The Indian National Movement – Part 4 – the Indian Nationalism

The Indian Nationalism Another step in the freedom movement

For a nationalist movement for freedom to be successful there were lot more hurdles that needed to be covered and this is a small walk through for the events.

By the start of 1900, the Indian National Congress had emerged to be the only national political organization in India. The organization had support for the British empire or British Raj and was recognized by the rulers. Although in its peak of good organization, its achievements were undermined with the fact that not enough Muslim participation happened in the organization. The leaders of Indian National congress were mainly Hindu elites or provincial heads. The concerns of Indian Muslims were due to the fact that Hindu reformers were attacking the Muslim converts and the religion was against the cow-slaughter. The preservation of Urdu in arabic script alone deepened the growth of Muslim community to better positions. They feared that their role will be feeble in law and administration and their doubts of getting a minority status deepened if Congress alone were to stay in as the only National Organization.

Sir Syed Ahmed Khan had launched a movement for the Muslim regeneration, this resulted in the founding of Mohammedan Anglo-Oriental University i n1875, in Uttar Pradesh. This was later named as Aligarh Muslim University by 1920. The object of this university was to educate the wealthy Muslim youth and emphasized the compatibility of Islam with modern western knowledge. However due to the differences in Muslim community, it was difficult for the movement to bring a uniform cultural and intellectual regeneration.

The later stage of Nationalistic sentiments of Indian National congress led them to a movement which demanded participation in the government and also to have a say in legislative and administrative departments of the government. Although they wanted this to happen under the British rule, still. This movement fruited with the successful contest by Dadabhai Naoroji in the elections held for the British House Of Commons and he became the first Asian and Indian to be part of British Parliment.

While the Indian National Congress was happy with the british rule and continuing its efforts to bring about more reforms. It was Balgangadhar Tilak who had embraced the idea of Poorna Swaraj or complete independence as the destiny of the Nation. Tilak ji was against the British Education system, the education system then in India had considered the cultural, social and historical values of India as inferior and made the students divert more from the facts. Further there was the denial of freedom for expression and the lack of leaders of common people to be part of administration. Tilak was unhappy with the foresaid reasons and considered the swaraj as the only natural solution to the trouble. His famous quote was then renounced through the freedom fight ” Swaraj is my birth right and I shall have it “. This generated a wave of Nationalism among the common people.

By 1907, The INC ( Indian National Congress) was split into two factions, the one with moderates who were led by Dadabhai Naoroji and Gopalakrishna Ghokale and that of the radicals led by Tilak. The Moderates believed in bringing reforms to the current rule. But for the radicals, the agitation and direct revolution were considered the only methods of throwing British off the power and gaining Swaraj. The leadership of Tilaj ji was backed by Bipin Chandra Pal and Lala Lajpat Rai. The fight between the radicals and moderates were at high rate and Ghokale ji had criticized Tilak for creating unrest and promoting violence. At this time, the INC had not opened a public membership and finally Tilak and supporters were forced to leave Congress. During the same era Bengal, Punjab and Maharashtra had united and claimed Swaraj and also this promoted the Indian Nationalism.

The movements led by Bal Gangadhar Tilak continued with offensive tactics, but this came to a sudden stop with the arrest of Tilak ji. Meanwhile, Congress was gradually loosing credit in the society with the new issues.

While the Nation was fighting and was having issues, the Muslim league which was formed during the time had met with the Viceroy to India, Minto ( 1905-1910) seeking concessions while impending constitutional reforms and including special concessions for Muslims in Government services and electorates. Government did consider this petition by granting additional concessions and increasing the number of elective offices reserved for Muslims, as per the Government of India Act 1909.

Muslim league wanted separation from the demands kept by INC, and this was considered as voice of nation within a nation.

The Nation was still in the stir for getting upto independence.

Coming up.. partition of Bengal and further developments