. In the nineteenth century, lending libraries in England became instruments for educating the white-collar workers, artisans and lower-middle-class people.
    (ii) Autobiographies: Sometimes, self- educated working class people wrote for themselves. After the working day was gradually shortened from the mid nineteenth century, workers had some time for self-improvement and self expression. They wrote political tracts and autobiographies in large numbers.
    (iii) Novels on the lives of the workers: In the 19th century, Europe entered the industrial age. Factories came up, profits increased and the economy grew. But at the same time, workers faced problems of unemployment, low wages, poor working conditions. Many novelists such as Charles Dickens and Thomas Hardy wrote about the adverse impact of industrialisation on the lives of workers.

Question: Trace the growth of print technology in India.

Answer:

  1. Handwritten manuscripts: India had a very rich and old tradition of handwritten manuscripts in Sanskrit, Arabic, Persian, as well as in various vernacular languages. Manuscripts were copied on palm leaves or on handmade paper.
  2. Print came to India: The printing press first came to Goa with Portuguese missionaries in the mid 16th century.
  3. James Hicky and print: From 1780, James Augustus Hicky began to edit the Bengal Gazette, a weekly magazine.
  4. Print in the 18th century: By the close of the 18th century, a number of newspapers and journals appeared in print. The first Indian weekly i.e. Bengal Gazette also came into picture in the late 18th century
  5. Print in the 19th century: By the end of the 19th century, a visual culture started taking place. By 1870’s caricatures and cartoons were being published in journals and newspapers.

Question: How did the women writers use the print to express their opinions regarding the status of women in India?Explain.
Or
“Printing technology gave women a chance to share their feelings with the world outside.” Support the statement with any five suitable examples.

Answer:

  1. Rashsundari Debi, a young married girl in a very orthodox household, learnt to read in the secrecy of her kitchen. Later, she wrote her autobiography Amar Jiban which was published in 1876. It was the first full- length autobiography published in the Bengali language. .
  2. From the 1860s, many Bengali women writers like Kailashbashini Debi wrote books highlighting the experiences of women- about how women were imprisoned at home, kept in ignorance, forced to do hard domestic labour and treated unjustly by the menfolk, they generally, served.
  3. In the 1880s, in present-day Maharashtra, Tarabai Shinde and Pandita Ramabai wrote with passionate anger about the miserable lives of the upper-caste Hindu women, especially the widows. The poor status of women was also expressed by the Tamil writers.
  4. In the early 20th century, the journals written by women became very popular in which women’s education, widowhood, widow remarriage, etc., were discussed. Some of them offered fashion lessons for women too.

Question: ‘Printing press played a major role in shaping the Indian society of the 19th century’. Explain by giving examples.
Or
Explain the role of press in shaping the Indian society in the 19th century.
Or
How did print introduce debate and discussion? Write three points.
Or
“Print led to intense controversies between social and religious reformers and Hindu orthodoxy”. Support this statement with examples.

Answer:

  1. Variety of opinions: From the early nineteenth century, there were serious debates on religious, social and economic issues. Different people had different opinions regarding the colonial society. People and social reformers offered a variety of new interpretations of the beliefs of different religions.
  2. Shaping the opinion: Printed tracts and newspapers not only spread the new ideas, but they also shaped the nature of the debate. A wider section of public could now participate in these public discussions, and express their views. New ideas emerged through these clashes of opinions.
  3. Social Reforms: This was a time period of intense controversies between social and religious reformers, and the Hindu orthodoxy over the social evils like widow immolation, child marriage, sati system, pardah system, etc. In Bengal, as the discussions and debates developed, tracts and newspapers proliferated circulating a variety of arguments. For example: Raja Ram Mohan Roy published the Sambad Kaumudi from 1821, and the Hindu orthodoxy commissioned the Samachar Chandrika to oppose Roy’s opinions.
  4. Pan Indian: Newspapers, magazines, visual images helped in creating pan Indian identity.
  5. National newspapers: Despite repressive measures, national newspapers grew in numbers in all parts of India. They reported on colonial misrule and encouraged nationalist activities. These national newspapers provided a base to the freedom struggle.

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