GS Mains Daily Answer Writing
Week 1 Day 2
- What were the reasons behind the failure of the 'Moderates' to effectively establish credibility and garner widespread support for their proclaimed ideology and political objectives as the nineteenth century drew to a close? (Answer in 250 words) 15
- The Revolt of 1857 was neither a sepoy mutiny nor a planned war of national independence - it was something that fell in between these. Do you agree? Elaborate. (Answer in 150 words) 10
Q1. What were the reasons behind the failure of the 'Moderates' to effectively establish credibility and garner widespread support for their proclaimed ideology and political objectives as the nineteenth century drew to a close? (Answer in 250 words) 15
- The moderates sought reformation of British rule in India. They adopted prayer, petition and protests as their methodology. This yielded little results.
- Proclaimed Ideology of Moderates:
- Believed in the justness of the British rule hence professed complete loyalty to the British.
- They believed that India was yet not ready to stand on her own legs and needed the British for empowering them.
- Believed in-the efficacy of peaceful and bloodless means and constitutional methods.
- Press was used as the platform to discuss various British policies and disseminating them thereby creating awareness.
- Sessions were also used as platforms to pass resolutions or to discuss/protest against the discriminatory laws.
Reasons for failure
- Non-inclusive in nature
- Moderate group consisted mostly of Western-educated elite and privileged indigenous elite such as the Bhadralok in Bengal
- The backward regions and underprivileged groups remained outside their zone of contact and influence, until the entry of Gandh
- As moderates started to become more assertive, the British became unfriendly, and began to encourage Muslims to stay away from the Congress
- Elite nature of demands by Moderates
- Eg. Reforms in recruitment of Civil servants
- Moderates failed to make any notable success- except expanding legislative councils under Indian Councils Act (1892).
- Extremist leaders Bal Gangadhar Tilak, Lala Lajpat Rai, Bipinchandra Pal, Aurobindo Ghosh etc. were great orators and prolific writers in vernacular newspapers. Hence their ideology began to gain more currency and followers - thus sidelining the moderates
- A new stream of ‘extremist’ ideology comprising passive resistance and direct action with the goal of attaining complete independence (Swaraj) appealed to the masses
Q2. The Revolt of 1857 was neither a sepoy mutiny nor a planned war of national independence - it was something that fell in between these. Do you agree? Elaborate. (10 Marks)
While at first glance, the Revolt of 1857 seems to be the product of character and policies of colonial rule, many historians continue to debate about the true nature of the revolt.
Revolt of 1857 - not completely a sepoy mutiny:
- Though the greased cartridges triggered the revolt, it was just the straw that broke the camel’s back.
- Actually, the sepoys were joined by many sections of the civil society including peasants, dispossessed princes and many other people.
- Additionally, a significant number of Indian soldiers in the British East India Company's army participated in quelling the rebellion.
Revolt of 1857 - not completely a planned war of national independence:
- It was V.D. Savarkar who first interpreted the revolt as a “planned war of national independence.” He said it was inspired by the lofty ideal of self rule by Indians through a nationalist upsurge.
- However, it is argued that it was not a nationwide uprising and many parts of the country were unaffected by the events.
- Each of the leaders of the uprising fought for their regional or personal or class interests.
- Additionally, nationalism in India was still in its early stages at the time, and there was no sense of a shared national identity.
The revolt of 1857 is, therefore, not easy to categorize. It had seeds of nationalism and anti-imperialism but the concept of common nationality and nationhood was not inherent to the revolt of 1857.Previous Post