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The colonial encounter, the birth of the new intelligentsia, the nuanced conversation with the West or its ‘Enlightenment’ philosophies, and the rigorous process of inner churning led to what is generally regarded as the ‘Bengal Renaissance’. Elaborate.

Topic: Modern Indian history from about the middle of the eighteenth century until the present- significant events, personalities, issues.

1. The colonial encounter, the birth of the new intelligentsia, the nuanced conversation with the West or its ‘Enlightenment’ philosophies, and the rigorous process of inner churning led to what is generally regarded as the ‘Bengal Renaissance’. Elaborate. (250 words)

Reference: The Hindu

Why the question:

Political parties are trivializing Vivekananda, Tagore and Bose to win the West Bengal elections.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about the various reasons that led to the ‘Bengal Renaissance’ in the nineteenth century.

Directive:

Elaborate – Give a detailed account as to how and why it occurred, or what is the particular context. You must be defining key terms where ever appropriate, and substantiate with relevant associated facts.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Begin by defining the ‘Bengal Renaissance’ and the great personalities associated with the process of renaissance.

Body:

In detail, elaborate up on the caused that led to the awakening in the nineteenth century. The first and foremost reason was the British rule and its deep influence on political, economic, social and culture life of India. It created conditions favourable to intellectual growth. Second was the effort of the European Orientalists, whose efforts put India’s glorious past into limelight. This includes work done by Sir William Jones, James Princep, Charles Wilkins, Max Muller etc. Further, many Indian scholars such as Raja Rammohan Roy, Ishwar Chandra Vidaysagar, Swami Vivekananda etc. also contributed in reinterpreting India’s past. Third was the highly creative literature, marked by fusion of old and new. Fourth was the detrimental effect of the Christian missionaries who held that propaganda of Christianity in India would serve Britain’s imperial interests; and would secure the empire. The Indians took it as an onslaught on their religion and social customs. They wanted to reform it so that evil social practices could be removed from society.

Conclusion:

Summarize the impact of the socio-religious reform movement as well its contribution towards the emergence of nationalism.

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