DMPQ: Moderates played an important role in the Freedom struggle. What are the characteristics of Indian Nationalism?

Early Nationalists neither desired complete independence nor adopted any aggressive attitude against the foreign government.

  • They relied on petition, prayer, and moderate criticism of government policies as their methods.
  • They had faith in the British idea of justice. They believed that just by drawing attention of the government towards a particular problem e.g. lack of Indian representation in executive council and civil services, less budgetary provision for social goods; the government would address their problems.
  • They would not oppose the government through violent confrontation instead believed in working side-by-side and within the government.
  • They used the means of press, Journals and Conferences to reveal the exploitative nature of British Colonialism and gain sympathy from foreign and British people. Ex: Dadabhai Naoroji, M G Ranade etc. exposed the economic exploitation of India by the English Government.

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  • It was more of a class struggle than mass struggle. Even in upper class, only those who were adversely affected by the British, opposed them and others were well wishers.
  • Participation was limited to upper caste men and Women had very limited role to play.

Initially, Communal consciousness was more prevalent than National consciousness. Every group wanted to derive maximum benefit for their own community. Later after the formation of Congress, this scenario changed a bit and nationalist from different regions came on one platform

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