(i) Marco Polo, the Italian explorer, visited China and learnt the technology of woodblock printing. When he returned to Italy in 1295 he brought this knowledge back with him to Italy. Gradually this knowledge spread from Italy to other parts of Europe.
(ii) In 1517, Martin Luther, the religious reformer wrote Ninety-five Theses criticising the corrupt practices of the Catholic Church and pasted these on the church door in Wittenberg. Very soon thousand of copies of Luther’s theses were printed spreading his ideas among people. Martin Luther was deeply moved by realising the power of printing which brought Reformation Movement.
(iii) Printing popular religious literature stimulated variousinterpretationsoffaithamongintellectuals as well as among less educated people. These ideas often challenged the faith and ideas propagated by the Catholic Church. Anybody who went against the Catholic Church was called a heretic and punished in a special court called Inquisition. To identify and to have control over publishers of anti-church material, the Church began to maintain an index of prohibited books from 1558.
(iv) In his speech in 1922, Gandhiji spoke about liberty, freedom of speech, press and association as essential components of Swaraj. As such the government tried to curb these. To Gandhiji, Swaraj meant to achieve freedom of press before any thing else.