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Contribution of Moderate Nationalists

Posted on : 08 Feb 2020

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  • Economic Critique of British Imperialism:
    • The early nationalists, led by DadabhaiNaoroji, R.C. Dutt, DinshawWacha, and others, carefully analyzed the political economy of British rule in India and put forward the “drain theory” to explain British exploitation of India.
    • They opposed the transformation of a basically self-sufficient Indian economy into a colonial economy and were able to create an all-India public opinion that British rule in India was the major cause of India’s poverty and economic backwardness.
    • To mitigate the deprivation characterizing Indian life, they demanded a reduction in land revenue, abolition of salt tax, improvement in working conditions of plantation labor, reduction in military expenditure, and encouragement to the modern industry through tariff protection and direct government aid.
  • Constitutional Reforms and Propaganda in Legislature:
    • From 1885 to 1892, the nationalist demands for constitutional reforms were centered around the expansion of councils i.e., greater participation of Indians in councils and reform of councils i.e., more powers to councils, especially greater control over finances.
    • After the Indian Council Act of 1892 failed to satisfy nationalists’ demands, they demanded a majority of elected Indians and control over the budget i.e. the power to vote upon and amend the budget.
  • Campaign for General Administrative Reforms:
    • Indianisation of government service
    • Call for separation of judicial from executive functions.
    • Criticism of an oppressive and tyrannical bureaucracy and an expensive and time-consuming judicial system
    • Criticism of an aggressive foreign policy which resulted in the annexation of Burma, attack on Afghanistan and suppression of tribals in the North-West—all costing heavily for the Indian treasury
    • Call for an increase in expenditure on welfare (i.e., health, sanitation), education, irrigation works and improvement of agriculture etc.
  • Protection of Civil Rights:
    • Through an incessant campaign, the nationalists were able to spread modern democratic ideas, and soon the defense of civil rights like right to speech, thought, association and a free press became an integral part of the freedom struggle.

Article Related Questions

  1. Consider the following statements
    1.Campaign against tariff protection and direct government aid for encouraging modern industry
    2.Expansion and Reforms of Legislative Councils
    3.Criticism of Judicial System
    4.Protection of Civil Rights
    Which of the above statements represents the demands of moderate nationalists?

  2. 1.1 and 3 only

    2.2 and 4 only

    3.2,3 and 4 only

    4.1, 2, 3 and 4

    Right Ans : 2,3 and 4 only

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