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This is my research paper on “History and Historiography of Diverse Movements in Modern India” .My simple research paper has a very dynamic problem. This paper explores the possibility of new field of research .It reflects on how Indian National Movement and Modern History subjectivity have evolved both  in the domain of disciplinary knowledge’s and  in India’s national and regional politics. Time and again referring to our experience of how Modern Historiography has come about in India. At this time, we need to rethink rewrite Indian National Movement with new ideology. Now at this time the history written by some type of school that is Nationalist, colonial school of thought, Annals school, Marxist, communist, the new Cambridge school of history. Whatever till today now, when we read and write history then we can say that all types of school has their own ideology and logic and some time they manipulate some facts and thought. You checked him surely; you are influenced or biased from any school of history. We must adopt a new ideology, in this idea all of which have included. The diver’s movement has its own diverse nature situation from other movements.

KEYWORDS: Dynamic, Reform, Nationalist, Marxist, Cambridge School, East India Company.


In most of these research arrangement there is no vision or any new approaches .The major opinion of the scholar is known ,it is ironical that the old thesis ,book, research paper was misquoted in his later years by research scholar for some decades. So we have used very little of the secondary resources. I did not go over much European research paper. There has been so much movement in India that to them I cannot make them together in a single research paper but as is our topic, we can provide a good idea or new perspective on writing history.



    Modern Indian Historiography began with the writings of administrative scholars of English East India Company. The Orient list fully subscribed to the enlighten view that differences among large congeries of human being as for example between European and Asians.

 Therefore in this paper I would like to deal with the inter-relationship of diverse movement and how struggle for freedom help in attaining the much needed objective of vivid movements as well as associations and organizations working towards the social religious upliftment in the society.

Is the importance of art, aesthetic and iconography in Indian national movements? How a symbol becomes a inspiration of thousands people.

The different social, religious, economic, art and aesthetic movement which took place in India throughout the British rule were the expression of rising of national consciousness and spread of the liberal ideas of the west among the Indian people. That’s what I believe the movement changed from time to time ,we have seen in India various type of movement in different decades (for example 1857 revolt, various tribal movement, Agricultural movement, Satyagrah, Quit India and Nuxalism etc) .The 70 year after independence when we read history and his school of thought, we may find some sort of bias.

William Jones, Francis Gladwin, Charles Wilkins, Jonathan Duncan, Duncan constantly encourage the revitalization of Hindu learning and philosophy. If you are a historian, you should have a good understanding of methodology and protect your writings from spontaneity. When the colonial historiography written by Europeans he placed himself as a supreme power, in essence colonial historiography was a part of biased ideology. It’s establishing cultural hegemony and legitimizing British rule over India. Whenever we read and write history then we use British evidence that is British gazetteer, diaries, letters and his autobiographies, in which we already get marginalized by them.

D.R.Bhandarkar, H.C.Raychaudhary, R.C.Majumdar, P.V.Kane, A.S.Altekar, K.A.Nilakant Shastri and others nationalist scholars. Nationalist schools of thought overlook the interior problems of country. Sometimes they have blind glorification of movements, it happens therefore because colonial ideologies were exactly opposite to i

Marxist Historian views every movement from an economic standpoint. Marxism is a dominant process in the field of Indian Historiography in the Post-independent period. ‘India today’ written by Rajni.P.Datta and Social Background of Indian Nationalism by A.R.Desai, the beginning of Marxist Historiography. In India Sumit Sarkar is another Marxist historian who is critic of Datta’s paradigm. In his first book ‘The Swadeshi Movement in Bengal’ has spoken of bourgeoisie class.

According to S. Sarkar, The leaders of the Swadeshi movement in Bengal recruited overwhelming from the traditional learned caste virtually unconnected after the 1850 with commence or industry may be regarded perhaps as a traditional intengemia in Gramsci sense. Accordig to him Marxist’s interpretation suffers from the defeat of assuming to direct or crude and economic motivation for political action.

The subaltern historian’s rewriting of history has two objectives(1) the dismantling of elitist historiography by decoding biases and value judgments in records, testimonies, narratives of the ruling-classes; and(2) the restoration to subaltern groups of their ‘agency’ ,their role in history as a subjects with an ideology and a political agenda of their own.

The Indian National Movement was one of the biggest mass movements. It was a movement which congeries millions of people of all classes and ideologies into political action and brought to its knees a strong colonial empire. The movement was based on the broad socio-economic and political vision of its leadership.

Now it is significant to correlate between the social reforms movements and Indian freedom of independence. Before evaluate the full concept, it is needed to establish a relationship between them. When the Indian national movement started, the leaders faces the main problem of mass mobilization as peoples are divided on the basis of caste, religion, race, class, culture etc. All the peoples have to be integrated so that the feeling of nationality may be imbibed in them.

The role of famous freedom fighters such as Mahatma Gandhi, Gopal Krishna Gokale, Lala Lajpat Rai, Rabindra Nath Tagore, Sarojini Naidu, Annie Beasant, and the part played by associations were also very important, like we had Indian National Congress, Bombay Association, Indian National Association, Servants of India Society etc. Through the process of socio-economic reforms, they want to bring freedom.

Gandhiji’s speculation of “trusteeship” also gathered support from ideologies and philosophies. Legal environment was also created to facilitate the working of these associations and organisations. Non Cooperation, Swadeshi and Quit India movement have a good role in national awakening of people and work a major role in movement


Raja Ram Mohan Roy, Ishwar Chandra bring Vidyasagar, Dayanand Saraswati and many others who were willing to fight and in reforms in society so that it could face the challenges of the West. They worked for abolition of castes, sati, child marriage, social inequalities and illiteracy. Some of these reformers were supported directly or indirectly by the British officials and some of the reformers also supported reformative steps and regulations framed by the British Government. According to them society and religion were interlinked. Both country needed to be reformed to achieve positive growth and development of the. Hence our reformers took the initiative to awaken the Indian masses. Most of the social practices were done in the name of religion. Hence, social reform had no meaning without religious reform. Our reformers were deeply rooted in Indian tradition and philosophy and had a sound knowledge of the scriptures. They were able to blend positive Indian values with western ideas and the principles of democracy and equality. On the basis of this understanding, they challenged the rigidity and superstitious practices in religion. They cited the scriptures to show that the practices prevalent during nineteenth century find no sanction in them. The enlightened and the rationalistic amongst them questioned the popular religion which was full of superstitions and was exploited by the corrupt priests. The reformers wanted society to accept the rational and scientific approach. They also believed in the principle of human dignity and social equality of all men and women. All socio-religious reformers whether Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs or Parsis aimed at the spread of modern education. They believed that education was the most effective tool to awaken and modernize our society in 1878 the Calcutta Art Studio


In Indian national movements some hindu mythological symbols used, they have the capacity of the gathering people and awaking nationalist thought themselves that is bharat mata portrait, in Calcutta the people of movements was bathed in Ganga holy river and worship of god before started the movement. Commonly saw throughout at this time in Calcutta art studio spread especially Hindu visual representation of national identitiy. Calcutta Art Studio used their technical training to print and paint Hindu mythological scenes. Their skills in the European perspective helped provide the linear perspective required for the images. This was especially the case with the Calcutta Art Studio that was a place where artists trained with an established artist working in the company. There was a wide range of stylistic variation in Varma’s Printing Press, which demonstrates that several artists’ work and not just Varma’s was printed. . This was due to the new conditions brought on by colonialism. Chatterjee notes that men underwent a “whole series of changes in their dress, food habits, religious observances and social relations” and that “each of these submissions now had to be rewarded by declaration of spiritual purity on the part of women” and thus “these capitulations” were seen as part of the purity of the goddesses Lakshmi and Durga. By using common iconographical elements, as well especially as sacred meanings, nationalist messages reinstated the past mythical power of the pre-British and pre-Islamic Hindu culture and were instilled within the consciousness of the readers and viewers. Benedict Anderson explains the success of anti-colonial Asian nationalism but Chatterjee reminds us that this success locks India within a paradigm of being permanent consumers of Western modernity.

The typically Hindu iconographical system operating in the said images was fully realized during the Cow Protection Movement of 1880-1920 (see Pinney, “The Nation (Un)Pictured?”) where it is tied to the use of woman as nation. The cow, or Gao Mata (Mother Cow), came to symbolize the mother of the Hindu nation and was intertwined with the devotions shown to Mother India. The sacred nature of the cow’s body and the prohibition against killing her and eating her flesh is “made real for Hindus in crucial ritual performances that communicate a great variety of cosmological constructs” . The cow’s body is associated with femininity and the female body. The cow was also used in Brahmanical rituals of death. According to Brahmanical belief, a human being during life and death depends on the cow’s life. The cow is the symbol of the mother of life and the substance of all things.

Cutting the head of a cow is disrespectful to the Hindu as it would be connected with the beheading of goddesses. The nationalists’ preoccupation with the use of past cultural religious traditions such as the popular mother-cults linked to fertility and agrarian rituals in Bengal was also associated with the rise of cow and female iconography. Goddesses such as Kali, Durga, and Chandi who incarnate, in the Puranic traditions, shakti (female energy) were transposed upon the woman in the spiritual sphere. As Chistopher Pinney notes, the “cow” would, within a mere ten years, be transformed into “Mother India” (Bharat Mata) signifying nationality and divinity Now I turn to the importance of the Bengali neo-traditionalists. During the swadeshi years of agitation 1903-1908 in Calcutta a school of artists, loosely named the Bengal School or the Bengali neo traditionalists emerged.Bengali nationalists used all of the available Hindu idioms at their disposal to create a modern aesthet. Abanindranath Tagore’s painting Mother India articulates this modernity (Bharata Mata, 1903-04, wash on paper), which was an expropriation of the mythological past as well as the iconography and media evolving around Mother India in Bengal. He used the conceptions of the mother and transposed these signs upon a woman, Varma’s Durga, as well as the indigenous forms of the Kalighat Kali’s and created a supposed secular image of the nation. He used the “wash technique” and combined this with mellow color textures and firm lines and shapely body contours. In painting Mother India, Tagore was conscious of creating, for the first time, an artistic icon for the Indian nation (Thakurta, “Visualizing the Nation” 26). Tagore’s Mother India represents a progression from Varma’s Galaxy to a singular model, Mother India. Tagore’s image was reproduced and used to imagine a nation as it was displayed on placards during the swadeshi rallies. The rallies used the deity as a scared referent that communicated the mythology and spirituality of India’s past Hindu power, now inscribed upon the female. These rallies follow from the Hindu puja (religious ceremony) of Durga where, in the case of the rallies in Bengal, the deity is carried throughout the streets towards the temple to be installed or to the water to be bathed where the shakti of the deity is communicated symbolically to the devotees awaiting their darshan (sight). The carrying of Tagore’s Mother India was a method of using traditional Hindu beliefs for the purposes of anti-colonial practice of the banned sati, which the British colonialists, Hindu reformists, and progressive nationalists alike abhorred. In 1902-1903, in the context of the Swadeshi movement, young Bengali men resolved to sacrifice their lives fighting for independence from colonial rule by making a pledge to Mother India. In turn, this theme became apparent in visual imagery as in Shaheed Bhagat Singh (Rising Art Cottage, Calcutta ca. 1940) which depicts an Indian who, bowing on one knee, offers his decapitated head to Mother India. This devotion of man to woman in return for purity and blessings is also seen in Astra Dan (Gift of Arms, Ravi Varma Printing Press, half-tone print, ca. 1940) where Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose (1897-ca. 1945) receives a sword from Durga. This print is modeled on Shivaji before Bhavani (Ravi Varma Printing Press, oleograph, ca.1925) where the goddess Bhavani, another avatar.

  1. Conclusion:

We can say that, whatever movement has happened throughout colonial period they have different nature that is social, cultural, economic and political and so many. Art aesthetic and iconography play a special role in all of these movements. Roti and Kamal, Bharatmata photo, Gandhi’s charkha, and their three monkey and some other symbols, which has a inspiration in movements.

  1. Reference:

Sarkar, Sumit. (1973). The Swadeshi Movement in Bengal 1903-1908. Peoples Publishing House. Bengal.

Bipin, Chandra. (1966). The Rise and Growth of Economic Nationalism in India; Economic policies of Indian National Leadership, 1880-1905, New Delhi.

Gandhi, Mahatma, Hind Swaraj. 1909. Government Of Bombay.

Tagore, R.N. (1917), Nationalism. Nortwood Press. USA.

Bayly, Christopher. (1996). Empire and Information: Intelligence Gathering and Social Communication in India 1780-1870. Cambridge University Press.  Cambridge.

Bayly, Christopher. (1988). Indian Society and the Making of the British Empire. Cambridge University Press. Cambridge.

Bharucha, Rustom. (2006). Another Asia: Rabindranath Tagore and Okakura Tenshin. Oxford University Press. New Delhi.

Chatterjee, Partha. (1989) “Colonialism, Nationalism, and Colonialized Women: The Contest in India.” American Ethnologist

Chatterjee, Partha. (1988). Nationalist Thought and the Colonial World: A Derivative Discourse?. Oxford University Press. New Delhi.

Guha, Ranajit and Spivak Gayatri. (1988). Selected Subaltern Studies: Deconstructing Historiography. Oxford University Press. New Delhi.

Tagore, Abanindranath. (1982). Bharata Mata 1903-04. Rabindra Bharati Society. calcutta.

Thakurta, Tapati Guha, (1995), “Visualizing the Nation: The Iconography of a ‘National Art’ in Modern India,” Journal of Art and Ideas.

Thakurta, Tapati Guha. (1993). “Raja Ravi Varma and the Project of a New National Art.” Raja Ravi Varma: New Perspectives. Ed. R.C. Sharma and Rupika Chawla: National Museum. New Delhi.

Is the importance of art, aesthetic and iconography in Indian national movements? How a symbol becomes a inspiration of thousands people.

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