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Mandalay and the Printing Industry
- Literature, a kind of aesthetic art, is an effective tool for enlightenment, entertainment and propagation. It also reveals the politics, economy, social conditions and cultural aspects of certain period. Likewise, the books distribute the religious, political and cultural ideologies throughout the world. The books play a crucial role in the history of human innovations. The invention of printing press is the most important milestone to distribute various literary works and scientific knowledge. Since the last days of the monarchical rule, King Mindon who realized the importance of literature in propagation of Buddhism and wellbeing of kingdom included the foundation of printing industry in his reformation works. He published the first newspaper of Mandalay to counterpoise the propagation of British from Lower Myanmar. However, the printing industry of Mandalay in the reigns of King Mindon and King Thibaw was limited in the Buddhist cultural norms and could not provided the knowledge of the people. During the colonial period, the printing industry of Mandalay transformed into the tool to boost the knowledge and nationalist sentiment of people. The Wunthanu movement, nationalist movement, anti-colonialist struggle and struggle for independence under the AFPFL leadership as well as the struggle for peace in post independence era in Upper Myanmar were instigated by the Mandalay printing industry. Nevertheless, the printing industry of Mandalay was gradually on the wane under Revolutionary Council Government which practiced strict censorship on the newspapers and other periodicals.
Yan Naing Lin
- Mandalay University Researh Journal