Episodes

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01Knowledge20170413

Dr. Anindita Ghosh from the University of Manchester explores the impact of the printing press on India and argues that print, much more than railways as is commonly understood, gave birth to the Indian nation that was born in 1947.

In her first programme, Anindita explores the 'Renaissance' that came about through the medium of print in India. She travels to Kolkata, formerly the capital of the British Raj, to explore the tremendous explosion of printed material in nineteenth century Bengal, following the setting up of the first presses by missionaries in India.

The colonial government needed English speaking Indians to work its administrative apparatus and a proliferation of English printed material followed. But this was not a passive process. Indians in turn participated in the intellectual revolution to form their own thoughts on society. The search for a putative 'Indian' identity that followed, known today as the Bengal Renaissance, was very much shaped through an exchange of ideas via printed texts.

A sea of Indian-run presses, printing in local languages, furthered the cacophonous print revolution and, by the end of the nineteenth century, more titles were produced in India than in France during the Age of Enlightenment. By carrying the printed word to more popular levels of readership and extending the networks of the reading community, Anindita argues, these were connections that were to prove vital for the formation of the nation in 20th century India.

With Professor Swapan Chakravorty (Presidency University, Kolkata), Professor Rosinka Chaudhuri (Centre for Studies in Social Sciences, Calcutta), Graham Shaw (British Library) and Professor Partha Mitter (University of Sussex).

Producer: Melissa FitzGerald

A Blakeway production for BBC Radio 4.

01Knowledge20170904

Anindita explores the 'Renaissance' that came about through printing in India.

Dr. Anindita Ghosh from the University of Manchester explores the impact of the printing press on India and argues that print, much more than railways as is commonly understood, gave birth to the Indian nation that was born in 1947.

In her first programme, Anindita explores the 'Renaissance' that came about through the medium of print in India. She travels to Kolkata, formerly the capital of the British Raj, to explore the tremendous explosion of printed material in nineteenth century Bengal, following the setting up of the first presses by missionaries in India.

The colonial government needed English speaking Indians to work its administrative apparatus and a proliferation of English printed material followed. But this was not a passive process. Indians in turn participated in the intellectual revolution to form their own thoughts on society. The search for a putative 'Indian' identity that followed, known today as the Bengal Renaissance, was very much shaped through an exchange of ideas via printed texts.

A sea of Indian-run presses, printing in local languages, furthered the cacophonous print revolution and, by the end of the nineteenth century, more titles were produced in India than in France during the Age of Enlightenment. By carrying the printed word to more popular levels of readership and extending the networks of the reading community, Anindita argues, these were connections that were to prove vital for the formation of the nation in 20th century India.

With Professor Swapan Chakravorty (Presidency University, Kolkata), Professor Rosinka Chaudhuri (Centre for Studies in Social Sciences, Calcutta), Graham Shaw (British Library) and Professor Partha Mitter (University of Sussex).

Producer: Melissa FitzGerald
A Blakeway production for BBC Radio 4.

01Knowledge20170904

Anindita explores the 'Renaissance' that came about through printing in India.

Dr. Anindita Ghosh from the University of Manchester explores the impact of the printing press on India and argues that print, much more than railways as is commonly understood, gave birth to the Indian nation that was born in 1947.

In her first programme, Anindita explores the 'Renaissance' that came about through the medium of print in India. She travels to Kolkata, formerly the capital of the British Raj, to explore the tremendous explosion of printed material in nineteenth century Bengal, following the setting up of the first presses by missionaries in India.

The colonial government needed English speaking Indians to work its administrative apparatus and a proliferation of English printed material followed. But this was not a passive process. Indians in turn participated in the intellectual revolution to form their own thoughts on society. The search for a putative 'Indian' identity that followed, known today as the Bengal Renaissance, was very much shaped through an exchange of ideas via printed texts.

A sea of Indian-run presses, printing in local languages, furthered the cacophonous print revolution and, by the end of the nineteenth century, more titles were produced in India than in France during the Age of Enlightenment. By carrying the printed word to more popular levels of readership and extending the networks of the reading community, Anindita argues, these were connections that were to prove vital for the formation of the nation in 20th century India.

With Professor Swapan Chakravorty (Presidency University, Kolkata), Professor Rosinka Chaudhuri (Centre for Studies in Social Sciences, Calcutta), Graham Shaw (British Library) and Professor Partha Mitter (University of Sussex).

Producer: Melissa FitzGerald
A Blakeway production for BBC Radio 4.

01Nationhood20170420

Dr Anindita Ghosh from the University of Manchester explores the impact of the printing press on India and argues that print, much more than railways as is commonly understood, gave birth to the Indian nation that was born in 1947.

In this second programme, Anindita explores how the printing press played a fundamental role in the rise of nationalism in India. Starting with the nationalist newspapers, Anindita explores how English language papers as well as local language newspapers were crucial in forging anti-colonial sentiments among the reading public.

In response, the colonial government passed draconian acts which empowered district magistrates to seize presses of papers they deemed to be seditious. These measures applied to all publications, books and pamphlets as well as newspapers. But clamping down was not easy. Indian publishers found ingenious ways to avoid the censors. And alongside books, pamphlets and papers, there was the vast circulation of printed images that proved far more difficult to police by the colonial government than written texts.

Anindita argues that print was key to the shaping of a modern public sphere in India because print was the vehicle of critical ideas of community, history, society, culture and identity that emerged in modern India. Print was in that sense, modern India.

With Professor Tanika Sarkar (JNU, New Delhi), Professor Christopher Pinney (UCL, London), Professor Sunil Khilnani (KCL, London), Sandeep Hazareesingh (Open University) and Professor Francesca Orsini (SOAS)

Producer: Melissa FitzGerald

A Blakeway production for BBC Radio 4.

Anindita Ghosh explores how the printing press promoted the rise of nationalism in India.

Dr Anindita Ghosh from the University of Manchester explores the impact of the printing press on India and argues that print, much more than railways as is commonly understood, gave birth to the Indian nation that was born in 1947.

In this second programme, Anindita explores how the printing press played a fundamental role in the rise of nationalism in India. Starting with the nationalist newspapers, Anindita explores how English language papers as well as local language newspapers were crucial in forging anti-colonial sentiments among the reading public.

In response, the colonial government passed draconian acts which empowered district magistrates to seize presses of papers they deemed to be seditious. These measures applied to all publications, books and pamphlets as well as newspapers. But clamping down was not easy. Indian publishers found ingenious ways to avoid the censors. And alongside books, pamphlets and papers, there was the vast circulation of printed images that proved far more difficult to police by the colonial government than written texts.

Anindita argues that print was key to the shaping of a modern public sphere in India because print was the vehicle of critical ideas of community, history, society, culture and identity that emerged in modern India. Print was in that sense, modern India.

With Professor Tanika Sarkar (JNU, New Delhi), Professor Christopher Pinney (UCL, London), Professor Sunil Khilnani (KCL, London), Sandeep Hazareesingh (Open University) and Professor Francesca Orsini (SOAS)

Producer: Melissa FitzGerald
A Blakeway production for BBC Radio 4.

01Nationhood20170911

Anindita Ghosh explores how the printing press promoted the rise of nationalism in India.

Dr Anindita Ghosh from the University of Manchester explores the impact of the printing press on India and argues that print, much more than railways as is commonly understood, gave birth to the Indian nation that was born in 1947.

In this second programme, Anindita explores how the printing press played a fundamental role in the rise of nationalism in India. Starting with the nationalist newspapers, Anindita explores how English language papers as well as local language newspapers were crucial in forging anti-colonial sentiments among the reading public.

In response, the colonial government passed draconian acts which empowered district magistrates to seize presses of papers they deemed to be seditious. These measures applied to all publications, books and pamphlets as well as newspapers. But clamping down was not easy. Indian publishers found ingenious ways to avoid the censors. And alongside books, pamphlets and papers, there was the vast circulation of printed images that proved far more difficult to police by the colonial government than written texts.

Anindita argues that print was key to the shaping of a modern public sphere in India because print was the vehicle of critical ideas of community, history, society, culture and identity that emerged in modern India. Print was in that sense, modern India.

With Professor Tanika Sarkar (JNU, New Delhi), Professor Christopher Pinney (UCL, London), Professor Sunil Khilnani (KCL, London), Sandeep Hazareesingh (Open University) and Professor Francesca Orsini (SOAS)

Producer: Melissa FitzGerald
A Blakeway production for BBC Radio 4.

01Nationhood20170911

Anindita Ghosh explores how the printing press promoted the rise of nationalism in India.

Dr Anindita Ghosh from the University of Manchester explores the impact of the printing press on India and argues that print, much more than railways as is commonly understood, gave birth to the Indian nation that was born in 1947.

In this second programme, Anindita explores how the printing press played a fundamental role in the rise of nationalism in India. Starting with the nationalist newspapers, Anindita explores how English language papers as well as local language newspapers were crucial in forging anti-colonial sentiments among the reading public.

In response, the colonial government passed draconian acts which empowered district magistrates to seize presses of papers they deemed to be seditious. These measures applied to all publications, books and pamphlets as well as newspapers. But clamping down was not easy. Indian publishers found ingenious ways to avoid the censors. And alongside books, pamphlets and papers, there was the vast circulation of printed images that proved far more difficult to police by the colonial government than written texts.

Anindita argues that print was key to the shaping of a modern public sphere in India because print was the vehicle of critical ideas of community, history, society, culture and identity that emerged in modern India. Print was in that sense, modern India.

With Professor Tanika Sarkar (JNU, New Delhi), Professor Christopher Pinney (UCL, London), Professor Sunil Khilnani (KCL, London), Sandeep Hazareesingh (Open University) and Professor Francesca Orsini (SOAS)

Producer: Melissa FitzGerald
A Blakeway production for BBC Radio 4.