Give reasons for the following:
(a) Woodblock print only came to Europe after 1295.
(b) Martin Luther was in favour of print and spoke out in praise of it.
(c) The Roman Catholic Church began keeping an Index of Prohibited books from the mid-sixteenth century.
(d) Gandhi said the fight for Swaraj is a fight for liberty of speech, liberty of the press, and freedom of association.
(a) Woodblock print was invented around the sixth century in China. It came to Europe, along with Marco Polo, in 1295. Marco Polo returned to Italy after many years of exploration in China, and he brought the knowledge of woodblock print with him on his return.
(b) Martin Luther was in favour of print and spoke out in praise of it because print media helped popularise and spread his ideas. In 1517, he wrote the Ninety Five Theses, criticising the practices and rituals of the Roman Catholic Church. These writings were immediately reproduced in vast numbers and read widely. His translation of the New Testament was also accepted and read by thousands. This was only possible due to the improvements in print technology which had allowed even the working classes to gain access to books.
(c) The Roman Catholic Church began keeping an index of Prohibited books from the mid-sixteenth century because its authority was being put in danger by the several individual and distinctive readings and questionings of faith prompted by the easily accessible popular religious literature. To supplement its inquisition and repression of heretical ideas, the Roman Catholic Church exercised strict control over publishers and booksellers, and also began to keep an Index of Prohibited Books from 1558.
(d) Gandhi said the fight for Swaraj is a fight for liberty of speech, liberty of the press, and freedom of association because he considered these to be powerful modes of expression and cultivation of public opinion. The denial of these freedoms was not compatible with the idea of self rule and independence. Hence, the fight for these freedoms, according to him, was intrinsically a fight for swaraj or self rule.