Indian independence struggle affect art and literature at that time?

Question – How did the Indian independence struggle affect art and literature at that time? Describe. – 4 February 2022

AnswerIndia is known for its rich art and cultural heritage. As society changes, so does the nature of art and literature. The origins of great religions such as Jainism, Buddhism, ancient and medieval times were known for their religious influence on Indian art.

Freedom Struggle and Indian Art and Literature

  • The themes of the poems, folk songs and music of the time shifted to political awareness and social issues, which were previously mainly based on religion, Sufism and love.
  • Writers/poets like Rabindranath Tagore, Muhammad Iqbal, Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay used literature, poetry and speech as a tool to spread awareness against British atrocities on Indians and encourage people to fight for the country.
  • Bankim Chandra also especially wrote such essays, which forced his readers to ponder over the reasons for the present pathetic condition of his country. Bankim Chandra also brought out a magazine called Bangadarshan whose aim was to educate and inspire his countrymen as much as possible. Often the style of these essays was humorous and satirical, which entertained the reader and made him think. This amalgamation of entertainment and education manifested even more effectively in the novels.
  • The novels were written for the re-awareness of the evil social customs and practices like untouchability, caste discrimination, prohibition on remarriage of widows etc.
  • Despite his untimely death, Bharatendu produced a considerable amount of literature and wrote in various literary genres such as poetry, drama and essays. He brought out many magazines to make people aware of the condition of his country and society.
  • The Bengal School of Art was established during the Swadeshi Movement of 1905, which originated in the then Calcutta and Shantiniketan. In the year 1906, to protest the partition of Bengal, Abanindranath Tagore painted Bang Mata/Bharat Mata in Western influence.
  • The romantic style of ‘company painting’ was replaced by Raja Ravi Varma’s paintings of Hindu gods, mythological scenes and Indian life. They were rebuilt in their printing press in the dozens and distributed as poster and calendar art to middle-class homes across the country.
  • A series of paintings were made by Nandalal Bose. These posters rejected Western material/style and, instead, used Japanese calligraphic strokes, natural colors and scenes from rural life. Example: Posters of Haripura-meeting of Congress Committee.
  • Kalighat Painting Style: Artisans and craftsmen (patua or scroll painters) infused their traditional knowledge with European techniques. He made mementos on religious themes (oriental art) mixed with contemporary society-Babu culture (Western art).

Thus literature has played a very important role in the Indian freedom struggle. At the beginning of the nineteenth century, when nationalist ideas began to emerge and the literature of various Indian languages ​​entered its modern era, more and more litterateurs began to use literature for patriotic purposes.

In fact, most of these writers believed that, since they are citizens of a slave country, it is their duty to create such kind of literature which will pave the way for national liberation while contributing to the all-round revival of their society.

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