Class 10 History

Nationalism in Asia: Idea of Nation

The Sense Of Collective Belonging

Nationalism spreads when people begin to believe that they are all part of the same nation, when they discover some unity that binds them together. The united struggles for independence helped in building the sense of collective belonging. Additionally, a variety of cultural processes also captured the spirit of nationalism.

Nation Depicted in Images

The identity of the nation is most often symbolised in a figure or image; with which people can identify the nation. The image of Bharat Mata was the pictorial representation of the mother land. Vande Mataram the national song was written by Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay in 1870s. This was sung during the Swadeshi movement in Bengal. Different artists projected their own version of Bharat Mata.

Vande Mataram was written by Bankim Chadra Chatterjee. This poem is part of the book Anand Math. Following are the initial two verses from Vande Mataram. It is important to note that these two verses were adoped by the Congress as the National Song in October 1937.

वन्दे मातरम्।
सुजलाम् सुफलाम्
शस्यश्यामलाम् मातरम्।
वन्दे मातरम्।

सुमधुर भाषिणीम्
सुखदाम् वरदाम्
वन्दे मातरम्।


Many nationalist leaders took help of folk tales to spread the idea of nationalism. It was believed that the folk tales revealed the true picture of traditional culture.

National Flag

The national flag which we see today has evolved through various stages. A tricolor (red, green and yellow) was used during the Swadeshi movement. There were eight lotuses on it which depicted the eight provinces of British India. There was a crescent moon on the flag which represented Hindus and Muslims.

Gandhji had designed the Swaraj flag by 1921. The original design was made by Pingali Venkayya and was modified by Mahatma Gandhi. It was also a tricolor (red, green and white) and there was a spinning wheel in the centre.

Pingali Venkayya was born in Madras Presidency. He served the British Army and went to South Africa during the Second Boer War. The idea of need of a flag for India came to his mind during that period.

Reinterpretation of History

Many Indians felt that the British had given a different interpretation of the Indian history. They felt that it was important to interpret the history from an Indian perspective. They wanted to glorify the rich past of India so that the Indians could feel proud of their history.