The closing decade of the 19th century and early years of the 20th century witnessed the emergence of new and younger group within the Indian National Congress, which was critical of the ideology and methods of old leadership. In this context, mention the causes for emergence of new group. (150 words)
The new and younger group within the INC emerged during the late 19th century and early 20th century were extremist. These “angry young men” advocated the adoption of Swaraj as the goal of the Congress to be achieved by more self-reliant and independent methods. The new group came to be called the Extremist party in contrast to the older one, which began to be referred to as the Moderate party.
- By the starting of the 20th century, Indian politics had come under influence and dominance of extremists. Though from the last few years of the 19th century, extremists came into existence, it was only after the partition of Bengal that they gained popularity.
- From 1905 onwards, the moderate leaders rapidly lost their influence over the National Congress. Gradually, over the years, the trend of militant nationalism (also known as Extremism) grew in the country. Extremism on the Indian national scene did not spring up all of a sudden in the first decade of the twentieth century. In fact, it had been growing slowly since the revolt of 1857, but was invisible. The nationalist ideas behind the revolt of 1857, according to the extremists, were Swadharma and Swaraj.
Causes of Extremism
- The refusal to meet the political and economic demands by the government and its repressive measures against the growing national movement shook the faith of an increasing number of Indians in the ideology and technique of liberal nationalism. Leadership of moderates had failed to deliver any fruit to India and so young nationalist leaders started to acquire dominant position gradually.
- Act of 1892 dissatisfied the congress leaders and so they choose to resort to legal and nationalist policies for their demands.
- Now they recognized the true nature of the British rule which moderates failed to and had belief in its being just.
- Education gave them a new vision and they got inspiration from India history. Western thinkers also influenced them.
- Increasing westernization of India by British led them to think that they will destroy Indian traditions, customs and culture and so they grew against British.
- Lord Curzon’s reactionary policy was also responsible for the growth of extremism. He spoke derogatorily of Indian character in general which hurt pride of Indians. At Calcutta University Convocation, he said,” Undoubtedly truth took a high place in the codes of the west before it had been similarly honored in the East.” The Calcutta Corporation Act, Official Secret Act, Indian University Act of 1904 created great resentment in India. The Delhi Durbar held n 1903 when India had not fully recovered from famine of 1899-1900 was interpreted as a “a pompous pageant to a starving population”.
- Much more was the dissatisfaction with achievements of moderates which pave a way to extremists in Indian politics.
- The rise of the extremism in the national movement was a reaction against the attempts of the Western reformists to reconstruct India in the image of the West. They were greatly influenced by the growth and development of spiritual nationalism in India.
- Contemporary International influences: Abyssinia’s repulsion of Italian Army in 1896, and Japan’s victory over Russia in 1905 broke the spell of European invincibility. Nationalistic movements in Egypt, Persia, Turkey and Russia also influenced extremism, also humiliating treatment of Indians in British colonies like South Africa helped extremism.
- Partition of Bengal was one of the most important reasons of emergence of extremism.
- Most of the limitations of moderates were cause of birth of extremism.
Conclusion must include the result of the extremists’ struggle