Wednesday, November 3, 2010

NOTES ON THE FOUNDATION OF INDIAN NATIONAL CONGRESS


1. Political Feature of Post 1857 Period:
- The newly emerged middle class of India took over the politics of India during the post 1857 period.
 
- The middle class started a constitutional agitation after founding an all Indian political association called The Indian National Congress.
 
2. The Background of the Foundation of the Indian National Congress:
a. Causes of the rise of sense of Unity among the Indians:
- There was always a cultural unity in India.
 
- The British government established one centralized government over India.
 
- The British government gave a uniform administration, uniform system of education, English language which established a common bond.
 
- The social reforms which were also a result of the British rule, also brought about the sense of national unity among the Indians.
 
- The Indian nationalism and Indian National Congress were also the result of the British rule.
 
- The foundation of the Indian National Congress was a one of the first expressions of political unity in India which was caused by the British rule after 1857.
 
b. Role of the British rule in the rise of Indian National Congress (INC) and Nationalism: (March 00)
- The British rule exploited the Indians.
 
- The British rule followed a racial policy under which they discriminated between whites and blacks.
 
- The British rulers adopted repressive policy as a result of which Indians developed discontentment against the British rule.
 
c. Rise of sense of independence among the Indians:
- The study of ancient Indian history and its glory generated the sense of self respect among the Indians.
 
- Lord Ripon absorbed the Indians in the administration which gave the Indians the required training and confidence to run their own affairs.
 
- The rise of self respect combined with their discontentment with the British administration gave rise to the sense of independence.
 
- The rise of sense of independence gradually revealed itself in form of national movement.
 
d. Work of Provincial Nationalist Organisations:
- The Indians, especially the educated middle class had started forming the provincial organisation.
 
- The provincial organisation conveyed to the British government the demands of Indians.
 
- The provincial organisation performed the important work of raising the political awakening among the Indians.
 
- They mainly worked for the provincial problems.
 
- Some of the important earlier provincial and political organisations were as follows:
i. Bengal Province: Banga Bhasha Prasarika Sabha, The Land Holder’s Association, Bengal British India Society, British Indian Association and Indian Association.
 
ii. Bombay Presidency: Bombay Association, Bombay Presidency Association and Poona Sarvajanik Sabha.
 
iii. Madras Province: East India Association and Madras Mahajan Sabha.
 
iv. England: The Indians and some English well wishers of India had also formed the association which raised political awakening among the Indians. They were London Indian Associations, East India Association, National Indian Association and Indian Society.
 
d1: The Nature of the work of Earlier Association:
- The earlier association founded before the Indian National Congress were basically regional association.
 
- Their demands were basically related to their provinces.
 
- They performed the work of raising political awakening among the Indians.
 
- Their demands were not doubt refers to the regional problems but they were national in character.
 
d2: Main Achievements of the Provincial Associations:
- The provincial association laid the ground for a national level association.
 
- The provincial association learned that there was no coordination among their activities. This made them to feel the need of a national level association.
 
- Surendra Nath Banerjee founded a National Conference to act as an association at national level.
 
- In 1885, Indian National Congress was also founded which proved more successful and later National Conference was merged with Indian National Congress.
 
3. Foundation of Indian National Congress: (March 2001)
a. Significance of the study of the history of Indian National Congress:
- The Indian National Congress was founded in 1885.
 
- An extensive movement of independence of India was carried out under the leadership of INC.
 
- Finally, it was mainly under the leadership of Indian National Congress that Indian attained independence.
 
b. Role of Alan Octavian Hume: (Oct. 96, 99)
- Alan Octavian Hume was a retired Civil Servant.
 
- He was one of the founders of the Indian National Congress.
 
- He played an important role in the foundation of the Indian National Congress.
 
- The participation of Hume in the founding of the Indian National Congress helped the Indians to remove any possible opposition by the British government to forming of the Congress.
 
c. Theory of Safety Valve: Reasons for the support of the British government: (March 98, 00)
- The discontentment of the Indians was rising against the British rule around 1885.
 
- The experiences of the revolt of 1857 were fresh in the mind of the British government.
 
- The government wanted to provide a safety valve for the discontentment of the Indians against it.
 
- The British government felt that the Congress founded with its support would perform the job of a safety valve.
 
- When Hume placed the idea of the Congress before the government it supported it.
 
d. The First Session of the Indian National Congress: 1885 in Bombay:
 
- The first session of the Indian National Congress was held in December in 1885 in Bombay.
 
- Wyomesh Chandra Bannerjee was the president of the first session of the Congress held at Bombay.
 
4. Three periods of the history of Indian National Congress:
a: The history of the Indian National Congress is divided into three periods on the basis of the nature of demands, the form of activities and approach of the leaders towards the demands and the activities of the Indian National Congress.
b: The three periods were as follows:
i. The First period known as Moderate period: From 1885 to 1905.
ii. The second period known as Extremist period: From 1905 to 1920.
 
iii. The third period known as Gandhian period: From 1920 to 1947.
 
c: Period of Moderates (1885-1905):
 
- The period of Indian National Congress between 1885 and 1905 is called the Moderate Period.
 
- The leaders of the moderate period of the Congress are called the Moderate Leaders.
 
- The politics of the moderate period of the Congress is called the Moderate Politics.
 
- The moderate period was a period of political moderation.
 
- The main Moderate leaders were Wyomesh Chandra Bannerjee, Surendra Nath Banerjee, Anand Mohan Bose, Justice M. G. Ranade, Justice K. T. Telang, Badruddin Tayabajee, Dr. Bhandarkar, Firozshah Mehta, Dadabhai Nawrojee, Gopal Krishan Gokhale, Rangayya Naidu, G. Subramaniyam Iyer, Pandit Madan Mohan Malviya, Pandit Motilal Nehru, Deshbandhu Chitaranjan Dass.
 
5. Objectives of the Indian National Congress: (March 96, 99; Oct. 01)
- The main objective of Congress was Swaraj.
- It aimed at the overall reforms in India.
 
- It aimed at bringing people of various provinces together on the national level.
 
- It aimed at debating the various social and national issues.
 
- It aimed at finding proper remedies to the National issues.
 
- It aimed at providing the suggestions based on the Indian view for taking measures to solve the national problems.
 
- It aimed at working as a link between the Indians and the British government.
 
6. Demands of the Indian National Congress: (Oct. 98)
- Regardless of the objective of getting Swaraj which means total freedom and own rule, the demands of the Congress during the earlier days were moderate.
 
- It asked for increasing the number of Indians in the British administration in India.
 
- It asked for holding the civil services examinations in India and England simultaneously.
 
- It demanded the increasing the age limit for the civil services examinations.
 
- It asked for the control of Parliament over the bureaucracy in India.
 
- It demanded more elected representatives in the imperial and provincial legislature.
 
- It demanded more powers for Parliament and was not happy with its status as a mere debating body.
 
- It asked British government to reduce the expenditure on the Indian army.
 
7. The method of functioning of the Indian National Congress: (Methodology)
- Petition it importance as per the Moderates: The Congress placed their demands before the government in form of petition.
 
- The method of presenting petition did not disturb the working of the government. It saved the Congress from any negative reaction of the government.
 
- The petition method of was the main method of the functioning of the Congress which is known as moderate approach of the Congress.
 
8. Difficulties faced by Congress with change in attitude of the British Rule towards it: (Oct. 97)
 
- The British government had given the approval to the formation of the Congress in 1885.
 
- During second annual session in Calcutta (Kalkotta), Viceroy of India had even hosted a dinner for the delegates of the Congress.
 
- However, the attitude of the British rule changed towards the activities of the Congress due to following reasons: (Why did the attitude of the British government changed towards the Congress?)
i. The Congress became very popular among the Indians.
 
ii. The membership of the Congress increased every year.
 
iii. The Congress was quite successful in raising political awareness among the Indian masses.
 
iv. The British government did not relish the scenario of rising political awakening due to the activities of the Congress.
v. The British government imposed restrictions on Congress.
 
b: British Changed the attitude towards the Congress and imposed restrictions: (March 2001)
- The British government did not like the rising political awareness of the Indian masses due to the activities of the Congress.
 
- The British government did not like the rising popularity of Congress
 
- The British government imposed the restrictions on the Congress.
- The Congress members were made to give a guarantee of good conduct.
 
- The British government imposed ban on the government officers to participate in the activities of the Congress.
- The government servants like Ranade found it difficult in face government restrictions. However, they kept on participating in the activities of the government indirectly.
 
- The British government adopted oppressive policies towards the Congress in order to rein its activities. However, the popularity of Congress kept on increasing.
 
c: The Popularity of Congress increased inspite of the government restrictions:
 
- The British government imposed restrictions on the government servants for participating in the activities of the Congress
- The government servants like Justice Ranade, continued to guide the Congress inspite of the ban.
 
- The popularity of Congress further increased inspite of the numerous restrictions.
 
- Justice Ranade organised Indian Socialist Conference which used to organise its sessions at the same place as that of the Congress.
 
9. Achievements of the Moderates:
 
a. Activities of the Indian leaders in England:
- Dadabhai Nawrojee and Wyomesh Chander Bannerjee created a positive and favourable reputation of Indian National Congress in England.
 
- The activities of Dadabhai Nawrojee created favourable atmosphere for the Congress in England.
 
- The activities of Indian leaders in England won for Congress the support of the English Parliamentarians.
 
- The English Parliamentarians supported the Indian cause in the Parliament due to the works of the Congress leaders in England.
 
b: Indian Council Act of 1892:
 
- The British government passed the Indian Council Act of 1892, which was considered as one of the major achievements of the moderates.
 
- Under the act, the Governor General’s Council was expanded to include the Indian members for the legislative purpose.
- The power of the legislature was increased.
- The Legislative Council was empowered to discuss the budget and ask questions.
 
- The Act allowed the nomination of members of Indian origin from the Local bodies, Universities, Chamber of Commerce and Land Holders Associations.
 
- The act was mainly aimed to pacify the moderates.
 
- However, it was not able to satisfy the Indian National Congress.
 
c: Rise of Young Congress leaders:
- The moderates adopted the policy to accept whatsoever they could get from the government.
 
- They were not satisfied with the Indian Council Act of 1892, but the moderates accepted it.
 
- The young members did not approve of the policy of moderates to accept less than what was demanded. It led to dissatisfaction in the Congress also.
 
d: Major Contribution to the Freedom Struggle: (March 98)
- It was the activities of the moderates which laid the ground for democracy and constitutional activities in India.
 
- It was the activities of the moderates which prepared the base for the extremist phase of the Congress.
 
10. Reaction of British government- Divide and Rule Policy:
- The British government took steps to counter the activities of Congress in raising the political awareness among the Indians.
 
- It tried to impose bans on Congress activities.
 
- It became suspicious of the Congress.
 
- It started reforms to counter the criticism by the Congress of the British policy.
 
- Along with reforms it adopted the policy of Divide and Rule.
 
a: Divide and Rule Policy:
- The British government tried to weaken the activities of the Congress by breaking away from it the support of Muslims community.
 
- The British government successfully tried to convey the message to the Muslims and Muslims leaders that their interests were not safe if they joined with the Congress activities.
 
11. Criticism and Evaluation of Moderate Period:
 
- The moderates had great faith in the sense of justice of the British.
 
- They worked through representation and petitions only. They did not adopt any anti-law method to ask the government to accept their demands.
 
a: Foundation of the struggle of independence of India:
- The moderates laid the foundation of the struggle of independence of India in the following manner.
 
- The leaders like G. K. Gokhale, Ferozshah Mehta etc entered the Legislature and place before the government the demands of the people of India.
 
- The leaders like G. K. Gokhale and Dadabhai Nawrojee made constructive and effective criticism of the government policies.
 
- The moderate leaders also brought out the criticism of the shortcomings of the government.
 
- Through their method of petitions, representations and participation in Legislature, the moderates sowed the seeds of constitutional politics in the minds of the people of India.
 
a1: The Criticism:
 
- The moderates were criticized for their faith in the hope that the British would justice to them.
 
- The moderates were criticized that they were not able to achieve any substantial gains through their method of petition, representation etc.
 
- They were criticised because their criticism of British policy had not brought change in the policies of the British towards India.
 
b: Views of Justice Ranade on the achievements of the Congress:
- In answer to the critics of the moderates, Ranade had rightly defended the moderates by explaining their historic role in the history of struggle for freedom of India.
 
- He explained that they were not petitioning the British government but it was an act of raising the political awakening of the Indians towards their actual rights and status.
 
- It was a lesson in constitutional methods to the Indians.
 
- Inspite of the failure of moderates they had introduced Indians to a new type of politics.
- It was the moderates who had laid the base for the democracy in India.
 
c: Foundation of the Extremist Faith:
- The activities and failures of the moderates had prepared the grounds for the extremist period.
 
- They had increased the discontent of the Indians by criticizing the British government on the economic issues.
 
d: Main Critic of British government on Economic Policies:
 
- The moderates were the first leaders to criticize the economic policies on scientific line.
 
- They increased the discontent of the people by laying before them the real harmful effects of the economic policies of the British rule.
 
e: Contribution of Dadabhai Nawrojee:
- It was Dadabhai Nawrojee who had criticised the economic policies of the Indians on the scientific lines.
 
- Dadabhai Nawrojee proved that British government was responsible for the poverty in India.
 
- He explained that how the British rule took away raw material from India and forced the Indians to by British factory products.
 
- He explained that how the British had ruined the traditional Indian indigenous industries for the benefit of British industry by their Indian economic policies.
 
- He explained that how the British government was economically exploiting the Indians.
 
- Dadabhai proved on statistical basis that how the expenditure on railways and telegraphs, the expenses incurred on the wars, the salaries of the officers and British Indian military were only meant for benefit for the government.
 
- Dadabhai brought to the notice of the Indians that how different expenditures out the Indian treasury only meant to benefit England.
 
- Through the above explanations and criticism, Dadabhai Nawrojee gave his Economic Drain Theory.
 
f: New messages and Game Plans for the future of Freedom Struggle:
 
- Ranade also supported the version of the economic drain of the India by the British.
 
- Dadabhai gave agitation method in the following words, “Agitate and continue to agitate”.
 
- Dadabhai gave the new programme in 1906 which was, “Swaraj, Swadeshi, National Education and Boycott.”
 
- The programme given in 1906, became the programme of Extremist Congress group during 1906 to 1919.
 
- The moderate period was immediately followed by an Extremist phase of Congress during which the Indian National Movement became aggressive and acquired a concrete shape.
 


Facts and Figures to Remember
1. Political Feature of Post 1857 Period A new middle class of India took over the political activities of India.
 
2. The Background of the Foundation of the Indian National Congress:
A sense of unity among the Indians became strong. The British
 
helped the rise of the Congress. The desire of independence
 
arose among the Indians. Many political associations before the
 
rise of Congress paved the way for the rise of Congress.
 
3. Foundation of Indian National Congress:
 
Role of Alan Octavian Hume; the safety valve theory, INC formed on December 31, 1885 at Mumbai. Wyomesh Chandra Bannerjee was its first president.
 
4. Three periods of the history of Indian National Congress:
Moderate period (1885 –1905) Extremist period (1905 – 1920) Gandhian Period (1920 – 1947)
5. Objectives of the Indian National Congress:
 
Overall reforms, bringing together of Indians, debate on social and national issues, remedies to the National issues, coordination between Indians and the British Government.
 

6. Demands of the Indian National Congress:
Moderate demands, involvement of Indians in the British administration in India, holding of civil services examination in India also, increase in the age limit for the civil services examination, control of Parliament over the bureaucracy in India, representation in imperial and provincial legislature, more powers for Parliament, reduction in the expenditure on the Indian army.
 

7. The method of functioning of the Indian National Congress: (Methodology)
Petitions its importance as per the Moderates

8. Difficulties faced by Congress with change in attitude of the British Rule towards it:
Restrictions imposed on the activities of Congress.
 
9. Achievements of the Moderates:
Achievements of W. C. Bannerjee and Dadabhai Nawrojee in India and England, won over the English Parliamentarians for the issues raised by the Indian National Congress. Indian Council Act 1892, spread of awareness among the young Indians, prepared grounds for democratic political activities and rise of extremist form of democratic political activities.
 

10. Reaction of British government- Divide and Rule Policy:
Numerous bans of the activists of Congress, started reforms to counter the Indian National Congress activities, Divide and Rule policy by encouraging rift among Indians on the basis of religion, castes and classes.
 
11. Criticism and Evaluation of Moderate Period:
Main founder of the struggle for Independence of India, criticised for their faith in British administration that it would do justice to Indians.
 

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