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.
- 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.
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