Media, India and the Raj
in Writing imperial histories
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A significant legacy of Britain's global empire concerns the liberal conception of the role of the press and its associated freedoms in civil society. This includes the development of one of the fundamental elements of the Western democratic concept of human rights, i.e. freedom of speech and expression, specifically, the freedom of communication and freedom of the press. The transforming context of communications within Britain and the Indian subcontinent, and expansion of the media linking Britain and India, were key catalysts for change in the first half of the twentieth century. The Utilitarian school of thought as it developed over the nineteenth century emphasised the Raj's responsibility for inculcating Western attitudes towards freedom of expression and participation in self-governing institutions - the Viceroy Lord Ripon's attempts to introduce local self-government in the 1880s represented the epitome of this ideology.

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