THE INDIAN NATIONAL NATIONAL CONGRESS 1905-1914
To placate the moderate nationalists: it announced constitutional concessions through the Indian Councils Act of 1909 which are known as the Morle Minto Reforms of 1909. In 1911, the Governmental so announced the annulment of the Partition of Bengal. Western and Eastern Bengals were to be reunited while a new province consisting of Bihar and Orissa was to be created at the same time the seat of the Central Government was shifted from Calcutta to Delhi.
The Morley-Minto Reforms increased the number of elected members in the Imperial’ Legislative Council and the provincial councils. But most of the elected members were elected in directly, by the provincial councils in the case of the Imperial Council and by municipal committees and district board sin the case of provincial councils. Some of the elected seats were reserved for landlords and British capitalists in India. For instance, of the 68 members of the Imperial Legislative Council, 36 were officials and 5 were nominated non officials. Of the 27 elected members, 6 were to represent the big landlords and 2 the British capitalists. Moreover, the reformed councils still enjoyed no real power, being merely advisory bodies .
The reforms in no way changed the undemocratic and foreign character of British rule or the fact of foreign economic exploitation of the country. They were, in fact, not designed to democratize Indian administration. Morley openly declared at the, time: “If it could be said that this chapter of reforms led directly or necessarily to the establishment of a parliamentary system in India, If or one would have nothing at all to do with it”. His successor as the Secretary of Sate, Lord Crewe, further clarified the position in 1912. “There is a certain section in India which looks forward to a measure of self-government approaching that which has been granted in the dominions. I see no future for India on those lines”. The real purpose of the Reforms of 1909 was to confuse the moderate nationalists to divide the nationalist ranks, and to check the growth of unity among Indians.
The Reforms also introduced the system of separate electorates under which all Muslims were grouped in separate constituencies from which Muslims alone could be elected. This was done in the name of protecting the Muslim minority. Bi in reality this was a part of the policy of dividing Hindus and Muslims and thus maintaining British supremacy in India. The system of separate electorates was based on the notion that the political and economic interests of Hindus and Muslims were separate. This notion was—unscientific because religions cannot be the basis of political and economic interests or of political groupings. What is even more important, this system proved extremely harmful in practice. It checked the progress of India’s unification which had been a, continuous historical process .
It became a potent factor in the growth of communalism-both Muslim and Hindu-in the country. Instead of removing the educational and economic backwardness of the middle class Muslims and thus integrating them into the main stream of Indian nationalism, the system of separate electorates ended to perpetuate their isolation from the developing nationalist movement. It encouraged separatist tendencies. It prevented people from concentrating on economic and political problems which were common to all Indians, Hindu or Muslim.
The moderate nationalists did not fully support the Morley- Minto Reforms. They soon realised that the Reforms had not really granted much. But they decided to cooperate with the government in working the reforms.
This cooperation with the government and their opposition to the programme of the militant nationalists proved very costly to them. They gradually lost the respect and support of the public and were reduced to a small political group.
THE NATIONALIST AND THE FIRST WORLD WAR
THE HOME RULE LEAGUES
Rash Bihari Bose, Raja Mahendra Pratap, Lala Hardayal, Abdul Rahim, Maulana Obaidullah Sindhi, Champa-karaman Pillai, Sardar Singh Rana, and Madame Cama were some of the prominent Indians who carried on revolutionary activities and propaganda outside India where they gathered the support of socialists and other anti-imperialists.
LUCKNOW SESSION OF THE CONGRESS (1916)
|1. What is the significance of the Nationalist Movement in India?
|2. Who were the key leaders of the Nationalist Movement-2?
|3. What were the major events that shaped the Nationalist Movement-2?
|4. How did the Nationalist Movement-2 impact the Indian society?
|5. What were the key strategies adopted by the leaders during the Nationalist Movement-2?