By Uditha Devaprya
Archived images provided by JR Jayewardene Center
The role of the journal in the reconstruction of British Ceylon’s Buddhism has never been seriously considered by scholars. Most historical accounts date back to the late Dutch and early British coverage of Buddhist coverage. The growth of print capitalism, as it did in other colonial societies, had some influence on Buddhist opposition to Christian evangelism. But the momentum of this repulsion was never the same. It responded to changing economic and social situations and followed its own logic and patterns.
Buddhists who took over the task of spreading propaganda against their ideological enemies had to rely on the same system that those enemies relied on. In 1855, the first Buddhist press was founded from a facility owned by a church missionary in Kotte for 30 years. A few years later, with the patronage of King Patronage of Siam and the influential Kandian chief, a second press is said to have been set up in Goal. These developments spurred monks such as Migetsuwate Gunananda Serra to play a leading role in the Christian and Buddhist debates of that era.
The Buddhist media was not a little rudimentary, as they were standing at this point. But compared to the few resources it had to put up with, it mobilized a fairly impressive campaign against the enemy, and ironically, the very weapon the enemy was using against it. Was used. In 1862 Gunna Nanda Serra took the initiative in its establishment Buddhist Promotion Association.. Kitsiri Malalgoda is an organization Evangelism.. Over the next few years, it published many important booklets, many of which were written by Gunananda Serra and Hikkaduwe Slismangala Serra, who would form the basis of the resurrection of Buddhism.
These tracts were published in response to the ever-growing morale of anti-Buddhist publications, especially written by preachers such as Daniel Gogarley. Historians have focused on such publications and have given sufficient emphasis to them. They said they had a profound effect on the resurrection of Buddhism and made Western theological scholars such as Colonel Olcott and Mrs. Blavatsky aware of the conflict between Buddhist monks and Protestant preachers. Often lacking in these historical assessments is how Buddhist coverage changed with the arrival of theological scholars, in fact, both in the form and content of these publications, in the West, especially in Europe. Interest in Buddhism, and the rise of the trivial bourgeoisie of Shinhara.
In my view, the role of Western patronage during the resurrection of Buddhism depended on two factors: the prominent role played by the theological scholars. [paradoxically] Their fate of flickering in the face of the resurrection of assertive and anti-theological scholars. The latter was led by a fire brand like Anagar Rika Dharmapara.Conversion to [Theravada] Middle-class European Buddhism in British Ceylon and Burma. They went beyond the boundaries of theological scholars and adopted Buddhism, which stood in South and Southeast Asia. They also encouraged intense nationalists and anti-imperialist middle classes, or trivial bourgeoisies, to take leadership in the movement, working with theologicalists and orientalists who put a lot of energy and initiative into their early revival. rice field.
When describing Shinhara’s petite bourgeoisie, composed of merchants and professionals surrounded by colonial structures, as anti-imperialists and nationalists, the vision of anti-imperialist and nationalism, even if not isolated, It should be noted that it is inevitably restricted. Their formation was essentially associated with the surge in economic activity that accompanied the Colebrook Cameron era. The emergence of plantation bourgeoisie ultimately led to the formation of certain ancillary sectors, especially in the import of foreign goods. Sinhalese’s little bourgeoisie filled this gap to some extent.Still, by doing so, it had to fight other peoples [minority] Both local and foreign groups have gained an edge in these activities thanks to credit and access to banking facilities.
These were two essentials that determined their ideology. That is, reliance on the auxiliary sector linked to the prosperous import sector and competition with other ethnic groups. Soon they took the initiative by sponsoring many important initiatives related to revival, such as the construction of a pilgrim’s resting place in Anuradhapura. Not surprisingly, they created the Sinhala intelligentsia crust. In fighting the influence of other ethnic groups, they eventually relied on a system that allowed them to begin the resurrection of Buddhism. It was at this time that Sinhalese traders began to generously fund the publication of new journals and breathe new life into such initiatives to reshape the revival.
As far as their attitude towards colonialism was concerned, Sinhalese merchants faced Janus as well as their ancestors. Despite certain restrictions and restrictions, they benefited from the colonial economy. They turned their attention to the religious aspects of colonial rule, and criticisms of imperialism were based on the monopoly of education, marriage, and other aspects of civilian life exercised by missionaries. Therefore, the need to preserve Buddhism and bring it back to a certain “precursor” past has been clarified from an almost purely cultural point of view. This was expected. Even after the 1915 riot, a turning point in revival, the most enthusiastic nationalists did not imagine Ceylon going out of the orbit of British rule.
In contrast to their pioneers, whose programs for the resurrection of Buddhism were country-specific, these new financiers and patrons imagined a world of Buddhism beyond Ceylon. Therefore, they sought to publish journals and magazines that would close the gap between the home and the world and strengthen the ties between Buddhist nations: on the one hand, a reservoir of faith in the Orient, and new Buddhist temples and societies. The other side of the network. They were helped by the wealth gained from their participation as bystanders in the plantation economy.
By its very nature, printing is destructive and conservative. Christen Press used it to insist on the continuation of the status quo. The Buddhist media used it to advocate a change in the status quo. But through the press, revivalists have not sought as radical a change in society as the reversal and recovery of an imaginary primitive past. In this they followed a tradition initiated by the rebels of the first anti-British Indian Empire. They demanded the restoration of the Kingdom of Kandy, opposed to British rule.
New patrons of the Buddhist media reinforce this message. Their wealth, if any, did not make them very obedient to revolutionary and radical politics: all they wanted was to show or show off the “superiority” of their faith. did. Authorities did not oppose these groups unless their activities clashed with the objectives of the colonial government.Indeed, they went to the point of praising Sinhalese’s little bourgeoisie: here, for example, here is an entry for a wealthy Sinhalese trader. Ceylon’s 20th Century Impressions:
“Mr. WE Bastian was born in Colombo in 1876, and after being educated at his hometown of Ananda College, joined a local papermaker trading company as a manager. Abandoned just to start a business with his account. The rapid growth of the current business under his control shows his ability and integrity within the short period of time it existed. Mr. Bastian is a religious Buddhist. , Enjoying an important position in his community. ” [Twentieth Century Impressions of Ceylon, page 482]
There is reason to believe that the sketches of these biographies were written by their subject. Nonetheless, British Ceylon’s major colonial works on geography, economy, politics, and personality feature Sinhalese traders very prominently, allowing him to speak eloquently at his own value. That should tell us a lot about the forgiveness of the authorities, the actual encouragement, of such individuals. My claim is that this basically helped Shinhara’s petite bourgeoisie continue its campaign for “preservation of faith” and put them in the perspective of cultural controversy rather than total political controversy. Is to persuade the latter purpose from the criticism and criticism of British colonialism itself.
It’s a good idea to be aware of the limitations of the Sinhala petite bourgeoisie.Through journals like Ceylon Buddhist Year – Probably the most important such publication from the beginning of the 20th century – Revivalists sought more than an opportunity to prove the intrinsic value of their faith.The failure of this revivalist tendency to shift to complete and complete criticism of colonialism must be summarized in that regard to what Legi Siriwaldena described as the weak and early nature of the Sinhalese middle class. Hmm: The quality that immediately pushed them to other ethnic groups [foreign and minority] While preventing the group from organizing a progressive anti-imperialist movement.
The writer is an international affairs analyst, researcher, columnist and can contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
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