Britain realized it when they took India from the East India Company and today the united States and European rowers are taking advantage of a large and cheap labor force and emerging middle class. Indian artists are benefiting especially from this economic boom as the middle class and wealthy in India are their main supporters.
The strife of the lower class seems to be one of the mall themes used by artists and It plays well to Westerners, concerned with the struggles of the Third World.
Throughout modern art history, Indian artists have responded to the changes to their country and attempted to find their identities in a struggle with modernism and prejudices of the West after independence. The purpose of this essay is to highlight the impact the West has had on the cultural and artistic legacy that continues today with Indian and Pakistani artists. I will start with the colonial period under the British Raja and the major cultural changes it caused through the example of the forming of ‘Hinduism’.
I will then discuss the modernist period and move on to Indian’s current situation, discussing the status of being a contemporary artist of South Asian origins. In 1850 the British Raja was established in India and their goal was to form India in their own Image.
All scholarship was Western based, which included archeology, anthropology, linguistics and other areas which came to be known as Ontology, the study of Indian’s history, people, and culture; much of which was lost In time to the Indian people.
The findings of this scho...
larship were formed to coincide with Christian-Jude Western history, resulting in a skewed, partially imagined Indian history. These conclusions were then taught to the Indian students in universities, so educated Indians who would have some influence In governance during and after the colonial period, were Informed of their own country and history by Western scholars.
With the Influx of British realism In painting, not only did the British think of Indian art as primitive, but Indian people came to think of it that way as well. All forms of patronage for 2 traditional Indian painting stopped and schools, founded by the British, were now teaching oil painting and European techniques. Traditional Indian painters, who lost their patronage, changed their style to the tastes of the British, In what Is known as breaking of hundreds, even thousands of years of art history and culture.
To more fully understand the cultural impact of British colonialism in India, one can look to he forming of ‘Hinduism’ as a world religion, written about by Richard King in Orientation and the Modern Myth of “Hinduism”. Richard King is a critic and supporter of the ideas put forth by Edward Said in his book Orientation, which is a critical look into the way Orientations formed their image of Eastern cultures. The term Hindu in fact was originally derived from a Persian word and simply referred to the people of Indian subcontinent, not to a religion, until the nineteenth century.
As the European Oriental’s began to compose Indian history and religion, since “the datives are
unreliable interpreters of their own laws and culture,” they began to try and create a homogeneity concept of Indian religion from the multitude of practices and beliefs, which had no single name or doctrine, spread throughout the country. 2 How else could “such religious liberality as would give members of the same society the freedom by individual choice, to practice the religion they liked” exist without a hierarchal structure and similar theology? The British and Orientations had to find an explanation that Europeans themselves could relate to and, as Richard King explains, they sought this in two ways, “firstly by locating the core of Indian religiosity in certain Sanskrit texts (the decentralization of Indian religion) and secondly by an implicit (and sometimes explicit) tendency to define Indian religion in terms of normative definition of religion based upon contemporary Western understanding of lulled-Christian traditions. “4 A clear example of this is seen in the translations of Hindu scripture to English that use similar wording and sentence structure used in the Christian bible.
There is even a trinity in Hinduism, supposedly acknowledged by al Hindus, and includes a god most Hindus do not pray 1 There are many definitions of an Orientals; simply put it was a scholar responding to interactions with the East and the West’s fascination and repulsion with the Orient’. It was an attempt to define the unknown, what many felt was backward and opposite to their own culture in the West. 2 Richard King, “Orientation and the Modern Myth of Hinduism,” Menu 46, no. 2 (1999): 155. 3 Ibid, 169 4 Ibid, 166 to.
But a trinity does not exist for a villager in a remote area of India whose ideas of religion are largely based on oral tradition and the belief of gods and goddesses mound in natural objects, such as trees and stones.
However during this Orientals reformation of Hinduism “the oral and ‘popular’ aspects of Indian religious tradition Nerve ignored or decried as evidence of the degradation of contemporary Hindu religion into superstitious practice on the grounds that they bear little or no resemblance to “their own” texts. 5 This prejudice normalized the villages and small towns in India and allowed further control by a central power, imposing their idea of what India should be and what religious practices were lawful to suit their Nesters tastes. In this way “the Orientals scholar was an accessory, an accomplice, partner-in-crime, of the politician, merchant, soldier, missionary and colonial t allowed them to control the Indian people and ban certain practices simply because it was against the Indian people’s own religious text and traditions.
One Mould think the Indian people would have opposed the idea of a singular religion and culture common to them all, however they had “no reason to contradict this; to them the religious and cultural unity discovered by Western scholars was highly Unwelcome in their search for national identity in the period of struggle for national onion. “7 The Brahmins, the highest class in India (largely priests), worked with the arthritis in many cases simply because the Orientations, “convinced of the degradation of contemporary
- Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi
- Westward Expansion
- Caste System
- Mahatma Gandhi
- Free Will
- Good And Evil
- Holy Spirit
- New Testament
- alternative religions