Test: Modern Nationalism in India (1858-1905)

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Amongst the following, the earliest to form was:

Solution: These were some of the early political associations that paved the way for organised struggle in India:
  • The British Indian Association-1851,

  • Bengal The Bombay Association-1852,

  • Dadabhai Naoroji East India Association - 1856,

  • London Madras Native Association - 1852

  • Poona Sarvajanik Sabha - 1870

  • The Madras Mahajana Sabha - 1884


Consider the following regarding the East India Association organised in London:

1. Dadabhai Naoroji founded it.

2. The organisation aimed to present India's correct information to the British public and voice Indian grievances.

3. The East India Association incorporated the National Indian Association before the Komagata Maru incident.

Select the correct answer using the codes below.

  • Dadabhai Naoroji initiated the establishment of the East India Association at London. It was one of the predecessor organisations of the Indian National Congress in 1867.

  • Over the course of its existence, the Association would listen to lectures from a wide range of Indian and British men and women on matters ranging from India's economic development to literature to suffrage. It superseded the London Indian Society and was a platform for discussing India's matters and ideas and providing representation for Indians to the government.

  • The East India Association incorporated the National Indian Association in 1949 and became the Britain, India and Pakistan Association. In 1966, it amalgamated with the former India Society, now Royal India, Pakistan and Ceylon Society, to become the Royal Society for India, Pakistan and Ceylon.


During the colonial era, the ‘India League,’ was a Britain-based organization whose main aim was to

  • V. K. Krishna Menon was the driving force behind it. It evolved from the Commonwealth of India League (est. 1922), which evolved from Annie Besant’s Home Rule for India League (est. 1916).

  • Menon became joint secretary of the Commonwealth of India League in 1928 and radicalized the organization, rejecting Dominion Status's objective for the greater goal of full independence and alienating figures such as Besant in the process.

The League’s activities were closely linked to events in India. It is often described as ‘the Sister Organization of the Congress Party in India’.


The aim of the Indian Association found by Surendranath Banerjee was to

  • Surendranath Banerjee laid the foundations of the Indian National Movement with the formation of the Indian Association in Calcutta in 1876. The Association aimed to represent the educated middle class's views and inspire the Indian community to take the value of united action.

  • The Indian Association was, in a way, the forerunner of the Indian National Congress, which was founded with the help of A.O. Hume, a retired British official. However, the aim of the Indian Association was not to establish the Indian National Congress. The birth of Indian National Congress in 1885 marked the entry of the new educated middle class into politics and transformed the Indian political horizon.

  • The first session of the Indian National Congress was held in Bombay in December 1885 under Womesh Chandra Banerjee's presidency and attended by Badruddin Tyabji.


Which one of the following submitted in 1875 a petition to the House of Commons demanding India's direct representation in the British parliament?


In 1875 the Poona Sarvajanik Sabha submitted a petition to the House of Commons signed by 21,713 persons demanding direct representation of India in Parliament.




Which of the following members established the Madras Mahajan Sabha in 1884?

1. Theagaraya Chetty

2. Anandacharlu

3. Subramaniya Aiyer

Select the correct answer using codes given below.

Solution: M. Veeraraghavachariar, G. Subramania Iyer and P. Anandacharlu established the Madras Mahajana Sabha.


The Ilbert Bill Controversy is a high watermark in the history of Indian National Movement. It is related to

1. Improving working conditions in factories for Indian workers.

2. Ban of the indigenous press and missionary activities by the state.

Which of the above is/are correct?

  • C.P. Ilbert, Law Member, introduced a bill in 1883 to abolish this discrimination in the judiciary. But Europeans opposed this Bill strongly.

  • They also suggested that it was better to end the English rule in India than to allow the English to be subjected to the Indian Judges and Magistrates. The bill ended due to this opposition.

  • The Ilbert Bill controversy helped the cause of Indian nationalism. The immediate result of India's awakening was the birth of the Indian National Congress in 1885, the very next year of Ripon’s departure.


The campaigns and associations before the establishment of the Indian National Congress were

1. against Vernacular Press Act

2. against Arms Act

3. against a reduction in the minimum age for appearing in Indian Civil Service

Select the correct code:


The associations organised various campaigns before the Indian National Congress appeared on the scene. These campaigns were

(i) for the imposition of import duty on cotton (1875)

(ii) for Indianisation of government service (1878-79)

(iii) against Lytton’s Afghan adventure

(iv) against Arms Act (1878)

(v) against Vernacular Press Act (1878)

(vi) for right to join volunteer corps

(vii) against plantation labour and Inland Emigration Act

(viii) in support of Ilbert Bill

(ix) for an All India Fund for Political Agitation

(x) the campaign in Britain to vote for pro-India party

(xi) against a maximum age reduction for appearing in Indian Civil Service; the Indian Association took up this question and organised an all-India agitation against it, popularly known as the Indian Civil Service agitation.




Consider the following statements regarding the Indian National Congress towards princely states in British India:

1. The Indian National Congress, for the first time at its Nagpur session in 1920, enunciated its policy towards the peoples’ movement in the princely states.

2. Post withdrawal of non-cooperation movement, the Indian National Congress adopted the policy of total non­-interference in the princely states' political status.

Which of the above is/are correct?

  • The Indian National Congress's general policy towards the Indian princely states was first enunciated in 1920 at Nagpur and later carried forward till independence.

  • It was first of exhortation for a responsible government in the states and later active political intervention. It called upon the princes to grant full responsibility to the government in their states. However, no direct political activity was to be resorted for. This position continued till 1935.

  • Two developments in the middle 1930s brought a radical change in the relations between the princely states and British India. The Government of India Act of 1935 projected a federation scheme in which the states were brought into a direct constitutional relationship with British India.

  • The second major impact on the states was created by the Congress's acceptance of office in the majority of the British Indian provinces in 1937.

  • The Congress ministries' installation in the neighbouring British Indian provinces encouraged the Praja Mandal leaders to step up their political activities for demanding responsible government in the princely states.


Who among the following are associated with the founding of the Indian National Congress?

1. Badruddin Taiyabji

2. A.O. Hume

3. Dinshaw Edulji Wacha

4. Surendranath Banerjee

Select the correct answer using the codes below.

  • Founded in 1885, it was the first modem nationalist movement to emerge in the British empire in Asia and Africa. The Indian, National Congress conducted its first session in Bombay in 1885 at the retired civil service officer Allan Octavian Hume's initiative. Other founders include Dadabhai Naoroji and Dinshaw Edulji Wacha.


    Edulji Wacha worked in close association with Dadabhai Naoroji and Pherozeshah Mehta in the Congress, and along with his political activities, he was active in social reform and education. Womesh Chandra Bonnerjee was the first president of Congress





Which one o f the following was not an objective of the Indian National Congress in its initial years?

Solution: In the initial years, independence from the British was not an agenda for INC.


Consider the following statements

1. The first session of the Indian National Congress was presided by W.C Banerjee.

2. Kamaladevi Chattopadhyay addressed the session in 1885.

Which of the above statements is/are NOT correct?


The first session of the Indian National Congress was attended by 72 delegates and presided over by Womesh Chandra Bannerjee.

Kamaladevi Chattopadhyay (3 April 1903 -29 October 1988) was an Indian social reformer and freedom fighter. She was most remembered for her contribution to the Indian independence movement.


The moderates were so-called because

1. They had rejected the idea of participating in legislative councils and instead believed in peaceful protests.

2. They relied on the organised struggle against the British, something that was opposite to the extremist camp.

Which of the above is/are correct?

Solution: Moderates were called so because they adopted peaceful and constitutional means to achieve their demands. They had faith in British goodwill and justice. They organised parties and associations (even extremists did the same), but the latter were more radical in their approach.


Even though the moderates were not very popular among the extremists, they succeeded on several fronts. They were successful at

1. Popularising the ideas of democracy, civil liberties and representative institutions.

2. Explaining British exploitation of the Indian economy.

3. Getting the legislative councils expanded for Indian benefit.

Choose the correct answer using the codes below.

  • The leadership of the INM arrived at a clear and scientific understanding of colonialism.

  • The British were using political control to subordinate the Indian economy and society to the British economy and society's needs. This understanding has given rise to certain ideological themes in the INM.

  • These themes came in because of the drain of wealth from India due to plunder and taxation; employment of Englishmen in India; investing British capital in India, and free and unequal trade. This was the complex economic mechanism of modem imperialism.


The British used political control to subordinate the Indian economy and society to the British economy and society's needs. Among them, ‘Drain of wealth’ was caused by

1. Plunder and taxation.

2. Employment of Englishmen in India (Home charges).

3. Investing in British capital in India.

4. Free and unequal trade with India.

Choose the correct answer from the codes below.

  • Badruddin Tyabji (1844-1906) was an Indian lawyer who served as the third president of the Indian National Congress.

  • He presided over the Congress session in 1887 and became the first Indian barrister in Mumbai in April 1867.

  • He accepted a judgeship of the Bombay High Court in 1895. In 1902, he became the first Indian to hold the post of chief justice in Mumbai.

  • He was also active in women’s emancipation and worked to weaken the zenana system. He was considered among the moderate Muslims during the freedom movement of India.


Consider the following statements regarding Badruddin Tyabji:

1. He never served as the president of the Indian National Congress.

2. He was the first Indian to hold the post of chief justice in Mumbai.

Which of the above statement(s) is/are true?

Solution: Khan Bahadur Hashem Ali Khan started Proja Andolon (civic movement) in Barisal on request of A. K. Fazlul Huq to preserve and protect farmers' rights.


Regarding the period of an extremist nationalist movement in India with its spirit of Swadeshi, which one of the following statement(s) is/are not correct?

Solution: Unlike moderates, the extremists did not have faith in the British and their sense of justice and fair play. They believed that they had to fight for political rights and had the spirit of self-reliance and self-determination. Their main objective was to attain Swaraj or total independence and not just self-government.


After the moderates' perceived failure, the extremists continued their expansion and attacks on the British. Main objectives of the extremists were

1. Self-government with dominion status for India.

2. Provincial autonomy from the Central legislature.

3. More power for the local bodies.

Select the correct answer using the codes below.

Solution: Differences Between Moderates and Extremists: Moderates

1. Social base—zamindars and upper-middle classes in towns.

2. Ideological inspiration—western liberal thought and European history.

3. Believed in England’s providential mission in India.

4. Believed political connections with Britain to be in India’s social, political and cultural interests.

5. Professed loyalty to the British Crown.

6. Believed that the movement should be limited to middle-class intelligentsia; masses not yet ready for participation in political work.

7. Demanded constitutional reforms and share for Indians in services.

8. Insisted on the use of constitutional methods only.

9. They were patriots and did not play the role of a comprador class.


1. Social base educated middle classes in towns and lower middle class.

2. Ideological inspiration—Indian history, cultural heritage and Hindu traditional symbols.

3. Rejected ‘providential mission theory’ as an illusion.

4. Believed that political connections with Britain would perpetuate British exploitation of India. 5. Believed that the British Crown was unworthy of claiming Indian loyalty.

6. Had immense faith in the capacity of masses to participate and to make sacrifices.

7. Demanded swaraj as a panacea for Indian ills.

8. Did not hesitate to use extra-constitutional methods like boycott and passive resistance to achieve their objectives.

9. They were patriots who made sacrifices for the sake of the country.


Which of the following beliefs defined the extremists in the Indian National Movement?

1. Belief in England’s providential mission in India.

2. Demanded constitutional reforms and shared for Indians in services.

3. Believed that political connections with Britain would perpetuate British exploitation of India.

Select the correct answer using the codes below,

  • The moderates were able to create a wide national awakening among the people. They popularised the: ideas of democracy, civil liberties and representative institutions.

  • They explained how the British were exploiting Indians. In Particular, Dadabhai Naoroji in his famous book Poverty and un-British Rule in India, wrote his Drain Theory.

  • He showed how India’s wealth was going away to England in the form of (a) salaries, (b) savings, (c) pensions, (d) payments to British troops in India and (e) profits of the British companies. In fact, the British government was forced to appoint the Welby Commission, with Dadabhai as the first Indian as its member, to enquire into the matter.

  • Some moderates like Ranade and Gokhale favoured social reforms. They protested against child marriage and widowhood. The moderates had succeeded in expanding the legislative councils by the Indian Councils Act of 1892.


In pre-independent India, a journal with the name ‘ Vande Mataram’ was started/published by

1. Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay

2. Lala Lajpat Rai

3. Bipin Chandra Pal

Select the correct answer using the codes below.

  • Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay wrote the song ‘Vande Mataram’, inspired by which Bipin Chandra Pal decided to start a patriotic journal in August 1906 with the same name. So, 1 is incorrect, and 3 is correct.

Lala Lajpat Rai started an Urdu daily ‘Vande Mataram’ from Lahore which boasted huge circulation. Police confiscated its first edition itself and he had to appeal to the high court against this. Four editors of this newspaper were sent to jail under the charge of sedition.

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