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Title: Development of social and political ideas in Bengal, 1858-85
Author: Bhattacharya, B. C.
Awarding Body: SOAS University of London
Current Institution: SOAS, University of London
Date of Award: 1934
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The introduction of Western education stirred the minds of Bengali youths, and brought about an intellectual revival. They peered at one bound from orthodox Hinduism to atheism, drunkenness, beef-eating, and a blind love of all that came from the West. This violent movement was moderated by the influence of Christian missionaries and the Brehm Samaj. Some of these Indians became politically conscious, and founded the Bengal British India Society with the help of George Thompson, who had already formed n similar body in England. The society languished, and was absorbed by the British Indian Association, established by the Bengn1 landowners in 1851. This Association developed certain political ideas, and frequently petitioned Government, but, having failed to establish itself on an all-India basis, yielded ground to the rising middle classes, stirred by the ideas of Pill and the emotions of Massini. Meanwhile, anti-British sentiments were spreading. The indigo riots of 1860 rose from economic discontent, but helped to foment political unrest. In the sixties, Indian leaders were pursuing projects of both political and social reform. Put by the middle of the next decade the siruggle for social reform declined, the iden of Nationalism grew rapidly, and there arose the "totter-cult". Bankim wrote the ANANDA MATH, later on to become the gospel of Terrorism. The press became a powerful instrument of political propaganda, and was helped by the development of transport and communications. The Indian Association was formed by the middle classes to support representations to Government by agitation among .the people. The storms that raged over the Vernacular Press Act and the Ilbert Bill taught Indians the value of united and organised political action. In 1884 the forces were ripe for an all-India political movement, which found expression in the Indian National Congress.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral