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Colonialism and Nationalism Part-2 Notes


Nationalist Interpretation


  • This school was represented by political activist such as Dada Bhai Naroji, Lala Lajpat Rai, A.C. Mazumdar, R. G Pradhan, S.N. Banerjee, and B.R. Nanda, etc.

  • Nationalist interpretation emerged in response to Colonial interpretation of Indian history and tried to expose the exploitative character of British colonialism.

  • These people challenged the colonial view that British government has brought to the subcontinent modern political system and political unity.

  • They believe British had harmful effects on economic and cultural development of India.

  • Modernity and political unity are in fact fruits of struggle undertaken by the Indians themselves.


  • Nationalist accepted some of the interpretation of Orientalists of golden age of India and its decline.

  • However, Orientalists claim of bringing modernity and unification in India rejected by Nationalists.

  • Further, they found British responsible for India’s decline.

  • Nationalist school of thought was a product of national movement by which they tried to establish the superiority of the past over the present while using the categorization of James Mill.

  • Mill viewed the remote past, as Hindu civilization and projected it as the golden age.

  • Nationalists’ attempt to rediscover their glorious past in ancient Hindu India gave rise to communal historiography

  • Nationalist historians, in contrast to colonial interpretation, tried to view national movement as peoples’ movement.

  • Various leaders of Indian national movement from Dadabhai Naroji to Gandhi accepted India as a nation in the making.