Friday, September 17, 2010

Discuss the main objectives of the Indian national Movement up to 1905. What was its basic weakness during this period? (CSE 2001)

The national leaders like Dadabhai Naoroji Pherozshah Mehta, D.E. Wacha, W.C. Bonerjee and S.N. Banerjee who dominated the congress policies during 1885 to 1905 were staunch believers in liberalism and moderate politics and thus labeled as moderates. The main objectives of the Indian National Movement up to 1905 were as follows:

· Politicize and politically educate people.

· Develop and propagate an anti-colonial nationalist ideology.

· Formulate and present popular demands before the government with a view to unify the people over a common economic and political programme.

· Carefully promote and nurture the feeling of Indian Nationhood.

The moderate political activity involved constitutional agitation within the confines of law and showed a slow, orderly political progress. The moderates believed that the British wanted to be basically just to the Indians but were not aware of the real conditions. Therefore, if public opinion could be created in country and public demands are presented to the government through resolution, petitions, meetings etc. the authorities would concede these demands gradually. To achieve these ends, they worked on two pronged methodology – one create a strong public opinion to arouse consciousness and national spirit and then educate and unite people on common political questions. Two, to persuade the British Government and British public opinion to introduce reforms in India. For this purpose a British Committee of the Indian in 1899. Dadabhai Naoroji spent a substantial portion of his life and income campaigning for India’s case abroad.

Moderates were able to create a wide national awakening of all Indians and above all, the feeling of belongingness to one nation. They however, failed to widen their democratic base and scope of their demands. The moderate phase of the national movement had a narrow social base and the masses played a passive role. This was because the early nationalists lacked political faith in the masses; they felt that there Indian society, and the masses were generally ignorant and had conservative ideas and thoughts. But they failed to realize that it was only during the freedom struggle and political participation that these diverse elements ever came together.


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