Short Answer Questions
Q.11. Explain how print culture had assisted the growth of nationalism in India in the 19th century. [2010, 2011 (T-1)]
(i) Print culture led to publication of most papers in Vernacular languages. Many more journals were published after 1870.
(ii) These journals and newspapers published cartoons and caricatures criticising imperial rule and commented on social and political issues. The vernacular newspapers like Tilak’s Kesari and Maratha became assertively nationalist and reported on colonial misrule and encouraged nationalism.
(iii) The repressive measures passed by the British government provoked militant protest. Tilak was imprisoned for writing about them in his Kesari, in 1908. It led to widespread protests. Print helped the leaders to carry their ideas to people across India, brought them closer and helped the growth of nationalism.
Q.12. How did print culture affect women in the 19th century India? Explain. (2010)
Ans. Women became important as readers as well as writers. Lives and feelings of women began to be written in vivid and intense ways. The number of women readers increased enormously in middle-class homes. Liberal fathers and husbands began educating their womenfolk at home and sent them to schools when schools for women were set up in cities and towns. Many journals carried a syllabus and attached suitable reading matter which could be used at home. From the 1860s, a few Bengali women like Kailashbashini Debi wrote books highlighting the experience of women – how they were imprisoned, kept in ignorance and forced to do hard domestic work and treated unjustly. Tarabai Shinde and Pandita Ramabai of Maharashtra in 1880, wrote with anger about the miserable lives of upper-caste Hindu women – specially widows. In Central Calcutta, an entire area called Battala was devoted to printing popular books, profusely illustrated. They were carried by peddlers to homes enabling women to read them in their leisure time.
But everyone was not so liberal. Hindus (conservative) believed that a literate girl would become a widow. Muslims believed that an educated woman would be corrupted by reading. Some women had to learn to read and write in secret, like Rashsundari Debi of East Bengal. She learnt to read secretly in her kitchen and later wrote her autobiography Amar Jiban in 1876.
Q.13. “The print culture created the conditions within which the French Revolution occurred.” Support the statement giving three arguments. [2009, 2010, 2011 (T-1)]
(i) Print popularised the ideas of enlightened thinkers, the writings of Voltaire and Rousseau were read widely. They made a critical commentary on tradition, superstition and despotism. It opened the eyes of the readers, made them question, be critical and rational.
(ii) Print created a new culture of dialogue and debate. All values, norms and institutions were revalued and discussed by a public that had become aware of the power of reason. New ideas of social revolution came into being.
(iii) By the 1780s, there was an outpouring of literature, that mocked royalty and criticised their morality. In the process, it raised questions about the existing social order. It led to hostile sentiments against the monarchy. Thus, the print culture created the conditions in which the French Revolution occurred.
Q.14. Explain any three features of handwritten manuscripts before the age of print in India. (2010)
Describe the salient features of Indian manuscripts before the age of print. [2011 (T-1)]
(i) India had a very rich and old tradition of handwritten manuscripts in Sanskrit, Arabic, Persian as well as many vernacular languages.
(ii) Manuscripts were copied on palm leaves or hand-made paper. Pages were sometimes beautifully illustrated. They would be pressed between wooden covers or sewn together for preservation. Manuscripts continued to be produced till the late 19th century inspite of the introduction of print.
(iii) Manuscripts were highly expensive, fragile, could not be read easily as script was written in different styles. They were, thus not widely used in everyday life.
Q.15. Explain the main features of the first printed Bible. [2010 (T-1)]
Ans. Main features of the first printed Bible were :
(i) About 180 copies of the Bible were printed and it took three years to produce them.
(ii) The text was printed in the New Gutenberg press with metal type, but the borders were carefully designed, painted and illuminated by hand by artists.
(iii) No two copies were the same. Every page of each copy was different. This made everyone posses a copy which they could claim was unique.
(iv) Colour was used within the letters in various places. This had two functions it added colour to the page and highlighted all the holy words to emphasise their significance colour on every page was added by hand.
(v) Gutenberg printed the text in black leaving spaces where the colour could be filled later.
Q.16. Examine the role of missionaries in the growth of press in India? [2010 (T-1)]
Ans. The printing press first came to India with Portuguese missionaries to Goa in the mid-sixteenth century. Jesuit priests learnt Konkani and printed several tracts. By 1674, about 50 books had been printed in Konkani and Kanara languages. Catholic priests published the first Tamil book in 1579 at Cochin and in 1713, the first Malayam book was published by them. By 1710, Dutch Protestant missionaries had published 32 Tamil Texts, many of them translation of older works.
Q.17. What role was played by the print culture in bringing the French Revolution? [2010, 2011 (T-1)]
Many Historians argued that print culture created conditions within which French revolution occurred. Explain with three arguments.
Ans. Role of print culture in French Revolution
(i) Print popularised the ideas of Enlightenment thinkers. Collectively, their writing provided a critical commentary on tradition, superstition and disposition. They argued for the rule of reason than custom.
(ii) They attacked the sacred authority of the Church and despotic power of the state. This eroded the authority of a social order based on tradition. The writings of Voltaire and Rousseau made readers see the world through new eyes, eyes that questioned and were rational and critical.
(iii) Secondly, print created a new culture of dialogue and debate. Now all values, norms and institutions were re-evaluated and discussed by the public, now aware of their power to question existing beliefsand ideas. It led to new ideas of social revolution. Thirdly, by the 1780s there was an output of literature that mocked royalty and questioned their morality. Cartoons and caricatures presented monarchy interested only in their own pleasures, while the ordinary people suffered immense hardships. Literature spread hostile sentiments against the monarchy, though it was circulated underground.
But we must remember that to combat the above ideas was the influence of the Church. If people read Voltaire and Rousseau, they were also exposed to monarchical and Church propaganda. So print did not directly shape their minds, but it made it possible for people to think differently.
Q.18. How did the ideas of scientists and philosophers become more accessible to common people after the beginning of print revolution in Europe? [2010 (T-1)]
Ans. Ideas of scientists and philosophers on printing of books, became accessible to common people. Ancient and medieval scientific texts were compiled and published, maps and scientific diagrams were widely printed. Ideas of Issac Newton were published and they could influence a much wider circle. The writings of thinkers like Thomas Pasore, Voltaire and Rousseau were printed and read by a vast majority. Their ideas also were found in the literature of the time.
Q.19. How did the printing press bring forth changes in reading culture? [2010 (T-1)]
What was the impact of Print Revolution? [2011 (T-1)]
How did printing press create a new reading public? Explain. [2011 (T-1)]
Ans. With the printing press, a new reading public emerged.
(i) Printing reduced the cost of books.
(ii) The time and labour to produce each book came down. Multiple copies could be produced easily.
(iii) Books flooded the market, reaching out to an ever growing readership.
(iv) It created a new culture of reading.
(v) Common people could not read books earlier, only the elite could. Common people heard a story or saw a performance collectively.
(vi) Instead of a hearing public now there was a reading public.
(vii) The rate of literacy in European countries was also low till the 20th century. Publishers reached out to people by making them listen to books being read out.
(vii) Printers published popular ballads and folktales, profusely illustrated. These were then sung and recited at village gatherings in taverns in towns. Oral culture thus entered print and printed material was orally transmitted, Hearing and reading public, thus became one.
Q.20. Why were the printed books popular even among illiterate people? [2010, 2011 (T-1)]
(i) First, very cheap small books brought to markets in 19th century towns allowed poor people travelling, to buy them. Public libraries set up in early 20th century expanded the
access to books.
(ii) From the late 19th century, many social reformers like Iyoliba Phule (a Maratha reform pioneer) wrote about injustices of the caste system in their books (Gulamgiri, 1871). In 20th century B.R. Ambedkar and E.V. Ramaswamy Naicker wrote powerfully on caste and their books were read by people all over India. Workers in factories were too overworked and lacked education to write much about their experiences. A Kanpur mill worker wrote and published Chhote aur Bade ka Sawal in 1938 to show links between 1935-1955 were published as “Sacchi Kavitayen”. Libraries were set up in Bangalore cotton mills and in Bombay. It was done to bring literacy and to propagate the message of nationalism. The printed books made the poor crazy about reading.
Q.21. Describe the progress of Print in Japan. [2010 (T-1)]
Ans. Buddhist Missionaries from China introduced hand-printing technology into Japan around AD 768-770. The oldest Japanese book, printed in AD 868, is the Buddhist Diamond Sutra, containing six sheets of text and woodcut illustrations. Pictures were printed on textiles, playing cards and paper money. In medieval Japan, poets and prose writers were regularly published, books were cheap and in plenty.
In the late 18th century, flourishing urban circles at Edo (modern Tokyo) published illustrated collections printings artists, courts and book stores were packed with hand-printed material of various types – books on women, musical instruments, calculations, tea ceremony flower arrangements, proper etiquette cooking and famous places. Famous examples : Kitagawa Utamoro’s contribution to art form called Ukiyo (pictures of the floating world).
Q.22. What is a manuscript? Give four shortcomings of manuscripts. [2010 (T-1)]
Ans. A manuscript are hand written books written on palm leaves or on hand made paper. Pages were sometimes beautifully illustrated. They would be either pressed between wooden covers or sewn together to ensure preservation.
The four drawbacks were :
(i) They were highly expensive and fragile.
(ii) They had to be handled carefully.
(iii) They could not read easily as the script was written in different styles.
(iv) So they were not widely used.
Students very often did not read the texts. They only learnt to write. Teachers dictated portions from memory and students wrote them down. Many became literate without ever actually reading any kind of texts.
Q.23. What was the attitude of people in India in the nineteenth century towards women reading? How did women respond to this? [2010, 2011 (T-1)]
Ans. There was not a universal favourable attitude conservative Hindus believed that a literate girl would be widowed and Muslims feared educated women would be corrupted by reading Urdu romances. Rebel women defied such prohibition. A Muslim girl in north India defied her family and secretly learnt to read and write Urdu. Rashsundari Debi, a young married girl in a very orthodox family, learnt to read in the secrecy of her kitchen. Later she published her autobiography in Bengali language. A few Bengali women like Kailash Bashini Debi wrote books highlighting the experiences of women. In the 1860s, Tarabai Shinde and Pandita Ramabai of Maharashtra wrote about the miserable lives of upper caste women. Women writing in Tamil expressed their gratitute to books. The attitude in general was to keep women imprisoned at home, ignorant, forced to do hard domestic work and subject to unfair treatment.
In Punjab, folk literature exorted women to be obedient wives (Ram Chaddha’s Istri Dharm Vichar.) The Khalsa Tract Society published cheap booklets with the same message. In Bengal, – an entire are in Central Calcutta – the Battala – was devoted to printing popular books. They were cheap editions of religions texts, scriptures as well as scandalous literature. Women’s education was not encouraged by the majority as Begum Rokeya Sakhawat Hossain reported in her address to Bengal Women’s Educated Conference.
Q.24. Explain the role played by print in bringing about a division in the Roman Catholic Church. [2010 (T-1)]
Ans. In 1517, a religious reformer, Martin Luther, wrote 95 theses criticising many practices and rituals of the Roman Catholic Church.
A printed copy of this was posted on a Church door in Wittenberg. It challenged the Church to debate his ideas. Luther’s writing were reproduced in vast members and read widely. This led to a division within the Church and to the beginning of the Protestant Reformation. Luther’s translation of the Bible sold 5,000 copies in the first week and soon the second edition began. The print of his theses, according to scholars, brought about a new intellectual atmosphere and spread rapidly the ideas of Reformation.
Q.25. Give three ways in which early printed books closely resembled manuscripts. [2010 (T-1)]
(i) The metal letters imitated the ornamental handwritten styles.
(ii) Borders were illuminated by hand with foliage and other patterns.
(iii) Illustrations were printed. In the books meant for the rich, space for decoration was kept blank on the printed page. Each purchaser could choose the design and decide on the painting school that would do the illustrations.
Q.26. How did print help connect communities and people in different parts of India? Explain with examples. [2010 (T-1)]
Ans. Print connected communities and people in different parts of India through newspapers, by encouraging public debates on important issues. New ideas emerged in Sambad Kaumadi published by Raja Ram Mohan Roy’s from 1821, which provoked debate on widow immolation, Brahmanical priesthood, idolatary, by printing ideas in every language spoken by ordinary people. In retalitation, Hindu orthrodoxy started Samachar Chandrika to oppose his opinions.
In north India, ulamas fearing colonial rulers will change Muslim personal laws, published Persian and Urdu translations of holy scriptures and printed religious newspapers and tracts. The Deoband Seminary published thousands of fatwas telling Muslim readers how to conduct themselves in their everyday life and explaning Islamic doctrines. Hindus also published religious texts in Vernacular languages. Ramcharit Manas of Tulsidas
came out in Calcutta in 1810. Naval Kishore Press at Lucknow and Shri Venkateshwar Press in Bombay published numerous religious texts in Vernacular languages. The religious texts reached a very wide circle of people encouraging discussions, debates and controversies within and among different religions.
Newspapers conveyed news from one place to another, creating pan-Indian identities. Thus, print not only stimulated publication of conflicting opinions, it also connected communities and people in different parts of India.
Q.27. ‘Liberty of speech.. liberty of the press... freedom of association. The Government of India is now seeking to crush the three powerful vehicles of expressing and cultivating public opinion. The fight for Swaraj, for Khilafat... means a fight for this threatened freedom before all else..’ [2010 (T-1)]
(i) Who made the above statement?
(ii) Why was the Government trying to crush the three vehicles of expression?
(i) Gandhi made the above statement in 1922.
(ii) Government was trying to repress the national movement in India. They did not want colonial misrule to be reported and wanted to throttle nationalist criticism. They resorted to persecution (Tilak imprisoned in 1908, Punjab revolutionaries disported in 1907), to suppress widespread protests in India by passing Acts like the Vernacular Press Act in 1878.
Q.28. Why did the new technology not entirely displace the existing art of producing books by hand? [2010 (T-1)]
Ans. First, the printed books closely resembled the written manuscripts in appearance and layout.
Second, the metal letters imitated the ornamental hand styles.
Third, borders in printed books were illuminated by hand with foliage and other patterns and illustration were painted. In the books for the rich, space for decoration was kept blank on the printed page. After each purchaser had chosen the design then the painting school would do the illustrators so new technology did not entirely displace the existing art of producing books by hand.
Q.29. By the end of the 19th century a new visual culture was taking shape. Explain. [2010, 2011 (T-1)]
Ans. The setting up of increasing number of printing posses made it easy to reproduce visual images in multiple copies painters like Raja Ram Varma produced images for mass circulation. Cheap prints and calendars could be bought by the poor to decorate the walls of their homes or places of work. The prints began shaping popular ideas about modernity and tradition, religion and politics, society and culture.
In the 1870s, caricatures and cartoons were published in journals and newspapers. Imperial cartoons lampooned nationalists and nationalist cartoons criticised imperial rule.
Q.30. How did ideas about science, reason and rationality find their way into popular literature in the 18th century Europe? [2010 (T-1)]
Explain the significance of newspapers, and journals developed in the early 18th century.
Ans. In the 18th century the periodical press combined information about current affairs with entertainment. Newspapers and journals carried information about wars and trade as well as the news of development in other places.
Similarly, ideas of philosophers now became accessible to common people. Ancient and medieval scientific texts were compiled and published, maps and scientific diagrams were widely printed. When scientists like Issac Newton began to publish their discoveries, they could influence a much wider circle of scientifically minded readers. The writings of thinkers such as Thomas Paime, Voltaire and Rousseau were also widely printed and read. Thus their ideas of about science, reason and rationality found their way into popular literature.
Q.31. How did the uses of print diversify in China by the 17th century? Explain. [2010 (T-1)]
Ans. By 17th century, urban culture bloomed in China and use of print diversified.
(i) Print was no longer used just by scholars and officials.
(ii) Merchants used print in their everyday life, as they collected trade information.
(iii) Reading increasingly became a leisure activity. New readers preferred narratives, poetry,
autobiographies, authologies of literary masterpieces and romantic plays.
Rich women began to read, many women began publishing their poetry and plays. Lives of scholar officials published their works and courtesans wrote about their lives.
Q.32. Write the name of any two women writers of India in 19th century and highlight the contribution of any one who wrote about the different experiences of the women. [2010 (T-1)]
Ans. The two women writers of India in the 19th century were :
(i) Kailashbashini Devi (ii) Tarabai Shinde.
(i) Kailashbashini Devi was a Bengali who wrote books from 1860s, highlighting the experiences of women. She write about how women were imprisoned at home, kept in ingnorance, forced to do hard domestic work and treated unjustify by the new people served.
Q.33. How did print come to Europe from China? Explain. [2010, 2011 (T-1)]
Ans. In 1295, Marco Polo a great explorer returned to Italy after years of exploration in China. Marco Polo brought the knowledge of woodbook printing from China and soon Italians began producing books with woodblocks. The technology spread rapidly to the rest of Europe. Merchants and students in the university started buying cheaper printed copies.
Q.34. State any three points of importance of penny chapbooks. [2010, 2011 (T-1)]
Ans. Importance of chapbooks
(i) Meant largely for entertainment. Chapbooks began to reach a large number of people.
(ii) Penny chapbooks in England were carried by petty peddlers called chapmen and sold for a penny, so that even the poor could buy them.
(iii) They were of various sizes, serving many different purposes and interests.
Q.35. How did the publishers persuade the common people to welcome the printed books in Europe? [2010 (T-1)]
Ans. The publishers persuaded the common people to welcome printed books in Europe by :
(i) Trying to reach those who did not read but could certainly enjoy listening to books being read out.
(ii) Publishing popular ballads and folktales and such books were profusely illustrated with pictures. These were sung and recited at gatherings in villages and in taverns in towns.
(iii) They blurred the line that separated the oral and reading cultures. Hearing and reading public became intermingled.
Q.36. Explain any three factors responsible for the invention of ‘New Printing Technology’. [2010 (T-1)]
Ans. Three factors responsible for the invention of “New Printing Technology” are :
(i) There was need for quicker and cheaper reproduction of texts.
(ii) Production of hand written manuscripts could not satisfy the ever increasing demand for books.
(iii) Manuscripts were fragile, awl wand to handle and could not be carried around easily. All these demanded a “new print technology” and the break through came, when gotann Gutenberg of Germany developed the first-known printing press in the 1430s.
Q.37. How did the Indians copy and preserve their manuscripts? [2010, 2011 (T-1)]
Ans. Indian copies their manuscripts on palm leaves or on hand made paper. They would be either posed between wooden covers or sewn together to ensure preservation.
Q.38. How was the increased demand for books fulfilled by the booksellers? Mention any 3 points. [2011 (T-1)]
Ans. Booksellers met the increased demand of books by :
(i) Exporting books to different countries.
(ii) By holding book fairs at different places.
(iii) Scribes or skilled handwriters were now no longer solely employed by wealthy or influential patrons but by booksellers also. More than 50 scribes worked for one book-seller.
(iv) New methods of producing hand written books were invented to meet public demand.
Q.39. What restrictions were imposed by the Vernacular Press Act on the Indian Press? Explain. [2011 (T-1)]
Ans. In 1878, the Vernacular Press Act was passed. It provided the government with intensive rights to censor reports and editorials in the vernacular press. The government kept regular track of the vernacular newspapers published in different provinces. When a report was judged as seditious the newspaper was warned, and if the warning was ignored, the press was liable to be seized and the printing machinery confiscated.
Q.40. How did print introduce debate and discussion? Explain any three points. [2011 (T-1)]
Ans. Print created the possibility of wide circulation of ideas and introduced a new world of debate and discussion. Even those who disagreed with established authorities could now print and circulate their ideas. Through the printed message, they could pursuade people to think differently, and move them to action. For instance, Martin Luther wrote 95 theses criticising many of the practices and rituals of the Roman Catholic Church. This led to the Protestant Reformation.
Q.41. What was the impact of print culture on the poor people of India during the 19th century? Explain. [2011 (T-1)]
Ans. Very cheap small books were brought to markets in 19th century Madras towns and sold at crossroads, allowing poor people to buy them. Issues of caste discrimination began to be written and discussed. Kashibaba, a Kanpur mill worker wrote on caste and class exploitation. Bangalore cotton mill workers set up libraries to educate themselves. Local social workers used books and journals to eradicate superstition and social evils. This was also used to propagate message of nationalism.
Long Answer Questions
Q.8. Describe three shortcomings of manuscripts that were overcome by the printing press. (2010)
(i) Copying manuscripts by expert handwriters was very time-consuming and cumbersome. The printing press took much less time to produce many copies of books.
(ii) Copying manuscripts was an expensive affair which only the aristocrats could afford. Printing press reduced the cost of books significantly and made them available to common people.
(iii) Carrying handwritten books was cumbersome and involved the risk of getting spoiled or damaged. Printed books could be easily handled, carried and circulated.
Q.9. Read the following passage and answer the questions given below it. [Delhi 2008]
'Dear children, don't read these novels, don't even touch them. Your life will be ruined. You will suffer disease and ailments. Why did the good Lord make you – to wither away at a tender age? To suffer in disease? To be despised by your brothers, relatives and those around you? No. No. You must become mothers; you must lead happy lives; this is the divine purpose. You, who were born to fulfill this sublime goal, should you ruin your life by going crazy after despicable novels?’
Q.10.(i) Mention the source of the above given paragraph.
Ans. The source is a Tamil essay, written in 1927 by Thiru. Vi. Ka and translated by A.R. Venkatachalapathy.
(ii) Analyse the message given by the writer to children.
Ans. The message is that children should avoid the novels like the plague. The writer warns that even touching the novels would lead to diseases and ailments, and their lives would be ruined. The message is for the girls, whose role as mothers in society would be jeopardized. They would be despised by their near and dear ones, their happiness would be destroyed and their role, assigned to them by divine powers, would suffer. Novels are despicable and will drive the girl readers crazy.
Q.11. How did the oral culture enter print and how was the printed material transmitted orally? Explain with suitable examples. [Outside India 2008]
Ans. Before print culture came, common people lived in the world of oral culture. They heard sacred texts read out, ballads recited and folktales narrated. Knowledge was transferred orally, people collectively heard a story or saw a performance.
As books could be read only by the literate, the printers began publishing popular ballads and folk tales, and small books would be profusely illustrated with pictures. They were then sung and recited at gatherings in the villages and in taverns in towns. Those who could not read, enjoyed listening to books being read out. Oral culture thus entered print and printed material was orally transmitted. The hearing public and the reading public became intermingled.
Q.12. How were ideas and information written before the age of print in India? How did the printing technique begin in India. 
Ans. In the ancient period, India had a very rich and old tradition of handwritten manuscripts in Sanskrit, Arabic, Persian and other regional languages. Manuscripts were copied on palm leaves or on handmade paper. Pages were beautifully illustrated. Jayadeva’s Gita Govinda was written on a palm leaf in accordian format. Some works had beautiful calligraphy like the 14th century poet Hafiz’s work known as the Diwan. These manuscripts were preserved by sewing them together or pressing between wooden covers. They had to be handled carefully and they were highly expensive and fragile. Even in schools, students became literate without reading any kinds of texts as scripts were written in different styles and not easy to read. Teachers dictated portions and students wrote them down. The printing press first came to Goa with Portuguese missionaries in the mid-16th century. They printed several tracts in Konkani. In 1674, 50 books had been printed in Konkani. The first Tamil book was printed in 1579 at Cochin, first Malayalam book appeared in 1713. By 1710, Dutch missionaries had printed 32 Tamil Texts. English printing was started by James Hickey from 1780. He began to edit Bengal Gazette, a weekly magazine. So it was private English enterprise that began English printing in India. By the close of the 18th century, a number of journals appeared, Indians too began publishing. Gangadhar Bhattacharya, who was close to Raja Rammohun Roy, brought out the Bengal Gazette.
Q.13. “Print did not only stimulate the publications of conflicting opinions among different communities but also connected them in the 19th century in India.” Support the statement with examples. 
Ans. In the 19th century, there were intense debates around religious issues. Different groups had different opinions about changes taking place in colonial society. Some criticised existing practices and championed the cause of reforms, while others opposed reforms vehemently. Print not only spread the new ideas, but along with newspapers, it shaped the nature of debate. This was a time of controversies between social and religious reformers and Hindu Orthodoxy over matters like widow immolation (Sati), monotheism, Brahmanical priesthood and idolatry. The ideas were printed everyday in spoken language of ordinary people. Rammohun Roy published Sambad Kaumudi from 1821 and the Hindu Orthodoxy commissioned the Samachar Chandrika to oppose his opinions. From 1822, two Persian newspapers were published — Jam-i-Jahannuma and Shamsul Akhbar. In the same year, a Gujarati newspaper, the Bombay Samachar, was published. In north India, the Ulema were deeply worried about the collapse of Muslim dynasties, and the colonial rulers changing the Muslim Personal Law. The Deoband Seminary, founded in 1867, published thousands of fatwas telling Muslim readers how to conduct themselves in their everyday life, and explaining the meanings of Islamic doctrines. Among Hindus, print helped in reading of religious texts. The first printed edition of Ramcharitmanas of Tulsidas, a 16th century text, came out from Calcutta in 1810. From the 1880s the Nawal Kishore Press at Lucknow and Shri Venkateshwar Press of Bombay published numerous religious texts in vernaculars. Not only they could be read easily by faithful at any place and time, but they could also be read to a large audience of illiterate people. Religious texts reached a very wide circle of people, encouraging discussions, debates and controversies within and among different religions.