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Kerala PSC Indian History Book Study Materials Page 1956Book's First Page
Both the socalled vernacular and the English welfare, besides popularising modern ideas of self-government, democracy, etc. Nationalist literature in the form of novels, essays, and patriotic poetry also played an important role in arousing national consciousness. Socio-religious Reform Movements Reformers like Raja Rammohan Roy, Swami Vivekananda, Swami Dayanand Saraswati, etc. by pointing to the rich cultural heritage of India, created among the Indians self-confidence in themselves and respect for their own religions and culture. In this way they were able to counter the British propaganda that the Indians had never been able to rule themselves in the past, that Hindus and Muslims had always fought one another, and that Indians were destined to be ruled by foreigners. Swami Dayanand, for instance, was the first to use the word, swaraj. Many Arya Samajis were in the fore-front of the national movement, and were primarily responsible for the rise of extremism in the Indian National Congress. The work of the Theosophical Society was also responsible for restoring self-confidence and self-respect among the Indians. Racial Superiority of the British and their Practice of Social Exclusiveness Racial discrimination came to be practised quite openly in each and every respect in eligibility to public posts, in the administration of justice, in payments to the employees, and even in personal matters. All these practices and happenings were given wide publicity in the Indian newspapers, which in turn created a feeling of national humiliation among the Indians. Thus the feelings of Indians were inflamed against the British, facilitating the growth of national consciousness. Reactionary Regime of Lord Lytton (1876–80) and the IIbert Bill Controversy (1883) The former gave Indian Nationalism a visible form, while the latter gave it an organised form. Lord Lytton’s regime is notorious for the Vernacular Press Act which curbed the liberty of the Indian press, the Arms Act which disarmed the Indians on a large scale, the second Afghan War which affected the economy of India badly, holding of the Imperial Durbar in Delhi at a time of terrible famine in India. The abolition of import duties on British textiles, the reduction in the maximum age limit for the ICS examination thus reducing the chances for Indian further, etc. All these events fed the smouldering discontent against British rule, while the Ilbert Bill Controversy provided the necessary spark.