Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Moderates and Indian masses

Moderates and Indian masses
Why did the moderates lose appeal with Indian masses and failed to get the desired
response from the people?

Between the period from 1885 to 1905, the Indian National Congress was dominated by moderate leaders, prominent among them being Dada Bhai Nauroji, Badrudin Tayabji, Surendra Nath Banerjee, M.G. Ranade, Madan Mohan Malaviya and G. Subramanya Iyer. As the expression ‘moderate’ suggests, most of these leaders believed in constitutional methods of agitation and pursuing limited objectives. Their basic objective was to arouse the political consciousness and national spirit among the Indians. Most of them had complete faith in British administration and justice. Their methods included passing of resolutions, holding meetings and sending petitions. Though their methods did not fetch them immediate gains, yet their contribution towards political and national awakening was of paramount value to the country.

But gradually, this group of early nationalists began to lose appeal with the Indian masses. There were several reasons and the foremost was the Boycott and Swadeshi Movement during the Bengal Partition. Many moderate leaders did not associate themselves with this movement and younger people within Congress started realising the futility of the ideology and techniques of moderate leaders. As a result, during the agitation against Bengal Partition, a large section of Indians lost faith in the sense of justice of the British. This resulted in loss of goodwill of the moderates and emergence of a new group of nationalists, popularly known as the extremists.

Emergence of new generation leaders like Lala Lajpat Rai, Bal Gangadhar Tilak, B.C. Pal and Arbinda Ghosh caught the fancy and following of the masses. Economic exploitation, resulting in impoverishment during the British rule, was also a major factor responsible for growing disillusionment against the British as well as the moderates. It was realised by all that the primary cause of poverty in India was the anti-Indians economic policies followed by the British.

No comments:

Post a Comment