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The British Raj in Black and White
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Return to Swadeshi
Barbarous Britannia
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Perishing in Peace
The Blue Mutiny
English Education
The Trial of the Last Emperor
Roll of Honour
The Empire Strikes Back
British Authority Collapses
Sepoys on the Move
Tribal Uprisings
The Empire Builders
For God and Country

The Battle Lines are Drawn

Early political organizations in the country were modelled on those in England. One of the first things the Banga-bhasha Prakashika Sabha founded in 1836 discussed at its very first meeting, was the seating arrangements. A member pointed out that at meetings Englishmen sat on chairs with a table in the centre, and each member rose from his seat when addressing the gathering. The member proposed and all others agreed, that the same procedure should be followed in their meetings too.
Nationalist leaders like Dadabhai Naoroji, Mahadev Govind Ranade, Womesh Chandra Bannerjee, Surendranath Banerji, and others, were not opposed to British rule as such. Their political thinking, as that of other great leaders like Raja Ram Mohan Roy before them, was moulded by ideas of liberty and equality which were essentially European in origin. They believed that India would benefit from Western education. They did not ask the British to quit the country, they only aspired for the same privileges that the English enjoyed back home. There were a handful of British civil servants like Henry Cotton, William Wedderburn and A.O. Hume who whole-heartedly agreed with this thinking. These Englishmen were openly and unabashedly India lovers.
Their attitudes led Indian leaders to think that given time they could win over more Englishmen.
"We Indians believe," Dadabhai Naoroji used to say half in jest, "although John Bull is a little thick-headed, once we can penetrate through his head into his brain that a certain thing is right and proper to be done, you may be quite sure that it will be done."
To win over public opinion in England, William Adam, a friend of Raja Ram Mohan Roy, had founded The British India Society as early as in 1839 and had launched a journal British India Advocate.

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