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.