Moderates provided a significant ground work and awakened another generation of nationalists who continued to demand for their rights. Critically explain.
- Moderates are the early leaders of the congress between the time period of 1885-1905.The leaders of this time period included DadabhaiNaoroji, Womesh Chandra Bonnerjee, G SubramanyaAiyer, Gopal Krishna Gokhale, Sir Surendranath Banerjee who were staunch believers in liberalism and moderate politics.
- Other moderate leaders included Rash Behari Ghosh, R C Dutt, M G Ranade, Pherozeshah Mehta, P R Naidu, Madan Mohan Malaviya, Ananda Charlu, S SubramaniaIyer and William Wedderburn.
Success of Moderates:
- Indian Councils Act of 1892 was the first achievement of the INC. This Act increased the size of the legislative councils and also increased the proportion of non-officials in them.
- They were able to sow the seeds of nationalism in the people.
- They popularised ideals like democracy, liberty and equality.
- They exposed many draining economic policies of the British.
- Leaders like Gopal Krishna Gokhale and M G Ranade were social reformers too and opposed child marriage and imposed widowhood.
- On the request of the Moderates in 1886, Lord Dufferin appointed Aitchison Committee on Indian Civil Services. The upper age limit was increased to 22 years on the recommendation of the committee.
- On the request of moderates, the Calcutta University Act of 1902 and Calcutta Municipal Corporation Act of 1902, which curbed the autonomy of the local bodies were revoked in 1904 by Lord Curzon.
- The most important achievement of the moderates was their economic critique of colonialism, called the Drain Theory that exposed the exploitative nature of colonialism.
Failures of Moderates:
- They restricted the social base of the Congress to the elites.
- They failed to understand the clash of interests between colonialism and nationalism.
- Their major failure was that they could not stop the partition of Bengal from taking place which was done much against the public will.
Thus, Moderates provided a significant ground work and awakened another generation of nationalists who continued to demand for their rights.