Visualizing the Nation and Nationalism
- The growth of Nationalism in India was greatly contributed by symbols, images, tales , folk songs and other cultural traits just like in case of Europe.
- Nationalism spreads when people started thinking that they are all part of the same nations and to identify themselves as a united nation, culture played a great role.
- In case of allegory of India, the association of Indian nation with Bharat Mata came in late 19th In 1870, Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay wrote “Vande Mataram” as a hymn to the motherland.
- Inspired by his imagination of Bharat Mata, Abanindranath Tagore painted the famous image of Bharat Mata. Here she was depicted as a calm and spiritual figure.
- Later, the image of Bharat Mata became a popular allegory of India.
- Revival of Indian folklore was another contributor to nationalism. In Bengal, Rabindranath Tagore himself collected ballads, nursery poems, and folk tales from various places.
- In case of Indian flag, during Swadeshi movement, a tricolor flag (red, green and yellow) with 8 lotuses symbolizing British Indian provinces were created.
- In 1921, Gandhi created a tricolor flag of red, green, and white with a spinning wheel in the middle. It became later a symbol of defiance.
- The reinterpretation of Indian History played major role in nationalism. By end of 19th century, Indian educated section started creating an Indian narrative glorifying India’s achievements in the past.
- The glorious developments in culture, science, astronomy, mathematics, art, philosophy, religion were recovered, studied and publicized.
- The motive was to discard systematically the feeling of inferiority in front of British as primitive and backward civilization.
- The narrative that the Indian civilization declined after colonization urged Indian people to struggle for independence and restoring of greatness of Indian nation.