How did the Vernacular literature and the press pave the way for the growth of national consciousness amongst the Indian people?

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a. Vernacular Literature:

The intelligentsia such as the poets, philosophers, writers and other literary persons have had always played a key-role in awakening the people of any country.

And India is no exception to this. While Rammohan Roy had advocated in favour of English education for the regeneration of the people of India, Bankim Chandra Chatterjee through his literary compositions imbued the people with a deep sense of patriotism.

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It was Bankim Chandra who was the first to address the motherland as maa (i.e., mother). This identification of the motherland with mother inspired the Indians with a deep sense of nationalism.

Not only Bankim Chandra but many other writers such as Rajanikanta Gupta, Dinabandhu Mitra, etc. through their writings inculcated a spirit of patriotism among the people of our country.

Thus the literary activities of the litterateurs contributed a great deal to the national awakening.

b. Role of the press:

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Under the British rule there had been hardly any scope for the newspapers moulding the public opinion.

For even till the end of the eighteenth century all the newspapers published from Calcutta (present Kolkata), Bombay (present Mumbai ) and Madras (Present Chennai) were owned and edited by foreigners.

Obviously, these newspapers had no role at all in developing national consciousness. However, with the growth of Indian press under Indian editorship it became a formidable weapon in integrating the people of India and fostering deep sense of patriotism.

Newspapers and journals published both in English and vernacular languages, from different parts of the country, exposed the misdeeds of the British.

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The newspapers in their articles revealed the economic distress of the people and blamed the British rulers for the impoverishment of the Indians.

Harish Chandra Mukherjee, the editor of the Hindu Patriot published a true picture of the exploitation of the peasantry by the indigo-planters.

The Rust Gofter and Andra Prakasika published from Bombay and Madras respectively similarly brought to the notice the oppression perpetrated by the British on the people of India.

In this way the press exposed the destructive nature of the foreign rule and at the same time urged upon the people to unite against the foreign rulers.

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Thus significant contributions were made by the Press to the growth of public opinion and political consciousness.

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