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The British press and India c. 1880–1922

The press was an important forum for debate over the future of India and was used by significant groups within the political elite to advance their agendas. This book is the first analysis of the dynamics of British press reporting of India and the attempts made by the British Government to manipulate press coverage as part of a strategy of imperial control. It focuses on a period which represented a critical transitional phase in the history of the Raj, witnessing the impact of the First World War. The book discusses major constitutional reform initiatives, the tragedy of the Amritsar massacre, and the launching of Gandhi's mass movement. Reforms, crises and controversies of the first two decades of the twentieth century ensured that Indian affairs were brought prominently before the British public. The distance and difficulty of transmission had traditionally regulated news of the Indian empire. The Empire Press Union (EPU) worked to facilitate access to official and parliamentary news for overseas journalists and lobbied vigorously to reduce press costs. Reuters was the main telegraph news agency within India. The early twentieth century saw an increased interchange of news and information between Fleet Street and the Indian press. The Minto-Morley partnership was sensitive to the London press and its possible influence, both within domestic politics and indirectly through its impact on Indian politics and Indian-run newspapers. The Times gave sustained support, with Dawson corresponding regularly with the Viceroy on 'the great subject of constitutional Reform'.

The book shows how people have come to approach the writing of imperial histories in the early twenty-first century. It explores the social and political contexts that informed the genesis and development of the Studies in Imperialism series, and the conceptual links it has sought to forge between empire and metropolitan culture. The book provides an insightful account of John MacKenzie's 'Orientalism': the problems of 'power' and 'agency'. The 'MacKenziean moment' needs to be read historically, as a product of the 'delayed arrival of decolonising sensibilities', where contemporary popular phenomena and new types of scholarship integrated Britain and its empire. Sexuality made early appearances in the Series through the publication of 'Empire and Sexuality'. MacKenzie's 'Empire of Nature', 'Imperialism and the Natural World', and 'Museums and Empire' convey the impact of his scholarship in the themes of exploration, environment and empire. The historical geographies of British colonialism have enjoyed a prominent place in the Series, and the book explores the ways in which different 'spatial imaginations' have been made possible. Discussions on colonial policing during the depression years, and on immigrant welfare during and after decolonisation, take their cue from MacKenzie's European Empires and the People. The later nineteenth century witnessed the interaction of many diasporas, which in turn produced new modes of communication. By dealing with the idea of the 'Third British Empire' and the role of the Indian press during and after the British Raj, the book repositions British imperial histories within a broader set of global transformations.

Chandrika Kaul

1880s The Times had been joined by the Standard , Daily News and Telegraph with correspondents at Calcutta – supplemented, when necessary, with additional reporters, including journalists of the burgeoning Anglo-Indian press. Such papers provided natural points of contact for Fleet Street. Amongst these journalists we find a mix of the professional and amateur, full

in Reporting the Raj
Selling Indian constitutional reform to Britain, 1917–18
Chandrika Kaul

Fleet Street, despite, on occasion, attracting criticism from the Indian press. After receiving from Kingston cuttings from the Bombay Chronicle and Indian Daily News complaining about the summary of a leading article from The Times , Dickinson explained: It is quite true that there was not

in Reporting the Raj
Chandrika Kaul

rule was the first law of media control. Utilising a rhetoric familiar in mid-Victorian Britain to curb opposition, the empire builders classified the Anglo-Indian press as ‘responsible’ while their Indian counterparts were ‘irresponsible’. Hence the former were cultivated as bulwarks against the rising tide of nationalism, whereas the Raj controlled the operation of the indigenous media through

in Writing imperial histories
India and the London press, c. 1880–1914
Chandrika Kaul

eagerly scrutinised in India, particularly after the Liberal landslide in 1906. The potential base for political activity in India was expanding fast, with the circulation of vernacular papers rising from 299,000 in 1885 to 817,000 in 1905. There was also a mushrooming of English language journals. In 1905 1,359 newspapers and journals, including the Anglo-Indian press, reached an

in Reporting the Raj
Britishness, respectability, and imperial citizenship
Charles V. Reed

rule and British civilisation’. 70 The editors of Native Opinion understood politics as vital to loyalism and citizenship and thus celebrated the attacks by the Anglo-Indian press as ‘a very high compliment’. 71 Rajshahye Samáchár defended Indian loyalty against such criticism: We do not understand how loyalty can be

in Royal tourists, colonial subjects and the making of a British world, 1860–1911
Chandrika Kaul

century limited public interest, in conjunction with high telegraph rates, ensured that few newspapers could justify comprehensive coverage of Indian affairs. However, sustained pressure from a variety of sources, at home and in the empire, initiated a process of rate reduction. By 1913 the Indian press rate had fallen to only 4 d per word. With an integrated Anglo

in Reporting the Raj
Chandrika Kaul

attempts at suppression and censorship, the India Office was aware of the desirability of a steady flow of favourable news. A daily telegram was compiled by the India Office for publication in the Indian press, with the achievements of Indian troops in France in the early stages of the war proving a popular item in such despatches. On resignation from his short-lived directorship of

in Reporting the Raj
The Ilbert Bill controversy, 1883–84
Mrinalini Sinha

provided to record testimony in cases involving purdanashin women (native women who could not appear unveiled in public). Beveridge recommended the exclusion of non-Asiatic women in the extension of the jurisdiction of native magisates over European British subjects so as to meet the objections of a large majority of Anglo-Indian men and women. While the popular Anglo-Indian press was quick to dismiss

in Colonial masculinity